Wing Chun Blog
Traditional Wing Chun
5 Stages of Combat
Traditional Wing Chun derives from the Leung Bik / Yip Man Wing Chun System. Yip Man learnt this style of Wing Chun from Leung Bik in Hong Kong around 1917.
Leung Bik is the Son of the legendary "king fo wing chun", Dr. Leung Jan. This unique wing chun fighting system is relatively new in Australia, being introduced to Melbourne in the late 70's, by Grand Master William Cheung.
1: Non Contact Stage
2: Contact Stage
3: Exchange Range
1: BEFORE CONTACT STAGE:
We refer to this as none contact stage and take a side neutral stance with our guard on the central line. It is more practical not to be committed at stage, so we do not limit our mobility.
In Traditional Wing Chun one can assume a front stance or side neutral stance in preparation for the unexpected. The safe distance between You and the Perpetrator should be just outside the kicking range. Always move to this safe distance before engaging.
2: CONTACT STAGE
Contact stage is when both fighters reach a distance, which enables limited contact with the arms and legs, but no contact to the main body targets. To gauge this distance perfectly one must be wrist on wrist. At contact stage, the central line is used at the outer perimeter with a front stance. The body turned slightly to minimize the target area. Information comes in from the contact point as well as visual observation. Your contact reflex ability for close range instant response action and independent movement of arms and legs, gained through chi sao exercises, becomes invaluable at contact stage, giving you a huge advantage over your opponent.
3: EXCHANGE RANGE.
Once in exchange range, contact to the head and body is now possible. Kicking is generally not favorable at this stage other than low kicks, spinning away with round or back kicks. At this range maximum protection is imperative, therefore, the practitioner must put his rear guard up higher than usual to protect his upper gate. The focus being on the nearest elbow point as it will forecast the next intended movement of that arm or fist, plus to fire the rear arm, it must be directed across the path of the lead elbow. Once contact has been made with one or both arms, have made contact with any part of the opponent’s body, the practitioner should attempt to use this contact point as a guild to finding the opponents nearest elbow point for controlling the opponents balance or restricting his movement. Once the elbow is controlled, the practitioner can use it as a guild to finding the vital targets on the head and body, as well as being able to maneuver to the blind side where we can deal with one arm at a time. The Wing Chun practitioner is aided at this close range by Wing Chun’s low leg kicks and having the ability to utilize arms and legs simultaneously, ability that must be mastered in chi sao.
When an opponent retreats, chase him. This stage is pursuit and is a general concept of Chi Sao. The general rule is that the practitioner should try to keep contact to control the Opponent, covering the nearest elbow point and pursuit with quick, efficient stepping, to stay with your Opponent, if he retreats. Sometimes, as contact is broken, the practitioner is advised to re-enter with the entry technique or front kick to achieve further contact.
Sometimes when one is in an unfavorable situation, one must retreat in order to re-organize oneself. A practitioner would generally use Fut sao and backward step to get out of the situation. Sometimes a combination of Fut sao and Bill sao together with a double back step can be very useful. Never the less, one must return to the central line system for better protection once you have regained your ground.
It is imperative to understand the Retreat Stage of Combat in Traditional Wing Chun, as a Practitioner cannot maintain engagement with a larger, stronger Opponent if unexpected, unfavourable circumstances arise.
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