Martial arts were traditionally created as a means for practitioners to be able to defend themselves and their family from threats of violence. Today, there can be all sorts of reasons why someone would choose to learn kung fu: it could be a means to defend themselves, a fun way to get in shape, or simply a new hobby to take up. Whatever your reasons and motivations, Wing Chun Kung Fu can satisfy your needs.
"Kung Fu Schools and Wing Chun have been fantastic for me. I am fulfilling a life-long dream to learn a martial art. It's challenging both physically and mentally. I have the pleasure of having friends in various different martial arts and/or security based jobs, and I've always found my Wing Chun to hold up very, very well in friendly sparring, even though I am not an advanced student. When I joined Kung Fu I could barely do sit-ups or push-ups and the teachers were very kind and allowed me to progress at my own rate without ever making me feel bad about it. Now I'm rather pleased with how much stronger and more flexible I am. The same is true when it comes to learning the techniques. They are patient, and incredibly knowledgeable. If you want to train hard and learn, they will be more than happy to teach you and to help you to understand. Wing Chun is a system rather than a style, which means we fight based on a number of rules and principles as opposed to impressions of animals. These rules and principles are incredibly simple and logical, but also very deep. It is a wonderful experience to learn a new principle, and grow from being completely useless at it, to mastering it and applying it without thought. I find that the rules, principles and fighting strategy of Wing Chun have also spilled over into my every day life. I am more motivated and focused than before I began training. I have recommended Wing Chun and Kung Fu Schools to my friends before, and will continue to do so."
Our students come from a variety of different backgrounds. Young or old, Wing Chun Kung Fu has helped them in different ways. We believe that goals play a crucial part in training, be it short-term targets or longer term goals. Even a goal of becoming a martial arts instructor can be made a reality, with consistent training and progress, and with the support and guidance from the Kung Fu Schools Organization.
A History of Wing Chun
Wing Chun Kung Fu can be traced all the way back to the 1600s. Developed in the Southern Shaolin Temple in the Hunan Province in China, it is believed that Wing Chun was developed by a Buddhist nun called Ng Mui, who devised the system as a counter against the harder kung fu forms that can be mastered quickly. It is believed that she named the system after Yim Wing Chun, her first student, who used her newly acquired skills to deter unwanted suitors.
In the 1950s, Chan Wah Shun taught the system to Yip Man, who in turn taught many students, including the late Bruce Lee. The late Grandmaster Yip Man simplified the system, and is mainly responsible for the Wing Chun system as we know it today. Wing Chun flourished in Hong Kong and the late Grandmaster Yip Man passed his knowledge on to his two sons, Yip Chun and Yip Ching, as well as Wing Chun Grandmasters Leung Ting, the late Wong Shun Leung and many more.
A Quick Guide to Wing Chun
In all Wing Chun training, regardless of level, we have 4 stages that are inherent in the teaching of the system:
- Free yourself from your own strength—power comes from relaxation
- Free yourself from your opponents’ strength by using correct shapes and techniques
- Use your opponents' strength against them—take them where they are trying to go
- Add your strength to that of your opponents’—help them to defeat themselves
Wing Chun is a complete self-defense system covering all 5 ranges of unarmed combat:
- Kicking – the longest unarmed range
- Punching – The most common range for self-defense
- Elbows & knees – Closer than punching range
- Stand-up grappling – Shortest unarmed range while standing
- Anti-ground fighting – Groundwork
Our teaching system constantly visits realistic self-defense situations, and adapts techniques to suit the needs of today’s society. It is important to remember that Wing Chun is, first and foremost, a martial art for self-defense, not a competitive sport centered on scoring points in a sparring match.
Wing Chun is a system based on just a handful of concepts and principles, not hundreds of fixed techniques. These simple principles apply to all situations, and can be learnt by anyone, regardless of strength, stamina or overall fitness.
The Basic Wing Chun Concepts
- Control this line during attack & defense
- Attach to the core (vertical central line) of the opponent
Economy of Motion:
- Small (therefore quick) direct movements
- No drawing back before strikes (it telegraphs your intentions)
- Simultaneous attack & defense
Strength vs. Strength:
- Pointless. The stronger person always wins
The 4 Basic Wing Chun Principles
- If the way is clear, go forward
- If resistance is met, stick with it
- If you encounter greater force, yield
- If the opponent withdraws, follow
Every motion in Wing Chun is an application of the above principles. It sounds simple, but in a self-defense situation, less is more. (This is one reason why firearms are so popular in some countries—Draw, Aim, Fire, all in one movement. A simple and effective solution, but one that creates many more problems than it solves!)
The complete Wing Chun system teaches total self-defense at all unarmed ranges, and includes programs on facing multiple assailants and weapons. In addition, we hold additional seminars on advanced techniques, ground fighting, sparring, and also the breathing, healing and internal health components of the art, which is called Chi Kung—the Art Of Healthy Movement.
How Wing Chun Is Taught
Learning Wing Chun Kung Fu is very much like learning a foreign language. Everything will seem odd and unfamiliar at first, especially as the Wing Chun principles are logical but not instinctive. Training is designed to turn the logical reaction into the natural one. The correct movements begin to happen automatically, so when you need Wing Chun, you'll find it there without conscious thought.
However, knowledge is not power in Wing Chun. Just knowing what you should do is not enough. The student must train with a serious attitude in order to obtain the correct reactions, and to make them instant and automatic.
When beginning your Wing Chun training, you will start with the 1st Student Grade (1SG). This takes about 8 weeks to complete, and provides you with a basic grounding in the Wing Chun system. Areas covered in 1SG include:
- Basic concepts and principles
- Basic guard and awareness of range
- Chain punching and the correct power line
- Basic kick defenses
- Stances and footwork
- Basic movement
- The beginning (Sections 1-3) of the Siu Nim Tau Form (The 'ABC' of Wing Chun)
- Pre-emptive attacks against the most common attackers: right- and left-handed.
- Basic 'what if' situations: headlocks, grips, chokes, rugby tackles, etc.
After the first few months, we are convinced that you will be better able to defend yourself. In addition you will be more relaxed, coordinated, at ease in close quarter situations, and more aware of yourself and of aggressive intent in others. The complete system of Wing Chun Kung Fu, however, cannot be taught in mere months, which is why you are then able to continue training for as long as you wish.