Ambrose Academy
Rocco Ambrose applying Wing Chun Do application Open Bi Jong

Technically, Wing Chun Do has only one stance. It is called the Open Bi Jong. It is designed to allow for the application of the widest variety to techniques – both offensive and defensive – from the same non-telegraphic set-up position. The Open Bi Jong is constructed around four guidelines.

1. It is used from outside the Kill Range, (your opponent's leg length plus three inches).
A distance that requires the attacker to make a gross (telegraphic) set-up motion. Also it helps compensate for lag-time allowing guideline #2.

2. It shows no sign of readiness or aggression.
Prior to actual physical engagement, it is advisable to exhibit passive body language, to preserve the element of surprise or if you're immediate goal is to talk your way out of the altercation. If the goal is to pre-empt the attack, then one should not alert the attacker to your knowledge of skill or intentions with an aggressive posture.

3. It requires mental and visual focus.
Since a passive or victim-like posture leaves you open, you must become centered and detached from peripheral distraction so that you can respond intuitively to the slightest pre-assault cue.

4. It must have the ability to move spontaneously in any direction – without telegraph.
While the direct attack is often a very effective strategy, there are some circumstances under which it is preferable to back up, or side step, to get off the line of attack.

The only true stance in Wing Chun Do, the Open Bi Jong is the first and most crucial offensive technique taught because it maximizes the effectiveness of any initial engagement technique implemented.

Closed Bi Jong

In the Tao of Jeet Kune Do, Bruce Lee offered this advice about developing your footwork. "Seek balance in motion, not in stillness."

This is very important because, in a fight, you cannot afford to stand still. If you stop moving, even for a second, you become a stationary target. Also when you deliver a technique from a stance, you sacrifice and important source of power – mass in motion (the drop step). Thus, the Closed Bi Jong is not so much a stance as a set of guidelines governing motion in combat. It is constructed around four guidelines.

1. It is used from inside the Kill Range (the opponent's leg length plus 3 inches).
Once the opponent crosses his line, you must begin motion.

2. All perimeters are closed.
When in close proximity to the opponent, your position should be constructed in such a way that is automatically closes as many strike-lines as possible.

3. It triggers full attack mode.
Once the opponent begins motion, it is essential you begin your offense immediately and stay offensive, even when defending, until the threat is neutralized.

4. It is applied using single-unit movement.
In order to maximize mobility and stability, all physical elements of your position must be preserved and applied, intact, especially when in motion.

There are may crucial factors to consider when constructing a stance that is both mobile enough to provide precise distance control, even against a fast moving adversary, and stable enough to provide maximum power and support the technique. These include: proper angels of the feet, proper length and width of the legs, proper weight distribution, square shoulder (therefore centerline), proper body angle, proper head alignment, and proper arm extension (bridge). When all factors are in order, the Closed Bi Jong facilitates constant controlled offensive pressure against the opponent.

Students practicing Closing Exercises

Lin Sil Die Dar

The best defense is a good offense

One of the most important concepts in the self-defense system of Wing Chun Do is its "total attack theory." This is the mandate that every attack must be met with a combination of three elements. The appropriate defensive technique, an efficient offensive technique and a forward jamming step. Look at it this way. A block by itself does little to neutralize the threat (an attacker). In fact, it only prolongs the fight. But, a block paired with an efficient and accurate strike immediately turns the tide of the attack back toward the assailant, forcing him into a defensive mode. In order to keep him on the defensive, once you have begun your offense, every aspect of your subsequent actions must be offensive until the threat is neutralized. In this way you, in effect, 'smother' him. If any element of your response is purely defensive, you run the risk that the attacker may be able to 'take a breath' and become offensive again.

Students practicing Lin Sil Die Dar


The Essence of Speed

They say," It's not the big fish that eats the small fish. It's the fast fish that eats the slow fish." This holds true in martial arts as well. But, what is the nature of speed? It's more than just movement from point a - to point b. There are a few requirements for the application of martial art speed. First, the movement should be as direct as possible in affecting the technique, minimizing time and energy expenditure. The second requirement is non-telegraphic motion, which will serve to delay the opponent's reaction. Non-telegraphic motion requires the movement of only those segments (muscles) necessary to the task. It is also requires the proper sequence of events.

The rules of speed and power state that for the application of speed, hand movement must precede any body movement. This is because, moving body mass requires greater time and effort. Moving the body first will surely telegraph your intent to execute a technique. Having less mass, the hand can be accelerated more quickly and with fewer visual cues. Moving the hand first requires less energy and effort. This allows the hand to be projected toward the target well before the opponent perceives motion.

The two essential factors in non-telegraphic motion are spontaneous initiation and maximum acceleration. To accomplish this task, Wing Chun Do develops 'startle' speed. What is startle? Startle is an involuntary response to an unexpected stimulus, also known as the 'fight or flight response'. When startled, the body releases adrenalin into the blood stream, accelerating the body's mental and physical processes. It prepares the mind and body for extreme emotional and physical engagement and immediately triggers 'fast-twitch' muscle fiber for explosive movement. The startle response allows the subconscious to produce reaction and movement at speeds far faster than can be generated through conscious initiation.