Wing Chun Kung Fu
Wing Chun, Wing Tsun or Ving Tsun?
Wing Chun is sometimes referred to as Wing Tsun, Ving Tsun, Wing Tjun, Wing Chun, Wing Chung, Wing Chun Kung Fu, Wing Chun Boxing, or even Wing Chun Kuen (fighting or fist) among other names. The reason for these differences is because Chinese characters are pictograms and do not translate precisely into Western letters and words. In all cases however, the pronunciation in English is Wing Chun so that is how we like to spell it. Wing Chun is a Kung Fu system because the foundational principals mainly stem from China. Kung Fu roughly means "time and effort" and originally referred to any skill painstakingly developed. Kung Fu has become synonymous with all Chinese martial arts.
The name Wing Chun literally means "Eternal or Beautiful Springtime". The name's meaning implies freshness, creativity, innovation, modern or contemporary. Although most of the practitioners of the system learn it as a traditional or classical system today, the original idea was to have constant development and innovation keeping the system up to date and effective in the modern world. The name of the system however, is not nearly as important as practicing an effective and comprehensive form of self-defense that will function in real life conflicts across the board.
About Wing Chun Kung Fu
Wing Chun Kung Fu is known as one of the most effective martial arts in the world. It differs from many of today's popular systems, such as Karate, Tae Kwon Do, and Kung Fu. These systems block first and then attack. Wing Chun emphasizes self-defense, focusing on methods that allow a deflection and an attack in the same movement. The system is based on human biomechanics rather than animal movements, using primarily straight line, fast, direct strikes and sophisticated simultaneous blocking and striking techniques, redirecting the force of an opponent rather than attempting to meet a possibly greater force directly.
The way the system produces efficient fighters in a relatively short amount of time is by sticking to several core concepts and by paying strict attention to positioning. Much training time is spent cultivating sensitivity or contact reflexes. The student practices guarding various zones about the body and deals with whatever happens to be contacted or touched in that zone. This allows for a minimum of technique with a maximum of application, and for the use of an automatic or subconscious response.
There is a generally accepted legend about a Shaolin nun named Ng Mui, a master of Kung Fu that developed a system effective against men and her friendship with Yim Wing Chun whom she named her kung fu system after. There is also a more believable account with some historic documentation of a man named Leung Jan, his Tai Chi roots and his development of Wing Chun by his encounters with European bare-knuckle fighters.
Whatever the true origin, the Wing Chun system has been developed by some very intelligent individuals who took great care in making Wing Chun a highly efficient kung fu and China's martial arts treasure. As techniques were passed along, the now traditional weapons of the system were incorporated into Wing Chun Kung Fu as well. During the Chinese Cultural Revolution, (another name for their horrific communist dictatorship), Wing Chun, like other martial arts, was banned in China and survived only through the persistence of practitioners like Ip Man. The veil of secrecy around the art was finally broken in 1949, when Grandmaster Ip Man brought the style out of communist China into Hong Kong and eventually to the rest of the world.