I am a new student and only female in my Wing Chun class. The teacher who is well over six foot something, strong as an ox and has a black belt in karate, uses full force when showing me techniques.

The other day we were supposed to do an off balancing technique when the teacher punched my wrist so hard I had to take a week off for recovery. It hurt to move my fingers and I had to keep them on ice and wrapped up.

He's always been rough on me but so are the rest of his students. However, this is not the case in any of my other classes. The day before this happened, my Sifu brought in some of his old Kenpo friends for a sparring match with his WC advanced students. Overseeing the fight he let them beat each other up until the headgear and floor was covered in blood. It was a pretty gruesome fight.

Feeling bummed out, I asked one of my other teachers and close friend what I should do. He thinks WC is a useless: he says that, in real self, defense and a lot of the trapping techniques won't even work without modification outside oriental martial arts.

Is the art worth going through the treatment? Is it worth taking the time to learn? Will it work in self defense? Can I trust my Sifu?

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    Is your dojo called the Korba-Kai?... Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 7:48
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    Since you mention "real self defense", perhaps consider a different martial art altogether, one more geared directly at real-world self-defense techniques, such as Krav Maga?
    – Sandwich
    Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 9:10
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    I left WC class for a very similar reason. The teacher never showed me the basics and on the second lesson punched me on the jaw. No blood, but still too violent for me.
    – algiogia
    Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 10:34
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    This is your fourth post involving abuse in the dozen styles you're practicing. I think you might want to consider moving... Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 20:26
  • I am very surprised that you saw blood if they are being taught correctly. Like all "soft" arts, WC aims to attack weak spots like internal organs, eye gauging, soft tissue. If it was particularly gruesome, it should be massive debilitating bruising, or internal organ damage.
    – Aron
    Commented Sep 11, 2015 at 3:49

7 Answers 7


Wing chun doesn't have to be bad for this school to be bad for you. It sounds like you're not comfortable there. I think you should stop training with these people.


Do you have a bad Wing Chun teacher?

I don't know, as it really does not sound at all like Wing Chun.

Going back to its roots, Wing Chun is actually named for one of the early female practitioners of the art. It emphasizes techniques where the user flows around the enemy, as it is expected that the WC user would lose when facing an opponent head-on (punching their wrist).

Do you have a bad teacher?

I am pretty sure your teacher is wrong for you. It sounds like he has "adapted" Wing Chun around his large frame, and developed his own style (which runs completely contrary to the tenets of WC).

I would advise you to drop this teacher as soon as you can.

However, I would not completely discount WC just yet. The core style is well suited for defeating an aggressor who is much larger than you, which is perhaps how it came to become popular.


Others have said it, I'll agree.

Never work with a teacher who makes you uncomfortable.

Always work with a teacher who is serving your needs, advancing your study and developing you in ways you both agree are good.


It's so weird to hear you say these things. Wing chun is a SOFT art and is not about brute strength or force.

Believe it or not, it was actually created by a woman and was meant as a way for softness to overcome hardness.

What you are experiencing is the exact opposite of what the art is about!

I studied kempo for 12 years and definitely have been there with the rough and tumble hehe. We usually didn't have much blood but it did happen.

But, that's not what WC is about. So yeah.. It does seem like your teacher is more a kempo person that values "the hard" rather than a WC person and you yourself seem like you gravitate toward the soft.

It sounds cheesy but good martial arts is both hard and soft, because each is appropriate at different times. This is actually part of what the yin and yang represents.

You might want to shop around some more but I think WC could be a great fit for you with the right teacher.

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    Yes but you need to master the rules before you can break them. In soft arts you need to master soft, before you can start using hard. I suspect I should be easily be able to over-balance the majority of his students simply because it sounds like he isn't teaching sensitivity and looseness correctly. Also, you shouldn't see blood if you are hitting correctly.
    – Aron
    Commented Sep 11, 2015 at 3:42
  • The blood the op is talking about is from heavy sparring. Blood from mouth, nose, etc
    – Alan Wolfe
    Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 15:07
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    I realise that. My point is to do with the soft/hard strike. In the years I've done WC, the only blood I've seen is from my own knuckles rubbing on sand bags. But boy have I seen some bruising. The point, we don't normally aim for those places. I would only go for the nose with a gauge. I'd rather strike the chin or the throat than the mouth. But more to the point, I'd be going for the kidneys, ribs, locking the elbow and hyper extending it. Plenty of damage without any blood.
    – Aron
    Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 15:14
  • Ah OK. Gotcha (:
    – Alan Wolfe
    Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 15:16

Being attacked on the street (depending on where you live) is theoretically a once in a life time event, so there's no point going somewhere frequently where you are considerably increasing the likeliness of being hurt because then you might as well take your chances on the street without paying out money and time and risking pain/blood/injury for Wing Chun lessons. It's a bad place to learn.

Personally I don't see why there has to be ANY contact other than holding, touching someone's arms in order to learn the principles initially. They should be accommodating for the level you are training at.


I am not very familiar with wing chun, but having studied karate both in the nineties and presently, I'd say that generally, there has been a paradigm shift, making (at least karate) more accessible to people of all shapes and sizes.

You could say that there are different degrees of training, the regimens that promote the traditions of the martial arts, and those that are usable in self defense. In order to be comfortable "in the wild" there are different degrees of self preservation, the first of which is don't get hit. I believe that just training a martial art, gives you an aura if self confidence that will deter some potential attackers. But as I say to my students, to be prepared for something, you have to try it. We don't punch each other to a pulp, but some contact is used, so that we don't freeze and panic if we are ever confronted with an actual attacker. When I say some contact, I don't mean giving each other broken noses, buy eg slapping the side of the face, ude tanden (hardening training ) and light sparring.

With regards to your trainer, you can choose to regard this as a misogynistic trait, as being stuck in the eighties, if as him mostly accommodating those that like the rougher training. I don't believe that what you describe is normal for wing chun, but I can't check.


Others have said it. That is not anything at all like the Wing Chun I learned, and practice. You have not found the best teacher for you.

The Wing Chun I learned is both hard, and soft, internal, and external.

I do believe that in order to be a thorough martial artist you will experience pain. Especially when mastering yourself. ie. embracing the tree, slow siu nim tao's, Hung Gar's conditioning, iron techniques hardening, developing flexibility etc. I'm sure my wing chun is different from many others as it has been modified to incorporate many of my other arts, and personal strengths... As should your martial arts be yours alone in the end...

Wing Chun is a great art in the hands of the right practitioner just like anything else. It is fierce, fast, piercing, dangerous, deadly, cunning, beautiful, deceptive, smart, economical, invisible, undetectable, ugly, etc. ...but what are we really talking about with all of the arts?

My arm extends, and retracts, my foot goes out and it comes back... My elbow doesn't go that way so it hurts to bend too far in that direction, angle etc. Not rocket science just anatomy. In the hands of the right practitioner any technique can be useful given the situation... Even superior to something else... unexpectedly.

Anyone who tells you one art is superior and is absolute has missed a major martial theme. Impermanence, and transition are common to ALL of the arts I have learned and talked about with others (which is many) and we humans though we puff out our chests, and growl are extremely fragile when it comes down to it.

Train for life, and hope you never have to use what you know to take one... Wing Chun (and many other arts) are secretive because the techniques work.

Do yourself a favor, find another teacher. It sounds like you've found someone who gets off on exploiting, and harming people. (READ> BULLY) Expect to experience pain, but don't allow anyone to damage you. Train hard and smart. A little every day forever.


  • 2
    This is very unfocused. Could you remove all the bits that do not answer the question? Commented Sep 24, 2015 at 7:13

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