Frequently Asked Questions | Wing Chun Kung-Fu
Below are the most common questions we get asked regarding Wing Chun Kung-Fu, and our answers to them.
If the question or answer you seek is not shown below, please don’t hesitate to contact us directly.
- What is Kung-Fu?
- What does the term Kung-Fu actually mean?
- What is Wing Chun?
- What does the term Wing Chun actually mean?
- Are there different styles of Wing Chun?
- Which style of Wing Chun Kung-Fu does the UKKFF teach?
- Which style of Wing Chun is the best?
- What is so different about the Federation Wing Tsun System?
- Are weapons used in Wing Chun?
- Is Kung-Fu/Wing Chun a sport?
- Will I get hurt in Kung-Fu training?
- Is sparring part of Kung-Fu/Wing Chun training?
- Is Chi-Sao training part of the Federation Wing Tsun System?
1: What is Kung-Fu?
Kung-Fu is a term that describes a particular type of martial art discipline which originated in China. It is mainly unarmed, and uses ALL the natural tools of the human body for the purposes of combat.
2: What does the term Kung-Fu actually mean?
The term Kung-Fu literally translates as hard work. It can be applied to describe any & all skills of quality which have been mastered over a long period of time, not necessarily just those of a martial nature. However in practice, the western world uses Kung-Fu as an ‘umbrella’ term to describe ALL the martial arts which are of Chinese origin – regardless of how those arts may have subsequently been developed since their inception.
3: What is Wing Chun?
Wing Chun is one very popular type of Kung-Fu which has become extremely widespread across the world. In fact there are many types of Kung-Fu, called styles. Wing Chun is one particular style of Kung-Fu.
4: What does the term Wing Chun actually mean?
The term Wing Chun literally translates as Beautiful Springtime. The oral history of the art states that a young girl named Yim Wing Chun was the first student to receive the art from it’s legendary founder Ng Mui. Ng Mui was a Buddhist Abbess, one of the Five Elders of the now world-famous Shaolin Temple.
5: Are there different styles of Wing Chun?
Yes, there are many. The spelling Wing Chun is used collectively to describe them all, whilst several of the more popular approaches usually adopt a particular spelling to differentiate themselves. For instance; the Wong Shun Leung method usually uses the spelling Ving Tsun (VT), whilst the Leung Ting system uses the spelling WingTsun (WT) without a space between the two words. A great many other approaches use the generic Wing Chun (WC) spelling, the more classical Yong Chun (YC) spelling, or use various hybrids such as Wing Tyun, Ving Chun or Wing Tchun.
6: Which style of Wing Chun Kung-Fu does the UKKFF teach?
The UKKFF teaches the Federation Wing Tsun System, which is a unique, strategy-based approach to the art of Wing Chun Kung-Fu, which has been developed by Sifu Lee Paul Heron.
7: Which style of Wing Chun is the best?
Well, that’s like asking which car is the best. The answer will be different for each person you ask, because each person has their own needs and requirements. There are several very popular methods of Wing Chun (WT, WC, VT) currently available, and over the past 22 years the UKKFF instructors have studied them ALL, plus many of the minor ones too. We hold high instructor ranks in those styles, and have taught them on behalf of other organisations in the past. However since discovering the Federation Wing Tsun System in 2005 we have become convinced that it is absolutely the best Wing Chun system currently available. Now it is the only style of Kung-Fu we offer or promote to our members.
8: What is so different about the Federation Wing Tsun System?
FWTS was developed using weapons concepts & body mechanics as the baseline standards. This means it blends seamlessly with armed disciplines right from the start. Our students can study armed & unarmed combat together and nothing ‘clashes’, which was previously the case with every other Wing Chun method we know of. The FWTS also uses strategy as an integral part of ALL training, so students constantly learn to consider their objectives in combat, problem-solve, and plan ahead. Finally, the FWTS has the most structured, comprehensive & complete training programme that we have ever seen, bar none.
9: Are weapons used in Wing Chun?
Most Wing Chun methods officially include the ‘Long-Pole’ (Luk-Dim-Boon-Kwan), and the ‘Butterfly-Knives’ (Bart-Cham-Do) as part of their syllabus. However in practice the weapons are only introduced right at the end of a students training, if at all. This means that unarmed thinking dominates, and almost zero time is spent training with, fighting with, or understanding the weapons. Our approach is different: We have an entire discipline devoted to weapons training. All UKKFF members can study this straight away, and it blends seamlessly with the Federation Wing Tsun Kung-Fu system. So, by the time most Wing Chun students are ‘permitted’ to pick up the Long Pole or the Knives, our members can already FIGHT effectively with single-sticks, double-sticks, stick & knife, double-knives, palm-sticks, staff, and machete too! It is then a simple matter to pick up the two specific weapons of Wing Chun, and use them effectively.
10: Is Kung-Fu/Wing Chun a sport?
No. There are no rules, regulations, designated playing areas, referees, weight categories, banned techniques, spectators, league tables, or time restrictions to work within. This does not make it ‘better’ or ‘harder’ than martial sports. The two are just intended for different purposes.
11: Will I get hurt during Kung-Fu training?
Yes, you might – martial arts are dangerous by definition. We don’t teach children, we don’t teach anything that we can’t prove the value of, and we don’t hit off-target because that’s not the reality of violence. However we DO use a lot of control, a very structured, progressive training programme, and all students only work at the level that they can handle. Don’t be under any illusions though, mistakes can & do hurt, but you won’t be harmed in training.
12: Is sparring part of Kung-Fu/Wing Chun training?
In our approach, yes. The Federation Wing Tsun System includes progressive sparring drills at every grade within the training programme, starting extremely simple, and leading towards fully random sparring in a variety of situations once people are controlled, safe and confident.
13: Is Chi-Sao training part of the Federation Wing Tsun System?
Yes. The Federation Wing Tsun System has specific, specially-developed Chi-Sao training programmes based upon each of the three unarmed forms within the system, with an emphasis upon practical combat usage.