WHAT IS WING CHUN?
The fundamental principle of Wing Chun is "receive what comes, follow what goes and strike when there is emptiness."
The words wing chun kuen have number of english translations. The meaning of the word 'Wing' is eternal, implying that the art is with you forever, it is in you at all times and strengthens any actions or activities you undertake. Over the years the fighting aspects of Wing Chun have been stressed. It is important to make clear that Wing Chun is not only a system of fighting, If that's what someone wishes to learn, they might as well learn how to use a gun. There are also other benefits in this art, it is an intense cardiovascular workout that helps eliminate muscular pain, maintain fitness, stamina, general health, coordination, balance, awareness and self-control.
The training requires time and self discipline, teaching one how to not only react in a combat situation but also in daily life. A practitioner learns to act on intelligence and not on anger, pride, fear or stress. Wing Chun focuses on directness, simplicity and economy of motion, 'The art of being lazy!' as sifu Nino Bernardo always says.
Studying Wing chun teaches a student about themselves, it illustrates their body mechanics and helps develop an understanding of emotional reactions. Helping to promote the best in oneself and how to eliminate their less positive aspects. Wing chun is a system that encompasses the entire body and mind, it is not a martial art, it is a martial skill. It is simple but it isn't easy, You need to delete your old condition to allow the natural to come out.
Loukas Kastrounis interpretation of wing chun
'A lot of people confuse martial arts and fighting, but they are not the same, although there are certain overlaps and parallels. I think of Wing chun as a tool that can be used in many different ways and not just used for fighting.'
'My advice to my students is that if they are going to fight, it's better to just fight and to not get too hung up on the individual techniques in the midst of a fight. However if we remove violent intent, we can develop good Wing chun and will then have the opportunity to study the human body, biomechanics, structure etc. This is a healthier attitude!'
'A technique we use for training is known as “Chi Sao”. Chi Sao is a combat-like game where the practitioner has to simultaneously use both sides of their brain in order to deliver a response to their partner. Generally this is a intense, enjoyable exchange of ideas. In Chi-sao we should be patient, but be prepared for surprises, whilst each studying one aspect of the art. Maybe one is deliberately making mistakes in order to make the other respond in a specific way. The game proceeds with stalemate after stalemate, until suddenly, an opening appears. A highly trained arm slips into the gap with a punch, the other practitioner doesn't respond quickly enough. Bang! “Oh-sorry.” ; They rest for a moment, while one of them goes to tidy up a bloody lip. They talk through what happened, why and how it happened. And how it could have been prevented.'