The wing chun system is based on economy and efficiency of motion; taking a chance is not economical or efficient.
Ho Kam Ming was one of Ip Man’s closest students and the man who cared for Ip in his last days before his death in 1972. Ho Kam Ming lived in Macao, a former Portugese colony located across the Zhuliang River from Hong Kong.
Augustine Fong studied with Ho Kam Ming from 1960 to 1968, then relocated to Arizona, where he still teaches today. Fong is one of the more prolific Youtube personalities among Wing Chun teachers. I like his approach and his energy – he “plays” at Wing Chun with a fun spirit.
What we see in his videos support Sifu Wong’s views as expressed in the excellent article “Fighting Strategies.”
He emphasizes the importance of controlling the opponent. You don’t just fire off punches after your create or discover holes in the opponent’s defense. Ideally, you trap or control the body of the opponent, so that they literally cannot fight back in that fraction of a second that you are attacking along that particular “line of attack.” This is what is meant by “one hand controls two” and making an opponent “wrong.” These are methods of control.
Some of the comments on this Youtube video were instructive. Armchair critics offer opinions about how what they see is “playing patty-cake” or “dancing.” This ignorance is sometimes upsetting and confusing to new students of Wing Chun.
What must be understood is that Chi Sao is not fighting and demonstrations are not fighting. Sifu Fong is not trying to defeat this student – this can be deduced by the smiling face of the student. If Sifu Fong were attacking this student, the student would be unconscious, not smiling.
When Wing Chun teachers demo, they are prolonging the actions, much as we see in martial arts movies. The movements are often rounded and made more flowy – what Sifu Gary Lam calls “flower hands.”
Flower hands are good for demos and bad for fighting. I can guarantee that if you tried to punch Sifu Fong (or Gary Lam) in the head, you would see nothing but bystanders would observe a tight and sharp response, probably one or two techniques involving simultaenous defense and striking, elbows in, with a sunken and focused facing stance.
Everything would sink and narrow and you would be facing the business end of a tight wedge shaped fighter.