Practicing Wing Tsun
- the Right Way
Practicing Wing Tsun, or anything, is the only way to mastery, so it’s very important to learn how to practice your Wing Tsun effectively.
To do that, you need to understand your curriculum of course, but more importantly, you need to learn how to practice.
The point of Wing Tsun practice is to get all of the positions, movements, and impulse-responses you are learning “into the box”.
The only way to do that so both your brain and your body/nervous system can assimilate it is to do it slowly.
Practice slowly – learn fast.
Practice fast – learn slowly.
Next, repetition is super-important. Without repetition, you will learn nothing. That much is clear, but you also want to learn how to do what you repeat correctly. Otherwise, you will only get better at doing things wrong.
If you practice (repeat) something correctly, you get better; if you practice it wrong, you don’t. You should avoid that at all cost!
Practicing right = Progress
Practicing wrong = Regress
That's not really hard to understand.
Next come the four power principles of Wing Tsun training:
The Four “Power Principles”
There are four main stages of development in Wing Tsun. We also call them the four “power principles”. They come in four stages of development:
Stage 1: Lose Your Own Power!
This does not mean you should become weaker. It does mean that you learn to only use those muscles that actually contribute to your movement. For example when you punch, you extend your arm, so it doesn’t make sense to use both your triceps (extensor muscle) and your biceps (contractor muscle) when punching.
At the Siu Nm Tau (First Form) stage of your practice, you are therefore learning to execute movements slowly and with maximum relaxation so you counteract those bad habits we all develop as we go through life.
Stage 2: Lose Your Opponent’s Power!
During Chum Kiu (Second Form) practice (starting after you pass Student Program 3 or nine months into your traiing), you learn how to nullify or neutralize your opponent’s power through a combination of stance-shifting, turning, stepping, and arm and leg movements in certain directions.
At the same time, you start to learn to use “stage three” of your development:
Stage 3: Use Your Opponent’s Power!
Once you learn how to neutralize an attacker’s force, you can also to use it against him.
By stance-shifting and turning out of his way, you let him run into empty space - which you then immediately “fill” with your own counter attacks.
You also learn to literally make him help you hit him with his own force by turning it back against him, which brings us to the final stage:
Stage 4: Add Your Own Power!
Once you have learned to relax and only use contributing or supporting muscles and disengage opposing ones, neutralize your opponent’s power, and use it against him, you learn to add your own power back into the equation for maximum effect.
By the way, these “stages” are not a long, sequential process that happens in fighting.
In fighting, they all happen together, in a split-second, or instantaneously (don’t worry. Our teaching system will get you there). They are only stages of development in your training process.
The Four “Action Principles”
The four action principles are:
How these work and how to apply them in your training is explained in detail on this page.
To sum it all up: to maximize the effectiveness of the time you spend training or practicing your Wing Tsun, you will learn to:
- Do every position, movement, and impulse-response correctly (so it’s maximally effective);
- Repeat it, over and over (until you have it “in the box”);
- When applying what you learn in fighting, always use the four “action principles”;
- Use the four “power principles” whenever you are forced to deal with incoming attacks.
And now, practice, practice, practice! As my Sifu, Keith Kernspecht, once said, there are only three ways of learning Wing Tsun: "(1) practice; (2) practice and (3) practice some more!"
If you do that and practice it (teaching you how to do that is our job), your Wing Tsun will soon be excellent and you will quickly be able to use it successfully in all kinds of dicey situations. That’s our promise to you …
… for that is the Way of Wing Tsun!