Ving Tsun (Wing Chun) kung fu is a style of martial arts whose power is derived from the simplicity of its movements. The focus of good Ving Tsun (Wing Chun) is being efficient and effective; doing more with less. This does not mean that training is easy it just means that the goal we are trying to attain is power and composure through simple and direct action. To reach this goal one must explore both the right and the wrong side of this theory; to see what works you must also explore what does not. A good Sifu will present information not in the form of absolute truths but rather as areas of focus or experimentation. For kung fu to be truly effective it must be developed out of experimentation by the practitioner. A good Sifu guides their students down this path of self-discovery in the most efficient and effective route possible. With proper guidance, the Ving Tsun (Wing Chun) system is a set of exercises and practices that enable a student to develop their own power and composure.
Posture: In a students first class the main topic discussed is the Ving Tsun (Wing Chun) stance. This stance helps students become more aware of their balance and posture. Practicing this stance changes the way students think about what is important in conflict and develops the body to have a lower center of gravity and cultivates the power and advantage of stillness. Our “stance” or the way we stand is the key factor that dictates the result of any conflict or endeavor; without direction and position there is no predictable outcome.
Conditioning: Repetitive action causes our bodies to change. Repetition reprograms our muscles’ default paths of movement. Only through this type of reprogramming can a student expect their reactions to conflict to change. Good self-defense is not about knowing what the correct response to a situation is, but rather it is the natural subconscious path that avoids unnecessary conflict and positions us most effectively for moving forward. The Ving Tsun (Wing Chun) laboratory provides the space for this reprogramming to occur.
Distance Awareness: To be effective we must first know where we are and what we wish to effect. Only by being aware of the distance between people can a student act effectively and efficiently. Through proper training we gain a better understanding of which tools are appropriate in various circumstances. A screwdriver, like any good tool, can be used to accomplish many goals, but by focusing on the importance of distance a student forces themselves to develop the complete set of tools necessary to operate effectively in all situations.
Power: Ving Tsun (Wing Chun) training focuses on fortifying the weakest links in our structure. By filling in our weaknesses we develop a more powerful base. This base is what allows us to function effectively and efficiently without relying on strength alone. The focus is on developing powerful punches and kicks with whole body alignment allowing power development without the burden of unbalanced over commitment.
Efficiency: Ving Tsun (Wing Chun) training infuses a student’s patterns of movement with a tendency toward straight-line movement and subtle angulation. Students develop a tendency toward stillness, avoiding unnecessary movement. By moving naturally to positions with maximum advantage a student maximize their advantage without relying on strength and speed. We train to perform activities with appropriate levels of force and movement without the added burden of overexertion.
Relaxation & Composure: Practice of the forms and the Ving Tsun (Wing Chun) exercises instills calmness over the practitioner. To be efficient we must respond to things calmly, we must not perform unnecessary movement, we must learn to be able to stand still under pressure, and we must learn that the effect of an attack upon us is directly related to how we receive it. By pushing the envelope of our comfort zone we reduce the relative level of perceived threat in all of our encounters. When we can maintain our composure we can act to the best our ability allows.