The Basic Theory of Wing Chun
by Walter Jakimczuk (Tang Fu Fung)
Wing Chun is a result oriented style
of Chinese Martial Arts known for
its economy of movement and efficiency. Wing Chun does not rely on magic to achieve its efficiency. All Wing Chun techniques are based on certain fundamental principles, which take into account the limitation and capability of human movement, the relative position between the practitioner and the opponent, and the most economic movement to achieve the desired result under a specific situation.
The basic rule is the straight-line principle: the shortest distance between two objects being a straight line. Using this principle, punches or kicks are delivered directly to the target via the shourtest route.
The centerline theory dictates that the centerline of the body is always protected. When an attack originates from the centerline, it occupies the center and, therefore, also serves as the protection during the attack. The centerline mentioned here is the vertical line of your body. Therefore, there is only one centerline in Wing Chun terminology.
To ensure that the centerline attack is effective, the center has to face the target. In combat, a Wing Chun practitioner follows and faces his target as if he were the shadow of the target. Most other martial arts styles tell you to deliver a block with one hand and strike with the other hand. In Wing Chun, great emphasis is placed on training both hands to respond in the same amount of time. For example, if I asked you to pick up a hammer in one hand and a needle in the other at the same time, you would feel a difference in sensitivity in each hand due to weight difference, size of object, etc. However if you were a well-trained Wing Chun practitioner, the sensitivity would be the same in both hands. This type of sensitivity is learned through the practice of “Chi Sau” (sticky hands).
Another theory of Wing Chun is that balance should be placed at the back of the body while many other styles place the balance at the front of the body (e.g. Bow and arrow stance), believing that the arms should move as an extension of the body. The hands of a Wing Chun practitioner can move independently of body commitments and the front leg is always ready for kicking.
The belief that the Wing Chun “Horse Stance” is more fragile than that of other systems is false. Strength is built up in the Wing Chun stance through the practice of “Chi Sau”. The moving actions in this training process are capable of building up a tremendous amount of strength in footwork.