Wing Chun Wednesday 06-05-2015

Mayweather v Pacquiao and REAL WING CHUN.

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In the wake of the Fight of the Century I decided to use it to point out why my approach to Wing Chun is quite different from many other Schools.

Different.

Not Better.

In the post fight interview Manny said that he thought he had won the fight, and I understand what he means, where he is coming from.

Even though as an ex – boxer I had it scored unanimously in Money’s favour.

Manny came to WIN.

But he failed.

Money came with the intention of NOT LOOSING.

The rest as they say, is History.

How does this relate to my view of Wing Chun?

Prize Fighting is all about wining, it is a pay day.

Self Defence {and the last time I looked Wing Chun is a system for Self – Defence} is all about not loosing, getting out in one piece.

If you watch most Wing Chun Videos, the Wing Chun Man is just attacking relentlessly, most schools teach students to step in, to chase the Bad Guy, they very much use a Pac Man approach, check out any Master Wong or Emin Boztepe or just about everyone’s Video on YouTube.

Just for an example, check this out….

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Because of course everyone that does Wing Chun is out doing “NAUGHTY STUFF”.

If you are a genuine, even moderately well trained Wing Chun student “HOW THE FUCK” did you end up here in the first place.

Back to the Post.

Pac Man thought he was winning because he was doing all the attacking, in some ways this is the situation that anybody would find themselves in when they are in a fight, ring, octagon or street.

Mayweather, the best defensive boxer alive never once used a redirection technique, no Tarn Sau or Garn Sau for him.

Why?

In the extreme close quarters of a fight there is simply no time or room to be performing any redirection, it is cover up and take the blows or get knocked down, it is what it is.

Wing Chun is not a Close Range fighting Art, it is a middle Range fighting Art, we do our stuff at Chi Sau distance and hit inside the attack by repositioning and Body Rotation.

If a Wing Chun Man is constantly stepping in how can he maintain his range and use his training?

If a Wing Chun Man is constantly pressing isn’t he leaving himself open to a clever fighter?

If a Wing Chun Man is stepping in isn’t he simply being the Attacker with all of the Moral and Legal ramifications that that brings with it?

Below is a Video from Facebook.

It is a Wing Chun demonstration from Europe, and to be expected it is getting ripped apart by the rest of the Martial Arts community.

I do not wish to talk it down as being this or that or whatever, in all fairness it is a really good demonstration, unfortunately this is how most of the Martial Arts Community and a very large portion of the Wing Chun Community think that Wing Chun works, sadly this is the goal of many students.

I have myself been in and organised a good few Wing Chun demonstrations, demonstrations are deliberately more like a Ballet than a Battle, their aim is to entertain and excite the onlookers and hopefully garner interest in their style, their school, and to encourage people to join them. Any demonstration is advertising, every demonstration is a teaser on what you can expect to be taught, and as I said before, this is a really well performed demonstration. Kudos.

My personal criticism of this particular demonstration is that there is absolutely no defence to be seen, it is just a collection of situations where two people face off and go at it. And while this scenario does indeed play out,

in School Yards,

in the Street version the Bad guy will of learnt by experience that it is better to not give too much notice of his intentions.

More and more this is how Wing Chun is being taught, it is what a great deal of students want, lets be honest about something, if this is what the customer wants to buy this is what you will eventually sell, or go bust, and this is where Wing Chun will end up.

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The young Men and woman in this clip are obviously very well trained and capable.

But is this anything like the REAL WING CHUN?

If a Demonstration is like a Ballet, and as we know a Ballet is simply a way of telling a story, is this really and accurately the story of Wing Chun?

If it is then it is me that is the Fool, because this does not resemble what I was taught, and nothing like what I teach.

WHAT TYPE OF DAY IS IT FOR YOU?
WHAT TYPE OF DAY IS IT FOR YOU?

 

 

 

 

WING CHUN WEDNESDAY 29-04-2015

TAKING YOUR EGO OUT OF IT.

ego-fear

To put this post in the right place I need to tell you a bit about my Sifu’s School, and how I met my wife.

My Sifu had a very large School, it was in 2 cities here in Australia, Sydney and Adelaide, and each City had a main Headquarters and a number of Satellite Schools that were referred to as Suburban Branches. There were 14 Suburban Branches in Sydney and 8 in Adelaide. The H.Q. was open 7 Days a week from 10am through to 8pm, and the Suburban Branches operated usually twice a week just in the evening.

All in all the Sydney School offered around 120 classes each week, the vast majority of these classes were not supervised by my Sifu, but in fact by a Certified Instructor, my Sifu only supervised training on Wednesday and Thursday evening from 8pm to around 9.30 pm.

In the Suburban Branches the aim was to have as many Instructors as possible, the ideal being 6, the syllabus was broken into 4 Grades and the aim was for there to be an Instructor for each Grade, a more Senior Instructor to oversee the overall quality of the teaching, and then another to take care of the everyday business side of running a Martial Arts School. The City H.Q. tried to have similar Instructor numbers for the 6 or 7 classes they ran each day.

To supervise all of these classes that the H.Q. and Suburban Branches ran required a small Army of Instructors and Assistant Instructors, and to maintain the number of Instructors it was a pre-requisite that to attend the Wednesday or Thursday class with Sifu you needed to be a Certified Instructor.

Add to this the motivation that only Sifu taught Chum Kiu, Bill Gee and beyond, most Students, at least the ones that wanted to learn the whole system, eventually became Instructors, and trained with Sifu on a Wednesday and / or Thursday evening.

It was at an Instructors training evening that I met a Girl that would eventually become my Wife, Amanda.

Sifu would often joke with us and say that it was because of him that we met and got married, and he hoped that we could one day forgive him.

When we married we moved to one of the outer suburbs of Sydney and Sifu asked if we would take over the running of the Satellite School out there, he liked the idea of having a husband and wife running the School,we did this of course, happily, the only down side was that the Branch opened on Thursday evening, this reduced our availability to train with Sifu, and because of this we made sure that we never missed a Wednesday evening unless it was unavoidable.

From the very beginning Sifu recommended that I did the majority of my training with Amanda, he said it would help me to keep my EGO out of my training, as there would be less of a motivation to prove myself better or to try to prove myself stronger than there would be with another Bloke, and when I would go and do some Ju Jitsu Chi Sau with one of the other Instructors he would find a way to let me know I was making a mistake.

Like most Martial Arts Schools there were not that many Female Students, Martial Arts Schools tend to be really quite “Blokey”, Sifu would always insist that Wing Chun was not a “Blokey” Martial Art, that it was started by a woman and was a lot closer to a Woman’s Martial Art than a Man’s, because of this Sifu gave all of his {not very many} Female Students more assistance, more time and effort, add to this that he felt responsible for us getting married plus the fact that we ran a Suburban Branch for him {and also the fact that he liked my sense of humour} Sifu always found time to chat with us and give us all the help we needed.

My wife Amanda like to take small notes during training, then when we got home she would use them to write a more detailed account of the evenings training in her journal, at first I would make a little fun of this until one day when I read what she had written I noticed something very different to what I remembered, when I asked Sifu about it the following week it turned out that I had completely missed something that Sifu made a point of telling us, from that point on I also started taking notes and filling them out when I got home, when we compared notes they would always be different, usually just because we saw things differently, but many times because one of us had missed something, we would always bring these things up with Sifu so he was very aware that not only did we take notes but that we would go over the lesson at home in the week.

One Day at Instructor training he jokingly said to us after an exercise we struggled with “you should make this your Homework for this week” we all laughed, but we also did work on it all week.

The following week he straight up asked us “How did you go with the Homework”?

I said something on the lines of “I think I am getting it” but my wife Amanda piped up “He was always using Strength and would not listen to me Sifu”.

Sifu then gave me a little lecture, he told me “In training your partner is trying to help you, and you repay this friendship by using Brute force to over power them, this is just being a Bully, and Bullies are governed by their Ego”. The lecture was a little bit longer than this but this is the gist of it. He then went through the “Homework” exercise with us, and chastised me for using strength again.

He recommended that I work on the exercise until I could keep my Ego out of it, he would come back to us about this from time to time to see if I was making any progress, “In Wing Chun we do not use Strength, there is no skill in Strength, that is why Bullies use it, if you are using Strength you are just being a Bully”, this would piss me off a little, this fact alone proved that my Ego was still far from under my control.

This is the exercise.

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Sifu could be maddeningly enigmatic at times, if I was struggling and I asked him why I was having difficulties he would laugh and say “Because you do not understand”, when I would agree and asked him to tell me what it was I did not understand he would say “I have already told you this many times, go home and read your notes”.

Something that cropped up frequently in my notes was the phrase “If you could only understand what it truly means to avoid force you would no longer need my help”.

I have spent months and years thinking on this, and even now it will often help get a deeper understanding of what my Sifu was trying to teach me.

Sadly my Sifu is no longer teaching on this Plane of Existence so I am left with just my memories, and of course my Notes.

START TAKING NOTES.

WHAT TYPE OF DAY IS IT FOR YOU?
WHAT TYPE OF DAY IS IT FOR YOU?

 

 

 

FRIDAY, YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS.

Lets Ruffle some Feathers.
Lets Ruffle some Feathers.

POWER PUNCHING

 Da FUQ?

For some reason Wing Chun Students are obsessed to the point of Sexual Excitement over developing more power in their Punches and Kicks, well all strikes really.

In all reality this is simply because they do not think that they can actually do any damage with what they have today, what they do right here, right now.

The pursuit of more power is an indicator of low self esteem and fear of failure.

This may at first seem like a criticism of Instructors that Focus on “Power Generation” perhaps even specialise in it, but that is in no way my intention, I simply think that they are misguided and perhaps did not understand their own Sifu.

That is another post altogether, in the meantime.

Why do people seek more Power?

That really is a bit of a no brainer isn’t it, they want to deliver more damage to an opponent.

Right here, right now with just 3 words I can tell you how to double that damage.

No Bullshit, no tricks, just sound advice gained from empirical experience that not only works but can be used instantly, by anyone at any level of training.

How long do you think it will take you to double your Power.

A Week?

A Month?

A Year?

Forever?

Many people will read this post and think that I am simply taking the piss.

I am not.

I am incredibly serious about this topic.

You cannot get out of a violent situation unless you can apply enough damage to make the Bad Guy either stop, run away or go to sleep, {or kill him if you are an Armchair Wing Chun Ninja Dude}.

We all know this and it is this that makes people look for what they think are short cuts.

Seeking more Power is a short cut that never works.

Don't say that!!!!
Don’t say that!!!!

A long standing theme in this Blog is to encourage everyone that reads it to check out the Science, cut out the bullshit and forget about Cranes, Snakes or Ninja Turtles, and for Fucks Sake lets not get started on Magic Nuns.

Collision Forces { your fist his face, his face your fist, whatever} are the result of the sum of the 2 forces, it is not about YOU.

Enough already, tell me how and keep the Steak Knives.

Unknown

HIT HIM TWICE.

In fact hit him multiple times, this is after all central to what we do in Wing Chun, it is nothing new, it is just Basic, Intelligent Wing Chun.

Give it a go { the basic Wing Chun that is} it might just surprise you.

WHAT TYPE OF DAY IS IT FOR YOU?
WHAT TYPE OF DAY IS IT FOR YOU?

W.C.W. 15-04-2015

TIME TO HIT SOMETHING.

THINKING TIME IS OVER.
THINKING TIME IS OVER.

Before we all become Batman I want to use a quote attributed to Albert Einstein.

In Theory, Theory and Practice are the same thing.

In Practice they are not.

Everything we do in Wing Chun training is just a way to try to better understand the SIU NIM TAO.

The LITTLE IDEA

The THEORY.

What we do in training, and the way we do it is not what we will do in an Attack.

There is one aspect of Violence that quite simply cannot be replicated in training, and that is how Time and Space get compressed.

Not that many Wing Chun people that I have met have ever experienced a situation were someone genuinely wants to do them harm, {and that is the GOOD NEWS lets be straight about that} at best they have had a few Classroom spats, or Ego confrontations were there is usually plenty of time, with both Guys eying each other up, circling and looking for the best chance, stepping in hitting and stepping back out.

This is a simulation of a MATCH FIGHT, even if you did not choose to be there.

In a Street Attack the Bad Guy is not trying to get TO YOU he is trying to go THROUGH YOU.

The result of moving in towards someone that is rushing in towards you are pretty much a Car Crash, and it would need a super computer to work out the timing of correct impact.

But we do a lot of moving in towards our partner in training, basically we are practicing something we will never be that position to do.

Wing Chun is a Defencive Martial Art that Simultaneously Counter Attacks.

If you are stepping in you are Attacking and not Defending.

So why do we train to move in as our Partner attacks?

We are trying to observe the result of impact on 2 moving Bodies and how to be in the best position to apply that impact.

It does not matter who is moving into whom, the result of the impact is always sum of the weight of the 2 fighters on contact.

As I mentioned at the beginning it is just not possible to replicate the way the Bad Guy compresses Space and Time so the only way we can observe it and hopefully come to understand it, is for ourselves to be the person compressing Space and Time.

It is a simulation of a THEORY and not a strategy.

In reality we will NEVER step into the attacker, we will simply not be given that option.

And let me repeat myself here, “If you do have the Space and Time to step in then you are not defending, you are the Attacker”.

The following clip is taken from a training session with 2 of my Guys, it was not purposely shot so there is no intro, but I am sure you all know by now that….

IT’S WEDNESDAY.

IT’S WING CHUN.

AND I’M THE “D” MAN.

 

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In the Video above I mention that I am not trying to move or affect the Bad Guy, the reason for this is what the past few post were all about, SCIENCE, if the B.G. is trying to get at me his own actions will unbalance him thanks to Newtons 3rd. Law, I have no real need to deal with him at all, it is just about me getting into a position to nail him.

It does not matter what Martial Art you choose to study, in an attack the most important thing to do is to GET OFF LINE { and it really makes no difference if you move yourself or the Bad Guy or a bit of both, this is just a “Frame of Reference” issue}, and wherever possible to put yourself in a position where the Bad Guy cannot hit you but you can hit the Bad Guy.

This is most easily achieved by a controlled step sideways that allows the Attacker to move past you to a certain extent, but at the same time {obviously} bringing himself closer for your Counter Attack.

It is the Attackers movement that we simulate by stepping in.

In reality it is the Attacker that steps in towards us, that is always his intention and we simply use it against him.

The Sideways Shifting and Pivoting of Chum Kiu or the Reverse Half Moon Step from the Bart Cham Do allow you to visualise this.

In a real “Bit of Bother” the only wrong move is not to move, and your nervous system will make sure that you do not stand still, if you do not factor this into your everyday training routine where is it going to come from?

WHAT TYPE OF DAY IS IT FOR YOU?
WHAT TYPE OF DAY IS IT FOR YOU?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WING CHUN WEDNESDAY 08 – 05 – 2015

SOCIAL V ASOCIAL VIOLENCE

Violence is a Huge subject,from Husbands and Wives arguing to Nations using Weapons of Mass Destruction and everything in-between, it is doubtful that anyone knows even half of what there is to know about violence, but with Martial Arts it can be reduced down to just 2 things.

Social or Asocial Violence.

Social Violence is anything that you choose to be involved in, and if you refuse to walk away you are by default choosing to be involved.

Asocial Violence is something that is thrust upon you against your will, something you cannot avoid.

As a Student it is very important that you understand if you are training for Social Violence or if you are training for Asocial Violence, because they are very different things and what may work for one may fail miserably when applied to the other.

It is of even greater importance to an Instructor to know what he is teaching his Students.

SCENARIO 1.

You find yourself in an argument with someone, it begins to get heated and the remarks get personal, after a  short while the other person begins to posture and wave his arms around.  You steady your breathe and await the inevitable, he raises an Arm and you step in redirect it and Punch him in the Face.

This could be straight out of a training syllabus.

SCENARIO 2.

You are walking through a busy Bar / Street / Place and you accidentally bump into someone quit hard, you turn to apologise only to see a fist flying at you, you step backwards and sideways, redirect the Arm and Punch him in the Face.

I am sure that most of us have experienced something along these lines.

Scenario #1 is SOCIAL VIOLENCE, there would of been opportunities for you to de-escalate the situation or simply walk away but you made a conscious decision to wait and act.

Scenario #2 is ASOCIAL VIOLENCE, you did not personally do anything deliberate to provoke the attack and in fact the first thing you knew about it was seeing the fist flying at you.

Picture yourself in Scenario #2 and imagine that you will try to step in and Punch this person, is it even possible?

The vast majority of Wing Chun students that I have spoken with claim to be training to develop skills to use in the event of an attack upon themselves, most openly say that they hope that they will never need to use their training, it is obvious that they are looking to Scenario #2, tools to protect themselves from ASOCIAL VIOLENCE.

But every School that I have visited teaches people how to deal with situations that begin with 2 people facing off, these situations are clearly Scenario #1, SOCIAL VIOLENCE. 

If an attacker is compressing the Time and Space between you there will not be any chance at all to step in towards him, at best you would be caught mid stride and out of balance by a moving force.

I will expand on this next week and offer some tips on how to adjust the training you do to make the transition from SOCIAL VIOLENCE defence to ASOCIAL VIOLENCE defence.

I have no wish to open up the can of worms that are the Legal ramifications of our actions, but it should be noted in passing that in this day and age of Security Cameras and Smart Phone Videos, you can be pretty sure that anything you did would be caught on film.

If it was used against you in a court of Law trying to explain the finer details of Simultaneous Attack and Defence to a Magistrate, or even worse a Jury made up of ordinary people, people that think that anyone who trains themselves in Fighting is just a Thug, may prove futile.

The Video would clearly show you stepping in and punching someone that up to that point had not laid a finger on you.

It could even be argued that not apologising or walking away, but rather standing your ground and taunting the other person was the cause of the ensuing violence and would make you the Attacker and not the Victim.

On the other hand a Video that clearly shows you avoiding an unwarranted attack and then responding in a way designed to only protect yourself will go a long way on your behalf.

Never forget that “How you train is how you will Fight”.

WHAT TYPE OF DAY IS IT FOR YOU?
WHAT TYPE OF DAY IS IT FOR YOU?