Grandmaster Tse’s Wing Chun Note 458

One inch longer, one inch stronger. One inch shorter, one inch more danger!

Wing Chun Sword

Once upon a time, there was a very famous, high level sword master. People would often come to see him and they noticed that the sword he used was shorter than normal swords. Even so, whenever another sword master came to challenge him, he would always win! People found this unusual and fascinating, so one day someone asked him, “Master, how are you able to win with such a short sword? In the world of weapons, there was a saying,


Yāt chyun chèuhng yāt chyun geuhng, yāt chyun dyún yāt chyun hím

One inch longer, one inch stronger. One inch shorter, one inch more danger, how are you able to defeat everyone?”

The Master smiled and said, “Because my sword is shorter than a normal sword, I cannot rely on the distance of my sword. So, I must train my technique, my footwork and my position very well. Then when I get into my opponent I am in the right place and so they cannot defend against it. Most people think when they hold their weapon, it is better than the opponent’s weapon, then they will win, but they miss the most important thing, spirit and technique. When you know you are weaker, you need to be more determined and take each step very carefully. So, when my opponents see my sword, they miss the important things and so miss my sword.”

This is just like Wing Chun. In Wing Chun, a smaller person can fight against a bigger person, but it is all about spirit and technique.

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