There are many stories of its origin, and the most original one is the story below:
Wing Chun was created by a female Shaolin master called Wu Mei, who was also a great master in Shaolin white crane style. In Qing Dynasty (1644-1912), the government placed a ban on kungfu. In order to avoid capture by the government, Wu Mei, with some other great Shaolin Martial Artists (Bai Mei, Feng Daode, etc.) escaped to South China. In this duration, Wu Mei kept practicing kungfu. Occasionally she saw a snake and a crane fighting, which enlightened her and she created her own unique style (now we call it Wing Chun) on this basis. Later on, she went to Yongchun County in Fujian province, and accepted one disciple named Yan Yong Chun (Yim Wing Chun). Wu Mei passed the style Wing Chun to Yan Yong Chun. Afterwards Yan Yong Chun systematized the style and widely spread the form. Then people named this style Wing Chun to memorize her.
Characteristics of Wing Chun
The remarkable characteristic of Wing Chun is “center line” attack theory, which means to attack the center of your opponent’s body. In sparring, you concentrate on your opponent, and attack continuously in a straight line, which is the nearest and fastest way.
Wing Chun uses “inch force” (“cun jin” in Chinese), a kind of internal force with short, clear, and explosive power. Based on sparring, Wing Chun moves are resourceful and practical. Basic hand moves are San Bang Shou in upper, middle, and lower levels, vertical fist (fengyan quan), chopping palm (liuye zhang), biao zhi, etc. Hold fist and sink shoulders and arms, in order to protect chest and crotch. Basic steps Zhui Ma and Shan Ma are used to riposte and dodge.
Wing Chun Forms
The main fist forms in Wing Chun are:
◆ 36 San Shi
Thirty-six different attack and defense moves
◆ Xiao Nian Tou (little ideas)
Primary form. It is called primary, but after two stages ofpractice, you can achieve the essentials-giving full scope to the power of the mind, which will lead to an automatic reaction in sparring.
◆ Xun Qiao (seeking bridge)
Intermediate form. By touching each other’s arms, you can judge the next move of your opponent, accordingly give your response. Your arms are just like bridges.
◆ Biao Zhi (quick offensive and defensive skills)
Advanced form. It’s an extension of Xiao Nian Tou and Xun Qiao both in theory and technique that guides practitioners the way to practice.
◆ Wooden dummy forms
Practicing wooden dummy forms is a high-level way for Wing Chun training, aiming at improving combat abilities. The practice is cultivation of the internal spirit, the ultimate goal of which is to make the wooden dummy and the person a unity.
Wooden Dummy Practice
Wooden dummy practice is an advanced training method in Wing Chun. It has distinctive styles in training aim, attack requirement, and practice method. Starting with resourceful moves, methods of wooden dummy practice is easy to get at the beginning, of which, attacking and defending at the same time is the prominent characteristic.
Wooden dummy practice emphasizes a combination of theory and move, and it can be integrated with Wing Chun forms Xiao Nian Tou, Xun Qiao and Biao Zhi to practice. With its advantages of flexible steps, solid defense and attack, and less energy consumption, wooden dummy practice is favored by people across the world.
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