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What is Ving Tsun Kung Fu?

Ving Tsun Kung Fu is an ancient martial art that has been preserved and passed down through generations in its authentic form. It is a complete traditional system of training. It was originally designed to quickly train fighters to help overthrow the Ching Dynasty during the 1600s. The Ching Dynasty was a Manchurian government that invaded into what is now southern China. 

How is Moy Tung Ving Tsun Kung Fu different from other martial arts?

Most martial arts are practiced as sports and students of these arts are required to demonstrate their fighting abilities in competition. Ving Tsun, on the other hand, is not a sport, and students in Moy Tung schools are not expected to compete in tournaments.

While it's typical for other martial arts schools to charge fees for rank promotions, there are no adult belt ranks or achievement tests in Moy Tung Kung Fu schools. In contrast to the strict military-style hierarchy and protocol common in other martial arts, students generally interact in a relaxed and informal way at schools in the Moy Tung family.

What are some of the principles of Ving Tsun?

Ving Tsun trains the martial artist in "Centerline Theory." Through forms and drills, the hands are conditioned to occupy the body's centerline. This is the best position from which to attack and defend. Economy of motion, simultaneous attack and defense, and relaxation are also at the heart of the Ving Tsun system.

Is there any kicking in Ving Tsun?

Yes. Ving Tsun kicks are very effective and easy to learn. Our main focus in the early stages though, is the boxing skills.

Is Ving Tsun an "internal" or "external" art?

Yes. It is both internal and external. Being a truly daoist martial art, Ving Tsun strives for balance by training you physically, internally and mentally.

Is there qi gong training in Ving Tsun?

Yes. The qi gong training is found within the traditional forms of Ving Tsun.

What are the benefits of studying kung fu?

Kung fu offers a way to maintain health and fitness while learning effective self-defense. Although the public primarily thinks of kung fu as a way of fighting, Ving Tsun also promotes personal growth, and its principles apply to all aspects of life.

How does the kung fu I learn in class make me a better fighter?

Ving Tsun helps give an average person an advantage in a self defense situation by helping form hard-wired "good habits", structure, and reflexes into the body through "live" repetition. Two-person exercises and applications reinforce these habits against another person, testing and refining them until they are effective and automatic.

From our experience, most martial art programs only teach from an idea of optimal or ideal training situations. Instead, we value imperfect conditions and what can be accomplished when mistakes happen, and so we encourage unexpected variables. Our students are not trained to mimic “perfect” application, but to avoid distractions and to adapt and recover from errors. Gaining resiliency in the face of risk should be the outcome of effective martial arts training.

Our martial techniques should provide “aliveness” by allowing improvisation, innovation and adaptation. Pre-orchestrated, “rote” techniques, where a student has to robotically mimic the precise movement of the instructor, actually decreases the effectiveness of the technique. These techniques, while constantly demonstrated in the safe confines of the class, cannot be duplicated in real life situations, because no two situations are ever the same. By developing “live” techniques, our students learn to improvise to life’s surprising situations.

From what language does the terminology of Ving Tsun originate?

The Cantonese dialect of the Chinese language. Many Cantonese sounds cannot be accurately represented with the English alphabet. Different authors may use different English letters to represent the same Cantonese sound, so you may see a term spelled several ways. For example, the "moving the horse" drill may be written as toi matoy ma, toy mah, and tsui ma.

How is "Ving Tsun" pronounced?

It's commonly pronounced "wing chun" in America although this is only an approximation of the Cantonese pronunciation.

Where was Ving Tsun created?

Southern China.

When did Ving Tsun originate?

About four hundred years ago.

What do you do in kung fu class?

In a typical kung fu class students warm up by playing forms. Then they pair off and play various two-person drills, switching partners occasionally so each student has the opportunity to train with different people. Some classes include group conditioning workouts with stretching, punching, and kicking exercises. Since taking breaks is also an important part of training, students rest several times during class.

Should I have previous martial arts experience?

You don't need any prior experience in the martial arts. 

Why is there no yelling or bowing in Ving Tsun?

We do not yell because we need our breath for energy to fight. We do not bow because we show respect through our actions. Ving Tsun teaches in a natural and relaxed manner.

Is kung fu hard to learn?

Not at all! Ving Tsun drills are simple and easy to play. One of the amazing things about Ving Tsun is that it teaches advanced martial arts principles and techniques through exercises that anyone can learn to practice in no time.

How long does it take to become an expert in Ving Tsun?

Anyone who trains diligently can become an expert in Ving Tsun in a relatively short time. During the first few years of study, the student is opened up to forms and drills that lay the foundation for advanced training. After completing this basic program, the student becomes an instructor in their school. Everyone learns at their own pace in Moy Yat Kung Fu schools.

Do you need to be "advanced" in order to join the Advanced Training Program?

No. The "Standard Training Program" and the "Advanced Training Program" are just two different paths of training that you can join at any time and at any experience level. 

Why is Ving Tsun a good martial art for women to study?

Absolutely! Ving Tsun doesn't rely on strength, so it's ideal for both women and men of any stature. In fact, legend says that the Ving Tsun system was developed and founded by a woman, Yim Ving Tsun, hundreds of years ago and has been preserved and passed down through generations in its authentic form.

Do Ving Tsun students learn to use weapons?

At relatively advanced stages of training, students may train with the kwan (pole) and bot jom doa (knives).

What training equipment is used in a kung fu school?

Two training tools commonly used in Ving Tsun schools are the sao bow, a sand bag for punching, and the muk yan jong (wooden dummy). Schools with yards sometimes also have a field of gerk jong, wooden poles and stumps used for moving and kicking exercises. Kung fu is generally not trained with props that are commonly used in other martial arts such as padded floors and protective body armor.

What do I need to bring for my first intro class?

For your intro  program, all you need is water, comfortable, loose fitting clothing (shorts, sweats or training pants) and athletic shoes. After that, students are expected to wear a school uniform.

What kind of uniforms do kung fu students wear?

The uniforms worn by kung fu students are similar to informal street clothes. The typical outfit includes a class t-shirt, lightweight pants similar to jogging pants, and thin-soled shoes. After students have been training for some time they often practice in street clothes instead of the uniform.

What can I do to get the most out of my training?

Here are five ways to improve yourself and make yourself healthier:

1. Eat a healthy diet. Avoid processed, chemical-laden foods.

2. Supplement your training with cardiovascular exercises, such as running.

3. Avoid drugs, alcohol in excess, and legal drugs such as weight-loss pills.

4. Read. Not all training is physical. Educate yourself on nutrition, your mind, history, the classics, philosophy, science, religion, the world. Take advantage of the wealth of human knowledge and experience. If you do not, what is the difference between you and the man who cannot read?

Is training kung fu "cool"?