As a woman, choosing the right martial art for you can take time, especially while exploring many different types of classes. Before settling with Wing Chun, I trained Kyokushin and Go Kan Ryu karate. Having seen and practiced different martial arts made me more aware of what I was looking for and needed from my training as a woman looking for a good approach to self defence.
Part of the reason I chose to train Wing Chun instead of the other karate forms is that this style of kung fu is good for women who want to learn self defence and effective fighting techniques. Generally speaking the martial arts environment is centred around competitive fighting that relies on athletic ability in order to be physically tougher than your opponent. Women who start training in a martial arts gym often find this type of environment intimidating since they are typically not physically strong as men.
But Wing Chun is different. As the legend says it was created by a woman and fought first by Yim Wing-Chun who rebuffed the local warlord's marriage offer and beat him in one-to-one combat. Wing Chun uses balance, structure, and stance rather than sheer strength and height to conquer in a fight.
Since this style of martial art gives women a fighting chance to win with a bigger and physically stronger opponent it allows women to conquer insecurities related to being ‘weaker', and allows them to create a fighting strategy based on their own merits. As a result, Wing Chun can give us (women) the confidence to defend ourselves without compromising our femininity.
Another reason I chose to learn Wing Chun is that I think every person should be able to depend on themselves when it comes to defending their life. The more time spent in the gym focussing on learning effective self defence techniques, rather than going over traditional martial arts routines or disciplinary practices the better.
In Wing Chun, there is no preoccupation with uniforms, or rituals, or standing according to a hierarchy of ability- things that distracted me in karate and made me self conscious. Though there are people who enjoy these aspects of karate i.e. having different coloured belts according to ability, I found it much easier to learn in an atmosphere where it's easier to blend in with fellow students in the gym.
Wing Chun takes time to learn properly; as with everything. At the London Wing Chun Academy the exams come much less frequently, and there are no distinctions between students to draw attention to one's specific stage within the martial arts training process. Unless you change your general level- from beginner to intermediate, or to advanced Wing Chun practice. I found this very different from karate but quickly got used to focussing on the training, rather than on distinguishing myself via the colour of my belt from others in my class. I find this approach works better for me when it comes to learning; the less time is spent on one's ego the more time can be spent on improving one's skills and training for the right reason- to help yourself progress.
Wing Chun is very practical and useful for those who like to focus wholeheartedly on learning responses that can be used in the street for self defence.
The London Wing Chun Academy is a martial arts and functional fitness gym based in North London. Open 7 days a week with gym and functional fitness equipment. Our gym provides group fitness and martial arts classes in Wing Chun, San Shou Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, WC4 Self Defence, Yoga, Functional Fitness, and non contact Fitness kick Boxing. Membership starts from £25 per month. Visit our gym today for a taster class. Get Started Now >>