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How to Do a Seung Ma aka Advancing Step in Wing Chun

Learn how to do a Seung Ma aka Advancing Step from Sifu Alex Richter in this Howcast Wing Chun video.


So now, discussing Wing Chun footwork. Perhaps the most standard way of moving forward in Wing Chun, is known as the advancing step or Seung Ma, in Cantonese. And again, depending on, which Wing Chun lineage you come from or exactly how your particular branch of Wing Chun does it, there a lot of different variations. In the WT system generally, we keep the weight on the back leg, for a couple of reasons. We keep our weight on the back leg so that, at any moment if we need to, we can kick, also if our opponent tries to sweep our leg, there is no weight there.

So it's basically, an empty leg. It also allows us the chance to quickly change our position and enter in from another angle, if our opponent gives us too much force. So, there are a number of reasons why we do it this way. And other Wing Chun styles, sometimes we use a slightly different weight distribution like, 70 30, 60 40, and there's always reasoning behind, why different styles do it. In our system, we keep most of our weight on the back leg, if not all of it.

So, the idea when we advance is that, we're actually going to use the front leg, to pull the rear leg like this, which is a little bit different than the rear-driven advancing step methods of other styles and one of the reasons we do this is because, if we push forward, then maybe a chance, somebody might kick you or sweep you on the way in. So, if we keep our weight back, it's a little easier for us, to manage this.

So, we start from the frontal stance and you do a full 90 degree turn, which is similar to the turning stance which I had explained in a previous video. And now, you're basically going to use the front leg, like, almost like a hook or like a grappling hook, to pull yourself forward. It's going to step, pull and then bring the rear leg with it. Now, the reason this comes as one unit is because, we have what we call a, "Linkage Effect", between the knees. You trained it in the frontal stance and it stays, when you're doing the advancing stance.

If you imagine that there's a spring or a coil between the knees, as he steps forward, it's going to expand the coil and increase the tension and then the coil's going to want to snap shut again. So the idea is, he steps, it snaps shut like this, alright? He steps again, this way. Now, we turns the other way, you're going to do the same thing. You're going to advance and pull, advance and pull. So, the idea, is that we move in one action, as opposed to taking two steps, to take the step forward.

So, one more time, advance and step like this. This is the basic advancing stance or advancing step we have, in Wing Chun. Alright, there are modifications and also different variations of it but, this is the basic one for beginners.

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