Wing Chun (Hope for the future) Kung Fu Principles

By: Sifu James Heinrich


There are 5 main principles in Wing Chun as well as simple concepts. Once you have learned these principles making adjustments and self-corrections become much easier.

Balance and strength comes from your center (line) both on and off the mat. We can easily stay centered when we know who we are, what we believe and why, and when we are living our purpose with passion & contribution.  Remember you are here for a reason.

Forward Intention
In wing chun, maintaining forward intention is key to both opponent sensitivity (close range or chi sao), economy of motion and achieving goals. We all get side tracked from time to time with things that are not truly important to us. These things do not help achieve our desired outcome and do not make us happy. Setting goals and priorities, releasing the past, keeping a healthy balance of what will be (future) and what is (present) while being sensitive to others will help us maintain our forward intention. This requires daily practice along with short term and long term goals. Start with the end in mind. “Don’t focus on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory.” - Bruce Lee

Economy of Motion
In wing chun, economy of motion comes from the independent movement of our legs and arms, forward intention, simplicity and having a clearly defined goal; e.g. block and strike at the same time or dissolve. People and circumstances can largely effect our economy of motion and forward intention in life and on the mat. It is important for us to be focused, present, have positive relationships and clearly defined goals to utilize our energies effectively and efficiently. To develop this principle set clearly defined goals, practice and review them daily, evaluate your relationships, and ensure support and a positive environment. Reminder, start with the end in mind.

Face the Point of Contact
In wing chun, we face the point of contact to ensure our center-line gives strength to our forward intent and dissolve, simplicity in our technique and economy of motion in our movements. You may find the best way to deal with a situation, confrontation or fear is to start with the end in mind and then face it head on. To start with the end in mind is to know what you want the outcome to be before you begin. The more we try to avoid facing what is needed the harder it becomes, however, still inevitable. To develop this principle try starting with smaller situations, confrontations or fears to help practice and gain confidence before advancing to ones that may be holding you back from reaching the goals that are most important to you.

In wing chun as in life the best things are simple. Keep things simple to develop the other 4 principles. Follow the other principles to keep things simple.



Sifu James Heinrich is the chief instructor and owner of Great Way Martial Arts in Kelowna, BC. Visit his website at

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