What is Wing Chun?
Wing Chun is a concept-based Chinese martial art and form of self-defense utilising both striking and grappling while specialising in close-range combat.
The common legend as told by Yip Man involves the young woman Yim Wing-chun during the period after the destruction by the Qing government of the Southern Shaolin and its associated temples.
Siu Nim Tao (Level 1) :
The first, and most important form in Wing Chun, Siu Lim 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. It serves basically as the alphabet for the system. 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 (Level 2) :
The second form, Chum Kiu, focuses on coordinated movement of body mass 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 centre-line when in a compromised position where Siu Nim Tao structure has been lost. For some branches body weight in striking is a central theme, whether it be from pivoting (rotational) or stepping (transitional). 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 spiralling to the already developed engine.
Biu Tze (Level 3) :
The third form, Biu Jee, is composed of extreme short-range and extreme long-range techniques, low kicks and sweeps, and “emergency techniques” to counter-attack when structure and centre-line 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. Such movements include very close range elbow strikes and finger thrusts to the throat. 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 (Level 4) :
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.