Knowing what we are doing is the first step to being able to use what we know.


One thing that is becoming very clear to me as we reopen for training is that so many Wing Chun Students, including some Senior Instructors, have a remarkably poor IDEA of what violence is.

This really is a serious worry because the only aim of Wing Chun is to deal with violence that is being acted out upon us, if we do not understand the nature of violence how can we ever hope to train to survive it?

Yes, due to COVID 19 these are difficult times, changes need to be made and adhered to, but what changes?

Even a complete idiot would tell you that you cannot teach a counter-attacking Close-Quarter Martial Art from a distance of 1.5M.

At this time practical Wing Chun must take a back seat, our focus should be on understanding the environment of violence, understanding the ‘mindset’ that leads to violence, and of the utmost importance the mindset needed to deal with violence, without this there is no Wing Chun.

I will expand on this over the next few posts and hopefully offer suggestions to take us forwards.

Even from 1.5M.


Let’s start here with an approach to attitude, and what it takes to develop the right type.


As Martial Artists, even if we are just a bit half-arsed, we all trust our training, and expect it to work if and when needed.

But what do we really expect the outcome of our training to be, do we even know?

For instance what ‘BOX’ does it live in?

From a biophysical standpoint, training is training, there is no difference between training to play a sport or training to defend ourselves from violence.

I personally find that my training fits perfectly in the all-round General Sports Box.

But so many of my Martial Arts friends and associates rail against this opinion.


Kung Fu is kick ass man, sport is just sport.


I believe that to become functionally effective it is, in fact, more beneficial to approach our training from a sports perspective, to embrace and include modern sports science, if for no other reason than to foster a lesser involvement of the Ego.

We are less likely to respond to a situational question with ‘I will just step in and hit him’, which we may well do in reality, but we cannot train for that.

Especially from 1.5Mtrs away.

All training is task-specific, it just is.

So what specific task is what we are doing preparing us for?

Is it enough?

Is it too much?

Is it just right?

Anyone with a schoolboys experience of sport is well aware that before playing we go through a routine using the same movements and actions as we may use in the game at an easier, softer, slower level of participation.

This allows the body to prepare itself for the greater demands to come.

We all know this as the ‘Warm-up’.

Anyone that has undertaken training to improve their sports capability knows that here as well we do similar movements and actions as we may use in the game but this time under increasing load.

Increasing weight, resistance and speed.

This brings about an overall physical improvement, this is the ‘Training Effect’.

The ‘Training Effect’ helps us to develop a higher power output for a lower effort input, hence the maxim ‘Train Hard, Play Easy’.

This also indicates that the environment we expect to use these skills, to be operationally effective in, is considerably more involved than a ‘Warm Up” but not as full-on as “Heavy Training”.

Traditionally in Chinese Martial Arts both the ‘Warm-up’ and the “Heavy Training” fall under the banner of Chi Kung while the operational aspect is, of course, Kung Fu.

On the face of it, Wing Chun does not have a Chi Kung component, everything is useable Kung Fu.

Sadly this is just spin, marketing, selling less for more.

How can we tell the difference between Chi Kung and Kung Fu in our Wing Chun training?

This a great deal more simple than you may imagine, and Simplicity is one of the central pillars of our ‘Fist Logic’.

If whatever it is we do is not aligned with our ‘Fist Logic’ it is not Wing Chun.

Similar is not the same.

Close, but no cigar.

The absolute ‘Central Pillar’ of our Fist logic is ‘Practicality’.

I have said elsewhere that there are only 2 important aspects to using Wing Chun effectively.

  1. We must not get hit.
  2. We must be able to accurately and powerfully hit our opponent.

If we defending against a genuine attack that is genuinely meant to harm us we are using Kung Fu.

If we are hitting our opponent with full focus and total commitment to finish this right here, right now we are using Kung Fu.

Everything else is Chi Kung.

This is not a bad thing, this is in no way a negative, it is in-fact an absolute and dynamic positive.

Knowing what we are doing is the first step to being able to use what we know.

The big test, the real goal in all of our training is to not allow our Ego to coax us into self-delusion, this starts with being honest about our training, what it is, what it can do for us but most importantly…





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