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Wing Chun Maxims

Comments by Sifu Yueng Yun Choi





Although the forms in Yong Chun are few,

To learn them is easy, but to master them requires determination.


This is a misconception of Yongchun Quan as a complete system or a school of martial art, as it is not the case. Yongchun is a unique branch of the Southern Shaolin Martial Arts. Therefore, there is a presumption that one should be well versed in martial arts or at least all the basics before

starting Yongchun. The design of the forms in Young Chun are not a

simulation of fighting or combination of techniques but repetitive

exercises to improve or develop the unique fighting strategy embedded in

the art. It is not easy to learn it correctly at all without good basic

knowledge of martial arts, and the correct method of training. The

application is not as straight forward as other Shaolin Martial Arts.

People train with determination is good but the real skill is only

transmitted by doing sticking hands under the supervision of a good

teacher for a long period of time. It was said that Yongchun was a

favourite pastime of the very rich in Foshan, may be this is one of the

reasons for it.


Learning the basics will allow for later variations.

In order to have "Short Bridge Arms and Fast Steps",

the stance must first be well trained.


Yongchun does not start with basics and than vary from them, as it can

draw on other Shaolin arts with its new fighting strategy. Yongchun's

techniques are not considered as  short bridge arms like Hung Quan for

example. It is the low stance in Hong Quan that makes the bridge arm short but Yongchun has small stance. With the side stance in Yongchun actually extended the arm. If one measures from the heel of the weighted leg along the floor to the point just below the furthest point of the extended arm, and compares the same with a forward stance, then one should find the difference is not that noticeable. There are branches of Yongchun starting with some loose hands sets but this can be viewed as a development of application rather than the basics.


One has to define fast steps, and Yongchun does not turn fast or moving

fast, but able to follow and move in when there is an opening at the right

time. Most practitioners are still not very sure whether turning with the

toes, heel or sole, due to the imbalance created by fast turning. The

writer should seriously discuss the correct training method before

encourage students to train well.


Xiao Nian Tou is mainly to develop the internal power.


Xiao Nian Tau is designed to train the elbow inline with the centre and

stretch out from the centre as far as possible, and turning the legs

inward to grip onto the groin which is carefully designed to spring open

into a side stance easily. The problem in turning the legs inward will

push the hip backward and therefore one has to push the groin forward to

maintain a vertical body posture. This is mainly to train the limbs. The

movements in Xiao Nian Tau push the ribcage down and one has to breath

with the abdomen, but this is not sufficient to be consider as internal

training. To most people the term "internal power" is just a jargon rather

than a reality.


The Lan Shou of Qun Xiao is a powerful technique.


Lan Shao is an example in the use of the body and footwork rather than

moving with the arm to create a powerful force onto the opponent. May be

this is what the writer trying to say regarding the "use of body posture

to compliment the hands" later in the maxim.


The Biao Zhi form contains emergency life saving techniques.


I am not sure this particular technique is published or not, but any

diligent student should notice it without too much trouble if it was



The Wooden Dummy techniques develop the ability to exert energy (power).


By convention, one should seek and develop further skill via the mirror

and dummy, and the dummy is not so much a training tool. It is a mistake

to exert power on the dummy because of its immobility, may be this is why

most artists are trying to improve the springiness of the dummy. Exerting

force on a dummy will only force one back, and most people train in such a

way will have problem in keeping their balance when exerting force on

another Yongchun artist. 


When practising sticky hands, one should refrain from using fancy



The question should be can one use fancy technique during sticking hands?

There are many techniques in Yongchun that others consider being fancy,

since they do not have these techniques in sticking hands.


Sticky leg practice has its foundation from the single leg stance.


I do not believe in sticking legs, since one is better on two legs no

matter how strong the foundation with a single leg. Yongchun's side stance

transfers most of the weight of the body to one leg and is convenient for

kicking but that is not the same single leg stance that the author refers

to. There are teachers actually encouraging students to stand on one leg

as long as possible, may be this is what is referred by the writer.


Footwork follows the body when turning just like a cat.


I can not visualise that in terms of Yongchun techniques. In other arts,

footwork follows the body makes good sense like in Taijiquan for example.

Cat do leap forward and catch very effectively by making use of the

backbone. Turning like a cat is a little confusing but it can mean to

follow the opponent's movement like a cat does. This does not apply to

Yongchun as it has very effective footwork to do just that. May be this is

confusing with Taijiquan theory.


Use the body posture to compliment the hands to repel the opponent.


The use of body posture is very powerful and should be dominant rather

than compliment, but in any case co-ordination is important to any arts.

In Yongchun, the intention is to stick and not to repel. Repelling is sort

of contradictory to the concept of come and stay, leave and send forward.


The Six and a Half Point Pole does not clash twice.


This came from the common saying that "pole does not make two sounds".

Thus, this is true to any pole and is not unique to Yongchun.


The Eight Slashing Sword techniques have no equal.


The long pole and double knifes in Yongchun are very common weaponry in South China, and it was commonly viewed that Yongchun just adopted them rather than as a unique development.


Fast charging and straight thrusting attacks are well suited for closing

the gap.


The fighting strategy of Yongchun is stick and follow to encounter fast

charging and straight thrusting attacks to close the gap, because

Yongchun's advantage is close up fighting.


A courageous spirit beaming from your eyes can control the situation.


How? This is a strange statement, as some teachers advocate doing sticking while blind folded. In reality, one should not showing too much emotion in the eyes or otherwise when engage in fighting.


During training and practice, stick to what you have learned.


This is contrary to the teaching of Yongchun of seek and develop from the

mirror and dummy as mentioned above. I think students should understand

what they are doing with clear training objectives rather than just

simulating what they have learned. In a way, the writer contradicted the

previous statement in the maxim that "Learning the basics will allow for

later variations".


Those who have completely mastered the system are few.


I am just giving another view in comparison to this maxim. In a way I am

glad that the Foshan Chin Woo Athletic Association decided to organising

the Yongchun Sticking Hand Competition, as this will revive the unique

fighting skill developed in Yongchun Quan. The common problem is that

people were doing Yongchun Quan just like any other martial art, and degenerated its unique fighting skill to a kind of open hand fighting technique like kick-boxing. The same argument also applies to the situation that Chin Woo will degenerate the sticking hand skill into just another sport or game.

It is my hope that this sport will stimulate people to go on

further in practising it as a martial art.