There is one form of self defence that is quickly gaining popularity because it is more suited to our urban environment from the very beginning and teaches sound fighting principles. It is a Chinese form of Traditional Martial Art called Ving Tsun Gung Fu (or Wing Chun Kung Fu). Ving Tsun had remained a secret for a couple hundred years until it was decided to be taught publicly by the late Grand Master, Yip Man.
Bruce Lee was also a student of Yip Man and incorporated a lot of Ving Tsun’s theory into his now famous fighting system (called Jeet Kune Do). This system was made famous by the late Great Master Wong Shun Leung, who single-handedly fought countless challenge matches against numerous styles and never lost a fight! He was also credited as being the late Bruce Lee‘s primary mentor.
Ving Tsun was supposedly developed by a woman named Ng Mui over two hundred and fifty years ago, thus by being developed by a female its strategy is developed more towards deflection rather than sheer brute strength.
Ving Tsun normally waits for the attackeer to make his or her first move and dissolves these intentions before the attacker can regroup their thoughts for any possible counter attack.
Ving Tsun is mainly a close range system and uses techniques and skill over sheer brute strength. It makes use of many jamming and interrupting movements and uses a lot of simultaneous blocking and striking techniques to end a fight as quickly as possible.
The major principle of Ving Tsun is to control the opponent’s attack and balance and then to penetrate through the attacker as soon as the hands feel an opening. Ving Tsun teaches to keep in close so as to smother the attacker and utilise his or her skills to dominate the situation at hand, this being of prime advantage to a Ving Tsun fighter as then it makes it difficult for the adversary to generate any real power at this close distance.
Ving Tsun uses a unique exercise called Chi Sau (sticking hands). Chi Sau uses the touch reflex to feel the intentions of our opponent and does not solely rely on visual response, hence the Ving Tsun person is less prone to fakes and is able to defend and counter attack with ease using this unique sensory concept. At an advanced level this can be achieved by being blindfolded. Chi Sau also teaches the student to flow from one defence and attack into another without interrupting the rhythm of the attack until the opponent is completely beaten.
The hands are the main weapons in this style, and kicks are kept low in order to maintain dynamic balance and to strike targets below waist level. The legs are eventually trained in a similar conceptual way to the arms, and are used for feel of intention and mobility.
The system uses only three (3) empty hand forms (to train concepts and ideas) and a wooden dummy form (used to develop unrestricted power and to further refine already developed techniques and concepts). The Ving Tsun system trains two weapons, namely the long pole and the butterfly knives.
Ving Tsun Gung Fu is currently beeing taught at the “Illawarra Ving Tsun School“. Under the guidance of Principle Instructor and Founder John Smith. The curriculum that is taught at the Illawarra Ving Tsun School mirrors that which is taught in Hong Kong and, as a result, is not diluted or modified in any form or fashion.