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Wing Chun: when the “Wong Way” gets results!


By David Peterson (with thanks to Ernie Barrios & Kevin Bell)

***This article was recently published in the USA-based ‘Masters’ magazine (Spring 2009 issue) under the title “Wing Chun: the Wong Shun Leung Way”

The southern Chinese combat system of wing chun (ving tsun) gung-fu, virtually unknown barely sixty years ago,is now popular throughout the world. There are a number of different interpretations of this system in existence, with various spellings of the name in English, but probably best known and most widely practised is the interpretation known as Hong Kong-style.

Brought there from Fatsaan (Foshan) in mainland China and taught to the wider public for the first time in 1949 by legendary grandmaster and patriarch of the Hong Kong-style, Yip Man, it is somewhat surprising to find that within that one lineage there is an incredible diversity amongst its practitioners. I say surprising because many of the older generation of instructors are themselves all direct students of the late grandmaster, yet so many deviate from the concepts handed down to them by their late teacher.

Amongst his many students, one name that stands head and shoulders above the rest is Wong Shun Leung, also known as ‘Gong Sau Wong’ (“King of Talking Hands”) in recognition of his fearsome reputation as a fighter who almost single-handedly established the reputation of wing chun in Hong Kong’s infamous beimo or “martial comparisons” during the 50s and 60s. An extremely pragmatic individual with a penchant for testing both the limits of his adopted fighting system, as well as his own personal limits, Wong Sifu took the methods passed on to him to a whole new level, applying science and logic to radically advance the effectiveness of what was already a very dynamic and effective fighting method.


Personal Protection : concepts for survival in the street


by Andrew Williams, Rolf Clausnitzer and David Peterson

Published Australasian Martial Arts' magazine (NZ) Vol 6/issue 6, 1999/2000 and Vol 7/issue 1, Feb/March 2000

Personal Protection is a relatively new phenomenon in the field of self defence. In fact, it represents a radical departure from the somewhat limited vision presented by most traditional self-defence systems.

It is inspired by and based on two major influences:

1. The work done by two very respected and experienced (in terms of both tournament performance and real life confrontations) British martial artists, Geoff Thompson and Peter Consterdine; and
2. The highly efficient and practical Chinese martial art of Wing Chun Kuen which, interestingly, Messrs. Thompson and Consterdine acknowledge in their video series, “The Pavement Arena”, as having had a major influence on their own self protection philosophy and methods.

Wing Chun is a major Chinese martial art or system that is unparalleled in its suitability for today's urban environment. It is radically different in its general approach from that of most traditional martial arts, as it is not reliant on strength, balletic poise, acrobatic movements, or a complexity of often flamboyant techniques. Instead of being technique oriented and requiring students to learn by rote an endless variety of movements (which often result in a mental "log jam" in real life situations), Wing Chun is based on a clear understanding of fighting concepts and strategies, expressed via a minimal number of techniques which meet the basic criteria of simplicity, directness and efficiency.


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