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Close Range Combat Wing Chun Vol. 2

Close Range Combat Wing Chun Vol. 2

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Published by jkdjohnny
This volume delves into the self defensive aspect's of Randy's Close Range Combat Wing Chun. It covers street techniques vs the jab, hooks, uppercuts, backfists, chokes, holds and also explores wing chun groundfighting. Included also are essays on the study of power, advanced trapping, centerline theory, the concept of "reference", and more.
This volume delves into the self defensive aspect's of Randy's Close Range Combat Wing Chun. It covers street techniques vs the jab, hooks, uppercuts, backfists, chokes, holds and also explores wing chun groundfighting. Included also are essays on the study of power, advanced trapping, centerline theory, the concept of "reference", and more.

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Published by: jkdjohnny on Mar 14, 2011
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Wing Chun is a very logical and sensible Gung Fu system that was
scientifically designed for and based on the motions of the human body.
Elements of geometry, physics, physiology and philosophy are the foun-
dation on which Ng Mui and Yim Wing Chun built the ultra-effective and
economical system of close range combat practiced today. Many intricate
concepts and principles govern the method in which a skilled fighter
instinctively applies its techniques. But of all those concepts and princi-
ples that make the system unique, there is one which is so fundamental
to Wing Chun fighting strategy that it can be called the “Backbone of The
System.” Known as the “Centerline Theory” (Joong Seen Lay), this “idea”
involves the recognition, usage and manipulation of an imaginary line or
plane that connects two fighters and the relationship of that line or plane
to various lines and angles of attack and defense.
As the Centerline Theory is strongly rooted in geometry, the motions
and postures of two fighters are referred to in terms of lines, triangles,
planes, pyramids and angles rather than as stances, punches and kicks.


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Thus, the Wing Chun student must be able to visualize them as such in
effect “depersonalizing” the opponent, himself and the blocking and/or
attacking motions utilized by both during combat, and allowing all ele-
ments to be viewed in a clinical light. This ability to remain emotionally
detached in combat is developed through many hours of intense practice
on Sticky Hands, sparring and drills, all of which accustom the student to
dealing with relentless attack pressure while remaining cool under fire.
While in the initial stages of training, the student might flinch or panic
when under attack, he will soon begin to view oncoming kicks and
punches as routine everyday occurrences more like “fodder” for the prac-
tice of technique than serious threat. At this point, the student can begin
to see the lines, angles and pyramids created by both fighters and their
implications on his own structure. This emotional detachment allows him
to put the Centerline Theory into practice. The Wing Chun fighter must
learn to remain calm and to relax the mind, even in the midst of all-out
combat, to eliminate the negative effects of tension, fear or anger, which
can hamper the effective utilization of Centerline strategy. Although at
first the Centerline Theory may seem quite complex and even a bit too
confusing to apply in an actual combat situation, in time the Wing Chun
student will find that once the core concept is grasped, utilization of
Centerline strategy becomes more and more natural. In other words, the
student will begin to apply the Centerline Theory instinctively in conjunc-
tion with all other key concepts and principles of the system without hav-
ing to consciously think about it.
Before the Centerline Theory itself can be examined in any detail, the
major components of its workings must be identified and defined. Once
these elements are fully understood, the reader will be able to clearly see
how they work together to comprise arguably the single most scientific
and efficient approach to unarmed combat ever devised.
The major components of the Centerline Theory are the “Motherline,”
the “Self-Centerline,” the “Centerline Plane,” “Attack and Defense
Pyramids” and “Centerline Advantage” (also called “Inside Centerline”) as
well as the concept of the Giu Sau Error. The following is an individual
analysis of each.

The “Motherline” Called the Jick Joong Seen or the Jick Seen in
Chinese, the Motherline is an imaginary vertical line which passes
through the middle/top of the head and goes down through the center of
the body to the floor in such a way that it forms an axis of rotation for the
body. When a person pivots on his or her axis, the Motherline does not
change. But if the person takes a step in any direction, the Motherline
shifts accordingly. Illustration 8 shows a cutaway view of the Motherline.

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Illustration 8 The Motherline

The “Self-Centerline”
The Self-Centerline, shown in
Illustration 9, can be defined
as the vertical line that
divides the body into two
equal halves. When no oppo-
nent is present, the Self-
Centerline passes down the
middle/front and rear of the
head and body, as if it were a
painted-on stripe. It can be
used during forms practice as
a reference point for correct
elbow and/or hand position
during technique execution.
Certain blocks’ structures dic-
tate that the elbow, wrist or
other part of the hand falls on
the Self-Centerline, while cer-
tain attack structures call for
the knuckles, palm heel,
elbow point or other area to
be central. For example,
when executing the Tan Sau
motion in Siu Leem Tau, the
middle finger should point
45° inward toward the Self-
Centerline from the origin of
the motion until it reaches
that line and continues to fol-
low it as the elbow is drawn
in so that both the middle finger and the inner elbow end up on the Self-
Centerline in the fully extended Tan Sau position.
In actuality, the Self-Centerline originates from the Motherline, radiat-
ing outward from the body’s axis. When an opponent is present, the Self-
Centerline is used as a reference point in the creation of Attack and
Defense Pyramids as well as a primary target area. The Wing Chun fighter
will usually focus his attack power to this line, as most of the vital points
of the body fall somewhere on it, front or back. If for example, you were to
shoot an arrow into the opponent, by aiming at the Self-Centerline, your

The Centerline Theory


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attack would definitely be more damaging than if the arrow were to pene-
trate any part of the body not on that line. The arrow would probably not
pass through any vital organ, unless it were aimed at the Motherline from
the outside in and penetrated far enough to reach the vital organs the long
way. This is why the Self-Centerline must be defended carefully as well as
the reason it is the main focal point of Wing Chun attack. In addition,
when a punch lands off the Self-Centerline, it is possible for the opponent
to roll with the force of the blow using the Motherline as the pivotal point,
effectively dissolving most of its impact, whereas a solid blow to a point
on the Self-Centerline will be fully absorbed by the opponent, because the
pivotal point is negated by the central focus of the punch power, leaving
him no opportunity to “roll with the punch.” Striking the Self-Centerline in
this way is known as Jing Moon Choong or “Direct Frontal Assault.”

Illustration 9 The Self-Centerline.

The Centerline Plane The Centerline
Plane (Joong Seen) is the imaginary rectangular
plane which extends from one’s own Motherline
(the entire length of which forms its base) and
connects that line to the same points on the
opponent’s Motherline. This rectangular plane
that connects the Motherlines of both fighters is
normally referred to as simply “The Centerline,”
although it is not actually a line but a vertical
plane suspended between the two fighters, con-
necting them from the tops of their heads and
from the middle/undersides of their bodies by
the planar area bordered by those horizontal
lines and the two vertical Motherlines. This is
illustrated by figs. 1–4 of Diagram CC. This
Centerline relationship between the Motherlines
will remain constant regardless of the rotation of
either fighter, but will change when either one
steps in any direction, because the Motherline
shifts as a result of this movement. The
Centerline tracks the connection of the two Motherlines and can be com-
pared to a “crosshairs” system that “draws a bead” on the opponent’s
Motherline like the sights on a high-powered rifle scope. This tracking
action is similar to a “ + ” pattern which constantly remains targeted dead
center on a moving target from a mobile position. As was explained earlier,

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if one fighter is facing an opponent’s side or back, he is said to have
“Facing Advantage” in that particular Centerline relationship (not to be
confused with Centerline Advantage, which will be explained later). This is
to say that his “guns” are aimed at the opponent, while the opponent’s are
pointed “out to sea,” somewhere off target.

Diagram CC Four Centerline/Facing Relationships. Figs. 1 3 illustrate three
Centerline/Facing relationships in which the advantage changes from an equal
ability of either fighter to strike to a relationship that allows Fighter B to attack
from A’s “Dead Side” while A’s reference makes it difficult or impossible for him
to defend or counterattack, although in each case the line remains unchanged.
In fig. 1, both fighters have an equal chance to score. As Fighter A begins to
rotate on his Motherline, however, Fighter B gains Facing Advantage (figs. 2
and 3). Fig. 4 illustrates how the Centerline changes when the Fighter A takes
a step to his own left, thereby gaining Advantage of Facing over B. As will be
seen later, it is possible to have either Centerline or Facing Advantage
independently or (preferably) together.

The Centerline Theory


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Attack and Defense Pyramids As the pyramid is the strongest
geometric structure known to man and is also the subject of much con-
jecture and hypothesizing regarding certain “powers” it is widely believed
to possess, it comes as no surprise that it plays a major role in the Wing
Chun system. Besides being the structure on which all Wing Chun
stances are based, the pyramid also features prominently in the
Centerline Theory.

As can be seen in Illustration 10, the Wing Chun fighter visualizes an
oncoming punch from the opponent as a pyramid based vertically on the
body and having its vertices at the middle/top of the head, the Self-
Centerline, the outside of the shoulder on the punching side, and the
level of the elbow of the punching arm (the Horizontal Centerline, which
will be explained in detail later in this volume). Its apex corresponds
exactly with the striking knuckles. Attack Pyramids such as this one
come in many varieties of length and width. For example, the tip of the
Attack Pyramid of the Jing Jyeung Vertical Palm Strike corresponds with
the palm heel and therefore shortens the pyramid. In the case of a Chau
Kuen (Low Palm-up Drilling Punch), the pyramid is considerably short-
ened and its apex falls much lower than do those of the two attacks pre-
viously described.

Defensive motions are also viewed with pyramid structure in the
Centerline Theory. As an example, the Woo Sau (Guarding Hand) motion
introduced in Siu Leem Tau creates a compact, mid-level pyramid, its
apex corresponding with the outer area of the wrist that is snapped out
on the Self-Centerline to make contact with an oncoming blow. The three
sides of the Woo Sau Defense Pyramid are imaginary: the triangular
plane that extends from the Self-Centerline to the tip; the triangular plane
that connects the elbow, Self-Centerline and the tip; and the plane that
connects the outside of the shoulder of the Woo Sau arm with the wrist
and the top of the head. The forearm forms the edge that connects the
second and last triangular planes. Coincidentally, the tip of an Attack or
Defense Pyramid is also the point to which the Chi, or Internal Energy, is
directed during execution. Like Attack Pyramids, Defense Pyramids come
in many sizes and shapes, each built to fit a specific angular need as dic-
tated by the Attack Pyramids generated by the opponent. In other words,
when the opponent throws a punch or other strike, the Wing Chun fighter
instantaneously visualizes that motion as an Attack Pyramid of a certain
configuration and in return presents a Defense Pyramid of his own which
will structurally counter the attack. This reasoning is based on the same
principle as Diagram DD, which depicts two triangular figures set on a
collision course. As the drawing illustrates, when two pyramids collide
head-on, one or the other will be deflected off its original path. This will

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be true regardless of how forceful the impact. In practical application, the
defender must present the correct size, shape and bias in his pyramid at
the correct angle to diffuse or ward off the impact of the impending
attack. This will be analyzed further after all the components of the
Centerline Theory have been fully defined.
Another factor in the visualization of Attack and Defense Pyramids is
the idea that each pyramid has its own individual centerline, which is
determined by the direction of power focus. These lines are known as
“Blocking and Attacking Lines” and are used as reference points when
applying the Centerline Theory In the Woo Sau motion described earlier,
the Blocking Line is horizontal or angled slightly upward, originating at the
blocker’s Motherline and ending at the tip of the Woo pyramid around
chest level. In the Boang Sau motion, the Blocking Line is usually higher
but can fall anywhere between chin and Don Teen level, depending on the
application. Attack Lines work in a similar manner but do not always have
their origins at the attacker’s vertical Motherline. For example, if the
fighter throws a properly executed Hook Punch as used in boxing, the
Attack Line would run from the sharp bend of the elbow, along the fore-
arm to the knuckle of the ring or middle finger. Any defensive motion to be
used against it would be based on that line rather than trying to stop it
from the inside out, resorting to the use of force against force.

Illustration 10

The imaginary Attack
Pyramid formed by
a punch.

The Centerline Theory


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Diagram DD (left) When two pyramids
collide head-on, one or the other will be
deflected off its originally intended path.
This principle is fundamental to proper use
of the Centerline in blocking or parrying.

Illustration 11 (below) Three Defense
Pyramid Configurations. When the Wing
Chun fighter extends any defense hand, he
creates an imaginary pyramid structure with
vertices at the Self-Centerline, Horizontal
Elbow-Level Motherline and outside shoul-
der with its apex at the point of Chi focus
of the block. Fig. A shows the pyramid
structure of the Tan Sau motion, a short,
wide triangle biased slightly to the left of
center. In fig. B, the much longer and cen-
trally-referenced Defense Pyramid of the
Boang Sau motion is seen. Figure C depicts
the much shorter, yet still centrally refer-
enced pyramid structure of the Woo Sau.
Depending on the pyramid structure of the
opponent’s attack, the Wing Chun fighter
will present the appropriate length, height
and bias in his Defense Pyramid to be most
effective in warding off the attack.

Close Range Combat Wing Chun: Volume Two





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