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Wing Chun Street Awareness

A weapon is only as dangerous as the person wielding it

In any confrontation attitude goes hand in hand with skill. Before the first strike is thrown, you have already made a mental impact on your opponent. It's this very attitude that gives you the edge in a situation where you may have to defend yourself, family or friends. If you demonstrate confidence and you know you have the skills to back it up, this alone can be enough to win the fight without lifting a finger. Your mind is your most effective weapon. Use it.

Trust your instincts. If you feel like you're in a situation that could go wrong, have a look at what your options are to get out of it and do so as soon as possible. Often your body picks up signals that you don't consciously realise. If you feel uneasy but you're not sure why, trust that your senses are warning you and try to identify where the threat is coming from.

Anything can be a weapon. If you're in a situation where you think you might have to fight, be aware of anything you have on yourself or is nearby that can be used as a potential weapon. This can be anything from your coat, a set keys, to a cup of coffee or a nearby chair. Especially if your opponent has a weapon, be sure to keep a barrier between the two of you when possible.

Know your environment. Be sure to put yourself in the most advantageous position possible, where you can be aware of attacks from behind and where you can easily access the nearest exit. Be aware of obstacles that could possibly trip you up, or that you can use to trip your opponents up.

Know your opponent(s). Even if you don't actually know your opponent personally, you can pick up a lot about them just by observing them and being aware of why they are attacking you. Are they angry? Are they drunk or otherwise intoxicated? Are they trying to overpower you to steal from you or physically abuse you? Are they afraid and believe they have to harm you to survive? The reason they attack you (or someone you wish to defend) will affect the intensity of their attack and their willingness to actually cause you bodily harm. For example, someone who picks you as an easy victim to steal from then finds out you are willing to defend yourself is a lot less likely to carry through with a serious attack than someone who is a psychotic killer with no concept of reason or consequence. Do what you can to verbally warn or talk opponents out of a fight, but always be on your guard because talking isn't always enough.

Use your head before using your fists and be aware of the impact of your actions. Once you have done someone physical harm, you can't take it back. The law becomes involved once a situation involves violence and you may be held responsible for damage done even if you were in the right. If you have the opportunity, play scenarios through your head of possible strategies and their probable outcomes and decide which you think will have the best solution for everyone involved.

React. Rely on yourself and trust your judgment. You have the ability to determine the outcome of a confrontation, use this wisely and you wont look back and regret your actions.

Arm yourself with knowledge. The more you know about how to react to a variety of situations the safer you feel no matter where you are. Practice what you know and think about how what you know can be applied to situations you could possibly find yourself in.

Wing Chun is a martial art and form of self defense that has been refined and redefined over generations of use so that it is both simple and effective. Any weapon is an effective tool as long as the person using it has the skills to use it correctly and to the advantage. Once you learn Wing Chun your body is a weapon that is always with you, how you use it is your choice.

Tara Davidson 05/2005
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