Overview: The Wing Chun footwork applications you use depends on what general lineage you follow. (as explained briefly in the Wing Chun Footwork Basics page).

The video above (and transcript below) expands on the information shared on the Footwork Basics page and demonstrates how footwork could be used in fighting.

If you’re not familiar with the terms used in this video, go ahead and watch the Basics video first.

(Note: What follows represents more the Wing Chun schools that practice a 50%-50% balanced method, like those under GM William Chueng and others).


[0:00 Transcript Begins] Okay, so a half-step application. Basically when I’m attacking I half-step forward and punch. I’m now within range and punch him. That’s a very basic concept.


[0:24] If he tries to run away (take a big step back) I’ll do a full-step. This puts me into contact range, then add a half-step to get into exchange range.

Start drilling those together: half-steps, full-steps both forward and backwards. That help you go forward and backwards.

Half-/Full-Steps for Defense

[0:40] He’s going to attack me. Maybe he’s coming in too strong. I take a little half-step (back) to evade and it gives me a chance to counter.

If he catches me off guard and comes at me harder. Woooohh! I can take a full-step back and it gives me more room to evade.

Defensive Step: For Defense AND Offense

[1:00] We’re talking about defensive steps. So he’s attacking and I need to get into him, but his arm is in the way, I don’t like the angle, and I thing I want to do is release some of the pressure because I’m a little cramped up here.

So one of the things I can do is take a defense step; so now I have a little more room to throw my strikes.

The other side. So again, he’s attacking me, I’m cramped up, I take a defensive step and it gives me room to change my angle and I can choose other targets to attack.

The defensive step is really good for a lot of things.  It also lets you release heavy pressure without you running away. It will help you stay within range when attacking or counter-attacking.

So if he comes in strong, I take a defensive step. His force, if you notice my heads range, it would have been knocked off. But I’m still within my range (for a counter). I can still hit him without having to bridge or chase him again.

For example, he does the same attack. I could have done a full-step back, but now I’m too far for a counter. So now I have to come back all the way to here.

It takes a lot longer. If I just did a defensive-step, I didn’t move far at all, I’m still within range. (It takes too long and gives him a chance to follow up with a combo.

But a defensive step lets me accomplish the same basic defensive move, but I stay within counter-attack range. It’s much faster and efficient.)

Wing Chun Footwork Applications:
Side-Step / Full Side-Step

[2:22] So we’ll talk about the side-step. Now he’s going to give me the same kind of attack, a heavy attack. I’m using the side-step to get away, instead of the defensive step and go right back into it (attacking/counter-attacking him).

One more time. Very fast.

Used against a round kick. So that’s a kick, right. I want to evade that, I want to use a Full Side Step. So that was Full Side Step. Side step, I come in.

A Full Side Step, I’m going to get my front leg all the way out of the way and then I’m going to be able to counter. If you notice, I switched stances.

Now this side.

Feminine Offensive

[3:16] I could come in and attack and do a (with a) defensive-step. A defensive-step is very defensive, but a Feminine Offensive Step allows me to do a very similar attack but it’s much more aggressive.

So, I’m in, he’s resisting, I let the pressure go past and I’m still attacking, and I’m still within his territory.

Again. I could do a defensive-step or a Feminine Offensive, which is much more aggressive, but it accomplish the same thing.

It lets his energy, which we’re using this line in the concrete to represent his energy, where he’s aiming, where he’s throwing his energy down.

The other angle. Defensive-step, I’m stepping off that trajectory. Or I can be more aggressive using the Feminine Offensive.

Masculine Offensive

[4:20] Masculine Offensive, that’s when the rear leg is taking the forward step. My rear leg is taking the forward step and I’m attacking. The point that I’m attacking makes it offensive.

The other side. He’s punching, the rear foot moves first and attack.

Front Stance / Side Neutral Stance

[4:53] Okay, so we have a front stance that is going to be useful in exchange range.

When we’re further apart, you can be in a front stance to be prepared, but no one is hitting anything. Maybe I can use my rear leg, but I can barely touch, we can barely touch each other. We’re still pretty much out of range.

So one thing some Wing Chun lineages like to do is use the side-neutral (stance), which again is kind of like a stealth move.

In this case it’s my left hip facing forward (toward the target) my right hip facing back and he’s my target.

We’re still not in exchange range. He can’t kick me from there or reach me. And it looks like I’m much farther away than I am.

But he’s getting closer, he’s getting closer, he’s getting closer, and pop I can kick his leg out pretty fast. Again. And I’m in.

It’s not something you use often, but if the other person doesn’t know what they’re doing, it could be something very powerful.

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