Wing Chun Kung Fu
詠春 Wing Chun Kung Fu
We teach the wing chun style of kung fu. This is a very effective combative style which helps you to deal with a situation quickly and effectively, there probably is no more direct art than the style of Wing Chun!
About Kung Fu:
Developed in China, there are many different styles of kung fu, wing chun is probably the most famous due to its popularity by Bruce Lee in the 1970's.
Many people like Kung Fu for its alarming effectiveness as a combative art. Unlike Karate, many Chinese Arts care little for the niceities of positioning, and discipline and formalities. This is especially true in the case of Wing Chun.
It is concerned, quite simply, to put an opponent out of commission. and because of its 'centre-line' approach, it is direct, and deadly. Wing Chun requires extreme dedication, but the rewards are great health, fitness and confidence. As a fighting Art it is hard to beat.
By 'Centre Line' we mean that in Wing Chun, concentration is placed on attacking the opponents vital areas. If you look at your opponent, imagine drawing an invisible line down the middle of him or her. Using 'centre-line' theory, from a very strong stance you can attack the head, eyes, throat, chest, stomach and so on.
Siu Lim Tao translates as "way of the little idea" or "little idea form."
It is the dictionary of Wing Chun. It contains vital elements essential to energy and position training. Siu Lim Tao is the foundation of the Wing Chun system; all techniques flow from the basic movements of this form. As with all forms in the Wing Chun system, no techniques are superflous; each has a practical application.
The importance and benefits of Siu Lim Tao cannot be overstated. Siu Lim Tao is not a one time form - it is not learnt and disguarded as the practitioner moves on to "better" forms and "more advanced" techniques. Rather it is practised constantly throughout a student's training, and hopefully, beyond.
Chum Kiu translates as searching or seeking the bridge; ie, a bridging contact between two people. It is the second of the three main open hand forms.
Wing Chun is essentially a close quarter fighting art, and this form will enable the practioner to master "closing in" on an opponent with correct position and angling. Whereas Siu Lim Tao is practised in a single stance, Chum Kiu introduces footwork and turning, both essential parts of the system. It is also the first time kicks are added to one's Wing Chun "arsenal."
Biu Jee translates as "thrusting fingers" form. Its purpose is to refine energies and strikes and to recover from over-committed techniques. It is also known as the "first aid" form for this reason. Biu Jee also contains some of the most devastating weapons in the Wing Chun arsenal, such as the finger-strike to the eyes and elbow strikes.
For this reason, the practitioner must have mastered Siu Lim Tao and Chum Kiu before proceding on to these dangerous techniques. Once the student has (over a period of years) practiced all three forms, he or she will discover that though they are complete in themselves, they also form a concentric whole - the totality of the unarmed system lies therein.
The Muk Yan Jong ("wooden man / wooden dummy ") is used to practice flowing from one position or technique to another without losing contact with the opponent.
Many of the elements of the Wooden Man form are closely related in application to the Third Form, although the Wooden Man Form contains elements from all the empty hand forms and is a valuable tool in learning to flow effortlessly from technique to technique.
Advanced students have the opportunity to train with this "centre-piece" of the Wing Chun system; this in an opportuntity afforded to very few schools as most work on an ad hoc basis, and their facilites do not allow the permanent stationing of this excellent training tool.
Origins of Kung Fu:
Wing Chun gets its name from the young girl the style was named after. Yim Wing Chun was a young girl attacked by a gang, whose leader wanted to take her for marriage. Not wanting to go, but seemingly unable to do anything about it, help came from Ng Mui, a nun who said that the gang leader could take Yim Wing Chun away, but only after six months had passed, and on the condition he beat the girl in a fight. Sensing an easy victory, he laughed this off, only to return six months later to claim his prize.
The nun taught the girl her 'plum flower fist' style of kung fu. When the girl had mastered a number of the techniques, when she fought the gang leader, she beat him with ease. Ng Mui decided to rename her style after the girl. as for Yim Wing Chun herself, she refined the style somehat, as she believed the 'plum fist flower' style more suitable for a man than a woman.
Today Wing Chun is the most widely practised style of Kung fu in the world, and means 'beautiful springtime'.
Forms - Empty Hand and Wooden Dummy
Siu Nim Tao (小念頭;pinyin xiǎo niàn tóu; Yale Cantonese: siu2 nim6 tau4; "little idea" or "little imagination". Alternately romanised Siu Lim Tao, Sil Lum Tao)The first and most important form in Wing Chun. Siu Nim Tao is the foundation or "seed" of the art from which all succeeding forms and techniques depend. Fundamental rules of balance and body structure are developed here. Using a car analogy: for some branches this would provide the chassis, for others this is the engine.
Some branches view the symmetrical stance as the fundamental fighting stance, while others see it as more a training stance used in developing technique.
Chum Kiu (尋橋; pinyin: xún qiáo;Yale Cantonese: cham4 kiu4; "seeking the bridge". Alternately "sinking bridge" pinyin: chen qiáo;Yale Cantonese: sam2 kiu4;)
The second form Chum Kiu focuses on coordinated movement of bodymass and entry techniques to "bridge the gap" between practitioner and opponent and move in to disrupt their structure and balance.
Close-range attacks using the elbows and knees are also developed here. It also teaches methods of recovering position and centerline when in a compromised position where Siu Nim Tao structure has been lost.
For some branches, bodyweight in striking is a central theme, whether it be from pivoting (rotational) or stepping (translational). Likewise for some branches, this form provides the engine to the car. For branches who use the "sinking bridge" interpretation, the form takes on more emphasis of an "uprooting" context adding multi-dimensional movement and spiraling to the already developed engine.
Bil Jee (鏢指; pinyin: biāo zhǐ; Yale Cantonese: biu1 ji2; "darting fingers")The third form, Biu Jee, is comprised of extreme short-range and extreme long-range techniques, low kicks and sweeps, and "emergency techniques" to counter-attack when structure and centerline have been seriously compromised, such as when the practitioner is seriously injured.
As well as pivoting and stepping, developed in Chum Kiu, a third degree of freedom involving more upper body and stretching is developed for more power. For some branches this is the turbo-charger of the car. For others it can be seen as a "pit stop" kit that should never come in to play, recovering your "engine" when it has been lost.
Still other branches view this form as imparting deadly "killing" and maiming techniques that should never be used if you can help it. A common wing chun saying is "Biu Jee doesn't go out the door." Some interpret this to mean the form should be kept secret, others interpret it as meaning it should never be used if you can help it.
Muk Yan Jong (木人樁; pinyin: mùrénzhuāng; Yale Cantonese: muk6 yan4 jong1; "wooden dummy")The Muk Yan Jong form is performed against a "wooden dummy", a thick wooden post with three arms and a leg mounted on a slightly springy frame representing a stationary human opponent.
Although representative of a human opponent, the dummy is not a physical representation of a human, but an energetic one. Wooden dummy practice aims to refine a practitioner's understanding of angles, positions, and footwork, and to develop full body power. It is here that the open hand forms are pieced together and understood as a whole.
With our School, the grading system is as follows:
Levels 1 to 6 are the Student Grades
Level 1 (2 gradings) - White - Siu Nim Tao Level
Level 2 - (3 gradings) Junior Blue - Chum Kiu Level
Level 3 - (3 gradings) Intermediate Blue
Level 4 - (3 gradings) Senior Blue
Level 5 - (3 gradings) Junior Brown - Biu Jee Level
Level 6 - (3 gradings) Senior Brown
Levels 7 to 9 are the Instructor Grades
Level 7 - Black - Muk Yan Jong Level
Levels 8 and 9 are for the most advanced students in the Art, and can wear a silver (L8), or gold sash (L9) respectively
The system includes my own drills, forms, specific techniques as well as other styles such as Jeet Kune Do, Ba Gua, Xing Yi, MiZong Quan and Shaolin styles of kung fu.