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Dance Category

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017

Wing Chun Footwork It’s Not Chinese Dancing!

Submitted by: Yoshi Kundagawa

So, what s the new dance step you re doing, Yoshi?

Yeah, I hear that all the time. Even from people who should know better. You probably do as well, particularly if you do footwork for Wing Chun. Wing Chun, or Chinese Dancing is a soft style with a strong philosophical bent to it. The name originally came from the ideograms for Ever Spring , and it s appropriate. I was getting tired of walking with bruises and pulled muscles, and needed to switch to a softer style while I was recovering. I like Kung Fu styles, so learning Wing Chun was like falling off a log. Only without as much falling, or as many punches to the sternum. Though the joint locks did remind me I was doing a real martial art. (One piece of advice anyone who says Hey, let me show you a joint lock! is a sadist. Just say no . Really.) In some ways, Wing Chun is like the early forms exercises you do for Kung Fu, only carried to their logical extreme, rather than used as the fundamentals of a hard style.

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What drew me to Wing Chung, aside from the sprained wrist on my primary punching hand, was the fluid footwork that its practitioners had. Well, OK. It was the fluid footwork that I saw in Jet Li s movies, while waiting for the cast to come off. Even so, just from watching the movies, I could see immediate uses for Wing Chun footwork in my repertoire of techniques once my wrist healed. Wing Chun footwork focuses on balance more so than with a strong kicking style, which can leave you very exposed trying for a circle kick.

In particular, the footwork demands that you settle in a low stance, but not one that s so low that your mobility gets hampered. Now, I know, everyone who does martial arts has heard about this stance, or that stance. And unless you re working in front of a mirror, you ll do the sloppiest stance you can get away with without your sparring partner kicking you a new one. What I found interesting about Wing Chun is that the form drills (San Sik is what they re called) REALLY emphasize fluid motions. Let me tell you, doing it right you re going to sweat. And the muscles in your quads and hams are going to burn but my word, is the end result worth it. Those forms become second nature, like they re learned by your knees and hips, and you just do them once the pain has gone away.

Of course, everyone will be talking about your new dance steps, but Wing Chun footwork pays for itself nicely since going into it, I ve been much more conscious of how my bent knees increase my reach with punches and elbow strikes, and it s been a lot harder to throw me to the mat in Jiu Jitsu. The parts I ve had to compensate for from the footwork I ve learned have been in mobility. It s sometimes possible to plant too hard which makes it tempting to break stance to give pursuit, particularly when you re flowing from a down block and trying to transition into a kick at that point, the Wing Chun footwork has to kind of skip a beat while you move back to a harder Kung Fu kick.

Either way, I m glad I took the time to learn this. It s given me a good base to work from, and a few more tricks to throw into sparring matches. Particularly fun is when someone makes fun of the dance steps and then comes up to me and says How d you do that, Yoshi?

About the Author: Yoshi I Kundagawa is a freelance journalist. He covers themixed martial arts industry. For a free report on

wing chun footwork

visit his blog.

Source:

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