The Human Connection in Wing Tsun


Wing Tsun practitioners tend to be livelong learners of this martial arts because it is more than the technical skills that one learns. There are psychosocial, emotional, and intellectual benefits of Wing Tsun that separates it from other martial arts.

I have found that camaraderie is a wonderful and essential benefit in training with partners. In Wing Tsun training, my goal in working with my partner is to train better and help each other become better practitioners. We are both responsible for how we perform. Although not quite like “Dancing with the Stars,” the more the both of us listen to each other’s moves, the more we can become fluent in the language of Wing Tsun.

On the other hand, doing solo Wing Tsun forms is very meditative and is equally beneficial to my growth. As individuals, we all need ways to help us relax from the stresses of the day. For example, I can close my eyes and focus on my breathing while practicing my Siu Nim Tau form slowly. Doing the form methodologically allows me to articulate each move with greater clarity and best of all, feel my blood pressure slowly coming down. Peace!

Brain Power in Wing Tsun

Wing Tsun is good exercise for not only your body but your brain cells too!

Here are some reasons why:

1. Our footwork is all about using angles to take advantage of our opponents.  For example, when confronted by your opponent in front of you,  stepping at a 45 degree angle away from your opponent may be all you need to get out of harm’s way and allow you to launch your offensive move. So “dust off” those mathematical brain cells and use angles to outwit your attacker.

2. There is no “weaker side” of the body  when it comes to Wing Tsun training. You practice fighting with your right and left limbs so that you can fight your opponent no matter what direction your opponent comes at you. Your brain cells are busy in getting your muscle memory to  handle this type of training. As a result, you learn to be both defensive and offensive simultaneously. Watch your attacker retreat when he finds that he can not handle what you throw at him.

3. Wing Tsun is all about sensitivity and reflex. If your opponent is trying to overtake your protected centerline, your brain neurons will immediately fire as you instantly react to your opponent’s attempts to get through.

Here’s to a fit brain.

For other ideas on self-defense using Wing Tsun, check out some of my tips and techniques in “Wing it, Wing Tsun: Self-Defense for Women” available on


Distancing Yourself in Self-Defense

Every woman has an unspoken specific boundary for which no unwanted stranger should cross. If THAT someone gets too close for your comfort, what should you do? Avoiding physical contact is the first line of defense, so use your assertive verbal skills to tell the stranger to stop their advancement into your personal comfort zone. However, If he ignores your request and continues to intimidate, be the one to take the initiative and take control.

In Wing Tsun, we talk about the magnetic circle surrounding us. If an unwanted individual enters it, you have the right to protect yourself. Your opponent will expect you retreat. Don’t! At the very sign of aggression towards you, move forward like a “magnet” to defend yourself. In getting closer to your opponent, you have the ability to kick, punch, elbow, or do what is necessary to protect yourself because you will be in control.

For other ideas on self-defense using Wing Tsun, check out some of my tips and techniques in “Wing it, Wing Tsun: Self-Defense for Women” available on

It’s Those Little Details That Make a Difference

It is the little things that make wing tsun work or not work for you!

When working with a partner, the level of precision in “attacks” dictates how the “responder” will respond. You need to know what response you want to get when you punch in a specific way. For example, If you want a tan sao response from your partner, go for the punch that goes towards the shoulder, not the centerline.

The uncertain punch that is off center will elicit a different response. You will not get the bong sao that you were expecting from your defender because your intentions were not clear.

Similarly, if your punch is high in your partner’s face instead of the intended mid-line, don’t be surprised if you find your soft spot in your ribs are attacked.Your smart partner may detect a “hole”in your attack and take advantage of your misguided punch.

Remember, the devil in Wing Tsun is all about the details!

Training to Become More Aware

The most common piece of self defense advice for women is to be aware of your surroundings. All will agree that this is good advice to follow but how can we train ourselves to become more aware? Becoming more aware is like practicing self-defense. It requires regular training.

A basic principle of wing tsun is training awareness of our body. In self-defense, we talk about our comfort circle. I become aware of “how close is too close” before I feel uncomfortable and feel the need to launch a defensive/offensive attack to protect myself.

In drills, I am consistently think, what is my wu sao (guard hand) doing if my man sao (searching hand) is going for the punch? Am I protecting myself with my wu sao or just hanging out there?

Working with a partner increases my sense of awareness. My awareness is heightened when I get lazy and create a “hole” in my structure in which my partner takes advantage and I have to figure out how to defend against his/her attack.

Footwork is particularly challenging as I have to coordinate my legs and arms. I become much more sensitive and aware on how to move “just so” to get out of way to be safe while launching my attack.

For more wing tsun exercises and ideas on being safe, check out my new book “Wing It Wing Tsun: Self Defense for Women.