Frank Herbert: Dune.


The only way to overcome the fear of the unknown is knowledge, make it known.

What is a fight?

A fight is a decision made between two or more parties to engage in a contest, they all agree to be there, in fact they choose to be there, they know what is coming, what to expect and usually have a plan to deal with it, most importantly a Fight is intended to end with a result, Win or Loose.        The key is that all parties want to be where they are, doing what they are doing.

What is Attacking?

Attacking is a one man show, the intention is to rain down as many blows as possible before the other person can respond, preferably without warning, the attacker has no investment in the other person it is all about the attacker doing his thing, total dominance.        The key is that the attacker wants to be where he /she is doing what he / she is doing.

What is Defending?

Defending is responding to an attack, the defenders sole thought is of him/herself and getting out of there, escaping.        The key is that the defender does not want to be where he / she is, involved in what is going on.


I have discussed this with many instructors over the years and usually they disagree, they tend to think that they are all different facets of the same thing, but I assure you, I know from personal experience that getting the Shit kicked out of you is not a different facet of winning.

Fighting, Attacking and Defending are totally different because they bring about different mind sets, different emotions, not to mention different outcomes.

If they are all the same then so is jumping into a swimming pool from the pool side, the 3 meter board and the 10 metre board, most of us have done this at least once and we all know they are not the same.   The water is the same, but the feeling is so different looking down at it, the thought of that 10 meter jump is nothing like the thought of jumping from the poolside, we do not respond in the same way.

How we think changes how we feel.  How we feel changes how we think.  They both change how we act.

Sports Fighting is indeed pure fighting, it is all about getting in there and giving it to the other guy. If possible both guys will be the attacker but neither ever choose to be the defender.

Traditional Martial Arts are self defence systems. Someone attacks us and we respond, even styles like Wing Chun that claim to use simultaneous attack and defence, which of course is just a sales pitch, are responding, defending.  It is only the ego of instructors that calls it simultaneous attack and defence, we are obviously defending, it should be simultaneous defence and attack, the Kuen Kuit says “He attacks first but I strike first”.

Give a few minutes to think if you prefer simultaneous attack & defence or simultaneous defence & attack ……….. then ask yourself why.

There is no generic “Right Approach” but there is always the right personal approach, and that is personality not training, what type of person are you?  If you knew without doubt that in 2 minutes someone was going to come around the corner and smack you, would you stay and prepare or would you leave before they got there?

I would leave.

What does your method of training teach?    To stand and deliver, duke it out until the best man wins or to find an escape as early as possible, preferably before the dancing starts.  During training do you ever work on or talk about an exit strategy if not how do you know when it is over?

If it is a fight you do a victory lap.

If it is an attack you walk away from an unconscious looser.

But what does a defender do?


Most of the Wing Chun I have witnessed is attempting to teach people how to fight, stepping into the attacker, pressing, pressing, pressing. I teach my people how to escape, if we are forced to beat the crap out of them to achieve this so be it, but mostly it is knock them down and piss off quickly.    If you are not training to bring about the possibility of escape you will not see it when it presents itself, at best you will be like a dog that chases a bus, when the bus stops the dog does not know what to do, at worse you give the Bad Guy a second bite at the cherry, and he bites it right in half.

If you are drowning do your chances of survival improve the longer you are in the water?

Our training should be moulded by how we think and not the other way around, under stress we will always return to what we believe we are, and not what we have trained to be.

There are only 2 reasons people take up Martial Arts, to become a boss bully and pay out on everyone, or to learn how to deal with a boss bully, every other reason is just self delusion.

The Martial Arts has this big macho idea that we are training to be warriors, warriors give everything, live or die, win or lose, they are truly special individuals {today we call them soldiers or the military}, Wing Chun does not create warriors, it creates assassins, think about that statement for a minute, Wing Chun’s main weapon is surprise?

Fear is the little death.

But it is also a natural part of us, once the fear has gone past only I will remain.



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