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The martial art of Wing Chun is built mainly upon four basic concepts. These can be imagined as the four cornerstones upon which the in-depth knowledge and theories behind the system are built; position, reflexes, technique and energy.
The aim during your training is to ultimately defend yourself in any given situation. For instance, if you were attacked you would try to gain the best position, rely on your natural reflexes using the appropriate defending or attacking technique with the correct use of energy.
At the most basic level you could defend yourself with position alone. Imagine a strike is aimed towards your face, you step to one side (position) at just the right moment and the strike misses you! However, this is a very simplified ideal, and in reality, you may have to back this up with some form of defensive technique, coupled with an attacking technique. You will stand more of a chance of success if you have fast reflexes to enable you to respond quickly, and the techniques you use will be more efficient if they are delivered with the correct amount of energy.
Therefore the traditional training methods that have been passed down from generation to generation have been designed to maximise your development of the fundamental principles of Wing Chun; footwork and movement for position, training exercises with a partner to speed up your reflexes, an archive of defensive and attacking techniques from which to draw, and finally the concept of the type and amount of energy to use.
The above concepts are just a simple explanation of the fundamentals behind the Wing Chun system. The training involved to achieving a high level of skill in these concepts branches further as your knowledge and skill in the system progresses.
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