Wing Chun a name often used interchangeably with Kung Fu is one of the oldest and most respected martial arts. Traced back to legends around the famed Shaolin Temple there is no doubt that besides being incredible visually impressive it has proven to be an effective martial arts style for hand-to-hand combat for centuries. In fact Bruce Lee spent much time studying Wing Chun before creating his own martial art.
The exact point at which Wing Chun was given birth to is a little cloudy as it originally was purely passed down by word of mouth. Yet like most traditional martial arts lineage is extremely important. Wing Chun Kung Fu is closely tied to the White Crane martial arts style and Ip Man is credited as the being the first official Wing Chun to teach this martial arts style openly. It was directly from Ip Man that Bruce Lee began his training. In fact a martial arts movie on Ip Man was released earlier in 2010.
Despite the popularity of this martial arts style it has seen little action in today’s mixed martial arts competitions. Wing Chun has seldom been seen in the UFC since UFC 5, and has been criticized by mixed martial arts fans for it’s stances, footwork and lack of effective take-down defense. However, the truth is that many aspects of Wing Chun are good for real life use, and like any other martial arts style could still prove it’s worth in the cage with a little adaption and blending with other styles.
Wing Chun martial arts training focuses a lot on forms, stances and relaxation. A large emphasis is put on developing hand strength and in particular the finger tips. This is required before moving onto martial arts weapons training which includes butterfly knives and staffs. Tension and rigidity is avoided during Wing Chun martial arts training in order to reserve energy, strike faster and avoid traps and breaks. These beliefs are also behind this martial arts focus on the vertical punch as opposed to the typical horizontal punches you see in almost every other style. This is the martial arts style that also uses the Bruce Lee style wooden dummy for practicing.