Saturday, September 09, 2017

Wing Chun is a traditional martial art which originated in China sometime in the 17th century. A kind of Kung Fu, it is characterized by the theory of simultaneous attack and defense, allegedly inspired by a fight between a stork and a rodent, where the stork prevailed by using its wings and legs together to defeat the rodent.

Although it has been around for roughly 300 years, there are still some serious doubts about the effectiveness of Wing Chun as a legitimate fighting style. Like many traditional martial arts, it is often criticised as being mired in tradition and having lost touch with the reality of what techniques are actually effective in a real life confrontation. This is particularly the case with Wing Chun because very few of its practitioners compete in MMA, or seem willing to test the techniques outside the dojo.

However, like the great Bruce Lee – who was himself a Wing Chun practitioner said, ‘Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is is specifically your own’.

The absolute best Wing Chun fight scenes EVER
The absolute best Wing Chun fight scenes EVER

To be fair, there are certainly some situations where having a Wing Chun background would be immensely useful, such as being on a crowded Hong Kong street, where there is no room to move, and taking the fight to the ground would be unwise.

There is also no doubt that if the techniques in Wing Chun can be made to work effectively they can be spectacular, and with the air of mystique surrounding many of the Kung Fu styles, several movies have made use of their techniques, and several movie stars have dabbled in Wing Chun in preparation for roles.

Also, movies are art, and art does not always have to satisfy the cold demands of reality.

Check out the clip and see cinema’s best takes on the art of Eternal Spring.

Next: 10 martial arts that will get you killed in real life