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The Basic Principles

of Wing Chun

Since it was developed by a woman, Wing Chun always presupposes that the adversary is bigger and stronger than us. Because of this, quick and stable structure is given advantage opposed to physical power and speed. Furthermore it is important that instead of concentrating on single techniques (of course it is necessary to practise them), we observe certain basic principles, which work in all martial situations, rather. A number of such basic principles may be made use of in everyday life.


The principle of the

centre line

The centre line is an imaginary line, which leads from the top of the head to the musculi perinei (balancing muscles between the legs), and serves as a basis to Wing Chun martial strategy. Since a number of energy centres can be found along this line, the practicer always attacks the adversary on this centre line, while trying his/her best to protect his/her own centre line. Observing the centre line is important in all phases of improvement.


The adversary's centre line can be found in the encounter point of the body's vertical bisectors.



The principle of the economical


Wing Chun builds upon simplicity and efficiency instead of squandering energy on techniques with spectacular and strange names. Let the Wing Chun practicer be on any kind of level, he or she will strive to attack his/her adversary's centre line and middle axis, which are always the simplest and the most efficient targets. There are no spectacular roundhouse punches and kicks, only short fast moves.


Straight line navigation (pak sau) and counter-attack

Entrenchments instead
of blockings

Many martial arts teach how to block different techniques. Practising Wing Chun helps you to learn how to properly cover your open position body parts with  posture and hand motion. While you cannot know, what your adversary will attack with, with proper posture you may reduce the adversary's possibilities and you may stop him/her with your hands, whatever with he/she attacks with. Actually these postures - positions - provide the strength for the techniques, and that is why they can be used against a physically stronger aggressor.


The hands always cover all of the body


The principle of the concurrent

attack and defence

Wing Chun tries to combine the defensive motion with an offensive motion, or uses an attack with which it may block simultaneously. In such manner, Wing Chun is structurally faster than those styles, where fighters block first, and attack only after the defense. Specific leading practices and the sticky hands help the student to achieve this skill during his/her development.





The tan-dar is a typical case of simultaenous  defence and counter-attack

The counter-punch is the simplest defence move, which is an attack at the same time

The chi sao is one of the best skill development practices in Wing Chun


The contact reflexes (skin reflexes)

Actually, the hand is quicker than the eye and your eye may cheat you. In Wing Chun the practiser develops his or her sense of feeling, so he or she could perceive the adversary's openings and arriving attacks. Besides, when he/she gets into the practising contact with the adversary (we call this bridge-building), he/she can react to the motion properly instead of feeling the motion, deciding what to do and eventually making move. The contact reflex may be developed with persistent sticky hand practice.




One of Wing Chun most important principles, adapt to the direction of your adversary's strength (what you feel through the contact reflex)

The adversary arises with a straight punch (1. picture), we clear with a tan-dar, (2. picture), then since the adversary pushes our hand to the side, we allow the force to translate our tan-sau into a bon-sau (3. picture).


The principle of trapping the adversary

According to Master Lo Man Kam: "Striking somebody is easy. On the other hand, avoiding being hit is quite difficult. A Wing Chun practicer is often able to keep both of an adversary's arms under control with one single hand, and in such way he/she has a free hand to deliver an attack. This is the technique of trapping the adversary. The sticky hand is the best method to practice trapping.


While controlling the adversary's two hand with one, our other hand

is yet to strike.


Sticky hands

The sticky hand practice (chi-sao) is Wing Chun's precious stone because it helps us to put the basis techniques and principles into practice. With the help of sticky hand (Chi Sao) we learn to quickly and naturally respond to the circumstances of the changing fight, to constantly adapt ourselves to the adversary's incalculable moves. Of course the chi-sao is not some kind of a mystical miracle, but an exercise that properly expounds its salutary effect through practice.

The chi sao is one of Wing Chun kung-fu's most characteristic practices


The unity of kicks, footwork and body

High kicks result in a less stable position, moreover the distance that has to be made leads to a slower velocity than with low kicks. In Master Lo Man Kam's Wing Chun we never kick above the height of the hip, and we often attack the adversary's ankle and knee. Besides that, we apply hand techniques during a kick because we can exert a much bigger power if the body moves in unity. If we attack our adversary on several fronts then his/her attention is divided and we have greater chance for a hit.


Arm stretching and treading kick. A really unpleasant combination

Looseness and unlimited adaptability

Through practicing of sticky hand exercises and leading routines, Wing Chun will be personalised for the practicer, taking his/her physical and intellectual characteristics, boundaries into consideration. He/she learns how to make use of few techniques in innumerable self-defence situations, while he keeps his/her mind opened in order to be able to respond, if necessary. It is important, that in Wing Chun practicers do not learn primarily combinations and situations, but their feeling, their perception are developed, along with counter-reactions, which always take shape in that given moment, according to the momentary situation.