Wing Tjun Principles
Wing Tsun contains eight principles which form the self defense allowing one to adapt immediately to the strength, size and fighting style of any attacker. Wing Tsun is an martial art form in which the prinicples are more important than the individual specific techniques. All techniques are rooted in the underlying priciples and are adjusted to them. These principles must be understood so that a practitioner can take the art into any situation or scenario and apply. Also the practioner must learn the principles as they apply to their individual body type, mindset and physical attributes rather than learning choreographed forms or memorized techniques. Expression of these principles comes in many forms due to their simplicity. The forms taught within the Wing Tsun system demonstrate these principles as well as teach practioners a set of techniques that are to be used in concurrence with the principles.
Go forward (問路尋橋手先行)
Advance immediately in order to attack the opponents attacking action, IF contact is made with the limbs use reactions developed from chi-sao(allowing for Chi Sao reflexes to take over) or — even better — to strike first. This counter intuitive reaction will often surprise the attacker, and moves the fight into a close distance in which tactile reflexes will dominate over visual reactions, where the Wing Tsun practitioner is likely to have an advantage.
Stick to the opponent center, not their hands or arms(手黐手,無埞(地方)走)
If you are unable to strike and disable your opponent try to turn them on their axis. do not maintain constant contact with his arms, how can he launch an attack at you without your knowing? This applies for the time only when the opponent is blocking your shortest way of attack. Once there is opportunity, you give up sticking, and go in with your attack (flow).
Yield to a greater force (用巧勁，避拙力-即借力）
Since one cannot expect to be stronger than every potential attacker, one must train in such a way as to be able to win even against a stronger opponent. Chi Sao teaches the reflexes necessary to react to an opponent's attacks. When an attack is simply stronger than yours, your trained reflexes will tell your body to move out of the way of the attack and find another angle for attack.
Follow through (迫步追形)
As an extension of the first principle, if an opponent retreats, a Wing Tsun practitioner's immediate response is to continue moving forward, not allowing the opponent to recover and have an opportunity to reconsider his strategy of attack. Many styles that rely on visual cues prefer to step back and wait and time their attacks, as commonly seen in sport and tournament fighting.
Give up your own Force
One needs to be relaxed in order to move dynamically and to react to the actions of an opponent. When you are tense, your "own force" acts as a parking brake—you must disengage it first before you can move quickly.
Redirect your opponent's Force
This is similar to the third fighting principle. When an attacker wants to use strength to overpower a fighter, the response is not to try to overcome strength with strength but to nullify this force by moving your attacker's force away from you or to move yourself away from it.
Use Your Attacker's Force against him
Take advantage of the force your opponent gives you. If an opponent pulls you toward him, use that energy as part of your attack. Or if an opponent pushes the left side of your body, you can act as a revolving door and use that force in an attack with your right arm.
Add Your Own Force
In addition to borrowing power from your attacker, you can add your own force in an attack when your hand is free.