About Wing Chun

"Compared to Wing Chun, all other martial arts are in the dark ages."

Bruce Lee

Wing Chun is a complete self-defense/combat system.  In today's environment where boxing, wrestling and mixed martial arts dominate the combat sports scene, a complete combat system is something of a foreign concept.  In order to understand why this disconnect exists, it is helpful to consider the time period in which Wing Chun first emerged as a dominant fighting system, and the changes in martial training that have occurred since that period.  

Wing Chun emerged in the mid to late 19th century, during the time of the Chinese Civil War (1850-1864) and the American Civil War (1861-1865).  This Chinese Civil War, also known as the Taiping Rebellion, is considered the last traditional war, while the American Civil War is considered the first modern war.  Though the two wars overlapped, much changed in the way the two wars were fought.  These changes were largely due to the availability of more reliable firearms.  Before the advent of the encapsulated round, a firearm could be relied upon to deliver one or two balls before the enemy was upon you.  Therefore, a great deal of emphasis was placed on hand-to-hand combat and the use of edged and pole weapons.  On the other hand, when a firearm could deliver repeated rounds and reload in a matter of seconds, close encounters with the enemy became less frequent, and widespread, in-depth, military, hand-to-hand training became a thing of the past. 

In an effort to keep their skills relevant in this turbulent environment, many military trainers transformed their systems into sports.  They certainly were not the first to do this.  In 17th and 18th century Europe, in times of peace, young men with martial training would engage in duels with what were supposed to be non-lethal weapons, but participants still died and duels were outlawed.  Consequently, these pugilists discarded their weapons and engaged in hand-to-hand combat for sport, and participants still died.  To prevent these deaths, various sets of rules were adopted, which outlawed the more lethal aspects of the art and resulted in the highly stylized and specialized form of sport combat we now know as boxing. Likewise, the aforementioned dispossessed post-modern military trainers adapted their fighting systems for sport, and what were once complete fighting systems became other highly stylized, specialized forms of high-profile sport combat.  Almost a century later, participants in these sports forgot their history and their purpose and realized that their systems were not adequate for self-defense.  This is the cause of the recent misguided movement to mix these different specialized systems in the hopes of discovering an alloyed system, sufficient to self-defense needs.

In contrast, purveyors of Wing Chun realized that personal defense needs hadn't really changed.  In other words, since non-combat-force civilians are not likely to go about in groups with weapons ready, expecting at any moment to come into contact with the enemy, hand-to-hand encounters are still a very probable form of violence.  These combat professors eschewed competition in favor of keeping the system complete.  In summary, Wing Chun never went through the sport-transformation process, and remains a complete, unified, practical combat system for realistic self-defense.  Wing Chun doesn't have to mix because it never separated.