Eight Pattern Wing Chun Kung Fu

Reader's Questions

After the publication of my book many readers sent me questions, which I usually answered immediately. However, I also want other people to be able to profit from these answers, so I have collected the questions and attempted to write a comprehensive answer in form of a longer text. This text will be published here in three parts over the next few weeks.

Please do understand that I have not included all questions here, especially not questions which are answered in the book anyways. Concerning the mottoes: if it is not listed below, the explanation will be in the book.

Questions Part 1 - Curriculum

  • What is the meaning of the motto „Each layer has five stages“ (階段五重)?
  • I heard that there are eight / three different kicks / steps / elbow attacks / punches / chops / knee attacks / shoulder attacks etc. in Wing Chun. Which are these?
  • What is the „inner gate” in the motto „Move forward by advancing the waist to reach the inner gate.“ (蹬腰作勢 為搶) and what has this to do with the waist?
  • I learned that a Wing Chun fighter should always go as close to his opponent as possible. This is not mentioned in your book. Is this even correct?
  • Why did you leave out the “hidden kick“ from the wooden dummy set in your book?
  • I was told that the Biu Ji follows different rules as the “normal“ Wing Chun, but in your book it doesn’t seem so at all. Is this just a myth?
  • Why is “fighting“ not one of the Eight Essentials?
  • What is the correct height and training distance for the wooden dummy?
  • What is the meaning of the motto „Ride the horse diagonally, when you ride the banner-dragon, leap“ (走馬斜角 幡龍跳躍)?
  • I thought there are no blocks in Wing Chun, but some of what you describe in the weaponless double knives applications sounds a lot like what we understand as blocks in Kyokushinkai. Under this definition, could one say that Wing Chun has indeed blocks in the double knives program?
  • Isn’t it dangerous to rotate the double knives as you do in the sixth section of the form?
  • What is the meaning of the motto “Power must be issued without form“ (力發無形)? 

Answers to part 1

Questions Part 2 - Chi Sau

  • Why are there eight mottoes for each form in the book but not for each Chi Sau / Lat Sau section?
  • What is the purpose of Chi Sau training?
  • How is Chi Sau applied in a fight?
  • What good is “sensitivity“ in a fight?
  • I always thought there were no joint locks in Wing Chun, but you show many on your videos and in your book. Since when are there joint locks in Wing Chun?
  • The Eight Pattern Wing Chun Chi Sau sections seem to contain a lot of kicks and leg sweeps. Is there any reason why most Wing Chun lineages don’t seem to practice kicks in Chi Sau?

Questions Part 3 - Applications

  • Why is the ground fighting set not in the book?
  • Grandmaster Kernspecht suggested that classic sparring might not be the ideal training for WingTsun. You say that sparring is very important. I know that you coordinate your work closely with him, so I think you might mean a different kind of sparring. Could you describe this?
  • What is the interrelation between your “Eight Essentials” and GM Kernspecht’s “Big Seven”?