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Wing Tsun (Chinese: pinyin: yong chun; Cantonese Yale: wihng cheun; literally "spring chant", often written with the characters ?? "eternal springtime") is a branch of Wing Chun, led by Leung Ting.
The official umbrella organization for WingTsun, the International WingTsun Association (IWTA), is headquartered in Hong Kong and led by Leung Ting. The IWTA has schools in over 60 countries, and has gotten a large following in the western world. There are now over 2,000 WingTsun schools in Europe, most of them in Germany and its neighboring countries. With over 1,000,000 practitioners worldwide, the IWTA is currently one of the largest martial arts organizations in the world. The EWTO (European WingTsun Organization) headquarters is situated in Heielberg, Germany. In Eastern-Europe Wing Tsun has also existed considering that 1985 (in current form). The headquarters are in Hungary.
The Wing Tsun empty-hand system uses stances and footwork optimized for weaponless fighting. The basic adduction stance, the sidelong stance, and the advancing (or fighting stance) are all rather narrow and high.
Next, the student will combine the basic footwork and pole techniques to step and thrust, press down with the pole, raise the pole, and advance. Students at this stage will practice the biu lung cheong (thrusting dragon spear), an exercise where the student will aim, step, and apply a spearing thrust with the pole at a small target such as a suspended bell. By using progressively smaller targets and putting them in motion, the Wing Tsun practitioner can improve his marksmanship and speed.
One of the features of Wing Tsun that differ it from other branches of wing chun is anti-grappling and ground fighting trainings. Unlike grappling martial arts that wrestle on the ground or other styles which borrow grappling techniques from such arts, Wing Tsun is claimed to use its own principles on the ground to get rid of the opponent.
The Wing Tsun Siu Nim Tao or "little idea form" showcases a leg form in addition to the traditional hand movements. The aim is to provide the same foundation for the legs that the hand movements supply for the arms.
One of the most dramatic demonstrations of this is long pole vs. long pole. During these lighting-fast matches, two Wing Tsun experts square off and have a go which is decided in a matter of seconds. Unlike empty-hand fighting where one can recover from empty-hand strikes and continue fighting, a single strike from a weapon is normally disabling, if not fatal. So to ensure safety in actual matches, the combatants wear protective gear.
Tying into this fact is an ancient Wing Tsun proverb: "Fear the younger, stronger opponent in fist-fighting, but fear the older, wiser opponent in pole-fighting." The Wing Tsun long pole expert, much like a gunslinger from the Old West, has the advantage of superior experience and wisdom in the hazardous arena of weapons fighting. The fight will not last long, and the winner is always the one with more seasoning and experience.
Because of the compact nature of the long pole form, it is not needed to practice the form in such a large open area. There are no movements in the pole form which involve pointing the pole upwards at a 90 degree angle to the ground (which would require a high ceiling), swinging the pole 180 degrees (requiring a wide area), nor any movements using the head of the pole (i.e. the thicker end) for overhead windmill-like strikes. The deceptively short sequence of the pole form belies its exceptionally profound technique to weapons combat. There are no wasted movements, flashy twirls or fancy spinning movements. The Wing Tsun pole is simple, direct and harmful.
The eight principles of Wing Tsun form a system of aggressive self-defense that allows one to adapt immediately to the size, strength and fighting style of an attacker. There are many ways to express the principles, considering that they are essentially very simple. However, it takes years of performing the forms and practicing chi sao with a educated instructor to train the body to follow the principles reflexively and to understand their applications in specific situations.
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