Hard or Soft?


I once had an interesting question put to me:


“How can a person make his punch strong?

Because for smooth hands or a hand that has not punched anyone before,

surely it will not be able to fight against the strong opponent.

In wing chun is it necessary that a person should have strong bones for strong punches?”


Well, first I would say that impact conditioning can be done simply by using a wall bag but as for strong bones etc. this would only be needed should we wish to share some of the impact.

By switching energy off immediately after contact will allow your joints to be used as shock absorbers (so less need for conditioning).

As a side note it is also worth considering that conditioning is one thing, but there’s never the need to overdo it.


It would be a terrible thing if you trained all your life, for a fight you may never have (hopefully), only to then discover, the that injuries you carry in your old age, are the ones you gained through conditioning!


I once heard a similar type of question put to Master Ip Chun at a seminar regarding how to categorise Wing Chun, when somebody asked:


“Is Wing Chun a hard or a soft style?”


Now you may have some thoughts on this yourself, thinking well this is obvious, but is it?

Some styles may be easy to characterise as Hard or Soft;


Hard styles;


Thai Boxing

Kick Boxing etc.


Soft styles;

Tai Chi Ch’uan

Qi Qong

and even Judo


The answer Sifu gave was very interesting, he said:


“Wing Chun is unique in that it cannot be categorised as either.

As it is soft in its movement but hard on its impact”






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