Wing Chun Kung Fu is a style of Kung Fu based on simplicity, efficiency, and effectiveness. Its movements are not flashy nor do they require great athleticism. Wing Chun is focused on self-defense and can be done at any age. It is designed to allow someone to defend her or himself against a larger and stronger attacker through use of redirection, positioning, multiple strikes, and whole body force generation.
Training in Wing Chun is based on drilling techniques until they become natural reactions. A student will move through levels of difficulty in application of basic movements and combining them into sequences. At Bushido, we add levels of resistance to the traditional drills to develop realistic self-defense skills. One will be able to use techniques under pressure. At the initial stage students do drills slowly and without force to learn proper technique and become comfortable with the movements. Gradually, more force and speed are added to the drill. At the advanced stage, a drill is done with protective gear and gloves. Additionally, learning to be flexible in application of a technique is trained do deal with non-ideal situations. Sparring also progresses this way. First a student learns to go slowly and softly with proper technique, and then more speed and power are added as the student advances. Trapping the arms to control the opponent’s reactions in addition to sticky hands (chi sau) are taught. Students also learn the three hand forms of Wing Chun, the wooden dummy form, butterfly swords, and long pole.
Tai Chi, basic Shaolin Long Fist Kung Fu, broadsword, and staff are taught as supplements to Wing Chun. Tai Chi is a martial art with a focus on stress reduction and mental health. Tai Chi is meditation in motion. It helps one relax while regulating and balancing internal energy (chi). One can either practice it for these benefits, or also train it as a martial art. Basic Shaolin Long Fist Kung Fu (Tan Tui or Spring Leg style) is gives a good foundation in traditional Kung Fu and is great for fitness. Board sword and staff cover basic training in short and long range weapons.
Classes are for adults and youth 10 years old and older. Classes are held at the Durham location of Budshido and are at 12:30pm-2:00pm on Saturdays. The fee for classes is $50 a month for only one class a week. If one would like to train in Wing Chun and the other styles offered at Bushido other days, the fee is $70. If finances are an issue, scholarships are available. Please talk to Sifu Alex if you are interested.
Wing Chun History
Legend has it that Wing Chun was developed by a Buddhist nun, Ng Mui, at the Southern Shaolin Temple in Fujian province, China. Some accounts say that Wing Chun was created by a cooperative of experts at the temple to defeat the Manchu Ching dynasty and help the rebels restore the Ming dynasty. It is said it was developed to defeat traditional styles of Kung Fu which the soldiers trained in. Other accounts say it was devised only by Ng Mui to allow a woman to defeat a male opponent who was larger and stronger. Both shed light on the nature of Wing Chun.
Whether Ng Mui developed the style herself, or passed on this newly developed style doesn’t change the remaining part of the lore. When the Southern Shaolin Temple was burned down by the Ching for their anti-government affiliations, Ng Mui fled to another Buddhist temple. She periodically would visit the neighboring village for supplies. While Ng Mui was buying tofu she learned of a young woman in a perilous situation. She was betrothed to marry the man she loved; however, the local warlord was determined to have her as his wife. Having compassion for the young woman, Ng Mui offered to teach her Kung Fu and instructed her to offer a challenge to the warlord. The challenge was that she would only marry a man who could defeat her and that she had only one year left to complete her training. Being a martial artist and very prideful, the warlord accepted the challenge. Ng Mui trained this young woman in her special style of Kung Fu. The girl, whose name was Yim Wing Chun, soundly defeated the warlord. Yim Wing Chun married the man she was betrothed to, whom she taught this new style to, and he named the system after her. The style was then passed on to Chinese Opera performers which traveled on barges from town to town. Over the decades, many different versions of Wing Chun developed. The style taught at Bushido is called “theater boat” style and resembles the style of Ip Man, Bruce Lee’s teacher.