About this Blog
This Blog and the forms are published in both text format and as Flash paper which you can use to print off the form
I have been doing Wing Chun for over 40 years and now teach my own style called Win Chun Tao Kung Fu. My style contains the 1-inch punch and lots of additions to the original Wing Chun. I have develop my own style after many years and found it hard to teach people without first teaching them the Wing Chun. If I didn’t teach Wing Chun first they could not follow were I was coming from with my more advanced moves they needed to take the journey I had taken.
I was surprised that even now there isn’t a book available that shows all the Wing Chun system, most of the books out there show only the first form and there is no book that shows all the forms. I thought it was time to change that and produce a book that shows the 3 forms and the dummy form. This is what I have set out to do I believe most of the forms applications are obvious so have left explanations to the minimum. I see this book mainly as a reference book for anyone learning the system.
It would be hard if not impossible to learn the Wing Chun from a book and a good teacher is essential to knowing the true Wing Chun. This book may help people to learn the system until they can find someone to teach them. There are today a lot of good Wing Chun people out there and it shouldn’t be to hard to find a good teacher in this day and age.
I always remember finding one of my teachers in a strange way. I was visiting a Chinese chips shop as I did every week when a group of Karate students came in and started giving the owner a lot of abuse. He said nothing and carried on serving but still they carried on, I tried to calm them down but they didn’t want to know. Eventually they went to far as all bullies do and grabbed the mans daughter saying how good they were at Karate. One second later the leader who had grabbed the girl was out cold the owner was across the room in seconds trapped the mans hand and punched him out. His only comment was Japanese chop chop men no good; the others quickly came to their senses and left very quickly. The point is you never know were you can find a good teacher.
What the prospective Wing Chun student will find confusing is the variations within the style. In researching this book I looked at what was available and found that other books written by well-respected masters were showing differences within the style. Some are minor but others are quite major. The major differences you can see are in fact minor the essence of the art is still there and the moves are basically the same but the order and in some cases positions are different. It reminded me of the old saying from the British army when they were in trouble they sent a message send reinforcements we are going to advance, The message that got through was send three and for pence we are going to a dance it’s the old Chinese whispers.
Firstly there are two ways of doing the forms, the formal way, which is what you would do at a display and the way you would do it in class. The first way is used to show the whole system to people were as in class the opening moves may not be needed.
The second variations comes from individual teachers they may well see the student lacks some skill and introduce a sequence to correct this, this is very noticeable in the second form were some have lots of kicks in the form and others only a few. The teacher had noticed students having difficulty with kicks and balance and added the extra kicks to compensate. The student may not know this and so now teaches the extra kick as part of the form and swears that’s the way it should be done.
The third variation is personnel preference of individual teachers these are often minor like doing a knife hand instead of a palm block. This was in fact the most common variation type I found and they have no ill effect on the style.
Wing Chun is a fairly new style and is still in a position to grow adding to the system is acceptable if it follows the principles of the system. If we stop this then the system will die, as the universal law is that everything in the world is subject to change and this is inevitable. What I have tried to do is to highlight were there are variations and put in the major ones so you can see the whole picture, you can then judge for your selves what is right and what is wrong. What is worrying is some masters show variations that are clearly wrong technically and these degrade the whole system and if they continue then they could spoil the content of the style?
I would urge these people to start their own style and claim it as there own and not bring down Wing Chun. This is what I have done I teach the basic Wing Chun and then students move on to my style so there is no confusion in there minds. Many people have done this notable Bruce Lee with Jeet Kune Do and his student James Demile with his Wing Chun Do. The problem is if you improve the original system then when can it be part of the system there is no one really to oversee the integration of new ideas into the system you cant claim it to be Wing Chun as it isn’t, I don’t see any way around that other than to call it your own style. With all Kung Fu Styles there needs to be change as new scientific knowledge is coming along all the time and this can have a big effect on what is good in any art. Most of the arts were designed many years ago when life styles were very different and the training they did 100 years ago would not be possible today.
I am shore the arguments will rage for a long time and never be resolved I don’t want to start the argument here I only want to present my way which I have done for over 40 years I know my way has direct lineage to Yip Man and I know other master who studied with Yip Man teach the same as I do.
Wing Chun History
Wing Chun is the name of a system of martial arts developed in southern China approximately 300 years ago. Its founder was, the Buddhist nun Ng Mui, she was a master of Shaolin Kung Fu and used this knowledge to invent a way to take advantage of the weaknesses inherent in the other Shaolin systems. This new system was taught to only a few, very dedicated students. Later, the style became known as Wing Chun, after Ng Mui's first student, a woman named Yim Wing Chun.
During the reign of Emperor K'anghsi of the Ching Dynasty (1662-1722) the Temple was burnt down Ng Mui took refuge in the White Crane Temple on Mt. Tai Leung. It was there she met Yim Yee and his daughter Wing Chun. Wing Chun's beauty attracted the attention of a local bully. He tried to force Wing Chun to marry him, and his continuous threats became a source of worry to her and her father. Ng Mui learned of this and took pity on Wing Chun. She agreed to teach Wing Chun fighting techniques so she could protect herself. Wing Chun followed Ng Mui into the mountains, and began to learn Kung Fu. She trained night and day, until she mastered the techniques. Then she challenged the bully to a fight and beat him. After her marriage Wing Chun taught Kung Fu to her husband Leung Bok Chau.
The modern grandmaster Yip Man he went to Hong Kong to pursue academic studies at the St. Stephen's College at Stanley in Hong Kong. On one occasion he was introduced to Mister Lueng Bik, the first son of Grandmaster Leung Jan - the instructor of Grandmaster Chan Wah Shun. He was delighted with Yip Man's skill and his effort in learning, so he tried his best to teach him all he knew.
In 1949, Yip Man, who was considered to be the grandmaster of modern Wing Chun, brought the style out of China into Hong Kong and eventually to the rest of the world. His most famous student was of coarse Bruce Lee who became the messiah of Wing Chun and made it a household name though he eventually created his own style Jeet Kune Do.
The New Wing Chun
This is not part of the original Wing Chun but is part of my own art Wing Chun Tao. This new approach takes nothing away from the original Wing Chun but does enhance it greatly.
Bottle to fish picture a pond and in it are lots of bottles swimming around with fins, fish to chair see a giant fish sitting on a chair. To link chair to window see yourself throwing a chair through the window you can actually do the movements this makes an even better link. Window to phone see a big phone in place of a window, phone to cigarette pick up the phone and 1,000 of burning cigarettes come out and burn you.
Ki or Chi is one of the basic things of life. The world consist of the Tao from which all things come, you can call it God, Buddha or any other name that you like but for me I will call it Tao. The Tao produces Ki or the life force we as humans breath in this Ki and then direct it out from our bodies.
It is easiest to think of it as water if we take a cup and fill it full of water and leave it there what will happen? It will stagnate, as it is not being refreshed with Ki. What if we have half a glass of water and then fill it with some new water? We end up with some water that is not new now all the water is poor. Strange that as in western ways everyone says take a deep breath and relax which simple means we end up with lungs full of poor air. What they should say is breath out all you can this empties the cup and forces in fresh clean air.
From this you can see it is important to direct the Ki out of our bodies so we can refresh the supply. For this Ki to flow there must be some things that happen first we must be relaxed, and secondly we must direct it out with the mind. Normally this happens subconsciously but like a lot of things we loose the art as we leave childhood. It is now scientific fact that there is some sort of electrical force radiating from our bodies, sharks can actually see this and that is what attracts them.
As a baby Ki is very evident if a baby grabs your finger there is no tension in the grip yet it is impossible for you to get away from it. How can this be? The baby doesn't have the muscles to grip like that and there is no tension in the baby. It's Ki at its most basic level if only we could be a child again. Many achieve this state by getting drunk this produces a similar state the mind and body are relaxed and the mind is free from all the distractions we normally suffer from.
Could it be that drunks and drug addicts all are seeking the ultimate truth? I think that is probably true in the same way religious people and martial artist try to find there way back to the Tao others seek there own truth.
We direct Ki by the mind if we think Ki is flowing then it is. If we get ill or worried we tend to pull in on the flow and no longer direct the flow outwards with force, if it stops all together then we die. Ki is the life force that forms the basis of acupuncture this is now slowly being recognized in the west. The Ki can be used to heal as well as kill, if the Ki is extended it can be forced into someone else who is ill and cant take in Ki by them self thus they are ill. In martial arts Ki is a powerful force, which can produce power that exceeds normal forces. One way to spot a "Master" of the martial arts is to see if he is relaxed if he is tense and trying to produce great physical power then he probably isn't much of a master.
I have seen video's of Wing Chun masters using the wooden dummy one hits it with lots of force and you can see it shake the other gentle taps it as though he is polishing it. One has learnt the truth the other still has an ego that he is fueling.
The New KI
Well its not new but over the years as I taught people all of the above I saw confusion in there minds and also disbelieve so I sought a way to explain Ki in modern terms and in a way a beginner could use it in minutes instead of years. Let me make it clear that I am a believer of Ki and it is essential to my art but my new ideas may well help you to see the light much quicker.
The key to this rapid learning is the memory trick we learnt at the start, this increases your memory by 200-300% but more importantly it is the effect it has on the mind that is important. It is so simple yet so powerful normally it would take a long time to perfect creating a link powerful enough to get the Ki flowing but with our little trick it now takes seconds. The all-important rule is that the Ki flows and is directed by the mind if you mind direct Ki then it flows you simply create a link like we did before and then it flows.
Lets start by examining some facts what happens if you push a car forward assuming the break is off and its not going up hill? Well unless its very big car or you are very weak the car moves forward in the direction you push it. If someone now sits in the car starts the engine and puts in reverse and you still push you will be pushed back as the two forces are meeting head on and the greater force wins.
Now try pushing the car from the side so you try to push it across the road sideways. What will happen now is all your effort will not do you much good, as the car will be to heavy and have too much grip. Unless you are very big and it's a very small car in which case you may push it over on its side.
Now do the same thing but this time with someone in the car driving it forward slowly what will happen? Well it is now a bit different the force of the car is going forward and you push at right angles so you are not opposing the cars force. What happens is your force is joined with the cars force and you end up going the way of the car now the two forces are one. Take a moment to think on that it is significant and you properly not thought of it in that way ever before.
If you take the classical Aikido unbend able arm and apply the same technique it works great simply put you put your arm out by your side at right angles about shoulder height relaxed and not fully extended spread you fingers and push out with your arm and fingers.
Push as though you are pressing on a wall so you can't actually make any movement, as the wall is solid. Then get someone to try and bend your arm as you keep pressing on the invisible wall. They will find it impossible to do so as long as you keep pushing out. Note you don't push with your body that must remain upright and the arm must push as though there is a wall there don't try to push through the wall or you will come off balance there should be no tension in your body.
The best way to learn is to get someone to put there palm out so you can push against it, push with the fingers only and spread them as wide as you can. It takes only a few minutes of practice; if you push his hand back you are pushing too much; hardly any force is needed to do this you need to make a link and see the force flowing. If they take their hand away and your hand shoots forward or you fall forward you are putting force behind and this is wrong. You can then get someone to try bending your arm while you have the hand to focus on. Even two people wont to be able to bend your arm and once you have got the idea you wont need the persons hand there to help. See the link in your mind
These 2 pictures image p4 &p5.jpg show this unbend able arm done for real in the first one you can see the arm is fairly straight it is in fact a palm up block. The unbend able arm is a test to see if the block is being done correctly in the form you can see there is no tension on the students face even though she is a lot weaker than myself. If in fact you feel any strain you are doing it wrong.
The second photo demonstrates a very interesting point, if you bring the arm back to about 90 degrees and make a fist and try the unbend able arm you will find it cant be done. But in the photo we can see Karen is doing it. The magic bit is that she is pointing forward with her hand and she has spread here hands to increase the force of the Ki. Remember you think of it as water and as with real water the wider the hose pipe the more water that flows.
This is in fact a strange thing if you try it yourself you will find it to be true why should pointing the hand forward make any difference? There is no mechanical advantage that I can find out about that would explain it in mechanical terms. Another interesting thing which I often show special with women students if I reach forward as though I am going to touch there breast they loose the unbend able arm.
The only explanation that fits is that Ki is flowing when I pretend to touch them all though there is no threat it is in there mind a sexual attack and they then pull in there Ki ( it doesn't work the same with men as a rule). It does prove that the mind is playing an important part in what's going on. My thoughts are that all that is written about Ki is true and what I have done is to find a mind trick that means you can do it in minutes instead of months or years. If you consider the memory trick improves your memory dramatically in seconds then in the same way it has improved the Ki flow 1000% in seconds also. You can now see why I spend so much time telling you about the memory trick it is the only way to be sure that you SEE the pictures in the mind in the correct format. One thing about the mind is that it is like a muscle and once its learnt the secret of these pictures it uses them even though you may not realize it.
If you take the time to practice the memory training a lot you will find that in a very short time you make the links without being conscious you are doing it. But wait haven't you been doing it that way all your life? It didn't work before when you didn't understand what was going on so why does it work now? I don't have all the answers I only no its true and it does work. The new Ki is the same once you have done it you find it cuts in even when you don't think of it because somewhere in your mind the link has been forge and it cant be undone. I have never yet met anyone who could not use this Ki within minutes and I have trained thousands of people.
If someone pushes you the same thing applies you can move to the left or right slightly and the effect will be the same. To start with you will make to much movement but with a little practice you need only make the smallest movement, which the opponent will not even notice. You need to practice this in many situations until it becomes second nature it works in all situations when someone is apply force to some part of you body. Ki is not only about power but also about using the Ki of others to defeat them selves.
Ki can be good and bad and truly if we attack someone we are breaking the harmony of nature. In very simple terms in the advanced stages of Chi Sau Tao we are attacked and we offer no defense but we restore the balance of nature by harmonizing with the attacker until he uses too much force and defeats himself. The effects can be dramatic and the attacker feels he has bee defeated soundly but doesn't have aggressive thoughts about it. If you push me and I push you back harder you feel aggression as there was disharmony if you push me and there is nothing there you will fall over just the same but suddenly its different. The difference is I have applied no force against you. You have fell over by your own actions and you burn your self out. If you get angry with someone and you shout at him or her and they shout back your anger if fuelled if however they remain silent you will soon find you can't think of anything else to say.
In Aikido the big test is if you throw someone and they are happy having been thrown then you did it right.
For Wing Chun every block should be tested to see that its unbendable even so called masters often fail these tests there is evidence that this was part of Wing Chun but very rarely taught. I have heard some masters mention it in passing and seen evidence of it with others in my art its of prime importance. I would urge everyone to take it to heart, as the improvement it can make to your Wing Chun is dramatic.
The Centre Line & Gates
The center line is the very basis of Wing Chun the center line is the line down the middle of the body running from the top of the head down the line of the nose through the chest center downwards. This is actual a meridian know to acupuncturist all over the world and contains many vital points which can be used to heal or kill.
In Wing Chun terms its importance is speed of punching and blocking. The Wing Chun punch uses the center line as the shortest distance between two points is a straight line and the shorter the line the faster the punch. The shorts point you can get in human terms is from the center line to the chin of the opponent, Karate appears to punch in a straight line but in fact Karate punch's outside the center line into the center line. Wing Chun's punch keeps within the center line at all times so it makes it so much faster.
The significance of the speed is that if you both start punching together the one punching on the center line will land a punch first assuming both sides being equal, if your not equal its even more important. Not only does the center line mean speed in punching but also the blocks have a lot less distance to travel which gives them speed and a better chance of working. If you asked a computer to come up with a self defense system it would probably come up with Wing Chun as it's just so scientifically the best.
The Centre line can be seen in the photo gates.jpg you will see there are some gates also defined these are areas that the arm do not exceed as to do so would be inefficient and also leave your body open to attack. Normally we try to use the same hand to block as the gate name i.e. left upper gate is cleared by the left arm. We do however have a fail safe system in Wing Chun that under normal conditions we have one arm in the lead and one in reserve the lead hand can block and should it miss then the rear hand can still block.
In photo p1.jpg we can see a palm up block done incorrectly here the arm has gone outside the gate and left an opening. Photo p2.jpg shows the block done correctly you can see how much tighter the defence is when done this way, ignore the other arm as this is just a demonstration and it would not normally be in that position. In doing all these blocks the elbow acts like the eye of the storm and doesn't move the photo below shows that the elbow is a fist away from your centre line and doesn't move
Simultaneous Attack & Defense
Wing Chun unlike Karate believes in simultaneous attack and defence were karate block then punches Wing Chun will block and punch together. The advantage of this should be obvious were karate has to make to moves to deliver a punch Wing Chun only has to do one. One the second move Wing Chun has punched twice while karate has only delivered one punch. There is a less obvious advantage to this in as much as most people find it hard to switch to defence in the middle of an attack. Photo p3.jpg shows a punch and block done at the same time this is the hallmark of Wing Chun.
There is no doubt that Wing Chun is the fastest system in the world this is because the punch normally only travels six inches and as we have seen all the block travel a similar distance. All this makes for a very fast system even if you punch slowly there is a very good chance you will beat everyone as you are going a shorter distance. Speed is a confusing statement as it often means different type of speed to different people there is speed of movement, speed of reactions and these can be subdivide even more. In all things Wing Chun must come out near the top speed wise due to its scientific principles.
The basic stance of Wing Chun is seen in photo p5a the feet are shoulder width apart and the weight is evenly balanced the toes can be turned in and the knees bent. There is a standard way of ensuring that we get into the stance correctly, which we will see, in the first form. You will note the arms are both on the center line with one high and one lower they are in effect at the center of the upper defense area. This means the movement required to block is minimal.
In this stance either hand can be in the lead but if we take a foot forward then the lead foot and lead hand must be the same. This can be seen in photo p6.jpg, which shows the front stance here the weight, is mostly on the rear foot leaving the front leg free to kick. This is a fairly dynamic thing in real terms, as this will often be changing. Please not the shoulders are square on if they are not this way it would mean we couldn’t use both hands together. From the basic horse you can turn left or right and you will end up in this horse stance without difficulty. To start with we only need to know the one stance, as this is the only one used in Sil Lum Tao the first form.
The Wing Chun Punch
The punch takes a lot of practice to get right but is well worth the effort as you can punch with great power from 6inch's and from that distance it is very fast as there is no time to react.
The secret of the punch is the wing or snap just before impact. The essence of the punch is that it is totally relaxed until the point of impact when for a split second it tenses. There is no sense in tensing until the point of contact as it will have no effect on your opponent but will slow you down and make you tired. The photos p7+p8.jpg show the wing in use in the first photo the hand is totally relaxed this produces the slight bend in the wrist you can see. Now tense you fist as quick as you can which is what you see in p8 note the wrist muscles standing out. If you go from relax to tense quickly you should get the snap into the punch.
The same wing is used in all Wing Chun strike photos p9 + p10.jpg show the same action with a palm strike it’s the snap is so important to all the strikes.
Photos p11-p16 show how we do the basic Wing Chun punch starting from the on guard with the left hand in the lead. The rear hand moves forward over the lead hand still in a relaxed state it moves forward on the center line until it reaches the point of impact when it tenses for a second. You will see the hand is ready for the snap at the point of impact at this point the other hand pulls back on the centerline. This is to comply with Newton's third law of motion (note in the picture I have pulled the hand back early so you can see the action normally the two thing happen together).
The action continues with the next punch following as the other one did the punches continue until the opponent is down, the average punch tacks .05 seconds. We actually tried for this book using a high speed camera to catch the punch at over 10 frames a second but the camera could not capture the punch which gives an idea of the speed. You can see the whole action keeps the on guard position so at no time do you open your self up. It takes time to get the punch right the key is relaxation. As you tense for a split second and then relax you get a natural snap back when you punch.
There is some argument on the extension of the punch some say you must lock the elbow and others say this leaves you open to arm breaks, some fight in very close and punch with a bent arm they would be hitting at the position in Photo p12.
Another variation is to punch with the palm up until the end point and then twist and snap similar to a Karate punch except it done vertical and with a snap.
Photo p17 shows the point of impact in the Wing Chun punch which is the bottom 2 knuckles this increases the power as the pound per square inch are increased being a small contact area.