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Wing Chun Techniques for Beginners

This article is jam-packed with Wing Chun techniques for beginners adapted for the streets of today

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In this article you will learn basic Wing Chun training techniques.

There are some Wing Chun drills, but these techniques don’t come from any specific Wing Chun lineage. Rather, it is an overview of some fundamental Wing Chun techniques so you can get a feel for this martial art.

It includes stance, Wing Chun blocks and punches, basic Wing Chun kicks and other fundamentals.

If you do some Wing Chun exercises in this article and you like what you learn, then you can take classes or self-train with this Wing Chun book.

Wing Chun Philosophy and Principles

Wing Chun martial arts is a close-combat Kung Fu style which focuses on taking out your opponent as fast as possible.

As far as traditional martial arts goes, it was one of the most practical for self-defense in its time, and is still popular for this same reason today.

Wing Chun Kung Fu is also highly adaptable for all people since it values timing and structure rather than speed and strength. It means anyone can train in it - big and small - young and old.

One of my favorite things about Wing Chun is that it takes a relatively short time to learn. Only a few years. Of course, to become a “master” would take much longer.

Centerline Principle

The center-line principle is a core concept in Wing Chun Kung Fu. You want to protect your own center-line while controlling your opponent’s. You do this with footwork. Understanding the center-line will allow you to instinctively know where your opponent is.

Your centerline is an imaginary line drawn vertically down the center of your body. All vital organs are near the center of the body. Keep it away from your opponent by angling it away from him/her.


Your centerline runs vertically down the center of your body

Your central-line (different from your center-line) is from your angled center to your opponent.


Your central-line is from your angled center to your opponent

Offensively, you generate the most power when punching out from your center since you can incorporate your whole body and hips.

When attacking in a straight line, your center-line is away from your opponent while your central-line faces his/her center.


Angle your centerline away from your
opponentwhile facing your central-
line towards your opponent

With hook punches and other circular attacks, the center- and central-lines merge.

There are three main guidelines for the centerline.

  • The one who controls the centerline will control the fight.
  • ​Protect and maintain your own centerline while you control and exploit your opponent’s.
  • ​Control the centerline by occupying it.

Wing Chun Fighting Stance

In a real fight you will probably not adopt this exact Wing Chun posture but it is a good fundamental stance for correct application of techniques when learning.

This is a standard Wing Chun neutral stance and is a starting position for upcoming exercises.

To adopt this Wing Chun stance, start in the half squat. Whilst keeping your feet in the same spot, turn on them so that one leg is in front of the other.

Put your hands up to around chest height. Whichever leg is forward most, the same hand is also forward most.

Your rear leg supports most of your body’s weight, approximately 70% of it. You should be able to lift your lead foot into the air if needed, e.g., for kicking. Keep your arms slightly bent.


Wing Chun fighting stance left lead

Wing Chun Turning Stance

Learning the correct way to switch sides helps to build strength in the legs, gets you familiar with how to turn your body, and introduces the correct use of weight distribution which helps with stability and increasing power in your strikes.

Start in the fighting stance.


Left lead fighting stance

Assuming you are in a left lead stance, rotate your body with your feet to the right. You will rotate 180°. As you do so your body weight shifts from your left leg to your right and your hands also change position. You finish in the fighting stance with a right lead.


Rotate 180° and finish in the fighting stance with a right lead

Wing Chun Footwork Drills

Correct footwork is very important. Without it you will become unbalanced and your techniques will lose effectiveness.

The primary use of footwork is to control distance. Knowing when and how to close and gain distance allows you to effectively attack and defend. You want to attack without getting hit. When your opponent moves back, you can move forward and vise-verse.

There is no need to rush in all the time. Be smart. Always consider distance.

Wing Chun Step Forward

The actual distance you step forward will depend on the amount of distance you want to cover. The shorter the distance the more stable you will be. A half step is good for practice.

From the fighting stance step forward with your lead leg about half a step. Put weight on your lead leg and slide your rear leg up.

WingChunTechniquesforBeginners7 (1).jpg

Your rear leg supports approximately 70% of your weight

Put weight back on your rear leg and step your lead foot forward again.


Finish with your feet at the same distance as you started

To move backwards just do the opposite of what you did when stepping forward, i.e., move your rear foot first.

Wing Chun Punch Technique

Learning correct technique in throwing a single punch introduces many important Wing Chun concepts including body alignment, weight distribution, changing hands, correct striking technique, balance, etc.

When striking your limb should never become fully straightened. This is true for all Wing Chun hand strikes and kicks. Not only is the shock bad for your elbows and knees, you will also be more likely to miss.

Start in the half squat position with your hands up and your arms relaxed.

Punch out with your lead hand. As you do so, tilt your body and turn slightly so most your weight is on your rear leg.

Notice the line of the body. You are angling out but punching to the center. Shifting your weight generates power and also places you out of your opponent’s attack line.

Your rear hand is your guard.


Shifting your weight generates power

After you punch open your Wing Chun fist to relax it. Do not start or stay stiff when you strike. You will lose power and Wing Chun punch speed.

As you relax your punching hand start punching with your other hand. Shift your weight to your other leg.


Keep your fist relaxed until impact

Do not overextend your arm. Your elbow should never lock.


Never lock your elbow

Learning this fundamental strike is the first step to mastering the famous Wing Chun one inch punch. Train often using correct technique during your next Wing Chun punching bag workout.

Wing Chun Blocks

In this section you will learn some Wing Chun basic blocks.

Wing Chun Tan Sau

This lesson teaches the basic application of Tan Sau (dispersing hand), a Wing Chun arm and hand position primarily used as Wing Chun Hand blocks. It emphasizes the use of the body to do the work as opposed to just the hand.

It also introduces grabbing, the counterattack, and the concept of telegraphing.

Wing Chun defense deflects attacks as opposed to direct force-on-force. This allows the weaker person to gain leverage over a stronger opponent.

Tan Sau is a good way to deal with mid-level straight attacks.

Begin in the half-squat position with your hands up. Move your palm up and out from your center. Your elbow should end up about a fist-and-a-half length away from your body.

Turn your whole body to the side. Your hand and body turns together and your waist does the work, not your arm. Put your other hand inside, ready for defense


Wing Chun Tan Sau

Relax your lead hand to the normal fighting stance position and then swap your lead hand.


Return to the fighting position before swapping your hands

Turn to your other side using turning stance with Tan Sau. Use half the turn of the turning stance exercise. Relax your hand and repeat the process.

WingChunTechniquesforBeginners14 (1).jpg

Use turning stance with Tan Sau

Wing Chun Pak Sau

Pak Sau (slapping hand) is another fundamental Wing Chun movement. This lesson shows using Pak Sau as a defensive technique. It also emphasizes on the awareness of body positioning, grabbing, and turning from one side to the other.

As the punch comes in, turn your body to the side and use the side of your palm (below the little finger) on your opponent’s elbow. A small Wing Chun elbow block.

Your hand comes from the center of your body. Use your whole body in the movement. You want to hurt your opponent at the same time.

WingChunTechniquesforBeginners15 (1).jpg

Use your whole body, not just your arm

It is important to turn your body to the side, or you will get hit.


If you don't turn you will get hit

Wing Chun Bong Sau

Bong Sau (wing arm) is a defensive technique unique to Wing Chun. Use it to divert a punch by creating an angle of deflection.

Begin in the half squat position with your hands up and in one movement, turn your hand down and your elbow up. As you do so, turn your waist and tilt your body so your feet are in a fighting stance position. Your waist does the work, not your arm.

Keep your arm in line. You other hand is a guard hand in case your opponent’s strike passes through.

WingChunTechniquesforBeginners17 (1).jpg

Wing Chun Bong Sau

This is Bong Sau.

Turn slightly back and bring your hand back to the center.

Switch hand positions, so your other hand becomes you lead. Shift your weight to match your new position and then do Bong Sau on your other side.


Keep your other hand up as a guard

Wing Chun Hand Exercises

Wing Chun Lap Sau Exercise

The Lap Sau exercise (pulling hand) drill is one of a few basic Wing Chun speed drills.

It has several lessons. For example, it is an introduction to Wing Chun hand trapping with its grabbing and pulling.

Lap Sau is also a Wing Chun hand conditioning. Doing it will get you used to slapping your opponents strikes away.

It is important to remember that this is a training drill. You need to work together to make it work. It is not about beating your partner. It is about understanding Wing Chun Hand movements and the flow of energy between you and your training partner.

Begin in Bong Sau and have your partner place his/her arm on top of yours. Grab each-others wrists. It is important that you lock your elbows together.

Pull down your opponent’s arm by the hand.


Pull down your opponent's hand while rotating your other arm up

Then he/she pulls your arm down. Repeat this process.


Alternate and repeat the process

To know if your Bong Sau is correct try to palm your partner. If your arm is not firm or too straight he/she can hit you. If your arm is firm and in the correct position, it will deflect your partner’s hand above your head.


Alternate and repeat the process

To know if your Bong Sau is correct try to palm your partner. If your arm is not firm or too straight he/she can hit you. If your arm is firm and in the correct position, it will deflect your partner’s hand above your head.


Hold your partner's wrist while he pulls back to break Lap Sau

Chi Sao is an advanced Wing Chun drill used to improve touch sensitivity and harnesses flowing energy (chi). It also increases body balance and promotes the looseness of the arms and body.

If Chi Sao interests you, you can get Sam Fury’s book here.

Or, for a quick introduction, check out this article.

Wing Chun Kicks Training

The stomp kick, sidekick, and front kick are fundamental Wing Chun kicking forms. This lesson teaches how to do these three basic kicks on a single spot. It helps to improve balance, body position, leg strength and technique.

Start from the half squat position and then turn into the switching side’s position with approximately 70% of your weight on your rear leg.

Raise your rear leg so your knee is parallel to the floor.

Angle your foot out slightly as you kick your foot out. The sole of your foot is what would hit the target. The target is your opponent’s thigh or knee. Do not straighten your leg fully, i.e., your knee should not “lock” into place.

This is the stomp kick.

WingChunTechniquesforBeginners24 (1).jpg

Stomp kick

Bring your leg back to the position where your knee is parallel to the floor. Angle your foot slightly in so you can do a sidekick. The sidekick strikes at an imaginary shin target.


Side kick

Bring your leg back to the position where your knee is parallel to the floor. Thrust it straight out into a front kick. The target would be the gut of your opponent. Your foot is vertical.


Front kick

Bring your leg back and then down to the ground. As you do so, adopt the half squat position.

WingChunTechniquesforBeginners27 (1).jpg

Return to the half squat

Turn to your other side and repeat the three kicks with your other leg.

Finally, do the three kicks to the center, i.e., do not turn to the side.


Wing Chun three kicks to the front

Wing Chun Elbow Drill

This Wing Chun elbow form will help increase response time, muscle memory, etc.

Your partner comes in to elbow. Step back and use your hand to defend. This stepping back helps to absorb the Wing Chun Elbow energy. If you do not step back, you will probably get hurt.

Your other hand then comes from underneath.


Step in and return the elbow with your whole body

As you come in your partner steps back and defends. This back and forth continues.


Continue the elbow drill back and forth

Wing Chun Demonstration Videos

Mostly what these Wing Chun videos show is that when pitted against other pure martial arts, Wing Chun doesn’t fair too badly. But against an opponent that knows modern MMA, Wing Chun in a real fight is not practical.

These days, people take techniques from a variety of martial arts and combine them into street fighting that works. This is what you should do too if your aim is to learn practical self-defense.

Of course, if you want to learn a traditional martial art for all the other reasons people like to study martial arts, then Wing Chun is one of my favorites.

Anyway, this playlist includes:

  • Wing Chun Hand Forms
  • ​ Wing Chun in UFC
  • ​Wing Chun Vs Aikido Wing Chun Vs BJJ
  • ​Wing Chun Vs Karate
  • ​Wing Chun Vs Muay Thai
  • ​Wing Chun Vs MMA
  • ​Wing Chun Vs Silat immediately

Wing Chun Basics Conclusion

Now you have seen a few of the fundamentals of Wing Chun. It is not much in the big scheme of things, but you can put together a basic Wing Chun workout with what is in this article.

If you want more Wing Chun practice lessons, I recommend Sam Fury’s Basic Wing Chun Training. It has many more Wing Chun drills and shows how to apply them in real life self-defense situations.

Did you enjoy these basic Wing Chun lessons? If so, please share it with your friends.

Article by Sam Fury

Sam Fury is the creator and owner of the Survival Fitness Plan.

He has had a passion for martial arts and outdoor pursuits since he was a young boy growing up in Australia.

As a young adult he joined the military and studied outdoor leadership in college. After that, to further his skills, Sam started traveling to learn from the best in the world in various fields related to the Survival Fitness Plan including various martial arts in China, SE Asia and Brazil, Parkour in Singapore, Surf Life Saving in Australia, and others. 

These days, he still enjoys learning new things, traveling and sharing what he has learned via the Survival Fitness Plan. 

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