1. One Arm replaces the other.
Day one, class one we learn the chain punch. The general idea here is that the previous punch whether it hits or not, drops and clears the space creating a hole for the next punch. But wait, there’s more! When the opponent takes your arm off the centerline, your chain punch training will create the development of reflex-like response to immediately replace the arm with a punch. This results in a never-ending flurry of punches into the opponent.
2. Keep your elbows in.
The signature Wing Tsun/Wing Chun punch is executed with the elbows as close to the center line as possible for a number of reasons. It is this ability to keep the elbows in that offers a superior defensive line along the bridge even while punching and attacking.
3. Don’t lean (reach) to hit the opponent
In preparation for Chi Sao you should start training this ASAP. When one finally reaches this level and is introduced to ‘running’ and ‘luk sao’ (please refer to the FREE chi sao course “The Chi Sao Formula” for details). You should only be training the reflex response of punching into the hole when you feel a hole and not trying to hit yet. Later you will learn to step with your punch into the hole so the mechanic of the punch will remain the same. As a beginner it is better for your developing neurology to NOT reach rather then twist, shift, or lean forward in an effort to tag your partner.
4. Step with your entire body.
When you do finally start to step, one of the goals is to maintain your upright structure while maintaining the weight distribution in your legs (50/50 or whatever your particular style of Wing Chun dictates). In doing so the power of advancing will come out in your punch (all your weight will be behind it) and you will notice incredible power in the hit.
5. Start Slow, work your way up to punching at higher speeds.
This is pretty self-explanatory. In a way you do this by practicing the form and of course not just with punching. The reason to do this is to perfect the mechanic of the punch before doing it at speed – by doing this you wont lose all the benefits of good biomechanics which can be lost once you speed up the punch. Build this up slowly, there is no rush.
6. Speed isn’t everything, make sure you fully extend your punches.
Having said that it’s important to note that full extension does not include protruding your shoulder or adding any torso twisting or leaning. And, by the way, there is a difference between a fully extended punch and actually ‘locking-out’ your elbow. If the tendons and ligaments of your elbow are not conditioned or you are just starting out with punching, it might be a good idea NOT to lock-out the elbow all the way. In other words, you should almost fully extend at the elbow leaving an ever so slight amount of bend at the end of range.
7. Keep your vertical fist tightly clenched in preparation for hitting even when you practice.
This is an example of forming good habits early on. If you develop your tight fist while you develop your punch, there will be less chance of injury should you actually need to hit something or someone during your development. Remember, the fist is an important component of your punch. If held loosely during practice, it may come out that way some day when you need it where you will be more likely to hurt yourself.