The Lore of Wing Chun
Ch. 5:  The Fifth Year
By John F. DiVirgilio

In the Wing Chun broad swords system, there are eight cutting angles, known as eight chops by some.

Ten sections (not eight sections) are found in the Wing Chun broad swords (Do) set.  It will take ten years to become a true master of the Wing Chun broad swords.

You can be good with the Wing Chun hand and leg techniques, but poor in the use of the weapons.  You can be a skilled weapons user, but be poor at hand and leg techniques.  Likewise, you can be a great staff fighter but only a mediocre knife fighter.  You will seldom find a person that can perform all three Wing Chun arts with equal skill.

If two Wing Chun weapon practitioners are equal in skill, the practitioner with the staff has an advantage over the broad sword (Do) user.

Never allow yourself to use classroom instructional time with flashy and flowery movement sets.  Avoid flashy or redundant rhythmic techniques that have little or no meaning for immediate combat use.  No Lion dancing is permitted in Wing Chun.

Teaching four or more years can lead to burn out.  Make sure that you cycle yourself around the various skill groups of students.

Wing Chun is more than a fist art:  It is a forearm system.  Wing Chun relies heavily on the use of forearm levers to control the opponents' arms.

Keep your techniques hidden from your enemies.  Bak Mei lost his life because too many were allowed to witness his techniques and tactics.  All tournament fighters suffer great grief because they are observed and analyzed by their competitors.

In bladed combat, you can lose your life despite striking first.  One may achieve the first blow over another; however, if this first strike is not instantly fatal, the pain from this first strike may not be felt for a second.  This delay of pain in the wounded opponent will allow him to deliver a mortal wound to you.  It is, therefore, possible that there will be two losers in bladed combat.  This situation is called a "Fatal Victory".

When using a blade against the staff, slip inside and chop for the hand and fingers.

When fighting for your life, let no rule restrict your fighting.  Do not allow doctrine and practice dogma restrict your ability to survive.

In a set match, it is advantageous to allow your opponent to launch the first attack.

When working with advanced students, it is good to occasionally combine your routine open hand practices with weapons training.

Be happy if your students become better skilled than you.  Their skills are part of you.  Always encourage your student to do their best.  Let your students know when they are as good or better than you.  Respect is received when it is given.

Copyright 1996, John F. DiVirgilio

Copyright © 2004-2014, Wing Chun Kung-Fu Association/Orange County Wing Chun Association, OCWingChun, All rights reserved.