Wing Chun - Fighting and Shape


Black Belt
Sep 26, 2017
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At the 13:40 mark this Sifu makes the point that you should liberate yourself from the idea that you need to be in a particular shape in order to fight.

"Finally, even though structure is critical initially when we begin our training, as you progress you should try to free yourself from being a slave to fixed structure. Wing Chun becomes less about what your stance looks like, but more about what your mental state is. You should not obsess about weight distribution of your feet, how you should step - once you are fighting, you should move as naturally and quickly as you can. As the Japanese master Musashi wrote, "Make your fighting stance your everyday stance, and your everyday stance your fighting stance".

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Martial D

Senior Master
May 18, 2017
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However, being new to WC myself I'm curious how one maintains structure if you move naturally as he suggests you do?

For me, the answer is that I move in and out of 'shapes' when I need the structure. The key is being able to feel where the structure is, and where center is.

A theoretical example; we are in close in a standing grapple position(arms entangled)

He frees his right and throws a punch.

I turn the arm that was entangled with his punching arm into Tan by turning it over while I shift my weight right, meeting his punching arm and turning it outwards before it gets any velocity, leaving that arm on the inside to get a hook, a leg or to strike.


Black Belt
Dec 28, 2010
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San Francisco
As the Japanese master Musashi wrote, "Make your fighting stance your everyday stance, and your everyday stance your fighting stance".

I think the Sifu in question doesn't really understand what Miyamoto Musashi was getting at.

You force yourself into the framework, learn what it can and cannot do. Then later because you've taken the framework to it's limit, you work with broken structure, learning how to restore the framework when you don't have it. Then because you know what the framework gets you, and how to get back into it when you need it, you can choose to use it or not as a part of your strategy.

The mountain is a mountain, is not a mountain, and is a mountain again.

If he's encouraging his students to throw out the framework for the sake of being "natural," all he's doing is lengthening the time it takes for them to develop WC skill.


Master Black Belt
Aug 16, 2017
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New Mexico
I think the point he's trying to make is students shouldn't get too hung up on structure. However; I think Musashi's point was to drill stances to the point they become natural. For example; a lot of Kali footwork is triangular, when I'm stepping around people in a crowd I naturally move in a triangular pattern. However; I think he's onto something when addressing the conceptual importance of structure vs the technical importance of it. Learning the why is just as important as the how, learning how to recover or regain structure is also crucial.

Kung Fu Wang

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Sep 26, 2012
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Austin, Tx/Shell Beach, Ca
If you have to think about your

- structure, you haven't developed your structure yet.
- speed, you haven't developed your speed yet.
- power, you haven't developed your power yet.

When you are not thinking, your body will perform what your body truly have.
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