A note on Cantonese

I use the ‘Jyut Ping’ (粵拼) Cantonese writing system as I have found it to be the most accurate.

For an excellent way to learn Cantonese pronunciation, see Fluent Forever. For a dictionary see CantoDict or use the Hanping Cantonese App for Android.

THE RECTANGLE

Here is the rectangle drawn in full:

Practical Wing Chun Rectangle
The Practical Wing Chun ‘Rectangle’

By drawing lines in this way we can map out the area in front of us we want to control.

1 – First we draw a rectangle around our fists hanging down by our sides:

Practical Wing Chun Rectangle - Simple
Simple rectangle

To get the ideal range with our opponent, we must be able to put our hands on their shoulders with our arms outstretched at 180° and our torso vertical.

2 – We then add a vertical line down the middle (the 1st centreline) and a horizontal line where the arms bend (the 2nd centreline):

Practical Wing Chun Rectangle - 1st and 2nd Centrelines
Rectangle with 1st and 2nd centrelines

1st Centreline:

Any incoming punch on or to the left of your 1st centreline will ideally be dealt with by your left hand.

Any incoming punch on or to the right of your 1st centreline will ideally be dealt with by your right hand.

2nd Centreline:

Any incoming punch on or above your 2nd centreline will ideally be dealt with by an upper move (e.g. Soeng Gaau Caa Sau).

Any incoming punch on or below your 2nd centreline will ideally be dealt with by a lower move (e.g. Haa Gaau Caa Sau).

3 – Afterwards we draw lines in between the current vertical and horizontal lines to make the ‘braces’ and 3rd centrelines:

Practical Wing Chun Rectangle - Braces and 3rd centrelines
Rectangle with ‘braces’ and 3rd centrelines

‘Braces’ Lines:

The ‘braces’ lines are the endpoint for your elbow(s) when performing a diagonal move (e.g. Hoi).

They are also the endpoint for your elbows when performing some double-handed, frontal moves (e.g. SLT Fan Sau, SLT Biu, CK Tik Sau etc).

3rd Centrelines:

The 3rd centrelines are the ideal contact point either between your shoulder and your elbow, or between your elbow and the end of your fist.

This is because in the elbow to fist example, you split the difference between being able to punch or elbow when you have a touch.

In the shoulder to elbow example, you split the difference between having your elbow controlled and the risk of their strike slipping above your shoulder and hitting you in the neck.

4 – Finally we can see the applications for the lines around the edge as well as a further application for the 2nd centreline:

Practical Wing Chun Rectangle - Side Lines and Mid line
Rectangle with side lines explained

2 Vertical Side Lines:

The 2 vertical lines on the sides are the maximum you want to turn your 1st centreline towards when doing a move with Zyun Maa (turning the body).

Any further and you risk being unable to deal with the hand of theirs that you’ve turned away from.

3 Horizontal Lines:

The upper horizontal line is where you strike with Gou Waang Zoeng (High Horizontal Palm) from the Siu Lam Tao 3rd Section – ideally their chin (if they are the same height as you).

The middle horizontal line (2nd centreline) is where you strike with Peng Waang Zoeng (Middle Horizontal Palm) also from the Siu Lam Tao 3rd Section – ideally just under their ribs.

The lower horizontal line is where you strike with Dai Waang Zoeng (Lower Horizontal Palm) also from the Siu Lam Tao 3rd Section – ideally their pelvis.