Master Tse’s Wing Chun Notes #27

Wing Chun Fist

Wing Chun One Inch PunchIn Wing Chun the fist in Chinese is called Yaht Jih Chung Kuen 日字沖拳. It means the fist is vertical. The vertical fist looks like the Chinese character for the sun. This Chinese character is Yaht Jih日字. Chung 沖 means charge or strike and Kuen 拳 means fist.

Since the Wing Chun fist is vertical, it means the elbow must drop. This kind of fist is very good for close distance strike. Some styles of martial art like to put the fists by the side of the waist. This is only for long distance punching but in Wing Chun we use close distance and so we put the fists at the side of the chest when training our forms. When fighting we place the hands in front of us at the centre of our chest, either in Wu Sau 護手 or as a fist. However, I suggest using Wu Sau as you can easily change.

When we punch we should relax and only use strength when we are close to our target. My Sifu Ip Chun always says, “Don’t waste your energy before we need it. Only use energy when we are almost touching our opponent.” It is true and the principles of Wing Chun tell us to use not to waste energy and use the minimum energy when we are fighting.

The power of each punch should come from the stance and that is why we should keep the back straight. If the back is crooked or hunched, it will reduce the power of our punch. When we punch with the vertical fist, we should use only the bottom three knuckles, so the fist is slightly tilted upwards.

When we hit our target with one fist, we can hit again with the other one and so on. So the punches rotate. As the one hits it should straight away drop down and roll back towards our chest while the other first is already on its way to hit the target. Even if you are not so big and strong, you can hit many times and most people will not be able to handle this. This means the Wing Chun fist is special as we do not concentrate on one powerful punch but we focus on continuous punching.

Michael Tse

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