wing chun knee strikes

We reviewed Wing Chun knee strikes in class today. The most important lesson: to deliver effective knee strikes, you must be able to “Grapple”


We were all a little surprised when he said that.

Wing Chun isn’t known for it’s grappling. But what he taught made a lot of sense.

So today, we spent the class controlling the opponent’s elbow, balance, and really moving our partners around.

Sifu Said…

“…It’s not the kind of grappling where we roll around on the floor, but… to deliver an effective knee strike you need to be able to control your opponents balance and direct his or her body to create an opening for the knee and strike hard.”

Sifu continued: You have to be able to get deep into your opponent’s space, get into very close range, and deliver a quick and explosive knee strike.

To do this, at this close distance, you’re effectively using grappling techniques at the grappling distance.

Mistake to Avoid…

One student, a white belt with a Karate background, was cocking back his kneeing leg, winding up his attack, to drive his knee all the way into his partners.

This knee strike approach is similar to other martial arts styles. But not in line with Wing Chun theory because he had to over-commit his own balance, it took too long to deliver the blow.

He telegraphed his intention (telling, through body language) that he was “setting up” for a knee strike. Not good.

This is not a Wing Chun style knee strike.

wing chun knee strikes
wing chun knee strikes

To deliver Wing Chun style knee strikes you really need to control the opponent’s balance (by grappling, at a grappling distance).

  1. We practiced different ways to take their balance so that our partner leaned into the knee strike, amplifying the force of the strike, with little exertion on the attacker’s part (Wing Chun efficiency).

  2. We also controlled their balance to do the opposite. Make them immobile. He or she is stuck and can’t move freely and presents a stationary target that takes the full impact of the knee strike.


  • Control their balance at the elbow and/or body.
  • This will put you close to your opponent, at a grappling range.
  • Create openings for your knee to hit.
  • Either control their balance so they lean into your strike, amplifying the force.
  • Or control their balance so they are immobile and eat all the force.

Recommended Resource: Use this non-Wing Chun specific course and deliver incapacitating strikes into your predator’s vital targets. Learn more here.