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What Are the Health Benefits of Wing Chun?

by
author image Jason Jensen
Jason Jensen began his professional freelance writing career in 2010. He is an ACT-certified personal trainer and longtime vegetarian with an enthusiasm for fitness and nutrition. Jensen has also worked as a musician, freelance photographer, audio engineer and Web designer.
What Are the Health Benefits of Wing Chun?
Two men practicing wing chun Photo Credit AndreyKaderov/iStock/Getty Images

Wing Chun is a Chinese martial art that began hundreds of years ago. It was first developed as a self-defense system for women but has become popular among both men and women because of its effectiveness and emphasis on technique over size and strength. Bruce Lee studied and taught Wing Chun before developing his own Jeet Kune Do. Like most martial arts, Wing Chun focuses on total body fitness and health.

Strong Legs

Wing Chun training begins with conditioning your legs to be strong enough to execute Wing Chun techniques properly. Sil-Nim-Tao is a fundamental Wing Chun stance. If gives your legs an isometric, or static, workout that increases your stability and balance. Chi gerk, also called "sticky legs," is another fundamental Wing Chun exercise that strengthens your legs. You perform chi gerk with a partner. The goal is to maintain contact with your partner's legs as you block and deflect his attacks. The "horse stance" is a common stance used for practicing punches but also trains your legs and improves your posture.

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Upper Body Strength

Wing Chun training focuses heavily on punching. You may spend several hours performing punching drills and boxing routines. Stretching exercises for the upper body round out the training so that practitioners' flexibility and hand speed and power are honed. The circling exercises of Wing Chun improve the flexibility and strength of your arms. Many other athletes, such as gymnasts, benefit from the upper body conditioning of Wing Chun.

Flexibility

Stretching is a big part of Wing Chun training. You need lots of flexibility to perform Wing Chun properly. Wing Chun students stretch their bodies before and after every class. Wing Chun masters who have been practicing for many years have a level of flexibility, balance and agility comparable to that of a gymnast.

Fat Burning

Wing Chun is excellent for burning fat and losing weight. The muscles you build in your legs and upper body speed up your resting metabolism, and the punching and kicking drills you perform burn lots of calories. Research has shown that working on a punching bag is an excellent cardiovascular exercise and that a 135-lb adult can burn between 350 and 450 calories during a 50-minute kickboxing working.

Relaxation

Wing Chun supports a mind-body connection. Meditation is a key aspect of Wing Chun training. Wing Chun masters teach their students how to calm their breathing and clear their mind, putting students in a relaxed state that gives them focus. Once you learn the meditation techniques, you can practice them anytime, anywhere to reduce stress and feel more relaxed.

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References

Demand Media