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Wing chun training exercise

Popularised by Bruce Lee, wing chun is a Chinese martial art, that specialises in aggressive close-range combat. The training involves learning the basic moves of this form of kung fu, which develop fantastic levels of fitness, flexibility and strength. Traditionally, wing chun is taught as an oral tradition from master to novice but today there are many clubs claiming to offer the genuine wing chun transmission.

The word or character for the name of this martial art is sometimes translated as "eternal spring" which refers to the myth surrounding the origins of this popular fighting style. The story runs that there was once a beautiful maiden, Yim Wing Chun, who rebuffed the advances of a powerful warlord. He said he would withdraw on one condition: that she had to defeat him in a fight. The maiden turned to a Buddhist nun who taught her a style of fighting that enabled her to defeat the warlord.

The style emphasises the efficiency of attack and defence in close hand to hand combat. Unlike many other fighting styles, the student is taught to remain soft and practice the least amount of force in any fighting situation. There is a myth that advanced practioners can deflect any blow by applying no more than four ounces of pressure. This is achieved by allowing the line of energy to pass through or pass by without letting it be absorbed into the body.

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