Let’s talk Cheun Mar (Part 2)

Perfect Cheun Mar


In my beginner courses I run a very simple six-lesson structure as an introduction to Wing Chun, where Yee Gee Kim Yuen Mar is included in Lesson 1 and Biu Mar being included in Lesson 2 (along may I add, with Bow, Tan, Punches, Bong, Palms and Paks).


Lesson 3 is where it starts to get even more exciting for the newbies, as this is when they begin their partner training through Dan Chi Sau and basic Lap Sau exercise but more importantly, this is where they are introduced to Turning punch, or to be more precise, Cheun Mar.


Incidentally, this entire beginner course is available at wingchun.online for just $1


You may not know this but the way that Ip Man used to teach Cheun Mar (in the eyes of most Westerners anyway), would be considered quite drawn out, by this I mean that a student would be required to learn Siu Lim Tau, training only this for one year!

Their second year of training would be spent studying the Chum Kiu and everything connected with it..


Only after two years would you then be considered ready to learn Cheun Mar.


It was in 1969 that Ip Man decide to change this approach by, still teaching the Siu Lim Tau for one year but then teaching the Turning Punch, and  to use the second year of Chum Kiu studies as a way of perfecting this technique.


Because of this story I would remind the students on my beginner courses that;


‘If you do not get this straight away, do not be too concerned,

Previously, and in my lifetime I might add,

This took two years to get to even get the chance to learn,

YOU, are learning this after just two lessons’


The turning punch can be taught in lots of detail, but it can also be simplified, and with very few pointers, First point being that when turning, the hips must NOT go past a 45 degree angle, this will be the same wether in Cheun Mar or Biu Mar, Secondly, by keeping a slight but obvious bend on the front knee, will also prevent pushing the (front leg) hip, too far back (which would also transfer too much weight and make this stance weak from the side).


For the Turning Punch itself to work at its best, the back knee must point the same direction as the punch, THIS is where the strength of structure comes from and connects all six key elements at the point of impact (ankle, knee, hip, shoulder, elbow and fist).


Below is a video from my personal training collection (Hong Kong 1993) where Master Ip Chun is demonstrating this very point.

Notice the turning on the heels, the bend on the front knee and most importantly the back knee point out, either being used as the direction of the punch or as a strength support for the Biu Mar.


If any of my students are looking for me, I’m the one in the subtle green T’shirt.  🙂


Hope you enjoy it.


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