What Is Wing Chun Kuen?
The fundamental principle of Wing Chun is "receive what comes, follow what goes and strike when there is emptiness."
My interpretation of the awesome wonderful wing chun system
A lot of people confuse martial arts and violent/fighting, but they are not the same, although there are certain overlaps and parallels.
I think of Wing Chun, the Chinese martial art is a tool that can be used in different ways & not just only in fighting.
Wing Chun can be developed as a fighting art, but my advice to my students is that if they're going to fight, it's better to just fight & not to get too hung up on individual techniques in the midst of a fight. If we can remove violent intent ,we can develop good Wing Chun & we will have the opportunity to study the human body, biomechanics, structure etc. This is a healthier attitude!!
The fighting techniques /attitude & health will be develop by doing Chi sao(sticky hands). Chi sao it is the combat-like game,the practitioner use simultaneously the both side of his brain & it's the core of Wing Chun system.
In Chi -Sao we should be patient, but prepared for surprises!! In chi sao is normal to see two practitioners / friends while exchange ideas ( play hands- combat-like game) & enjoying an intense, high-speed session of chi sao in silence. Each one is studying one aspect of the art. Maybe one is deliberately making mistakes in order to make the other respond in one way. The other might be experimenting with a slight adjustment to the horse stance or recovering his lost central line?. The game proceeds with stalemate after stalemate. Suddenly, an opening appears. A highly trained arm slips into the gap with a punch. The other practitioner doesn't respond quickly enough. Bang! "Oh-Sorry."
They rest for a moment, while one of them goes to tidy up a bloody lip. They talk through what happened .Why did the accident happen? How could it have been prevented? What moves/ counter would work? The old kung fu teachers warned people to be careful because they might be dreaming of chi sao & then.... Bang! "Oh- sorry!!."
That is kind of Wing Chun Kung Fu I learned at "The Basement" Nino Bernardo -Wong Shun Leung school in London 1984-2000, without any colourful belts and/or certificates.
Of course, other schools and teachers have different interpretations of the relationship between Wing Chun and fighting. Try them as well.
© Loukas Kastrounis 2014,
Loukas Kastrounis- Franco Regalzi Founders/Leading Authorities of the European Wing Chun Association with authorised schools in: England, United Kingdom, Canada, Italy, Greece.
LOUKAS KASTROUNIS - WING CHUN KUEN
Loukas Kastrounis direct lineage of Yip-Man, Wong Shun Leung, is the Leading authority of the EWCA teaches Wing Chun Kuen Kung-Fu as a personal development tool and as a counter-attack system which can be applied in response to any physical assault. Remember that it is not who hits first but who hits last!
It can be a hobby, but it is a scientific system of Chinese kung-fu, one of the most simple, direct, efficient, elegant and sophisticated systems of kung-fu originating in the shaolin temple in China. It is an outstanding art and form of self-defence, benefiting health, fitness, awareness, addressing self potential and teaches you how to deal under stress and fear.
Wing Chun Kuen is not only a form of unarmed combat but also teaches the understanding of one's own body mechanics. Through Wing Chun a practitioner develops both mental and physical improvements and advantages - for example, better body structure, greater fitness, a keen sense of awareness, improved timing, and increased precision and control over one's movements. Wing Chun Kuen is a sophisticated weapon, where body mechanics are used with efficiency to their maximum effect.
Central line, Yo Ma (Hips turning) & Nut Sau Jit Chung is (Forwards spring loaded energy) the main tools of wing chun.
The techniques alone without Nut Sau Jit Chung are not efficient.
It is not Wing Chun without Nut Sau Jit Chung
The words "Wing Chun Kuen" have a number of English translations:
The meaning of the word "Wing" is Eternal - relaying the sense that the art is with you forever; it is in you at all times and strengthens any actions or activities you undertake.
If the principles of Wing Chun are applied in the context of physical unarmed combat, using a body that has been conditioned to maturation and employing finely honed strategic intelligence, the result will be a very sophisticated, efficient, and complete system.
Over the years, the fighting aspects of Wing Chun have been stressed, but it is important to make clear that Wing Chun is not only a system of fighting - if a person is looking only for a fighting system they might as well learn how to use a gun. There are also others benefits in this art which must not be dismissed. The training of Wing Chun at the Reading Academy of Wing Chun & Kali is an intense cardiovascular workout that helps eliminate muscular pain, maintain fitness, stamina, general health, coordination, balance, awareness and self-control.
The training requires time and self discipline, teaching one how not only to react in a combat situation but also in daily life. A practitioner learns to act with intelligence, not in anger or because of pride, and to deal with fear and stress. Teaching the body to react to stimuli in a controlled manner, Wing Chun focuses on directness, simplicity and economy of motion. "The art of being lazy!" as sifu Nino Bernardo always says.
Studying Wing Chun at the Reading Academy of Wing Chun & Kali teaches a practitioner about themselves. It illustrates their body's mechanics, how to maintain simplicity and effectiveness. It also develops an understanding of emotional reactions, teaching one to maintain control despite anger or pride. It helps promote the best in a practitioner and teaches how to eliminate their less positive aspects.
Wing Chun is a system that encompasses the entire body and mind, a system that develops a person in totality as well as being a highly efficient and direct form of self-defence. It has been designed in order to maintain and develop both physical and mental well-being by educating the mind and body together in harmony and teaching the practitioner how to deal with mental and physical stress. If the mind is more advanced than the body, or vice versa, then balance is one sided or biased.
Wing Chun is more than a fighting system, and we do not dismiss the fact that it is an efficient fighting system, but it can be used in everyday life (work, health, relationships).
The human brain suffers from haste and hunger for success. Most of us are impatient, but remember that it is not only your brain that needs to be trained, but also your body and you have to give it a chance. How long this takes is up to individuals, but enjoy the journey! The harder you try, the more frustration you experience. Just let the development happen naturally and when you get it you will not even notice it. One morning you will wake up and it is there! You must first delete yesterday's baggage. Then allow yourself to approach it as a child's game, by accepting mistakes and learning from them.
Progress and development transcend the game. Humans are so consumed with using the brain (intellect) that they have forgotten the body. When the body becomes ill we go to the doctor for medical advice. But we still continue to do the same thing that caused the illness! So it becomes a cycle. Why? Because we are so busy with everyday life that we take our bodies for granted. Wing Chun offers immunity from physical and mental illness if practiced correctly.
As Zen says, try to become nothing, see nothing and feel nothing. Nothing does not hurt. This is the idea of the first form. The hard breaks, but the soft bends like bamboo. When you see a beautiful old tree you admire its beauty and how solid it is, but strong winds will one day break it, whereas bamboo springs back with great force after it has absorbed the force of the wind - like Wing Chun. Be like water. If you throw a stone into water it does not hurt the water, it goes to the bottom. You cannot cut, catch or hurt water, only what is solid can be hurt and can break.
Translated into English, Wing Chun means "eternal spring". Wing Chun gives you eternal youth. There is no time limit to master it - don't forget that all of us are individuals. It is important when training not to focus only on the fight; otherwise all the other benefits of Kung Fu will be missed. The way you train in Wing Chun and the way you fight are two different things. No one can teach how to fight, but Wing Chun prepares you for fighting mentally and physically.
Wing Chun is not a martial art, it is a martial skill, everyone has Wing Chun within them, anyone can do Wing Chun, it is simple but it isn't easy. You need to delete your old condition to allow the natural to come out.