Distance or close range?

It is sometimes claimed that Ving Tsun is close-range fighting. Thus the idea can arise that there is also fighting from a distance. There are a number of martial arts in which many (fake) movements are made when an opponent is still (too) far away. In Ving Tsun, we aim primarily to make no unnecessary movements which can waste energy, the result being that a good practitioner always moves more economically. When the opponent is too far away, you can better remain physically passive, but alert. 

Strive only to make actions which are significant. This implies that an action must be used just when an opponent is sufficiently within reach so that the action can have an actual effect. By 'within reach' we mean that the opponent is an arm or legs’ length away. When an opponent is removed only by one small step, a practitioner can move forward with a fast step and attack with his hands. In Ving Tsun Kung Fu, we do not attempt to injure or grip the arms of the opponent.

But we direct ourselves at striking the middle of the body, which is more difficult for an opponent to avoid. A punch has only sufficient strength when the arms are bent at the moment of contact with the body of the opponent. The punch only begins at the moment of contact. The end of the punch movement is not at the moment of contact, but a bit behind the point of impact. When your arm is stretched completely in front of you without having touched your opponent, the opponent has possibilities to attack you or to injure your arm. 

A completely stretched arm can cause little damage; you can compare with an empty gun. Effective hitting is different from touching. To get close enough to an opponent for your punch to have impact takes guts and sufficient faith in your technique, because at this close range, a punch from your opponent will also have impact. When you are within reach, both you and your opponent can hit. You strive also to learn how to attack to ensure the minimum risks. But completely avoiding a hit is impossible. It is also important not to wait or to hesitate at the

crucial moment. A very natural response is to directly step back from a confrontation with an opponent. Immediately take distance. Everyone without experience would rather remain at a distance. But, as everyone knows, walking backwards is slower than walking forwards. Plus, when walking backwards, you have to account for chairs, tables, cars, road curbs, and bicycles behind you which you might fall over. Also the space behind you can quickly disappear when you run into a wall. A number of martial arts attempt to keep an opponent at a distance by means of kicks. The majority of these kicks are very easy to avoid by either a step forward or backward. A small step backwards ensures that you are out of range; he cannot correct the distance by hopping forward on one leg. With a step forward, the kicker lacks the necessary space to make his attack. 

It is important not to remain passive. An opponent who kicks often is less mobile since he cannot kick and run at the same time. This is really one of the most important reasons why there is such a strong emphasis in Ving Tsun on using the hands. The mobility, balance, and continuity of an attack with the hands gives it preference. An experienced practitioner can often step in and punch an opponent at the moment he wants to kick. Select the best moment to attack and do not do it every time your opponent tries to attack.

It is not a bad idea to take a step back every so often and wait for the most favorable moment to attack. When you want come close to an opponent, often he will want to retreat or look for space and take a step back. Other martial arts especially like having distance. Especially when the opponent is a good kicker, feeling for distance and timing is extremely important. When someone steps backwards, you can quickly move forward and make an attack. Ving Tsun is also known for applying pressure, hunting an opponent so that he has no opportunity to counter-attack or regroup.

A Ving Tsun practitioner is ultimately trying to move forward to come close to his opponent. Close to the opponent, within range ­ that is when the Ving Tsun actions come to their right and the opponent is forced to respond by defending. By this, control over the opponent can be obtained because he must adapt to you. By the pressure of a continuous attack, every 10th of a second increases the chance that he will be hit and neutralized. This power which has a practitioner has over his opponent, becomes more stronger as he advances in ' Chi Sau '. Chi Sau is a very specific training in Ving Tsun Kung Fu where the contact of the arms is used to learn and to develop oneself in close range situations.