Wing Chun is a highly conceptual martial art. A fighting system based on a number of key concepts that make Wing Chun an effective combat system. Central to these concepts is the principle of Economy of Motion, an idea of the moving as efficiently and directly as possible when fighting or in self defence.
Wing Chun is a highly conceptual martial art. A fighting system based on a number of key concepts that make Wing Chun an effective combat system. Central to these concepts is the principle of Economy of Motion, an idea of the moving as efficiently and directly as possible when fighting or in self defence. Moving efficiently is ideal for anyone wishing to learn how to protect themselves from the unknown. In this sense, moving efficiently allows you to conserve the limited amount of energy that you posses in order to fight off an aggressive attacker.
Derived from the concept of Economy of Motion is the idea of attacking and defending simultaneously. Ultimately you move efficiently if you counter an attacking punch (or a strike) with a simultaneous attack and defence, rather than a typical defensive move followed by a counter punch as seen in most martial arts. Put simply, you throw both arms forward in an effort to both block and attack. This is typically seen in how one of the key seed shapes of Wing Chun is applied with a punch. Known as Taan Da, this Wing Chun technique is often used against a swinging punch, haymaker or sucker punch. However, there are a number of problems with this approach as discussed in our video.
The Reality of Simultaneous Attack and Defence in a Fight
There is a certain amount of risk when applying Taan Da against a haymaker on the inside gate. In this week’s Wing Chun video we discuss the potential risk of being punched again by your attacker when using Taan Da on the inside gate of the body. We examine the real risk of being punched and how to avoid the risk of being caught off guard.
In the first part of our Wing Chun video we introduce the technique of Taan Da and explain the potential problems in making it work for self defence or in a real fight. People often throw multiple punches in a barrage to overwhelm you in a street fight. So the key point to note is that you have to punch hard in order to slow to stop your attacker’s second punch. Only then can you actually fight back with some clear Wing Chun follow ups. However, as discussed in our video there is still a risk of your attacker throwing a second punch, especially if they are able to absorb your counter strike.
In the second part of our video we introduce a safer more reliable approach in which to use Taan Da. Here we discuss the safer option of moving to the outside gate of a punch combination and then intercepting to the inside gate with the Taan Da. This safer option is ideal for self defence because it allows you to control the space and the centre ground.
In the final section of our video we recap how to best train simultaneous attack and defence in Wing Chun. Chi Sao is an ideal platform for practising and training this idea (see Is Wing Chun Chi Sao Important for Self Defence). How it is derived from Chi Sao practice and how it relates to actual fighting is fully discussed in this video. The key point to note is that practicing in this method of training allows you the ability to understand how to find a simultaneous attack and defence when your arms are clinched with your attackers.
Ultimately Economy of Motion is About Using One Limb
Simultaneous attack and defence does not necessarily have to be with two arms. In fact the ultimate method of applying this technique is to use one limb to both attack and defend. For example, intercepting with a punch to both block an incoming attack and defend. In other words, your punch, strike, or kick achieves both ends, it attacks while simultaneously defends. This is a manifestation of the art of interception in Wing Chun and therefore is considered by many as an advanced form of Wing Chun fighting.
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