I recently read a question on a Wing Chun social media forum, ‘If you are going to do chain punches, what path should they follow?’ That is a valid question for the uninitiated.
We can come up with all sorts of fancy explanations, but the simple answer is, in front of you. In Wing Chun, we would reference the Center Line / Central Line theories. Boxers might talk about the straight punch, or weight. Frankly, it does not matter what martial art you reference from, the delivery of a strike is always in front of you.
Certainly, there are distracting or moving angular pokes and slaps, though these are never power strikes. They cannot be, as the weight of the body is not behind them. Even the boxer’s hook, when delivered properly, lines up with the area in front of the boxer. While the hook starts out almost perpendicular to the boxer, during delivery the boxer’s hips should turn into the punch so the force of the blow is, more or less, toward the front of the boxer.
I suppose the questioner was wondering what to do if the opponent moves during the series of straight-line punches, often called Chain Punches. Should the punches suddenly take a new angle? From the puncher’s point of view, the angle should not change. The puncher should move their body to focus on the opponent, either their Center Line or an advantageous Central Line. The punches continue to be delivered right down the puncher’s center – in front of them.
In an omnipresent, third person point of view, the punches may have changed their path, curving or bending their course to stay on target. However, like a gun, regardless of where the gun is pointed, the bullets always travel straight out of the barrel, in front of the gun itself. So too, should a practitioner’s punches. The path does not change. It is always in front of you.
It’s Wing Chun – Relax.