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Wing Chun Vocabulary

Wing Chun Kuen Kuit:

詠 春 拳 訣 “Wing Chun Kuen Kuit”
Direct translation: (Wing Chun) + (fist) + (poems/maxims/formula/proverbs/sayings)
Meaning: Martial Art maxims, or “fighting songs” specific to Wing Chun.

Wing Chun kuen kuit are usually written in the format of short poems – in many cases, such poems are written in two sentences as rhythmic verses, which together define the essence of a specific Wing Chun technique, concept or principle.

Historically (18th Century), Martial Art practitioners, rebels, sought to overthrow the government and devised a number of cryptic maxims used to communicate kung fu techniques/concepts amongst themselves verbally – some of these cryptic maxims were unique to Wing Chun.

Many of the Wing Chun kuen kuit, are often derived from local slang, and even when translated or broken down, may have limited or no meaning to a person who has no knowledge of Wing Chun; and it is not uncommon for Wing Chun practitioners to also baffle at the true underlying meaning or interpretation of the kuen kuit.

One of the prevalent Wing Chun kuen kuit’s is:
“Loi Lao Hoi Song, Lut Sau Jik Chong” (the meaning of this is explained below).

Yip Man was noted for often referencing such Wing Chun kuen kuit when instructing his students.

An error made by many teachers today is to cite maxims that are not “true” keun kuit, one example, when translated, is “Timing is achieved through practice” – this is not a true kuen kuit per se’; in other situations some teachers would also cite kuen kuit that do not originate from or relate to Wing Chun.

During school sessions, my sifu NG Chun-hong, would often ask the class to sit as he used his whiteboard to explain a kuen kuit in detail. I would always equip myself with a pen and paper at each class just in case I wanted to make notes of sifu’s lecture.
Another kuen kuit taught by my sifu is: “Chui Bin-Fa, Yi Bin-Fa”(the meaning of this is also explained below).

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Chinese Translations:

詠 春 正 宗 學 會 “Wing Chun Jing Jung Hok Woi”
Direct translation: (Wing Chun kung fu) + (traditional/authentic) + (association/school)
Meaning: The official name of our Wing Chun school.

來 留 去 送 “Loi Lao Hoi Song”
Direct translation: (come stay) + (go escort/accompany)
Meaning: Receive/retain what comes, escort what leaves.

甩 手 直 衝 “Lut Sau Jik Chong”
Direct translation: (free hand) + (straight forwards, quickly)
Meaning: When the hand is released, rush/thrust straight forward.

隨 變 化 “Chui Bin-Fa”
Direct translation: (follow) + (change)
Meaning: do as you like techniques, accept whatever happens as the outcome – do not plan things to happen.

而 變 化 “Yi Bin-Fa”
Direct translation: (then) + (change)
Meaning: do as you like techniques, accept whatever happens as the outcome – act & react naturally.

拳 無 禮 讓 “Kuen Mo Lai Yeung”
Direct translation: (fist) + (doesn’t have) + (polite/ceremony)
Meaning: when fighting, do not be polite. do not stand on ceremony, do not give-way to your opponent …. ‘make it real’.

熟 能 生 巧 “Suhk Luhng Sung Haau”
Direct translation: (know well) + (can) + (become) + (skillful/good at a technique)
Meaning: After you practice for a long time and get familiar, then you will find out the unique technique by yourself and make use of it to present it in your own way (practice makes perfect).

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