Master Tse’s Wing Chun Notes #79

Fists by the side of our Chest

Note 79After we have marked the centreline we withdraw our fists back to the side of the chest. In Wing Chun forms we like to keep the fists by the side of our chest when we are not using them. Other styles of Kung Fu prefer to keep their fists by the side of their waist and this is more common. Keeping the fists by the waist is a long fist長拳 style of Kung Fu. What is long fist? It means the punching arm will be with a straight and when it is finished it will be withdrawn back to the waist. The target will be an arm’s length away in order to be able to hit with a straight arm. It also means when fighting their opponent will be further away than the distance we usual keep in Wing Chun. Many Chinese Kung Fu styles belong to the long fist style, like Shaolin Fist少林, Choi Lee Fut 蔡李佛, etc. Wing Chun belongs to the Short Fist短拳or Short Bridge短橋 style. It means the opponent is closer to us, like the distance we have in Chi Sau, and we can hit the opponent from a bent elbow position. Once we hit our opponent we do not withdraw our fist back to us we just relax and then can hit again.

We also need to keep the chest open when we practice our forms as it is healthier for us. It also does not affect the hand that is out in front of us and we therefore have more space to perform our movements clearly. Finally we need to keep the posture square when we practice our forms. We keep our shoulders in line, except when we are in a Jun Ma轉馬.

Michael Tse

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