This system was born for self-defence.
The legend said was invented by a woman, the shaolin nun Ng Mui, and that the name took after the nun first pupil Yim Wing Chun.
Ng Mui tried to create an effective style to use against the other shaolin monks that used to fight in long range and to create a style who could be adapted on a woman’s body structure.
The result was a close range combat system very aggressive based on short attack movements, fast and straight that breaks the opponent`s guard always taking care of his own central line.
According to the Taoist principles, wing chun never fight against strength but follow the opponent`s power , keeping it or hanging over his strength depending on the situations, always trying to use the power for his own advantage.
To reach this purpose, during the training we pone particular attention the development of sensitivity, meaning the capability to understand the power direction trough the pressure given to the arms, following the direction and intention of the attack. This skill is called “chi-sao” (sticky hands) and allow to “feel” the opponent`s movements using the touch feeling.
The system is divided in 3 empty-hand forms, one wooden dummy form and 2 weapon forms (long pole and knives)
Sio Nim Tao
Like when a child learn how to stand, in the Siu Lin Tao (little idea) we learn the basic position, the right stand (yee Gee Kim Yeung Ma) while we get fluid arms, correct arm angles and the right amount of energy we have to use.
Here we meet some fundamental movements of attack and defence like Tan Sao (showing hand) Fook-sao (bridge hand) and Wu-sao (protecting hand) The first form contains the basics of Wing Chun and doesn`t matter the level of practice, you`ll always find it as an inspiration to evolve and grow your own level.
Keeping on going on a hypothetical grow pattern, the child who learnt how to stand, now start walking and turning his body. In the first part of Chum Kiu (seeking the bridge) we develop the number of movements whit turnings (right and left – “chuen ma”).
In the second part we still develop movements and in the third we see the introduction to the footwork and kick defence. We find as well the Lap-sao, a technique to develop timing, which complete the system of codify techniques.
The third form of the Wing Chun System is the “Biu Jee” (Darting Fingers), who deserves a particular attention cause is considered a “stand alone form”.
We study the Biu Jee when we got a perfect control of the first two forms, considering that here we add quite a few new movements and we develop the ones we found in SLT and CK with new drills.
Another important aspect is that this form is considered an “emergency form”, maybe cause here we find lot of movements finalized on “how to get out from a dangerous situation” (that is obviously a fighting), but I thing is unfair to define the BJ as a superfluous form or a secondary form compared with the previous two. By the way, in the BJ we find 6 new movements: Gwai Jahng, Man Sao, Kan Sao, Biu Sao, Lap Sao, e Chap Kuen.
Regarding the three empty-hands forms, I do believe that none of them is more important than the other and basically none of them can be considered superfluous. I firmly believe after years of hard training and teaching that they share a hidden link between them , not easy to discover but extremely powerful...essential.
If we compare the Wing Chun to Formula 1, we find that in the F1 always rarely win the car with the powerful engine, but the one with the better mix between driver, wheels, teamwork and other linked components. In the Wing chun is the same, related to competitions or real everyday life, that allows the natural development of the WC`s basic techniques and the consequent development of the relationship between mind and body. Actually, the simplest movements, meaningless to the dumb observer, are actually the basic alphabet of a complex language, completed and evolved. Or, trying to be poetics, the essential bean curds that allow to the eternal spring to become complete...