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Wing Chun (traditional Chinese: 詠春) is a concept-based traditional Southern Chinese Kung fu (wushu) style and a form of self-defence, which utilises both striking and grappling in close-range combat.[1] Softness (via relaxation) and performing techniques in a relaxed manner, is fundamental to Wing Chun. On "softness" in Wing Chun, Yip Man during an interview said, "Chi Sao in Wing Chun is to maintain one's flexibility and softness, all the while keeping in the strength to fight back, much like the flexible nature of bamboo."[2] Notable practitioners of Wing Chun include Bruce Lee, Brandon Lee, Jackie Chan, Robert Downey Jr. (Hollywood actor) and Tony Ferguson (MMA artist).

Wing Chun
Also known asWing Tsun, Ving Tsun
FocusStriking, Trapping
Country of origin China
CreatorNg Mui of the Five Elders and Yuen Kay Shan
ParenthoodFujian White Crane, Shequan
Descendant artsJeet Kune Do
Olympic sportNo
Wing Chun
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese詠春
Simplified Chinese
Hanyu PinyinYǒng Chūn
Cantonese YaleWihng Cheūn
Literal meaning"Spring Chant"
Vietnamese name
VietnameseVĩnh Xuân



This martial arts style places the practitioner in a position to make readily placed block fast moving blows to one's vital striking points, down the centerline of the body—neck, chest, belly and groin. Shifting or turning within a stance is carried out variantly on the heels, balls, or middle (K1 or Kidney 1 point) of the foot depending on lineage. As described more below, some Wing Chun styles discourage the use of high kicks, since this creates an opportunity for counter-attacks to the groin. Additionally, the practice of "settling" one's opponent to brace them more effectively against the ground aids in delivering as much force as possible to them.[3][4]


Softness (via relaxation) and performing techniques in a relaxed manner, is fundamental to Wing Chun. On "softness" in Wing Chun, Yip Man during an interview said,

Wing Chun is in some sense a "soft" school of martial arts. However, if one equates that work as weak or without strength, then they are dead wrong. Chi Sao in Wing Chun is to maintain one's flexibility and softness, all the while keeping in the strength to fight back, much like the flexible nature of bamboo"[2]

Empty handEdit

小念頭 Siu Nim Tau (Little Idea) The first, and most important form in Wing Chun, Siu Nim Tau, which can be translated into "The little idea for beginning", Siu Nim Tau is not only for beginners but to be practiced throughout the practitioner’s lifetime.[5] It is the foundation or "seed" of the art from which all succeeding forms and techniques depend.[6] Fundamental rules of balance and body structure are developed here. Using a car analogy: for some branches this would provide the chassis,[7] for others this is the engine.[8] It serves basically as the alphabet for the system. Some branches view the symmetrical stance as the fundamental fighting stance, while others see it as more a training stance used in developing technique.[9]
尋橋 Chum Kiu (Seeking Bridge) The second form, Chum Kiu, focuses on coordinated movement of bodymass and entry techniques to "bridge the gap" between practitioner and opponent and move in to disrupt their structure and balance.[10][11] Close-range attacks using the elbows and knees are also developed here. It also teaches methods of recovering position and centerline when in a compromised position where Siu Nim Tau structure has been lost. For some branches bodyweight in striking is a central theme, whether it be from pivoting (rotational) or stepping (translational). Likewise for some branches, this form provides the engine to the car. For branches who use the "sinking bridge" interpretation, the form takes on more emphasis of an "uprooting" context adding multi-dimensional movement and spiraling to the already developed engine.
鏢指 Biu Ji (Thrusting Fingers) The third form, Biu Ji, is composed of extreme short-range and extreme long-range techniques, low kicks and sweeps, and "emergency techniques" to counter-attack when structure and centerline have been seriously compromised, such as when the practitioner is seriously injured.[12] As well as pivoting and stepping, developed in Chum Kiu, a third degree of freedom involving more upper body and stretching is developed for more power. Such movements include very close range elbow strikes and finger thrusts to the throat. For some branches this is the turbo-charger of the car. For others it can be seen as a "pit stop" kit that should never come into play, recovering your "engine" when it has been lost. Still other branches view this form as imparting deadly "killing" and maiming techniques that should never be used if you can help it. A common wing chun saying is "Biu Ji doesn't go out the door." Some interpret this to mean the form should be kept secret, others interpret it as meaning it should never be used if you can help it.

In popular cultureEdit

Donnie Yen played the role of Wing Chun Grandmaster Ip Man in the 2008 movie Ip Man, which was a box office success, and in its sequels Ip Man 2 and Ip Man 3.[13] Donnie Yen has reprised his role as Ip Man is his latest and upcoming movie Ip Man 4.

Stephen Amell on the CW show Arrow has been known to incorporate Wing Chun into his overall fighting style, as witnessed by his character practicing on a Muk Yan Jong (wooden dummy).[14]

Max Zhang (Zhang Jin) who played the role of Cheung Tin Chi in ip man 3 stars in a spin off and direct sequel movie called Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy which follows the events after being defeated by Ip Man at the end of Ip Man 3.

Notable practitionersEdit


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Concepts, Steve Creel, Wing Chun. "About Wing Chun Kung Fu". Wing Chun Concepts. Retrieved 2018-11-26.
  2. ^ a b "An Interview With Grandmaster Yip Man from 1972". My Way of Wing Chun. 2013-07-11. Retrieved 2018-02-10.
  3. ^ "Rediscovering the Roots of Wing Chun". Kung Fu Magazine. Retrieved 2010-02-06.
  4. ^ McKnight, David; Kwok Chow, Sifu Chung. "Integrative Wing Chun". Kung Fu Magazine. Retrieved 2010-02-06.
  5. ^ "WING CHUN CONCEPTS: Siu Nim Tao". Wing Chun Concepts. 2017-09-23. Archived from the original on 2017-09-23. Retrieved 2017-10-24.
  6. ^ Michel Boulet. "The Simple Basics of a Complex Art". the Wing Chun Archive. Retrieved 2013-02-10.
  7. ^ Jim Fung (2009-02-23). "Wing Chun Stance". Retrieved 2013-02-10.
  8. ^ "The Hidden Power of Siu Nim Tau by Tsui Sheung Tin". 2017-05-22. Retrieved 2018-11-23.
  9. ^ martialarts2 Archived February 3, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ "The Forms of Wing Chun Kuen Kung Fu | Reading Academy Wing Chun & Kali". Archived from the original on 2012-05-01. Retrieved 2013-02-10.
  11. ^ "Ving Tsun Martial Arts Studio – Training". Archived from the original on 2013-06-28. Retrieved 2013-02-10.
  12. ^ City Wing Chun – Training Notes Archived April 15, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  13. ^ "2008 Chinese Box Office records". Retrieved 2013-02-10.
  14. ^ "Arrow's stunt coordinator teaches us how to fight like Oliver Queen". Youtube. December 19, 2014.
  16. ^ "Who Taught Bruce Lee?".
  17. ^ "Wong meet Bruce Lee".
  18. ^ "Wong Shun Leung – The Logic Behind Wing Chun".
  19. ^ "Sifu Li Heng Chang Official Website (Chinese: 李恆昌)". Archived from the original on 2011-11-13.
  20. ^ "重温《功夫》看星爷打咏春拳".
  21. ^ "Jackie Chan Wing Chun Practitioner".
  22. ^ "壹盤生意叛逆詠春派搶攻上位 - 明星八掛大分享".
  23. ^ Sarah Kurchak (February 8, 2016). "How Wing Chun Helped Robert Downey Jr. Battle Addiction". Fightland.
  24. ^ "Victor Wooten Age, Hometown, Biography". December 15, 2010.


  • Chu, Robert; Ritchie, Rene; & Wu, Muthu Veeran (India). (1998). Complete Wing Chun: The Definitive Guide to Wing Chun's History and Traditions. Boston: Tuttle Publishing. ISBN 0-8048-3141-6.
  • Leung Ting (1978). Wing Tsun Kuen. Hong Kong: Leung's Publications. ISBN 962-7284-01-7.
  • Ritchie, Rene. "Wing Chun Concepts". Yuen Kay-San Wing Chun Kuen: History & Practice. Archived from the original on 24 August 2016.
  • Williams, Randy. Wing Chun Gung Fu: The Explosive Art of Close Range Combat.