A note on Cantonese

I mostly 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 Jyut Ping, see Fluent Forever. For a dictionary see CantoDict or use the Hanping Cantonese App for Android.

Intro

There are 2 ways to make any object more stable:

  1. Lower the centre of gravity (in humans it’s close to your belly button)
  2. Widen the base (outwards evenly from the centre of gravity)

Some styles don’t have the centre of gravity midway between the base (the feet), however they are often optimising for other factors other than just stability (e.g. more frontal protection for the groin).

natural stance

Natural Stance in Practical Wing Chun - London
Natural Stance

Angles:

  • Toes in only enough to create 2 straight lines forward from the outsides of your feet
  • Outsides of the feet roughly in line with the sides of your pelvis
  • Naturally straight arms and knees

Applications:

  • If you turn 1 foot outwards 45°, this is a common way for people to stand naturally
  • You can then launch straight into your fighting stance from either foot as the distance between your heels is the same as your fighting stance (see below)

level stance (平馬 – ping4 maa5)

Level Stance - Practical Wing Chun London
Level Stance

Angles:

  • Toes in only enough to create 2 straight lines forward from the outsides of your feet
  • Insides of your feet roughly in line with the sides of your pelvis
  • Knee angle at 135°

Applications:

  • Used to make it easier to keep your shoulders square with your opponent when training
  • This allows both arms to be at potentially equal distance from your opponent which is vital at close range
  • Also means you don’t train to favour one foot forward over the other – since you’ll likely be swapping your feet during a fight

fighting stance (前後馬 – cin4 hau6 maa5)

Practical Wing Chun fighting stance
Fighting Stance (front)
Fighting Stance - Practical Wing Chun London
Fighting Stance (side)

Angles:

  • Same as Level Stance but 1st centreline and 1 foot are turned outwards by 45°
  • Keep your 5th centreline (see article) at the midpoint between your heels
  • In order to make sure your back knee doesn’t collapse inwards, think of pushing it out over the toe
  • Keep your shoulders square with your opponent, even if they want to turn in the direction of your back leg
  • Frontally, your heels are the same width as in the Natural Stance
  • From the side, your heels are the same width as in the Level Stance

Applications:

  • When moving, maintain the heel width of your Natural Stance – it is common for the heels to end up in line with each other which decreases your stability and turns your shoulders away from being square with your opponent
  • The 2 reasons we want one foot in front of the other are:
  1. More ability to deliver pressure forwards and receive pressure backwards
  2. More power from the back leg punch (e.g. right rear leg, right ‘elbow in’ punch)