Ving Tsun (aka Wing Chun) is a martial art system originating from southern China. It is known for its use of geometric principles (centerline theory) to create techniques which are simple, direct, and efficient. Through efficient use of good body structure, timing, and precision, Ving Tsun allows a smaller person to intercept and control a bigger, stronger attacker’s force. The art was introduced to the West by Grandmaster Ip Man, the subject of several movies in recent years and teacher of Bruce Lee.
Ving Tsun emphasizes a reality-based, self-defense oriented approach to martial training; however, it is not scenario-based training (if X happens, do Y). Rather it teaches a set of principles which the student can variously interpret and apply as the situation demands – the possibilities are limited only by one’s creativity. While Ving Tsun’s primary emphasis is on striking, the underlying principles of the art apply to other aspects of combat such as grappling and wrestling; and, Sifu Herbie incorporates study of these aspects into his students’ training. As such, Ving Tsun is a complete combat system that can be viewed as a traditional martial art antecedent to modern mixed martial arts (MMA).
Ving Tsun training benefits both body and mind. It is designed to build strength, endurance, coordination, balance and relaxation without the addition of unnecessary muscle mass. Additionally, it sharpens the practitioner’s mind while also promoting creativity and a sense of calm.
Ving Tsun training consists of forms, one person exercises, 2 person exercises as well as practical application. There are 3 empty hand forms – Siu Nim Tau (a little idea), Chum Kiu (seeking the bridge) and Biu Jee (darting fingers) – which promote strength, endurance and relaxation while simultaneously teaching fundamental structures, movements and principles which constitute the physical vocabulary of Ving Tsun. In addition to further serving these goals, the individual and two person exercises also help build the practitioner’s awareness of distance and timing. In addition, Ving Tsun is one of the systems that pioneered the use of the wooden dummy to enable a practitioner training without a partner to hone their ability to stick to an opponent, move efficiently around them while maintaining effective distance and time their strikes for maximum efficacy.
Ving Tsun / Wing Chun can be practiced children (ages 10 and up) and adults regardless of their gender, age, size, physical build or prior experience with martial arts. Students at the school include both men and women of varying age and build and come from all walks of life. In addition to an extensive schedule of regular classes for adults, the school also offers children’s classes – for details, please take a look at the class schedule.
The primary purpose of Ving Tsun / Wing Chun is self-defense. As such, it emphasizes simple efficient concepts applicable to dealing with adversaries even if they possess advantages in size, strength or number. However, the Ving Tsun concept of self-defense extends beyond mere physical confrontations – the art trains the body and the mind to become both stronger and more relaxed. Thus, it helps practitioners defend their health and well-being against the ravages of age and stress.
Sifu Walter “Herbie” Holland is the teacher at Roanoke Kung Fu Academy. Having trained in a variety of martial disciplines including kickboxing, karate, and kung fu from age 11; he still felt a void in his training. This search ended during his mid-20’s when he discovered Ving Tsun. Drawn to the art’s economy of motion and combat efficacy, he has remained a devoted Ving Tsun practitioner since. He has over 19 years of experience in the art of Ving Tsun and was trained by Sifu Marcus Evans of Elite Training Academy, Richmond, VA. Sifu Herbie can be reached at 540-493-3285.