WingTsun is Self – Defense Even When Standing Still
by: Keith Sonnenberg


by Sifu Keith Sonnenberg

WingTsun is a self-defense method even when not moving. The first step, the Siu Nim Tau, was designed to create mental calm. When mental calm is accomplished, bodily control is also accomplished. Situations become clear. Time can seem to slow down. With this kind of concentration, people will even seem to be moving in slow motion.

The WingTsun postures are, in and of themselves, anti-grappling. Due to its unique structure, a WingTsun practitioner, when properly standing, is hard to grab, hard to get a hold of.

Rushing through a movement is not the same thing as speed. True speed is attained when only the most necessary movements are accomplished. If ever you feel an irrational impulse to rush through a series of movements, slow down or even pause and wait for your attacker to make his fatal mistake. Let your attacker rush through a “programmed” movement and take advantage of it.

If your position is perfect there is no need to change positions relative to your attacker. Do not move just for the sake of moving. If you move yourself without using your attacker’s force, you are giving your attacker an opportunity to attack your weak areas. These areas will be exposed due to your unsolicited movements.

Calmness and stillness allows explosive movement when necessary and at the proper moment. Breathing should be without a pattern but controlled. It should not reveal your intentions.

The body feeds the mind and the mind feeds the body. In other words, if you move frantically, it feeds the mind this information and it reinforces a fearful reaction. The mind feeds the body the information to control breathing and nervous activity. The body and the mind work together in this respect.

The form, Siu Nim Tau is a form with no foot movement. It teaches proper breathing. The correct breathing for ordinary practice is simply taking regular deep breaths using the diaphragm, swelling up the stomach area and again using the diaphragm to expel the air. You are expelling the “used oxygen,” a gas that you do not want to re-breath. This gas is actually carbon dioxide. The pace at which you breathe is also a contributory cause of nervousness. The better you breathe the calmer you will be. The old trick of breathing into a paper bag to get control of a panic attack is just that – a trick – a trick actually works! Breathing into a paper bag is just a conscious way of dissolving fear, worry, or panic. You can do the same thing without the bag. A few deep breathes works wonders.

A calm demeanor repels attacks. Stalkers, rapists, and other assorted criminals do not typically choose those of a calm and confident demeanor as their victim. It is probably judged as too risky and viewed as somebody that may be able to put up a fight.

Calmness helps with patience in waiting for the right moment to counter-attack. The patience required is often only a few seconds. However we know that time seems to slow down during these times and so it might seem like an unbearable wait.

In a real self-defense situation, the calm comes before the storm. When stillness turns into explosive movement, the counterattack should be merciless. Your attacker cannot be allowed to return an attack. Most laws state that you may use just the amount of force required to stop the attack, no more and no less.

The calmness that you cultivate in WingTsun training should transfer to your daily life. Transactions become less of a burden and living life is more rewarding.


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