Strategy and the like.

What is a STRATEGY?


Strategy is a plan of action designed to achieve an overall aim. It is a plan to reach the END GAME. The JOURNEY and the DESTINATION, between Nations or between Individuals the same holds true, it is about how does this thing end?
When I ask people at Workshops “How does your Fight End”? the usual response is something like….
“It depends what the Bad Guy does”.
If you were to ask anyone of my Students they would answer “It ends with the Bad Guy on the Floor and me leaving without serious injury”.  That is what I teach, and everything else leads up to that, be it one move or twenty. If you do not have any idea of when the fight ends how do you achieve it?  What do you try to set up?

There is a line of thought in the Martial Arts that says you should have no favourite techniques, that to me is a little like telling Roger Federer to never run around a Backhand so he can hit a Forehand.

As if ?

For myself there are a few things I do that work and work well, moreover I trust them to work at any time in any conditions, everything I do in my own training is about learning how to deploy these weapons against any and all attacks, this is pretty much the opposite of a great deal of Martial Arts Training that recommends dealing with what you are given without pre planning.

For me I know the GOAL and nothing the Bad Guy can do will change that, he can change how I approach my GOAL,  he can change what weapon I may deploy to hit my GOAL,  but he cannot change my GOAL.  The simpler my GAOL is and the more ways I know how to reach it the more likely is my success.  To reach this state we need to radically change the way we approach our training, in fact we need to train it backwards, from the GOAL out.

Breaking Ribs, Knocking People Out or even just Getting the Guy on One Leg so you can push him over are simple Goals that you can decide suit your demeanour and then shape all your training in that direction.

When Nations use their Armed Forces to practice Strategies they are called WAR GAMES, the idea behind War Games is not to see how good your ideas are or how well they work but rather to be in a position to look for weakness, to see how your plan could be thwarted.  We can bring this WAR GAME mentality into our own training, looking for the weakness instead of patting ourself on the back when our Partner complies.



If we start with our Goal, leaving the scene with no serious injury.

STEP 1. Leaving the Scene.

STEP 2. Pushing or pulling the B.G. to the Ground.

STEP 3. Compromising the B.G’s balance by attacking his LEG.

STEP 4. Disorient {Realigning} the B.G. and punching the him in the Face moving him backwards.

STEP 5. Taking the BLIND SIDE and causing PAIN.

STEP 6. The B.G. throws a straight punch.

Each step will raise questions, for instance why is the Bad Guy allowing me to leave at all, is he Broken or just preoccupied? Assessing these questions will allow you to see if what you plan would actually bring the result you want.

Every action brings a consequence, and this consequence is a sliding scale depending on how well you preformed the action, not everything works like it does in a Martial Arts Movie.

If we deal with trying to bring about consequences like “Compromising the Bad Guys Balance” it allows us to look for a suitable option given the time and place instead of just trying to Hook Kick the Bad Guy, it could be that you discover that a Hook Kick is the perfect answer, and gain greater trust in that Kick, who knows?

Often when War Gaming you will find that you can get to step 2 from step 6, other times you may find that none of it works as you thought it would and needs a rethink.

These are Mind Games more than anything else so do not worry about using generic strikes or easy set ups, it is the thinking that we are working on, thinking about hurting the Bad Guy and going home, even if we forget all of our training this will still work with anything we do.

Another Game..

If a Bad Guy said to you, “I am going to beat you up, but because I am so awesome and you are so puny I am going to give you one free STRIKE” what would you choose?

It does not matter what that STRIKE is, but that STRIKE is what your inner self or as I call it your “DIRECTOR” thinks is your best chance of getting the EDGE. We all have a DIRECTOR” that makes the important decisions, especially in times when we are not thinking at our best.

Now think up a possible scenario where you would need to use your training, was the very first thing you did the same STRIKE that your DIRECTOR chose?

If your answer is no then you chose to try to save yourself with a STRIKE that “The INNER YOU” do not think is your best chance.

WHY????  It was your choice.

Even if your go to Strike is a Blow to the back of the Head of the Bad Guy everything you do should be to get you in position to Drop that Hammer, and go home.

Taking the time to build up the idea of GOING HOME WITHOUT SERIOUS INJURY at the end of every imaginary conflict [and hopefully you do play this Mind Game] will develop the drive needed to get to the END GAME.

There is a new term to add to your training rhetoric,


push him over, piss off.


WING CHUN WEDNESDAY 01 – 07 – 2015




Because I think that Blog post should just be bite sized I am posting this piece today, broadly addressing Mindset, and a piece on Friday about developing a Fighting Mindset or workable strategy, all of which will lead up to “Knocking People Out and Breaking Ribs”

Once we start looking at the Dynamics, Mechanics and the overall Intention of Bringing down the Hurt we are not really talking Wing Chun anymore we are talking about Fighting.

A Martial Art is not Fighting, no Martial Art will ever teach you how to Fight, it is simply a Tool, like a Stick that you can pick up and use if you are in a Fight.

Fighting is a separate issue in and of itself.

The Body you train in will not be the same Body that is in the Fight. The Mind that does all that deep thinking about Wing Chun will not be the Mind calling the shots in the Fight. As Human Beings this is just part of who and what we are, it cannot be changed, it cannot be controlled, you have to find a way to work with it.

We know this is true because it is not just in Fights when this happens, in unrelated things like important Exams, First Dates, Job Interviews, we find ourselves in a Body that feels at least a little Alien and a Mind that appears to have forgotten everything we had rehearsed.

In our Life everything is Task Specific, it is how our Brain works, it creates little packages of information that relate to specific practices, the fact that certain practices share the same movements is no cause to believe that you can transfer information between them easily and efficiently.

The only way to improve something like for instance Punching is by improving how you practice Punching. Improving what you think about Punching, improving what you know about Punching and how you intend to  use it.

The Ability to turn any type of TRAINING into FIGHTING is understanding how to connect the Dots, if you cannot connect the Dots when trouble raises it ugly Head you will be left standing there with your Richard in your Hand.

Being good at Wing Chun or any Martial Art does not mean that you will be a good Fighter. It most certainly improves your chances, but it is not a given, what we do in training is just training, if we get in a fight we must forget everything and just fight. If we have trained long enough and diligently enough we may very well use the shapes and idea’s of Wing Chun, but we should not be aware of it, we should just be fighting, and bringing the Hurt.

When you punch there must be no thought of HOW, no trying to make the “Perfect Punch”, just the Intention to Break what you hit.

The first thing to understand is that if you are in a violent situation the normal Rules of Society have already gone out of the Window, you are now operating under a very different set of Criteria than what you usually measure yourself by.

This ain’t Kansas Toto ……   this is ROME.

To have any chance of coming out upfront in a Violent Confrontation we must find a way for the Fighting Body and the Fighting Mind {that we will be in when it goes Pear shaped}, to get access to all that lovely Wing Chun that our Training Body and Training Mind knows . The level of connection that you can establish between these two very different identities is of far greater importance than all other aspects of your training.

Connecting the CONCEPT from your training to the INTENTION of your fighting.

They are two very different things from two very different Worlds.

When you hit someone you hit them with your INTENTION and not your training.

Fighting is an event that  two people are engaged in,  Wing Chun is not Fighting, we do not try to engage the Bad Guy and Fight him. He throws a Punch and we take him out. Do not pass go, do not pick up $200.00.

Wing Chun does not train Warriors……… Wing Chun trains Assassins.


Wing Chun Wednesday, 24 – 06 – 2015.



Wing Chun is a Conceptual Martial Art, there are no TECHNIQUES in Wing Chun, what are often taught as TECHNIQUES are simply vehicles to outline the Concept.

This has pros and cons but for now lets keep it simple, learning Wing Chun depends a great deal on wether or not your Instructor Understands the Concept in the first place, wether he can explain it clearly and simply both verbally and physically, then there is the whole problem of human Communication, as a Student do you understand what your Instructor is saying, can you see the Concept behind what he is showing you?

If you can see the concept your Instructor is describing can you recreate it and make it work for you under pressure?

Being able to answer this question is in reality what you are training for.

I teach a very simplified Wing Chun, this makes it relatively difficult for Junior Students who do not tend to stay too long, but as the majority of my Students are quite senior it is my method and I am happy with a small school of Senior Guys.

My approach is that in defence we have two INTENTIONS and one MOVEMENT, and that is it.



The one movement is Bong Sau, the Wing Arm, quite simply any time you move your Arm to redirect or control, to use Tarn Sau or Fook Sau.  All moves are just the Wing flapping.

Shapes and positions are irrelevant, if your intention is to redirect something it is Tarn Sau if your intention is to be controlling something it is Fook Sau, how you get your Arm to the position needed to perform this intention is Bong Sau no matter what you do.

This approach is easy for people to adapt to if they have already trained for a few years, it is simply working on the Mental and Emotional side of Wing Chun, Students fit in quickly because it can be explored through Chi Sau, it is nothing new, it is just a simpler explanation of the same things they already know and it is easily understood.

If you have the IDEA, the INTENTION to move and Arm you just do it, using a traditional FOOK SAU shape or HUEN SAU shape to redirect an Arm requires you to think about REDIRECTION and not shape, retrospection gives you more insight into Tarn Sau and Fook Sau.

But how about ATTACKING????

What INTENTION do you hold when you attack???

Is it just HIT and HOPE?

Just as in defence training, if you do not know EXACTLY what you intend to do how do you know if you have done it correctly?

All attacks require an OUTCOME, an INTENTION.

What do you want to happen when you hit someone?

In my post on ATTITUDE I pointed out that most people that do Wing Chun are engaged in FEAR MANAGEMENT, and not DANGER MANAGEMENT, their FEARS are calmed by learning things that they believe will prevent the Bad Guy from beating them up, that is why so few Wing Chun Students are proficient at Striking, especially on the move and under pressure.

Those that do train Striking tend to just hit straight down the middle with no real INTENTION of doing anything but landing somewhere on the target.

I have heard respected Masters say that in Wing Chun we do not select “Specific Targets”, ???? Say what?  Whatever you hit is a “Specific Target” so you may as well pick a good one.

I am yet to meet a Wing Chun Student that knows where the Kidneys actually are or how to get at the Spleen with their current level of training.

Few Schools spend anywhere near enough time on Striking, at the end of the day it is Striking that will get you home safe, not the Form and certainly not Chi Sau, and the Schools that do work on Striking do little WORK on the move, it is all stand and deliver to a Wall Bag or a Partner with a Mitt, hitting Wall Bags, Punching Mitts and Heavy Bags makes you feel good as you get the THUMP going but the movement is restricted to lateral movement, on Wall Bags you cannot possibly transfer weight through or into the Target, you can move around Heavy Bags but it is still Lateral movement, you are describing a Tangent from a Circle, Bags restrict natural movement and encourage the use of strength, the vast majority of Wing Chun Students only have Arm Punches that rely on a Stable Base for power.

No one stands still in a Shit Storm.

I have been to Wing Chun Punching workshops were the presenter has openly declared that it is not possible to knock a Man out with a single Punch when in fact it happens every single Day on the Street by untrained People.

To knock someone out you need to know exactly what a “Knock Out” is and how it is caused {the complete CONCEPT of a Knock Out”} and how to bring it out with your current training and then most importantly you need to deliberately go for it with no other thought{the INTENTION to knock them out} .

If you are in trouble you should have only two INTENTIONS on your mind, if you are hitting them in the Body then your INTENTION should be to BREAK what ever you hit, and if you hit them in the Head then your intention should be to KNOCK THEM OUT.

If you are the type of person that believes in Pressure Point Striking, once you develop the correct INTENTION, everything is a Pressure Point if you hit it hard enough.

If you are not training this INTENTION where is it going to come from when it is needed?

Knocking people out is easy, wanting to hurt people is not, if you are not at least attempting to develop the attitude that you MUST HURT the person that is trying to HURT YOU  how highly do you rate your chances of pulling it off?

In the coming weeks I will look at how to Knock People Out, how to deliver punches that Break Ribs, and show you all the Best “Specific Targets” and how to make them your own.

Unfortunately most Fights are won by the person that delivers the most HURT.

Make it YOU.


Personal Update.



In February a Specialist informed me that I had Broken my Back!


I was instructed to stop working and do nothing until we had ran Scans to asses the way forward.

To be expected this was a major downer , apart from anything else I was drinking way too much and I have put on almost 15 Kg as I am sure you can see from the Videos, here I am 4 months later and I can finally start trying to exercise, 1 week ago I could not hardly reach past my Calfs and it was impossible to sit on my Heels, a 3 Klm walk just about did me in for the rest of the Day, it is astonishing how quickly your conditioning deserts you.

Today I have had what is my fifth consecutive 5lm walk and due to some persistent exercise I can now sit on my Heels and touch my Toes.

20150623_121209Cherish your fitness, it goes quickly and it is slow to return.

Treat your Back with respect, it controls just about everything you do.




I am a Destiny player, as are 20,000,00 other people on this planet, Destiny is far more than just another Video Game, recently a player passed away from Cystic Fibrosis, this is how the Destiny Community responded.

It brought a tear to my Eye.