Sifu Michael McIlwrath
Nov,4 2021

I like to share how I feel about the martial art
called Wing Chun I've practiced for 40+ years.

A lot of people may think Wing Chun is a complete martial art , and feel compelled to keep it pure by only passing it on the way they have learnt it. Basically, Sifu says “do not inject your own ideas here”. However, others may feel differently that Wing Chun is a great martial art but an incomplete one, So some may feel the answer is to learn other arts like Bjj, Muy Thai or MMA to fill in their holes. Well, this will certainly make you a well rounded martial artist and perhaps a better fighter, but what does it do for your mother art Wing Chun? Did you make it better, did you progress the art further?

One drawback to learning multiple styles, to complement your Wing Chun takes resources and a long investment in time which could otherwise be used to mastering your Wing Chun. So what is the alternative?

My self what I've been doing with my Wing Chun is not learning a bunch of styles to improve myself and my Wing Chun, but instead have spent over a decade transforming my Wing chun or other words progressed my Wing Chun beyond the level I've been taught. Now this does not mean I've collected a bunch of techniques from other martial systems and imported them into my Wing Chun,but Instead what I've done is progressed my Wing Chun by going beyond what Wing Chun is known for such as Centerline Theory , and the immovable elbow concept to name but a few.

My idea was to find out what is Wing Chun's strong points and it's week points then using my basic tools to use them in a different or out of the box way. The first thing I've noticed about Wing Chun is that it's overly linear, and relies almost completely on the Centerline Theory for it to function. Another words, the weak point is its over use of the Centerline and your ability to maintain Centerline dominance. When two Chunners Chi Sao or Sparr they are always fighting over Centerline which usually comes into play an over use of force and strength which often not clash with the Centerline..

My first thought was why waste your time and energy fighting for Centerline. If your opponent wants Centerline, let him have it. Let him believe he has the superior position when in reality it's relative. It's the skill of the opponent not the Centerline that will determine the Victor. This idea is what I call Center point theory which is not using your Centerline, but locking onto the center point or mass of the opponent.. By doing this you can allow your opponent to take Centerline and not waste your time and energy fighting for Centerline dominance. Center point theory does not concern itself with keeping your elbow on Your Centerline and having the proper elbow distance to maintain, but instead locking onto your opponent's mass and thereby affecting their whole body not just a Limb like what happens most of the time when you're concerned about Centerline.

Center point Theory uses a floating elbow instead of the common Immovable elbow theory.The immovable elbow is used and needed for control over the Centerline, but with Center point theory the elbow simply floats like a boat on top of the water and moves to how the tides flow.

So what's the point of Center point theory? Well, it's my resolve to Centerline Theory not so much as a replacement but as the next level of Wing Chun development. You could say Wing Chun's 4th form called Center Point theory.Centerpoint is a continuation of the 3rd form. If Wing Chun's most advanced form is Bil Gee then I would say this comes next. Center point theory is designed to shut down your opponent Centerline.. If Wing Chun can only function if you have control over your Centerline then what can you do when it's taken away from you and you can take it back?

I know that the Biu Gee form deals with certain situations when your elbow is off Centerline and teaches you how to regain or cover it, but this the exception not the rule or what I call Standard operating procedure. The problem is Wing Chun can only optimally function by maintaining and controlling your centerline. Because Wing Chun's primary function was created as a Centerline fighting focused art. Surely, Wing Chun’s Centerline theory and usage is an extremely valuable and important guiding concept for the Wing Chun practitioner, But as fighting arts evolve and change, so must Wing Chun. As great as the foundational principle of the Centerline theory is, it can also be a weakness if one can only use their Wing Chun within those confined conditions.

So, isn't it time to progress your Wing Chun to the next level?