Watching an advanced Wing Chun fighter in living color is an amazing thing to see (Wing Chun on YouTube does NOT count).
I’ve only seen three in real life. My first sifu, Sigong, and my current sifu.
My first sifu is the one that stands out most.
Let me tell you a story:
I was a new student working hard on the Wing Chun basics and there were many senior students in class. I couldn’t touch any of them no matter what I did.
Have you noticed that even if you lost a fistfight, boxing, or kickboxing match you probably landed a few punches?
Well, at this point of my training, I couldn’t even do that with any of the senior students. Wing Chun fighters don’t like to take hits!
They all had my respect.
Then one day, we all got a treat
We got to see sifu spar the top student at the time.
Now, this student, we’ll call him C., grew up and lived in a tough gang neighborhood.
He never joined a gang. But whenever a gangbanger threatened him or picked a fight he’d beat his rear to the curb.
Later, if the gangbanger’s buddies came for revenge, he’d smash all their heads to the curb too.
And this was when he only knew how to box. Now he knew Wing Chun Kung Fu.
The two of them squared off and started to spar. And I couldn’t believe what I saw—
Sifu looked like he was moving in slow… motion…. He didn’t look like he was moving at all.
On the other hand, C. was flailing. And no matter what he did he couldn’t get through.
He used force, he charged in, he tried grabbing, he tried speed, he threw combos, and he even fell back to his boxing habits.
Sifu was ultra-calm, he didn’t look tense at all… and he wasn’t moving much, either.
But each time he did move, he connected.
He placed each shot where he wanted it to land. He was surgical. Precise.
A punch to the chin. Palm strike to the gut. Front kick to the lower ribs. Round kick to the inside of the thigh. If C. tried to evade or retreat, sifu kicked him or hit him with each step. When C. lifted his guard to cover up, sifu hit or kicked him where he wasn’t covered. Nothing was wasted.
Sifu was an advanced Wing Chun fighter and it was good that I watched this fight when I was still green because it gave me a higher goal to strive for.
What’s An Advanced Wing Chun Fighter?
My current sifu said recently, “…Pak sau, lap sau are taught early because they’re easy to learn and effective. But they’re actually big moves. You need a lot of room to use it and make them effective. When you’re more advanced, you want to make your moves as a small as possible. That will give you more speed and power.”
When I watched my first sifu and C. spar many years ago, sifu looked like he moved in slow… motion… The reason was because he used small moves… not too cold, not too hot just enough to crack C’s head open.
This is the level of skill that a Wing Chun fighter should reach for.
Make Yourself Unstoppable: