Wing Chun’s Main Goal

Wing Chun is often considered a close-range, aggressive system. Some say the main goal of Wing Chun is to hit. Get into that close-range and hit hard, fast, and as many times as possible.

This may be how Wing Chun appears. Wing Chun’s Chain Punch suggests a rapid-fire approach that is nothing but a bunch of hits. However, it should be pointed out; hitting is only a tertiary consideration in Wing Chun.

Study the Kuen Kuit – Wing Chun’s Fight Philosophy. ‘Greet what enters. Escort it as it leaves. Go forward into the opening.’ The Kuen Kuit suggests encountering the strike in a defensive manner, stick to the offensive strike until it is no longer a threat, and then move into the opening created. This marks Wing Chun as a counter-attack, defensive system.

Wing Chun’s first consideration is to defend against the opponent’s offensive gambit. The second concern is to maintain control of the opponent’s initial move, keeping it at bay until an opening is created. This may include moving the arm or leg out of the way or into a compromising position (trapping), or it may mean making sufficient space to allow another approach. The third issue is to move into the opening.

Moving into the opening is often thought of as a strike, and it may very well be. However, it may also be a control depending on the situation and the desired goal. Closing the gap so the opponent’s strikes become meaningless is a Wing Chun standard and more to the heart of the third Kuen Kuit consideration. Regardless, important to this discussion is that the counter attack begins with defense, and then defensive control. Only upon completion of these concerns is the counter-offensive employed.

Moreover, the counter-offensive may or may not be a hit. This may be semantic. An arm bar that neutralizes the opponent may be classified as a hit. A well placed double palm push or a body bump may be sufficient for your needs. Fleeing the scene may be the win you are after. However, none of these would fall into the colloquial definition of “hit”. It is entirely possible a fight with a Wing Chun practitioner will end victorious though chain punches or other strikes are not used against the opponent. As such, bold statements like, “The goal of Wing Chun is to hit” can give non-practitioners and newcomers an inappropriate image of Wing Chun.

Given the parameters of the Kuen Kuit, any claim that hitting is Wing Chun’s primary goal is clearly not true. As Wing Chun is very much a counter-attack, defensive system, though it may be robust, it is hard to consider it aggressive or offensive in its nature.

Wing Chun’s main goal is to defend. It comes first in the Kuen Kuit. Its secondary goal, directly tied to the first, is to lead the offensive concern away. Only then and only if necessary, you hit.



About Sifu

I teach Wing Chun, both traditional and practical, at KDA Karate Academy. I have a Bachelor of Media Arts degree from USC. I have been an Audio Producer / Engineer, a Law Office Manager. In addition to being a Martial Arts Instructor, I am an author. My new book, "Astro Boy, Sensei, and Me" is available now, as is my Sci-Fi joy ride, "On a Sphere's Edge".

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