At very close range, where most styles eventually resort to grapping, Ving Tsun attacks become much more efficient. Many Kung Fu practitioners look upon the wooden dummy a san ideal way of toughening up the hands and forearms, an nothing more. Wong reminds us that although it is made of a hard substance, it still represents a man with arms and legs.
The purpose of the dummy is to develop proper timing in an attack, that is, to intensify one’s ability to block and punch both at the proper angle and simultaneously. The premise of the dummy is continuity. A teacher ca distinguish a student’s progress by just listening to him or her practice on it. The sounds alone indicate whether a student has developed the proper coordination and technique necessary for learning the higher Ving Tsun functions. I your angling, sped, stance, or pattern is wrong, a good teacher can correct you almost blindfolded. Once again, economy of motion is the name of the game.
There is some contention as to whether Ving Tsun has developed any footwork or not. This is due to a false conception resulting from two factors: one, very few Ving Tsun practitioners stayed with any master long enough to learn the footwork; and two, most matches involving Ving Tsun were decided without the need for footwork.
According to Wong, there is no logical or practical reason for teaching a student advanced footwork until he‘s already mastered hand techniques. The reason, he felt, is that the two hands are able to continue in motion with little effect to one’s general stability; but when the leg has left the ground, it must eventually return to the ground, otherwise the advantage is strictly the opponent’s. In order to maintain stability, the legs must be confined to attack below the waist.