Ving Tsun System
Ving Tsun (詠春) means literally "Singing Spring", and is a style of kung fu, a martial art that traces its origins to China. Ving Tsun, sometimes also spelled Wing Chun, is the name of one of the women that founded this kung fu system, a tradition that we today proudly subscribe to, and pledge to transmit in its authentic form. We believe there are some important things to understand about Ving Tsun before anything else:
Ving Tsun is a system. We do not practice martial formulæ. The content of the 6 levels described below constitute a whole with great internal consistency and coverage that, when understood, even partially, dispenses with strict behavioral patterns. Instead it instills in the practitioner a sensibility to the moment, to the direction of the action, so that they can adapt and react. This is because,
we know we will always find someone stronger than us. That is why we focus on not using force. Ving Tsun was founded by women and is adapted, since its inception, to have less focus on traditionally masculine traits (such as combativeness and use of force, yang 陽) and places more focus on the idea of leveraging traditionally feminine traits (such as adaptation to the flow of the moment and leveraging positions for strategic gain, yin 陰). And because of this,
we believe the sensibilities that we learn in the journey (the Ving Tsun System), extend to life-changing insights. We express this in our concept of Kung Fu Life, day-to-day interactions among practitioners in the kung fu family, the use of Ving Tsun's principles in everyday life. This approach has, in current modern society, much more real benefits in providing the practitioner with subsidies to react to everyday events than it has in actually fighting. For most people, fortunately, "real" fighting never or almost never happens. Nonetheless,
we know Ving Tsun is a powerful fighting system.
Below we give a brief overview of the major steps of the Ving Tsun System.
Starting Your Journey
Siu Nim Do (小念道)
Also called "Ving Tsun Experience", it can be loosely translated as "Little Idea (of the) Path", new practitioners will spend their first weeks learning about Ving Tsun and kung fu life. It will enable the process of identification and preparation of future members of the Moy Yat Lineage, while it provides a high level overview of the Ving Tsun system to the practitioner. All of its exercises and the associated form are based on the traditional Ving Tsun System, and it tries to cover many things to come. It allows new practitioners to experience the system without yet being part of the traditional lineage, preparing them for the two trilogies that will soon start.
The Ving Tsun Experience was introduced by Grandmaster Moy Yat's innovative vision for the development of the clan and preservation of the legacy, and was introduced on March 14ᵗʰ 1992 at the world headquarters, in NY, USA.
The Fundamental Trilogy
Siu Nim Tau (小念頭)
The first level (and form) of the Ving Tsun system, it translates as "Little Idea", and here the practitioner will have the opportunity to build the foundation of their kung fu. The form and associated exercises focus on the arms, first individually and then in coordination, but without the complications of changing distances and angles to an opponent. One famous exercise that is started here is the chi sao (黐手). The very controlled environment will allow the practitioner to develop sensibility in the hand exercises without having to coordinate those with distance/angle changes and other movements.
Some say Siu Nim Tau is the most important kuen sut (form/techinique) in the training of the clan, and that it contains the whole system...
Cham Kiu (尋橋)
The second level (and form) of the Ving Tsun system, it translates to "Seeking the Bridge". By practicing the form and associated exercises, the practitioner will be introduced to their first development of footwork (chi geuk, 黐腳), changing distances, varying angles, and closing the space between oneself and the opponent. It is a natural extension of the previous level, and will continue the path towards more complex situations, use of the legs, and acquiring sensibility to the variations of body elements. It emphasizes practicing the yiu ma (waist-horse): the trunk, arms, and legs becoming an unit and acting in harmony.
Cham Kiu can be seen as the connection and glue between the basic and the advanced free-hands techniques in the system, and here the practitioner can start to feel the rewards of their investments.
Biu Ji (鏢指)
The third level (and final hand form) of the Ving Tsun system, it translates to "Standard Compass". In this part of the system there is some focus on emergency techniques that can be used to regain control of the practitioner's center-line. There are also additional footwork and hand techniques to be practiced.
The Biu Ji level closes the fundamental trilogy of the system, and is an indispensable foundation for achieving the next level and trilogy. These three initial levels are also referred to as the Structured Stage of the system (守, Sau, to receive or to accept).
Just as a high-level comparison, in other martial arts that have belt systems, a practitioner that closes the basic trilogy would be granted a black belt.
The Advanced Trilogy
Mui Fa Jong (梅花樁)
The fourth level of the Ving Tsun system, the last with free hands training, and the first with an associated equipment, it can be translated as "Plum Flower Post". This level uses as a helper equipment, the wooden dummy, named Muk Yan Jong (木人樁, literally "wooden man post"). This wooden dummy (whose name is sometimes also used as a synonym for the level) is a staple of Ving Tsun in popular culture and many people have seen it before they even know of Ving Tsun. The dummy can be fixed to the ground or raised in the air. There is a sequence of 108 sik (movements/shapes) of hand and foot techniques that is executed with the wooden dummy, and it is used by the practitioner not to learn new material but to refine and rediscover the knowledge they already have. There are also many new exercises to push the practitioner's free hand abilities.
By the end of the Mui Fa Jong the practitioner will have ended the free hands Ving Tsun system and will start learning the weapons.
Luk Dim Bun Gwan (六點半棍)
The fifth level of the Ving Tsun system, and the first with weapons, it can be translated as "Six and a Half Point Pole". The points in the name are actually the techniques utilizing a long pole. This level's requirements challenge the practitioner with unique departures from everything learned to this point, but will lead to a solid understanding and consolidation of techniques.
The Luk Dim Bun Gwan is a bridge to the completion of the Ving Tsun system, and only select people have had legitimate access to the weapons training, by which time they have become disciples of their Sifu (師父, literally "martial father", meaning a leader of a kung fu family).
Baat Jaam Do (八斬刀)
The sixth and last level of the Ving Tsun system, it can be translated as "Eight Cuts Knife", and is also associated with weapons training, in this case two butterfly-style knives. This knowledge represents the highest achievement in the clan, and is among the secrets of the family. Those who obtain legitimate access to these skills are growing scarce. The knives are only taught to students who have successfully mastered all previous techniques and forms.
These three advanced levels are also referred to as the Semi-Structured Stage of the system (破, Po, to break). By finishing the Baat Jam Do level the practitioner becomes a Master, and has finished the Ving Tsun System.
Or have they?... Here starts what we call the Unstructured Stage of the system (離, Lei, to leave or to depart), but not having any structure to show, our overview of the system ends here.
Come start practicing with us: Even the longest of journeys has to start with a single step. The kung fu family will be there to help you along the way. We are also a progressive institution, attuned to modern times, even while our family has deep roots in tradition. We believe that practicing Ving Tsun is always going to be relevant, because we do not teach how to fight, we teach how to be in tune with living and how to achieve your goals without effort.
Moy Yat Ving Tsun Dublin (都柏林市梅逸詠春拳館) is connected to a clan that spans many countries and has many thousands of practitioners. We have active practitioners in the USA, Spain, Brazil, Argentina, and now Ireland. You will be part of a very big family that has all the subsidies to support you.