Joined: 05 Jun 2001
|Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2002 4:48 pm Post subject:
|This was sent to me by a buddy, that is trying to convice me to switch to WT
What's so different about the WingTsun system? Part 1
Simultaneous defence and attack, the inch-punch and chain-punches
Whenever I am in conversation with martial artists from other styles I tend to hear the same thing: "All of us have only two arms and two legs, your WingTsun or Leung Ting system can't be that different!"
When I give them my honest opinion, namely that I see hardly any similarities between Leung Ting WingTsun and other martial arts styles, except for the fact that we too use two arms and two legs, I usually encounter blank looks.
But how do you explain a system as complex and fundamentally different as WingTsun (WT) to a follower of karate, taekwondo, jiu-jitsu or
Thai-boxing without appearing dogmatic, arrogant and one-sided?
In the early seventies, when I first introduced the WingTsun (of my Master Leung Ting) in Germany and then in the rest of Europe, I was able to simplify things and illustrate what is so unique with a few easily understandable aspects which even those unfamiliar with the system would quickly find logical.
I therefore referred to the concept of simultaneous defence and counter-attack, which was complete news to karate or taekwondo followers at the time (although old forms (katas, hyongs), which generally come from China and not from Japan or Korea, sometimes contained such mysterious elements, but not even the Japanese and Korean national instructors in the west were aware of their specific applications).
In fact the Oyama karate style was the first to incorporate simultaneous defence and counter-attack as exemplified by the Chinese into its
programme, at least in the books by Masutatsu Oyama himself.
Nowadays however, almost every self-respecting Japanese karate sensei who
has his picture taken for some magazine or other wondrously exhibits WingTsun-like simultaneity, although the typical karate stance is hardly suitable for this.
And if I bring the unique WingTsun inch-punch (or more correctly, the "long-bridge punch") into the discussion as an argument for WingTsun? Then thousands of people attending so-called Jeet Kune Do or similar courses will quite rightly say that Jeet Kune Do also has this technique and is able to
deliver effective punches from a very short distance. Indeed, Bruce Lee learned this WingTsun juwel from his teacher, the late Wing Tsun Grand Master Yip Man, though he simplified its execution by using his bodyweight to reinforce it and pushing his shoulder forward, which can always lead
to balance problems if the punch misses its target.
Some time ago, when I mentioned the ingenious WingTsun chain-punches against
which most defensive techniques regularly prove ineffective, a jiu-jitsu student who was present proved to me that his association had even included the WingTsun chain-punch in its grading programme (without revealing its
origin of course) - after I had taught it during several jiu-jitsu blackbelt seminars in Germany. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, however it leaves me with one strong argument less which might help me to illustrate the different nature of WingTsun.
And the more my missionary zeal led me to preach the message of WingTsun and
travel from Germany to the far corners of Europe, but also to Thailand and the Philippines, the more individual elements of WingTsun were pushed like sultanas into the cakes of other styles and cited to me some years later as proof that our WingTsun is not so unique after all.
In fact there is not a single individual technique which WingTsun executes
in the same way as conventional styles. Some may see vague visual similarities, but that is about all.
The deciding factor that really constitutes the core of WingTsun is the all-encompassing concept. As I have tried to show - on no less than 360pages - in my book "On Single Combat", WingTsun is not the sum of its
individual techniques, as brilliant as they might be. What really makes WingTsun so ingenious - and I am now speaking specifically about the Leung Ting system of WingTsun - and so effective that a weaker person (perhaps a woman) can use it to defend himself or herself against somebody much stronger, is the overall concept which can be summarised in the form of just
4 logical, progressive fighting principles and 4 so-called "strength principles", but is still not as easy to explain as WingTsun highlights
such as "simultaneous defence and attack", "inch-punch" or "chain-punches".
Next month I will try to present my own understanding of WingTsun on behalf of Grand Master Leung Ting.
Keith R. Kernspecht
10th Level MOC WingTsun
If you think you can't, then you must. If you must, you will.
Joined: 22 Feb 2002
Location: NYC Metro Area
|Posted: Thu Mar 07, 2002 2:04 am Post subject:
|There are so many things that you can discuss that make Wing Chun, or WT, or VT etc. totally different.
I think it's useful to begin with the key developmental element of Wing Chun, which is the basis for the rest of the system. The key problem that the classic Shaolin monk explains that Wing Chun addresses is the reaction delay that we all have in combat. This means that when we see the opponent attack there is always a delay before we can react. Everything that makes Wing Chun unique is a direct result of dealing with this reaction delay. Wing Chun can always react in less time than the opponent, given the same situation because Wing Chun is always simpler - be it in movement, theory, training methods, the way you think in a fight, is all radically different that other systems and this is so in order to address reaction delay. Just a few examples: Centerline Theory, Filling the Centerline, Conservation of motion, Sticking Hands training, and a fighting mind that thinks in a simplified application of fighting concepts that clears his mind and allows it to adapt. Think of all the things that Wing Chun does to address this delay and the stark differences will show themselves plainly.
Moy Yat Ving Tsun
Rest in peace: Moy Yat Sifu