THE IMPORTANCE OF SPEED IN WING CHUN
THE ISSUE OF SPEED IN WING CHUN.
For the Wing Chun martial arts system speed is more important than power, although power in addition to speed is a bonus and actively encouraged after the practitioner has developed speed and focus in their martial arts training. For Wing Chun, a punch that moves so fast that it can't be avoided is more effective than a slower more powerful punch that can be blocked, dodged or even deflected.
The emphasis on speed is a direct result of the short distance that Wing Chun relies upon. At close range a punch has less distance to travel and therefore appears faster and more difficult to see. This of course is critical for a Wing Chun fighter, because striking out will always expose part of the body for a counter attack. From this perspective a fast punch reduces the exposure time and therefore the risk of attack. As a rule, strikes are faster and more direct than kicks, hence these shapes are often favoured over kicking. Indeed, kicks are often used in combination with hands, but often as a follow up, and used with dramatic effect to the knees or groin of an attacker. Unlike kicks, punches do not disrupt the body's nature centre of gravity or balance. However Wing Chun kicks are applied below waist height (and sometimes slightly above the waist) in order to protect the fighter's balance and against the possibility of someone grabbing the leg.
The training and fighting stances of the Wing Chun kung fu system are designed to develop and deliver fast effective strikes. Typically, the feet are within the confines of the body, about shoulder width apart. this effectively allows for better mobility and stability under pressure. Compared to a wider stance where the mobility would drastically reduced, or a extremely small stance where stability would not exist, the Wing Chun Stances offers a perfect balance of speed and agility. Interestingly, the Wing Chun 2nd form develops helps develop, speed, structure (consistent with the Six Points Harmony Theory) and the Wing Chun stance.