Articles, Wing Chun Wednesday

WING CHUN WEDNESDAY: IS THERE REALLY SUCH A THING AS A WING CHUN GUARD?


It should be obvious that a style can only have one set guard if it only ever fights against one set style.

I am a martial artist that does Wing Chun, and not a Wing Chun disciple, this allows me the luxury of being able to look at Wing Chun as it is, or at least as I personally see it instead of seeing it as how someone else sees it. Seeing what is really going on instead of seeing what I have been told is going on is important because something that causes a deal of confusion for all of us in Wing Chun is that there is no definitive “Right Answers”, this is the nature of a concept based martial art, that is why it is so important for all of us to continually question the conventional wisdom no matter who the source is, traditional Wing Chun information is significantly outdated compared to what we know today with regards to human movement and how the Human Body works.

Before we look at the misunderstood  Wing Chun Guard position we would do well to understand what a guard position is and what it is trying to achieve.

Any guard position is a precursor to action, a ready position for either attack or defence, if it hopes to be able to choose either option it needs to be neutral in its attitude, it cannot be pressing forwards and it cannot be pulling back.

From a self defence perspective neutral attitude also implies that the guard should not look overtly threatening, as this could escalate an argument into a fight.

No guard positions should compromise balance or obscure vision.

The position of the guard is a place where the hands are equidistant to all of the areas that need to be protected, each style has different defence options and that is why each style has a different guard position. We need to keep all of our bases covered, to be able to reach any base from the guard position in the same amount of time. 

Facing opponents from different styles with different attacks from our own potentially requires different guard positions, known and practiced alternatives that can be performed on the fly, or it needs to be a completely neutral and central position that can be easily and quickly moved to react to any threat.

Does the Wing Chun Guard fit this description?

It should be obvious that a style can only have one set guard if it only ever fights against one set style. The misunderstood version of the Wing Chun Guard is most effective at stopping attacks that come hey diddle diddle, straight down the middle. The one style that favours this type of attack is Wing Chun itself, the Wing Chun Guard is best suited to defend against another Wing Chun fighter.

Is that really who we are training to defend ourselves from?

 

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