There are many styles of martial arts, some more popular than others. When it comes to where they all originate from, you’ll find that many of them are actually Kung Fu but with slightly different techniques.
Kung Fu is probably China’s most famous martial art and Wing Chun comes a very close second, made famous by Bruce Lee and recently by Donnie Yen in the hit movie series Ip Man.
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The following article is the transcript of the video above.
Kung Fu vs Wing Chun
Wing Chun and Shaolin are both Kung Fu styles, so what makes them special and distinct from each other? In this article, we are going to take a closer look at both styles and see just what the differences are.
Chinese Kung Fu martial arts is a series of fighting styles that have developed over a long historical period in china. Nowadays it is regarded as a traditional sport gaining more and more popularity and even stands as a representative of Chinese cultural styles, including Shaolin, Tai-Chi, and Shigong have many followers worldwide. Some westerners think that all Chinese people are Kung Fu masters. That’s not true, but this traditional heritage has its unique existence in modern times and left much influence on the local’s lifestyle.
Shaolin is a monastery. Monasteries in the year 495 a.d, which was when the Shaolin was founded, were rich and powerful organizations which held Land, Wealth, and plenty of political clouts. Because of this monasteries were prone to be attacked by bandits, pirates, and the occasional royal army in search of extra coins. Thus they needed to defend themselves and their lands and martial arts seemed like the obvious place to begin.
Kung Fu advocates virtue and peace, not aggression or violence. This has been the common value upheld by martial artists from generation to generation. With a number of movement sets, boxing styles weapon skills, and some fighting stunts, Kung Fu keeps its original function of self-defense and now its value in bodybuilding and fitness is also highly appreciated. In order to survive in an extremely hostile environment, our primitive Chinese ancestors developed primary means of defense and attack that included leaping, tumbling, and kicking. Although they knew how to fight with rudimentary weapons made from stones and wood, fighting with bare hands and fists became essential skills. As a martial art, Kung Fu can be traced to the zhou dynasty, 255 bc to 111 bc and even earlier.
As an exercise, it was practiced by the Taoists in the 5th-century bc. Its prescribed stances and actions are based on keen observations of human skeletal and muscular anatomy and physiology, and it uses great muscular coordination. The various movements in Kung Fu, most of which are imitations of fighting styles of animals are initiated from one of five basic foot positions normal upright posture, and the four stances called dragon frog horse riding, and snake.
In the latter half of the 20th century, a new genre of action films centered on Kung Fu techniques and philosophies emerged and helped to promote international interest in the art.
Wing Chun is a concept-based Chinese martial art and form of self-defense, utilizing both striking and sticking or controlling while specializing in close-range combat. It is a relatively young martial art with most historians agreeing that it developed in Southern China approximately 300 years ago. According to legend, Wing Chun was created by the Buddhist nun Ng Mui who was a master of Shaolin Kung Fu. Using her martial training and personal experience, she synthesized a compact form of Kung Fu to exploit weaknesses inherent in the other combat styles of her time, and give an advantage to smaller fighters like herself. Her style became known as Wing Chun after Ng Mui’s first student a woman named Yim Wing Chun.
Wing Chun originated in and was developed for crowded urban environments such as the cities most people live in today. It is a close-quarters fighting system that can be used even when assaulted in a confined space. It is primarily an empty hand system allowing someone to defend themselves even when unarmed and is based on reflexive movements training you to respond instantly and instinctually to a surprise attack, as opposed to a consensual fight or sport combat match. It’s simple direct and efficient.
While many systems of martial arts require a decade or more to learn, Wing Chun was designed to be learned in the shortest time possible. It was also designed to be practiced by people of any age size shape and degree of physical ability, men and women alike. It uses structure rather than strength and timing rather than speed and is also based on natural human anatomy rather than mimicking the movements of animals, so it does not require extraordinary flexibility or athleticism.
Wing Chun is a sneaky style of fighting. It assumes that you are being assaulted without warning at high speed and with shocking violence. It defends and attacks simultaneously, hits without warning from any position using the structure of the entire body to create power in a small space. Wing Chun turns on like a chainsaw and does not stop delivering damage until the assault has been effectively ended. The principle is simple physics: use the minimum amount of effort to create the maximum effect. Proper training in Wing Chun does however build both a high degree of physical fitness, as well as mental focus. Consistent practice develops extraordinary sensitivity, balance, endurance, and coordination. The training teaches you to quiet your mind and focus your attention. Perhaps most importantly you learn to relax and unwind tension from the body, bringing yourself into a natural state of structural stability and intrinsic strength.
Kung Fu vs Wing Chun
So how would these two styles of Shaolin measure up against each other, Kung Fu vs Wing Chun? if we were to go back to the time when these two combats first started then we think it would be safe to say there would have been carnage on both sides. But Shaolin is now more of a display art: it’s a fantastic thing to watch and behold. The practitioners achieve amazing levels of self-discipline and mental control and are some of the best athletes in the world. However, in a fight, modern Shaolin Kung Fu is not likely to be particularly useful against a skilled opponent.
This is not true of Wing Chun which is a fighting art and is much more concise and precise in the execution of movements. You won’t see a Wing Chun fighter jumping around very much. Today Wing Chun is more of a fighting art and Shaolin Kung Fu is more of a demonstration art. But there is no doubt that they are both great exercise methods and can help you learn self-discipline, and flexibility, as well as gain real skills when it comes to managing your mind too.
Do you have a favorite out of the two? Have you ever practiced one of these fighting styles?
Tell us in the comments below!