Wing Chun Gung Fu is the system of martial art that Bruce Lee learned in Hong Kong. He trained from age thirteen to age eighteen in this system. Bruce Lee was fortunate enough to be able to train with Grandmaster Yip Man and two of his most dedicated students, Wong Shun Leung and Chueng Chuk Hing (William Cheung). Wing Chun Gung Fu basically forms the foundation of Jeet Kune Do! Jun Fan Gung Fu, which is the name of what Bruce Lee taught when he first came to the United States, is basically a slightly modified approach to Wing Chun Gung Fu!
There are those who train in Jeet Kune Do and Jeet Kune Do concepts today who claim that Wing Chun is not that important to our structure! I will boldly state right here for all to read that those practitioners do not know what they are talking about! Although we do not embrace the entire system, there are many elements of Wing Chun Gung Fu that are practiced exactly as they are in pure Wing Chun! In fact, it is my belief that Wing Chun forms the nucleus of Jeet Kune Do, and without it, the Jeet Kune Do practitioner can never reach his or her fullest potential! Only with a base such as Wing Chun Gung Fu could Bruce Lee have developed such a simple, direct, effective, streetwise, economical system of self defense such as Jeet Kune Do! Sifu Dan Inosanto has stated that at least 50% of the Original Jeet Kune Do curriculum is comprised of Wing Chun Gung Fu, and that without Ip Man and Wing Chun Gung Fu, there would have probably never been a Jeet Kune Do! That pretty much says it all as far as I’m concerned!
Important elements of Wing Chun Gung Fu that are in our training are the centerline theory, theory of facing, economy of motion theory, the sil lim tao form, vertical fist punching, the bil jee, low line kicking, defensive positions and lin sil die dar. Also, one of the most important elements of Jeet Kune Do is trapping hands. The energy/sensitivity drills, simple and compound reference point trapping drills and mook jong (wooden man dummy) drills necessary to develop effective trapping skills all come from Wing Chun Gung Fu!
It is my personal belief that no Jeet Kune Do training program is complete without a healthy dose of Wing Chun training. My personal experience has shown that those Jeet Kune Do instructors who don't think that Wing Chun is that important are either too lazy to get out there and learn some Wing Chun or they are too impatient and not willing to dedicate the time to it! BOTTOM LINE: You will NEVER achieve your full potential or highest possible skill level in Jeet Kune Do without the Wing Chun base! That’s all there is to it!
Sifu Patrick Strong, who trained with JKD's Founder for six years, and now continues to train in Wing Chun under Sifu Hawkins Cheung (one of the JKD Founder's Wing Chun classmates and a close friend), told me that JKD's Founder practiced the sil lim tao form five to eight times every day! This proves how important the Wing Chun structure is to Jeet Kune Do! Anyone who says it is not is simply ignorant, lazy or mis-informed! The Hardcore Jeet Kune Do Chinese Gung Fu Association program emphasizes a healthy amount of Wing Chun Gung Fu training to develop a strong foundation structure in all Instructors! We look at it like this: Trying to develop your skills in Jeet Kune Do without having the Wing Chun base is like trying to build a building of concrete and steel on a Styrofoam base, it just doesn't work! Below is a listing of some of the important elements from Wing Chun Gung Fu that are in our program.