Wing Chun as a Sport
Cheung Style Sport Kung-Fu is a new style of tournament fighting created by Arnett in 1983 from the teachings Of the Shaolin Temple.
The origin of Wing Chun Kung-fu can be found in the turbulent, repressive dynasty of over 250 years ago, It was a time when 90 percent of the Chinese race, the Hons, was ruled by the ten percent minority, the Manchus. The Manchus placed a great number of unjust laws upon the Hons.
When Manchus outlawed all weapons, the Hons began training a revolutionary army in the secret art of kung-fu. The Shil Lim Temple became a Secret sanctuary for preparatory training of a classic style that took a person 15-to-20 years to master.
To develop a new form, one that would have shorter training time, five Of China’s grandmasters met to discuss the merits of each of the various forms of kung-fu. By choosing the most efficient techniques from each style, they developed training programs that would create an efficient martial artist in five-to-seven years or one-third the original time. However, before this new form could be put into practice, the Shil Lim Temple was raided and burned by the Manchus.
Ng Mui, a nun, was the only survivor of the original five grandmasters. She passed her knowledge onto a young orphan girl named Yim Wing Chun.
Hope for the Future
The name represented “hope for the future.” In turn, Wing Chun passed her knowledge on to her husband. Through the years the style became known as wing chun. Its techniques were passed on to a few, always carefully selected students.
In 1950 Yip Man started teaching wing chun in Hong Kong. One of his first students was grandmaster William Cheung, the Former head World Wing Chun Kung Fu Association.
According to legend, a tunnel existed in the Shaolin Temple, which consisted of 108 wooden dummies. The monks who completed their training were required to pass through this tunnel as one of their final exams. Each of these dummies performed a certain technique, which the graduate monks had to neutralize on their way out Of the Temple.
In deference to her training at the Shaolin Temple, Ng Mui incorporated a training set using a single wooden dummy. This dummy set Contains 108 combat techniques, each one reportedly representing the 108 dummies in the Shaolin Temple.
The wooden dummy is used to develop timing, arm, and leg coordination, proper use and application of force, distance judgment, footwork. and flowing smoothly from technique to technique. It is also used to toughen the limbs, although this is nor the primary function of the dummy.
Wing chun kung- fu does not rely on the strength and brute force, rather, it stresses the development of skill and coordination to have the practitioner deflect and redirect an opponent’s attack, while simultaneously countering with his own attack. Deflection and redirection are achieved with correct positioning. This requires good footwork as well as coordination of the arms and legs, so they work together to redirect an oncoming attack yet leave the practitioner in a position to simultaneously counter.
All fighting techniques in Wing Chun come from the techniques in the wooden dummy. Dummy training allows the wing chun practitioner to correctly train the body in performing techniques through continual drilling. Although working with a “static” partner, the Wing chun practitioner learns to combine footwork patterns smoothly With arm movements that and attack. These develop skills that are mandatory for successful free sparring which is the goal of any student of wing chun or Cheung Style who trains under Arnett.
As an instructor master, Arnett defies the maxim that those who can’t do, teach. Nor is reaching his way of subsidizing a life while waiting to fulfill some other dream. He is not the literary professor by day with the unfinished novel on his desk at home. The martial arts have been part of his life since he was a small boy, and teaching and practicing traditional wing chun kung-fu and Cheung Style is the dream he lives.
Fast and Furious
Cheung Style is fast and furious, with no boundaries or restrictions. A fighter must be versatile because every opponent is different and can not be fought in the same way. Cheung Style involves a unique blend with which a fighter can surprise an opponent with a fresh approach to tournament fighting. Most styles fit the student to its structure: Cheung Style fits the structure to the student.
The weakness of the manner in which many students learn martial arts is that instructors teach forms and techniques in a vacuum, without regard to the chaos of real-life situations. Most people, don’t know how they are supposed to respond.
Therefore, since life is not choreographed, the martial arts student who learns primarily by rote will become programmed to act rather than be prepared to react; their training essentially becomes a flight simulator that never changes or a video game mastered long ago.
What differentiates Cheung Style Sport Kung-Fu from other forms of martial arts is its reliance on continual utilization in a realistic setting. Its training philosophy emphasizes the creation of muscle memory and kinesthetic application. Traditional wing chun involves harmful and potentially lethal maneuvers, which subsequently limits the opportunity for realistic practice.