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  • Are There Any Kicks in Wing Chun?

Let's get right to it.

Wing Chun Kung Fu actually does use kicks as part of its techniques! The way it does so, however, is different than many other martial arts.

Wing Chun primarily focuses on close-range combat, rapid hand techniques, and simultaneous attack and defense. Kicking techniques in Wing Chun are mostly used in a supportive role, and are usually used less than in martial arts like Taekwondo or Muay Thai, martial arts that place a lot of emphasis on kicks.

1. Front Kick (Chin Geri or Chong Geri)

This is a simple front kick delivered with the heel or ball of the foot, typically aimed at the opponent's lower body, such as the knees or groin. Note the difference between this type of kick and the push kicks of other martial arts, which may often be aimed higher.

Front Kick:

2. Side Kick (Yat Gee Chong Geri)

The side kick in Wing Chun is often executed as a low kick, targeting the opponent's shin or knee. Like the front kick, it can be used to disrupt an opponent's balance or attack their legs.

Side Kick:

3. Stomp Kick (Chung Teui)

The stomp kick is a downward kick towards the opponent's foot, knee, or leg. It can be used to disrupt an opponent's stance and balance.

Stomp Kick:

4. Knee Strikes

While not traditional kicks, knee strikes are also sometimes used in Wing Chun as close-range attacks. These strikes are used to attack the opponent's groin, abdomen, or other vulnerable areas.

Knee Strike:

It's important to note that Wing Chun's kicking techniques are often meant to be used alongside its hand techniques, like trapping, striking, and controlling an opponent's limbs. Because it is a close-range art, Wing Chun emphasizes economy of motion and direct, efficient techniques, so it's more practical and effective to use kicks in these "supportive" roles seen above. Its strength lies more in its hand techniques and close-quarters combat strategies than purely in its kicking arsenal.

Using Your Legs For Defense

Wing Chun also uses the legs to block an opponent's own knees or kicks. But the way it does so is also different than a lot of "kicking" arts:

Kick Defenses

Not recommended for blocking kicks at a distance! It's usually not a great idea to use your legs to block "long range" kicks, especially against powerful ones like those from Muay Thai fighters. Blocking kicks with your shins can be painful and risky unless your shins are exceptionally conditioned.

Preferred Strategy: Instead of blocking kicks at a distance, it's better to immediately close the distance and engage your opponent. This allows you to avoid the full impact of the kick and immediately counterattack. Just like you wouldn't want to try to block a baseball bat or crowbar swung at you by staying where you are and raising your arms, the better choice here is to move to where the attack can't hurt you.

Leg Defense at Close Range

Leg techniques can be more effective for defense when you're in close quarters with your opponent. For example, if your arms are immobilized and your opponent attempts knee strikes, you might use leg defenses. Wing Chun practitioners might use inside leg techniques, such as "Bong Sau" and "Tan Jerk," to defend against knee strikes. These techniques involve using your legs on the inside of your opponent's thigh to protect yourself, creating openings for counterattacks.

When defending with your leg, don't block with your shin against your opponent's shin. Ouch! Instead, you may circle, let the attack ride, and step in to disrupt your opponent's stance while simultaneously launching a counterattack.

Clarification on "Yap Guard": The video emphasizes that there is no specific Wing Chun technique called "Yap Guard." Instead, "Yap Guard" is a Cantonese term that describes the action of inserting your leg into your opponent's stance, which can be part of a leg defense technique like "Tong Jerk."