The biggest threat we will ever face is our own unpreparedness.


What is the underlying reason for a Martial Art?

Any Martial Art not specifically Wing Chun.

At its most basic level every Martial Art is a tool to solve a specific problem.

As important as it is to become as capable as we can in our chosen style, our tool of choice, it is of even more importance to understand the problem we are training to deal with.

Reflective of how I teach the why’s and the where’s of what we are working on get more attention that the how’s, before we try to learn how to deploy the tool we are learning how to use we first try to identify the problem, identify the options.

Because of this approach it is important that my guys maintain personal honesty, no Kung Fu movie daydreaming, my own part in this process is to encourage everyone to question everything I teach, this leads to some revealing foresights, the most revealing being that many do not know what problem they are trying to solve and this makes it almost impossible to look past simple technique.

If we do not know the problem how can we hope to choose an appropriate solution?

In many ways learning a Martial Art is the same as learning how to use an Adjustable Spanner , we learn the theory behind it, why, how and where it was invented, then in a controlled environment we work through possible reasons to use the Adjustable Spanner, different situations, different size nuts, bolts or whatever we imagine we may come up against.

Then we go out on a job, just us and our Adjustable Spanner and pretty soon realise that while an Adjustable Spanner is better than nothing, it is  not better by very much.

Let’s take a mental side step, we and our Adjustable Spanner prepare for a D.I.Y.  Job, nothing life threatening so when we get overwhelmed by our unpreparedness we call in a professional who turns up with a complete toolbox of spanners, metric and imperial, open ended and socket, even Allen Keys.

Why so many tools?

I am tradesman, and yes there have been times when I have used the wrong tool for the job, as most tradies have, but it is only when for some reason I have not been properly prepared for the things I needed to do, and I assure you that it was never a good situation, only my previous experience and my ability to adjust and bend the rules that deep down I knew should not be bent got me through.

The biggest threat we will ever face is our own unpreparedness.

I am not a fan of the old cliche´ of “expect the unexpected”, for what I hope are very obvious reasons, but I do think we can ask how do we  “prepare for our unpreparedness”?

The first thing would be to stop treating our Martial Art as an Adjustable Spanner and increase the content of the virtual toolbox.  But even this is nothing more than a Band-Aid if we are to be honest, a box full of the wrong tools is of less use than a Shifter.

A good place to start would be to list all the possible problems we could face, write them down, make a real list, then against each problem write down what would be an appropriate solution, then check this solution against the style we are training.

I think we all know that having the answer to a problem is not the same as giving the answer to a problem, call it performance anxiety, exam nerves, even when the problem is physical and the answer is physical the ability to give the answer or use the solution is mostly mental.

The most important aspect of our mental training is understanding, only when we have a good understanding of the answer will we have the confidence to use it.

We must attain a deep understanding of what our Martial Art is even before we try to understand what it does, I have been teaching Wing Chun for more than 20 years and if I call up just one observation it would be that the majority of students do not come anywhere close to understanding what it means to be a “Counter Attacking Martial Art”.

This is a philosophy not an operating method.

Depending on how deeply we connect to this and how accurately align with this is the difference between our IDEAS working or as we see in far too many Youtube videos failing miserably.

As a philosophy what does it mean to “Counter Attack”.

This is at the heart of Wing Chun, this is our FIST LOGIC.




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