Wing Chun (literally: "spring chant") is a Kung Fu style originating from South China. Although not very aesthetic, it is considered as having a great applicability in a combat situation.
Its main point is the use of counter attacks and close range techniques.
This fighting style includes the use of fists, as well as elbows, shoulders, feet (excepting high kicks) and knees. Locks and throws are also used.
It contains the following characteristics:
• Double techniques ( with simultaneous attack and defense)
• Simple, short and direct movements, resulting in economy of movement.
• Low number techniques.
• Attacks targeting vital points.
• Large explosion in the movements of attack and defense.
According to a legend without historical basis, Wing Chun style was created by a woman, Ng Mui, who was one of the few survivors of the destruction of the Shaolin Temple in 1734. She allegedly designed the techniques being inspired by a fight between a snake and a crane.
She taught later this style to another woman, Yim Wing Chun, to help her defend successfully herself against a suitor who wanted to marry her by force. This style would have been then named after her.
The earliest known mentions of Wing Chun date to the period of the Red Boat Opera Troupe, a group of Chinese travelling opera singers who toured China in the mid-19th century, who used derivative styles of Kung Fu.
Wing Chun would gain more notoriety thanks to the teachings of Yip Man. One of his students, the famous martial artist Bruce Lee, helped to spread the style around the world.
Although there are some "sticking hands" competitions, there are no sparring competitions in Wing Chun.