In this day and age where it seems like everyone and their mother owns a gun, what are some of the applications and uses of Wing Chun? What purpose could it possibly serve? Well, let me tell you: martial arts aren't JUST about self-defense. There is much more to it than that. If there wasn't, then everyone would have stopped going to class as soon as the first automatic weapon came off the production line.
Sometimes you will see a bunch of students on the mat before class, practicing their kata or doing some self-defense applications with each other. You might overhear others mumbling phrases in Chinese / Japanese / Korean, trying to memorize the names of each technique before their next belt test. There might even be a few who are looking at themselves in the mirror, checking out their uniform to make sure it is wrinkle- and stain-free.
Then you got the other kind of students. The kind who wander in a few minutes late, talking on their cell phones, hustling to the changing room. They are out on the mat a few minutes later, wearing a wrinkled gi stained with some unknown substance and carrying an odor that not even 1,000 bloodhounds could identify. If you partner up with this person, good luck trying to communicate because odds are they do not know the name of a single technique.
I'm joking by way of exaggeration of course, but I describe this kind of student to make a point: even though I put it # 4 on the list, I believe this is the second most common reason people study Wing Chun (or any martial art). They are bored on a Friday night, catch a Bruce Lee or Ip Man movie, and decide they want to learn how to do those moves too. Of course, they aren't very serious or dedicated because they got into it on a whim. Usually they vanish from class within a year or less.