Wing Chun Power

Susana Ho (9/2001)

No matter what styles of martial arts, all of them are seeking strong power. As Wing Chun Kung Fu emphasizes on relaxation, many people will query whether relaxation can help to develop strong force. Actually, the main purpose of relaxation is to make sure that every joints and muscles can be used freely during movements and the ability to receive force is much stronger when the muscle is relaxed than tense. Power development is based on the theory of force. Most people will know that force is formed from the combination of mass and speed together. Then, how can Wing Chun Kung Fu apply this theory in the development of its power?

Wing Chun is created mainly from the three hand forms, they are: Siu Nim Tau, Chum Kiu and Biu Gee. Each form creates part of the elements of the theory of force.

Siu Nim Tau starts to teach the Wing Chun Stance which is the development of the structure. When the whole body is coordinated together, a cohesive weight of the body is formed. This equates to installing parts together to form an object and the addition of the weight of the parts will be the weight of that object. Parts do not have muscles which human have, therefore, they will not create offsetting, rivaling and dispersing forces within the structure. Thus, if the body during moving does not have the intention of cohesion and the coordination of the interior of the body, the body mass will be dispersed or offset by the movements and the weight will be reduced.

On the other hand, Siu Nim Tau also teaches the focusing intention, which is the source of the intention of cohesion. Focusing intention means the intention to concentrate on a target when in attacking an opponent. Focusing is a way of thinking and not a pushing of the muscles forward. Therefore, it should not affect the mobility of the body and the position of hitting. On the other hand, the movements of the body should not affect the way of focusing. If one uses muscles to push forward thinking it as focusing, then this will reduce the mobility of the movements. If the opponent is attacking in strongly, the muscles will be pushed even harder in order to maintain balance against the attacking force. In this situation, when a change of position or direction of the movement is required, the tensed up muscles have to be relaxed first before a change can be made. This is the best time for the opponent to attack, or one will be forced to fight on and at the end, the stronger person will win. The intention of focusing is just like a driver of a car who decides the destination and the route to get there. Therefore, having a cohesive mass but not using it properly is wasting the power that is developed.

After learning the unity of the body and focusing, Chum Kiu teaches how to use the mass properly by moving it in one piece. Many people think that movement of the body is depended on the movements of the legs, i.e. the footwork. I personally consider that the movements of the legs are the coordinated result of the movements of the centre of gravity. When the upper part of the body is under pressure from the attack of the opponent and if changing the position is by initial movement from the legs, the spine will receive a lot of pressure. If the back does not want to face the pressure, the upper part of the body will need to fight back fully which causes the muscles to contract and tense up even more. The cohesive mass will then be dispersed and strong structure becomes weak. At the same time, one thing has to be pointed out is that: knowing the target will not automatically mean that the power generated from the mass and its movements is actually and fully used in the defense and attack towards the opponent. That is the reason why when moving, the body is needed to be coordinated in order to prevent the force generated be offset and rivaled with each other and weakened the attacking power. Learning to move is actually the beginning of speed.

After moving the body in a unity, Biu Gee practices the speed. How fast one can move will depend on how relaxed is the joints and the muscles. This is one of the reasons why Wing Chun emphasizes on relaxation. In application, whether one can maintain a cohesive body will affect the weight of the mass; whether one is relaxed will affect the speed of the movement. All these will determine how much power one can generate in fighting.

The above only explain where the power is coming from. In real fighting, there are other factors that will affect the winning or losing. For example: the methods in contacting with the opponent, how to use the mass properly, how to use angles or positions in defense and attack, how to move in an economic way, etc.

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