The Philosophy of Wing Chun

Wing Chun philosophy covers a number of topics; all of which overlap in some way, but in essence, it is primarily concerned with what you do with your body and how you do it. If that sounds a rather vague explanation, it is. At it's heart, Wing Chun is driven by a desire to avoid harm - from harm caused by violence from others but also the harm caused in the process of defending oneself. This means that Wing Chun techniques, when performed correctly, should be effective in subduing an aggressor, but avoid injury in the process of doing so.

The desire to avoid harm or injury governs other aspects of Wing Chun teachings including positioning, distancing, blocking, moving as well as striking.

Wing chun has developed ingenious methods to achieve this. The most fundamental of which are the fascinating use of body mechanics, attention to the amount of energy used in combat by opponents and the use of relaxation to develop speed.

At all of our classes in the RWCA, we teach according to the fundamental principles of Wing Chun philosophy that outline these factors These principles dictate the most common-sense methods of avoiding harm in combat and are used to judge the merits of all of the applications of technique; if it doesn't work, then it is almost certain that it is because the core principles of Wing Chun philosophy are missing.

The culmination of this philosophy is a sensitivity to your own - and your opponent's energy, an appreciation of where you both are in relation to each other, how to use your body most effectively and how to do it all at speed. Alongside these general elements, the philosophy of Wing Chun also teaches a no nonsense approach to target selection - why punch to the jaw when a short kick to the knee can prove far more destructive, can be delivered far quicker and expose the defender to less risk?

Many of the differences a potential student will find when looking at Wing Chun classes is not in the finished positions taught but in how those positions are interpreted by those teaching them. We at the RWCA believe that every single technique taught has to be validated and justified through Wing Chun principles and nothing else. We believe it is the effectiveness of the techniques that matter and we leave it to each and every student who walks through the door to judge the validity of our approach for themselves. In a final analysis, Wing Chun philosophy has been developed and refined over 400 years into the subtle and ingenious system that it is and we at the RWCA see no reason whatsoever to try and change it.