Wing Chun is a Chinese phrase that literally translates to “spring chant.” It also can be translated as “eternal springtime,” and sometimes can be called “snake-crane” style. However, these very docile-sounding translations may fail to portray the sheer effectiveness and life-saving techniques that this fighting style boasts.
Wing Chun was developed by Chinese martial artists dating back to the mid 1800s, however, the exact dates and creators of the style are unknown. This is because the Wing Chun legend was used to confuse the enemies of the Qing Dynasty, and much of the early information regarding this fighting style was purposely told inaccurately.
Wing Chun practitioners believe that the person with the better body structure will win. A correct Wing Chun stance is like a piece of bamboo, firm but flexible, rooted but yielding. This structure is used to either deflect external forces or redirect them. A well-balanced body recovers more quickly from stalled attacks and structure is maintained.
Softness and performing techniques in a relaxed manner is fundamental to Wing Chun. This is because unnecessary muscle tension wastes energy and causes fatigue.
Wing Chun is practiced globally, in over 64 countries, making it the world’s most popular form of southern Kung Fu. Film director Donnie Yen has also helped raise awareness of Wing Chun by featuring it as the primary fighting style in his martial arts films. If you want to see a great film with elite fighting techniques and a gripping character story, rent “Ip Man.”
--Contributed by Erin Roberts Hall, Owner & Creative Director