How to Time a Kick Attack in Wing Chun

Learn how to time a kick attack in Wing Chun from Sifu Alex Richter in this Howcast martial arts video.

So, one of the king disciplines in martial arts is timing. A lot of people focus so much on speed, but speed is only important in one situation. When you can reach your opponent and want to hit them first, then speed is important. When we’re talking about interacting with somebody who’s coming at you with punches and kicks and trying to grapple you, wrestle you, do chi sau with you, or whatever, timing is very, very important. Sometimes, being too fast is just as bad as being too slow. Timing is something that requires a little bit more patience to cultivate, and of course, a lot of practice.

For kicks, timing is very, very important. If you kick too early, you’re out of range. You’re going to leave yourself vulnerable after your kick misses. If you kick too late, you’re going to be jammed and you’re not going to be able to transfer the amount of power that you would like to with a kick.

So, a real simple exercise to get used to the timing of the kick is by using a kick shield. The Wing Chun trainee is going to stand there ready to kick. The partner with the kick shield is going to come in. You’re going to start off very slow. When he’s within range, then the Wing Chun trainee is going to do the front thrust kick.

In real fighting, it would be great if you could kick somebody so hard that you knock them down and caused all the damage that you need to, but sometimes the best thing we can hope for is that our kick just stops the guy from going forward. Maybe we can run away or we can at least stun them for a moment.

So, real simple for the front thrust kick. The Wing Chun trainee is going to set up like this. The person with the kick shield is basically going to walk in starting off real slow. And then, we’re going to use the front thrust kick to stop the guy. So we’ll do it a few more times. Kick. Good. You can start first with the timing of the kick, and then afterwards you can add a step in so you that you learn to pursue after you kick. Like this. And then, eventually we can increase the distance between the two practitioners. The partner with the kick shield can move a little further away and then come in a little bit quicker. And then we can work the timing there.

A couple more times. This can also be done with the sidekick. The sidekick’s a little bit trickier because you have to stay basically parked. You’re going to stand like this. Imagine someone is attacking you from the side. If I have time to stay square, I would always go square to my opponent. But if I’m at the ATM or whatever and somebody comes at me, sometimes you have to kick from the side. You have no other option. So, the timing drill also works great from the side as well.