Wing Chun fighters ALWAYS anticipate clever opponents.

What could be better than starting the New Year with some Old Advice?

There is a very big difference in the thinking on weight shifting between Wing Chun {in fact most Chinese Boxing} and Western Boxing, in Wing Chun etc when engaging an attack the weight is held in the rear leg and at most allowed to shift to a neutral centre position, squaring up, as we counter.

In Western boxing it is common to see boxers shift their weight completely into the front leg to the extent that they frequently change stances bringing the rear foot through to the front.

The reason is not as one might think to do with power production, even though the Boxers punch does have more power, it is in fact all about leverage, or to be more accurate what your opponent can do with leverage.

Western boxers do not need to worry about having their lead hand grabbed or pulled, something that would be a big problem if your weight is in the front leg, neither do they need to fear having their front, now supporting leg kicked or swept from under them. 

To a Western boxer there is nothing wrong in shifting your weight forwards, allowing your weight to cross your centre and shift to your other leg will create a huge amount of power, we should not kid ourselves Boxers are the best punchers in the world by a country mile, but it also places you at the mercy of a clever opponent.

Wing Chun fighters ALWAYS anticipate clever opponents.


Whatever Martial Art we may practice they are all nothing but tools when it comes to a violent encounter, a means to an end, how we deploy and use these tools is in reality of more importance than what the tool is, this aspect is rarely worked on at a training level, for good reason, it is hard to realistically deal with violence unless you use violence.  

What we can do however is to decide on a plan of action we would follow if we found ourselves in a position to make the first few decisions.

What shape would we adopt, what stance and guard?

Would we be still or moving?

Would we engage or respond?

There are many more approaches as I am sure you can imagine, does your training cover what you believe you would do?

The initial engagement would be something on the lines of the following.

Break the line.

Get offline.

Take the blindside.

What line are we talking about here?  It is the power line, and that comes from the opponents Shoulder if punching and Hip if kicking.

It doesn’t matter what shape of a strike is thrown the limitations of our bodies mean that all strikes will land in line with the Shoulder or Hip. 

Do I break the line of the attack by intercepting it outside of the line from my opponent’s shoulder to myself?

Or by pushing it across my body if it is already online?  

In short I do something that prevents the arm or leg from pointing at me.

I get off the line. By moving the intended target to a place that the arm is not pointing at, pretty much the same idea as the first but in this instance, I move me and not him.

I get out of the way. 

Wing Chun is a very Belt and Bracers type of art, so just in case, we would use a combination of both, step away as we redirect the strike, this is Chum Kiu.

To take the blind side the most important factor is to not affect the attacker’s body mass, we should allow the movement to complete itself as we dynamically place ourselves in a position that is to the side of and at least adjacent to the attacking arm. 

From here an attack from the opponents other arm is not possible, his other fist does not have access to a viable target, it is blind.

The attacker thankfully walks head first into our fist in this instance.

Choosing to step in towards the attacker or to stay put in front of them make all of these choices inaccessible.

Stance and guard choices. 

What is widely regarded as the Wing Chun Guard, both hands on the centre pointing at the attacker is not as effective as many would like to believe.

I know the thinking behind it, it forces people to throw round punches that are slower than straight punches. 

The thing is in street violence everyone throws round punches anyway, they do not need an invitation, setting up on the centre is setting up to allow the attacker easy access to his strength, his favourite attack, we would do better to make it more difficult.

The one-hand forward and one hand back idea needs a bit of scrutiny, for one thing, it is a lot weaker than having both hands level and requires constant maintenance against a mobile attacker or multiple attackers.  

Another consideration is that all boxers are taught from very early on to attack extended arms. That front hand becomes the first thing hit, and getting knuckled heavily on the back of the hand is enough to mess you up real good.

Stances can be really strong and stable, but in a street fight no one stands still, least of all the Bad Guy, all we need is balanced movement, forget stances.

Where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence.” – Mahatma Gandhi


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