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 Yat 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 Yat 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 Yat 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 Yat 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 qigong training in Ving Tsun?

Yes. The qigong 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 ma, toy 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, and participating in group conditioning workouts. Then they pair off and play various two-person drills, switching partners occasionally so each student has the opportunity to train with different people.

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 a basic 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. Everyone learns at their own pace in Moy Yat Kung Fu schools.

Do your students participate in "sparring"?

No. Moy Yat Kung Fu Academy does not use sparring as a training tool for our students. Sparring is a tool that can be successfully used as a test of one’s abilities and what you need to work on in training. However, as regular training, it is counter-productive because all it does is reinforce the techniques and the abilities that the student already possesses. While sparring, a student does not want to be hit or be embarrassed by losing, so instead of working on new or difficult abilities that need to be trained in order to improve, the students will almost always choose to use “high percentage” moves that are easy for them to apply and hard for their opponent to defend against. Our approach doesn’t just reinforce already acquired abilities, nor does it give a feeling of false confidence in one’s abilities, but it allows personal and physical growth with new and ever-expanding abilities.

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.

How much do your classes cost?

We go over all of the payment options during the introductory program. That said, students have numerous options including month-to-month payments with no long term obligations.

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.

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

1. Regular class attendance.

2. Practice your forms outside of class. Training on your own requires greater self-discipline and produces the best results. This is your time to experiment and study the forms, details, movements, and energies. Your kung fu will develop more rapidly and deeply than if you only trained when you came to class and were being told what to do.

3. Events like the occasional weekend workshop, seminar, or even a casual outing after class is an opportunity for learning Kung Fu.

4. Resist the urge to compare yourself to others - everyone moves at their own pace and must be allowed to do so.

5. Kung Fu only comes from hard work, so train seriously.