His Wing Chun Couldn’t Win A Real Fight

This is a true story. I have changed the participants’ names to protect their privacy.

Brandon had good reason to trust his self-defense abilities; his father had trained him in the no-nonsense Chinese martial art of Wing Chun Kuen. Brandon’s father was an expert in the style, a full-contact champion who studied directly under disciples of the late grandmaster Yip Man.

Last month, Brandon’s Wing Chun was put to the ultimate test. A heated argument with two neighborhood residents escalated into a full-blown fistfight, and Brandon was forced to defend himself from their savage attack.

Wing Chun Counters Low Kicks with Denial

The low kick is the most dangerous attack in unarmed martial arts. A single well-placed kick to the knee or ankle can render the opponent unable to stand, and consequently unable to escape or defend against further attacks.

Low kicks are so effective that even seasoned martial artists have difficulty defending against them. Faced with such a challenge, some simply choose to ignore the threat, and concentrate on more glamorous hand techniques instead.

Denial is usually not an effective method of self-defense. However, Wing Chun teaches us how to use denial to our advantage, and thereby protect ourselves. According to Wing Chun principles, we should deny an attacker the position, the balance and the time to succeed with a low kicking attack.

A Brief Comparison of Wu Hao Tai Chi and Wing Chun

My first exposure to the Wu (Hao) style of Tai Chi occurred at the Taiji Forum 2006 conference in Thunder Bay, Ontario. I noticed a few significant differences between its postures and those of the more popular Yang style:

  • The stance is shorter and more upright.
  • Arm and leg movements are smaller.
  • Hands remain in front of the body.
  • Both feet rotate simultaneously when turning.
  • Movements in the form are repeated to left and right sides.

Wu (Hao) style was developed in the 1800s by Wu Yuxiang, with inspiration from Chen and Yang predecessors. However, based on my limited exposure, it seems equally similar to some schools of Wing Chun. Other conference attendees made similar observations.