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How many times have we seen demos where the attacker throw punches out of range at the defendant? Not only would these punches be too short by almost a foot but also the guy "defending" is practicing to be good at being bad.

Practicing techniques this way is a sure ticket for a bloody nose or a lot worse in thecase of a real attack and it places the defendant out of countering range as well. How could he receive properly if the attack is not even at the door? Truly, this is a very wrong way to practice.

The remedy is without question to practice at a real striking distance and with a real contact intention. But how can we do that without unreasonable risks? After all, we all have to go to work tomorrow. ;-)

Simply by using palms instead of fists. With a palm, it is easy to attack very fast and still have a light touch. We can jab, cross and hook like a boxer and do our best to beat our training partner defense. The training partner is going against somebody who really wants to touch him and he gets the immense bonus of being able to follow the receive/follow/charge direct central principle of the art. Realistic distance and intent ask for realistic counters.

All Wing Chun drills should be practiced at a realistic distance. The arm should be bent when touching the opponent so it would be possible to go trough him with a strike. Anything less is practicing for defeat in the case of a real situation. A Wing Chun student should work at feeling good while being right in his enemy face.

Another very important benefit of a proper distance is that the chasing hands syndrome tends to disappear and to be replaced by a better sense of the centerline and economy of motions.

Sifu Michel Boulet

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