Top 7 Reasons for Wing Chun's Back-Weighted Fighting Stance

Misconceptions about Wing Chun often come from conflation of training methods with fighting methods or from square-peg-round-hole situations. Our back-weighted fighting stance is a regular victim of both. Avoid those pitfalls with these top 7 reasons for Wing Chun's back-weighted fighting stance.
1 Your "Fighting Stance" is also a Training Stance.
In a fight you will not want to keep all your weight on your back foot. Fights are dynamic and your footwork and weight shifting should be, too. Your Chum Kiu Ma, as done in the forms and much of our drilling should be recognized as part of our training method and not a strict feature of our fighting method.
2 Builds Leg Strength.
Think of our back weighted stance as a very shallow pistol squat. After a few laps with a proper Chum Kiu Stance, you should start to feel the burn in your quads and calves. Leg strength is needed for quick and steady footwork.
3 You are over training your stance, (On Purpose).
New students tend to load their front leg too much. Over-emphasizing weighting the back foot counters the common habit of overloading the front. It is generally awkward for neophytes to keep their weight back and it takes a lot of reprogramming to overcome this. Lack of strength and balance in this position must be overcome through consistent practice.
4 More Mobile Front Leg.
With your balance on your back leg you are able to immediately move your front leg without needing to first shift your weight. This allows quicker use of the front leg to defend against kicks or to pull it out of the way of kicks to the leg itself.
5 It Adds a Tool for Controlling Range.
If you are very comfortable balancing your weight on your back leg you can shift it there rapidly at any time. If you are standing with your weight evenly distributed on your feet or even front weighted, a quick shift to the back leg can move your vitals away from an attack without compromising your balance (as leaning can do).
6 Shifting Forward gives you Power.
It is not that having weight on the front foot gives you greater power in your attacks but that the movement forward, properly coordinated, can greatly increase your power. To shift forward, you need to start back.
7 Grappling Range becomes Striking Range.
With a back weighted stance you can strike with power even if your feet are close enough to grapple. In Wing Chun we train with the ideal of striking with power from the shortest range possible. This doesn't mean we can strike effectively without any space. If you understand force generation and delivery, you will know you need movement (which requires space) and proper structure (which requires space).

Happy Training,

Sifu Nick Edmonds

Red Light Wing Chun Phoenix, Arizona

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