I love martial arts, especially Wing Chun. While practising I sometimes don't have a partner to drill the moves with. What forms can be practised without a partner?

  • If you poke around a bit, you should find resources online for solo Wing Chun drills such as londonwingchun.co.uk/5-best-exercises-improve-your-wing-chun. You might also consider investing in a wooden man training dummy. Aug 19, 2015 at 12:46
  • I'll leave it to the Wing Chun practitioners to directly answer your question, but I saw a wording which I think might be worth drawing attention to. "Equally practiced" implies a desire to compare single-person drills with partner practicing. It is easy for that desire to cut short the things single-person drills are good at in order to make sure you don't fall behind on things partner practicing is better at. I have found that I have better luck in my practice simply trying to practice my best, whatever that happens to be in my current environment. A small word shift, but I find it helps
    – Cort Ammon
    Aug 19, 2015 at 15:15

3 Answers 3


Wing chun has forms for this purpose. There are six forms for solo training, starting with Siu Nim Tau. Keep in mind that forms are aimed at training your muscle memory, so your body gets used to the moves. Apart from this there is never enough of footwork and punching training. Once you start with Chi Sau you will need a partner. There is no way around it.


I don't have a dummy, so I use doors as the pretend arms. I can still practice distance and stepping with them.

The three main forms are great. Positioning is key.

  • 4
    A diagram or photo would really help show what you mean.
    – Mike P
    Aug 22, 2019 at 9:20

You may not believe it, but there exist studies where pure mental training had the same effects than physical training with a partner. So if you don't have a partner you can practice shadowboxing. Shadowboxing is also very advisable even if you have a partner, as it is a fundamental part of every martial art.

As already answered by user5645, this is only one side of the coin. Without a proper partner/teacher (especially for Chi-Sao) you will hardly master the style in its whole definition by your own.

But don't let this get you down, even if you can "only" train solo drills, this does not mean you can't get a good Wing Chun fighter. The great advantage with partners is that you always have some form of "feedback" ... you know if you hit the rights spot, you can "feel" your partner, ask him questions, discuss about correct angles, etc., etc.

Also partner-training has a huge philosophical part, that is, it teaches you empathy and respect for the people opposite of you. You train with a partner, but don't try to hurt him ... you together grow and get better martial artists.

A complete martial art is always about people ... life, death, love. This is also the main difference of a true martial art and MMA. MMA is sport ... it is designed to hurt people ... not to respect or love them.

So I encourage you to continue your martial art studies, even if you don't have a partner for training ... read books, watch movies/tutorials, practise forms/katas, drills, stay fit, eath healthy, respect people, pray/meditate, etc. ... everything in life is part of a true martial artisan.

  • The question is "what", and you have answered "why".
    – mattm
    Aug 27, 2019 at 13:27
  • @mattm I think I have answered "both", if something is unclear I can update my answer. Aug 27, 2019 at 13:29
  • What form should the asker practice without a partner? Shadowboxing (a non-specific exercise without a partner). If that is your "what", it's not helpful.
    – mattm
    Aug 27, 2019 at 14:15
  • @mattm First of all, there are only "solo" forms in Wing Chun (he could easily google that info, and how they are named ... so I think that is not what the question is about). Secondly, he asked how he can drill moves without a partner, and shadowboxing is a very valid, if not the best, answer for this part of his question, that I believe is his main question. Additionally, to be honest, the accepted answer contains 0 information for the OP. I practice WC for more than 10 years now, so I know what I talk about. Aug 27, 2019 at 14:39

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