a man with wing chun pose ready to take on a fight

Is Wing Chun Illegal in MMA?

Wing Chun is a very impressive traditional martial art that is still practiced today. MMA competition has certain rules regarding what types of strikes can be used. So, here’s an explanation about whether Wing Chun is allowed in the MMA.

Overall, Wing Chun is not technically illegal in MMA. But, some moves in Wing Chun are not allowed according to the official MMA rules. It’s prohibited to use any clawing, pinching, or twisting of the flesh moves, as well as, other moves explained below that can be used in Wing Chun.

Wing Chun involves flashy moves just as flips, as well as, using unique weapons. As you may know, weapons aren’t allowed in MMA. But, without looking at all the rules of MMA it’s hard to know what Wing Chun moves you can do or not in MMA so below I will describe what Wing Chun moves are illegal in MMA.

Wing Chun Moves That Are Not Allowed in the UFC

Wing Chun is a martial art, and many martial arts like Wing Chun take an ‘anything goes’ approach, where any effective strike is allowed. UFC and MMA bouts though have strict rules about what types of strikes can be used. Here’s what Wing Chun moves are not allowed in the UFC. 

In general, moves like eye pokes, and eye gouges that are legitimate techniques in Wing Chung are not allowed in the UFC, according to the official unified rules of MMA. Various rules such as hair pulling and groin attacks are also forbidden in MMA.

Wing Chun has a range of moves that would be considered illegal in MMA and would result in a point deduction, or a disqualification depending on the referee. Here’s a video from Mr. Wong where he shows some of the best moves in Wing Chun:

As you see a lot of the moves are throat strikes which at illegal in MMA. These are legitimate techniques in a self-defense situation in some cases. 

However, there is a very big risk the person can die if the trachea is accidentally crushed, or the strike results in the person not being able to breathe at all. Groin strikes are also very commonly taught in Wing Chun and Kung Fu. Groin strikes are not allowed in MMA matches.

Why you don’t see Wing Chun much in the UFC

If Wing Chun were effective more people would use it in the UFC. The reason is that the objective of MMA matches is to win because you will earn more money. It appears at least experientially that people have more success with kickboxing and boxing. However, a hard punch is a hard punch regardless of the martial art. 

The punches and parry’s in Wing Chun are not too different from punches thrown in boxing. They do appear to have more of an emphasis on straight punches rather than hooks. You may have seen a common technique in Kung Fu where they throw many punches one after the other. 

This can be good, however, they are quite weak punches, and don’t hurt the opponent very much. It’s much more effective to throw a punch with a bit more force at the expense of a little bit of speed. A punching ‘blitz’ as it’s called is also very effective and is where a person throws punch after punch after punch. 

Vitor Belfort had good success with this technique in early MMA fights. Where it was picked up by Straight Blast Gym, one of the top MMA fighter coaching schools. A straight blast means a series of straight punches one after the other. Connor McGregor’s head coach was a member of Straight Blast Gym.

This is an effective way to punch because it forces the opponent to be on the back foot. However, experienced fighters will stand their ground and counter this type of punching technique. Or, they will duck under the punches and go for a takedown. Therefore, it’s moderately effective in the UFC.

Is Kung Fu Allowed in the UFC

If you’ve been watching UFC and MMA fights for some time you will have noticed that you don’t see Kung Fu. Because of that, it’s reasonable to assume that it’s not allowed in the UFC. So, here’s a rundown of if Kung Fu can be done in the UFC.

Kung Fu is allowed in the UFC. However, not all Kung Fu moves are legal in the UFC or other MMA bouts. The unified MMA rules state that throat strikes, groin strikes, and strikes to the back of the neck/head are not allowed. However, these are common Kung Fu moves.

If a person performs these moves the referee will warn them and deduct a point. Depending on how blatant it was the fighter can also be disqualified. But, as a general rule, fighters are very aware of the rules. 

Some moves in the UFC that are illegal can happen by accident, such as eye pokes, and knees or kick to a grounded opponent. However, provided it wasn’t done intentionally a fighter won’t be disqualified.

Has Anyone Used Wing Chun in MMA?

In MMA you most commonly see boxing, kickboxing, wrestling, and jiu-jitsu. Very rarely do you see something that looks like Kung Fu or Wing Chun. So, has anyone used Wing Chun in MMA?

Anderson Silva, Tony Ferguson, and Jon Jones have used Wing Chun in MMA. The Wing Chun moves most often used in MMA are a front kick and a parry with an elbow. Wing Chun and Kung Fu moves are very rarely used in MMA. 

Here’s a really good video that shows Wing Chun moves used in the UFC:

The ability to parry strikes that are used in Kung Fu is very common in boxing. Some boxers use a Kung Fu-like stance, such as Floy Mayweather. Where he stands slightly side-on with one fist up ready to catch a punch and counter with his own.

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