A question for Wing Chun experts: is it possible to be skilled at Wing Chun if you have big muscles?

Question:The branch of Wing Chun I study teaches that big muscles are not condusive to success as a Wing Chun fighter. I'm into body-building though and I don't want to give that up to improve my Wing Chun skill.

So I was wondering if anyone has any experience with doing Wing Chun with big muscles. I can see how it makes it a bit more difficult to squeeze your elbow in (which is pretty important in Wing Chun) when you have big muscles.

Am I destined to always be at a disadvantage as long as I have big biceps? I think that the extra strength I gain by building muscles makes up for the disadvantage of not being able to squeeze my elbow in as much as someone with smaller muscles could do.


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In Wing Chun, the biceps cause disadvantages as the flexibility of the arm will be limited. The preferred muscle build up is the triceps which can be gain by Chi Sao exercises. Wing Chun emphasis on the extension and also contraction of the arm so thats why big biceps are not really suited for it whereas triceps are perfect, as punches which depend on extensions is more powerful with the use of it. So stop building your biceps and start with your triceps.

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Well I'm no master, but Wing Chun was supposedly developed as a martial art designed for women so I guess you need to decide whether you really want to learn it for self defense purpose or for it's exotic appeal. If self defense is your reason then you're probably better off practicing a martial art best suited for your build. If you're in it for the appeal and novelty then keep going, You can always modify your stance or hand position to compensate for your big upper arms. That's what Bruce Lee did when he changed his basic hand position in Wing chun Chi Sao practice and beefed up his forearm muscles to compensate.

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Guess I shouldn't be answering becasue I'm no expert but I like to toss out my 2 cents worth so here it is.

I think that, in general, people that are muscle bound or body builders have a disadvantage when it comes to any martial art. They have less mobility, in general. I would think that overly large muscle, other than a look of fitness, would be a disadvantage for any art.

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VA Thomas is one of the best Wing Chun teachers in the US. Here's his picture, http://www.sixharmony.com/bio.gif... If you have a smaller bulk than he does, don't worry about it. Just make sure you can stretch out well. If you can't extend, you can't reach, and you won't be as explosive with your punches. Too much 'dead' muscle isn't a good thing but it doesn't mean you can't do Wing Chun just because you are 'cut.'

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A gold sash at my school is a powerlifter. He is an awesome Wing Chun practioner.

It's a load of crap that you can't do Wing Chun with big muscles, have a look at a gymnasts arms and chests are you going to tell me that they're not flexible? Your body will do what you train it to do, if you maintain your flexability as well as your size you should be fine. I would say you should try training for strength instead of size though as it will benefit you more and you will get almost as big that way but it will be more beneficial for Wing Chun. Remember that Wing Chun is the middle ground between softness and hardness, it is not all soft, it's main principal is just enough or to be economic, so essentially if you are bigger and stronger than your opponent their is nothing wrong with using that to your advantage.

PS. If you're worried about getting your elbows into the center what about girls? Don't they have something that might get in the way too? Boobs Maybe lol.

Oh and while elbow position is important, it doesn't have to be dead in the center to work.

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