The philosophy underlying Wing Chun is to take control of your life and make the decisions that are right for you. Wing Chun is truly a combat martial art, but it is also much more. Practitioners of Wing Chun will hopefully spend only a small fraction of their lives fighting. It is important, therefore, to be able to use the same concepts and principles used in fighting to improve other, non-combat areas of your life. Each fighting principle can also be interpreted philosophically.
I believe that the practice of Wing Chun and an understanding of its principles and philosophies should be a catalyst to putting each practitioner in the driver’s seat of his or her life. The development of great fighting abilities should give each of us the ability to be kind, compassionate, and loving by overcoming the fears that often manifest themselves as anger and hate. The truly competent warrior is not boastful. The truly secure person is free from the need to impress others with his or her physical prowess and free from the need for approval from others. He or she can be understanding, accepting, and kind without the fear of being thought weak for his or her kindness.
The reasoning behind the philosophy is to help each of you tap into the inner power that we all have and to help you to take control of and responsibility for your own life. It is designed to help you recognize how using positive energy and accomplishing goals of a positive nature are so much more powerful than negative thought and deed. Our worst enemy is often ourselves. Look inside yourself and overcome your demons of fear and insecurity and you will find a path to a happier life. No matter how many people you can beat in battle, you will find no lasting happiness in bringing harm to others. Competent fighting skills are important, but should be used only to protect yourself or those you love in times of danger.
You must choose your battles wisely. Your fighting skills should be a catalyst to enlightenment. By helping you to gain strength of character and confidence, your skills should give you peace of mind, thereby eliminating insecurity and giving you the capacity to be at peace and in harmony with others.
by Grandmaster Philip Holder
(Excerpt from the Foundations of Wing Chun Kung Fu by Sifu John Wahnish)