…if you can intercept someone’s wrist as they throw a punch, they were never trying to hit you in the head.

My recent surgery is surprising me in the difficulty of the recovery.

It shouldn’t, after all, I was effectively stabbed in the abdomen four times and then the knives were wiggled about.

It was just done by a doctor and I paid for it.

Moving around is out of the question, I have played all of my ps5 games to death so now all I have left is reading and thinking.

And as I have mentioned the OxyContin is adding colour and texture to that..I feel like Captain Kurtz trying to get it all down before it comes true.

I am reading a lot and going through my quite large 1990s Kung Fu instructional D.V.D. library.

And since my last re-evaluation this may not be a good idea.

Everything is up for grabs.

Do these guys really believe what they are saying or is it just another carriage on the Gravy Train?

I am sorry to repeat myself but this is everywhere… I feel like a Conrad character, perhaps Kurtz, frantically trying to get it all down before it turns out to be true.

To be expected this leads me to thinking about what I am teaching.

And quite importantly WHO I am teaching it to.

And WHO I am talking to with this blog.

When I am talking to students under 35 years of age I forget that they have no idea how much the world has changed in their life time.

Australia became part of the global community on June 23, 1989.

That was when the internet launched.

And everything changed.


Before 1989 finding any information on Kung Fu in particular and Martial Arts in general, was limeted to meeting someone that had been there and done that.

And hopefully told something like the truth.

The internet opened a gate that would never be closed.

The “Information Super Highway”.That is how we referred to the internet back then, now it is just the net or the web if it is even mentioned.

Poorly scanned copies of things like the Tai Chi Classics were traded on what can only be looked at as a black market.

Napster. Limewire and Pirate Bay, these monsters were not just music.

Some silly prices for some silly books.

Think about it, if they were genuine historical manuscripts, for free was a silly price.

And of course this was the beggining of the made-up histories of the rapidly becoming popular styles.

Buddhist Shaolin Temple Kung Fu such as ‘Iron fist’ and ‘White Crane’

Taoist Wudang Mountain Temple Tai Chi Chuan.

And out of nowhere Wing Chun.

Wing Chun was made for the internet.

In 1988, External Kung Fu had its roots outside of China, namely the Buddhist traditions of India.

In 1988, Internal Kung Fu had its roots inside of China, namely the Daoist traditions of places like Wu Dang Monastery.

In 1989 the Internal/External argument erupted and is still making money for everyone involved.

It is a con, plain and simple.

From 2000 we were all so conditioned by the Internet and the movies, and dare I say it from the need to see the action on a small screen, from the cheap seats, that reality has gone out of the window and training is following on its coattails.

It is not very hard to visualise/realise the problem…

…if you can intercept someone’s wrist as they throw a punch, they were never trying to hit you in the head.

If we are talking weapons, the same story is playing out, how could something have a hope in hell of hitting me if I am intercepting it in real time a full metre in front of me.

Wing Chun, more than other styles, is well placed to pass this off due to the fact that we are always and only working with the IDEA and not the reality.

Everything is a method to test the IDEA of contact.

Made for T.V. Please do not try this at home.

More to come, much more, watch this space.


Colonel Walter Kurtz


The drugs are now ‘sadly’ out of my system and I am back in the real world.

I recently underwent surgery that has given me a couple of days of forced relaxation that includes coming down to earth from the anesthetic and a diet of OxyContin to help with the pain.

The perfect recipe for deep contemplation.

I am still to a certain extent in that sphere, my sleep is messed up and I am writing this at 3.26am..
Two strange events, both from T.V. programs I was watching, framed my thinking.
One of the episodes on a series named “What the British Stole”, had, of all people, the son of my Sifu in the background doing a dance based on the Bart Cham Dao Form.
This was so incongrous that it was not possible to take it lightly.
He appeared some 4 or 5 times, and allthough it was basicly correct from the point of view of the Bart Cham Dao Form, it was glaringly “out there” from the point of view of using any ‘real weapon’ against a human attacker.
It was never more obvious that the Bart Cham Dao is a make believe, almost theatrical weapon.
And it forces people to move like marrionettes.
And then there is a program called “BANSHEE”.
This is a ‘based on a graphic novel’ type of program, with plenty of fantasy violence.
One of the characters is repeatedly shown using a Wing Chun Wooden Dummy.
Needles to say this is “SO WRONG”.
It is just a man hitting a piece of wood and posing his arms in unrecognisable shapes.
But then, “HELLO” a funny thing happened on my way to the studio event happened.
I am in the process of filming myself doing the Mok Jan Jong for the club, suddenly, I looked like a man hitting a piece of wood and posing his arms in unrecognisable shapes.
At first I told myself it was ‘the OxyContin’ that was making me see it this way.
But was it?
The drugs are now ‘sadly’ out of my system and I am back in the real world.
But nothing has changed with the Bart Cham Dao or the Mok Jan Jong.


For 50 years, I worked as a Chef.
I am, to say the least, comfortable with a knife in my hand.
As a result I train a lot with weapons.
I like the flow.
I like the feel of a moving blade and the theatre of slicing and dicing.
But now I find that all sword play is wrong, not just the Bart Cham Dao.
If we select as our starting premise the question…
… “what would need to be happening for me to be doing this action”?
It is very hard to create any realistic scenario unless my attacker is also practising with their own chosen Martial Art weapon and working hard to feed me obvious strikes.
None of the attacks we defend against would be chosen by anybody with a working knowledge of using a weapon.
They are just too easy to defend.
Back in the 1970s I had friends that were deeply into ‘historical re-creations’.
They were part of a group that named themselves the “Seald Knot” and they took their work every bit as seriously as I took my training.
Accuracy and reality were key.
I have banged steel on many an occasion and it is far from pretty.
The reality of trying to stop a 2.5 kilo piece of metal being swung at you with purpose is a long way from any Garn Bart or Dai Bart.

This sudden change of perspective is to say the least ‘a bit of a spin out’ because now everything has been called into question.

Even I am interested to see where this goes.



It is the weird bit of normality.

Sometimes, when talking about Wing Chun, it can end up sounding as if we are slipping into a new-age wacko cultish kind of conversation.

But it is only the language and not the work.

How DO we explain what happens to our cells without trying to sound like a scientist and getting it all wrong anyway?

I am doing it now!

Like everything else in the Universe, our cells get squeezed in and then they push back out.

That sounds wrong, but it is what happens.

To all of us.

All of the time.

It is the weird bit of normality.

Paying attention to the minutiae of our body makes it so much easier to see the big bits.

All being well we can talk about all this in a few weeks.

If you see anything interesting on the internet save it for when you get back, but never forget what Abraham Lincon said about the internet.

Oops, I just realise you will be watching this on the internet.

Stay Frosrsty. Stay Healthy.



Martial Arts do not teach us how to fight.

Firstly, Gong Hei Fat Choy.

Secondly, Happy Birthday to us, 13 today, hip, hip hooray.

On with the show.

I have been in and around Martial Arts since 1960, which is a very long time in any currency.

I started with competitive styles and then moved to the more personal development styles.

But for me, it has always been about the work.

The skill set.

It still is, even as my body begins to let me down, perhaps even more so, now that my body is starting to let me down.

What have I learned that I think is worth passing on?

Martial Arts do not teach us how to fight.

After 60+ years I know this inside and out.

Yet still, I do the work.

Helio Grace, the founder of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is quoted as saying “Learn to fight like an old man, because one day you will be”.

Perhaps he meant “Learn how to not fight like an old man does not fight”

But that type of advertising does not fill dojo’s.

We will be closed for 2 weeks or around that so here is something to keep you awake at nights.

Although we say we realise that Humans are part of a bigger family.

A family of primates along with Orangutangs, Chimpanzees, Gorillas and Bonobos, collectively known as the Great Apes.

We somehow think that we will act differently when placed under survival stress.

Without training, we will not act any differently.

I can almost hear the ghost of Grouch Marx saying…

… The difference between an Ape and a Man is that an Ape knows that it is an Ape.

THE “D” MAN, posing as Groucho.


The little IDEA… … Wing Chun does not fight.

Costas was talking to me about someone we know who has a Youtube Channel, about something he was saying about part of our system.

I have no wish to get into a B.S. Internet argument so I will not name the guy and I will not criticise what he was talking about.

Instead, I will once again try to help you see who is worth listening to and who is not worth listening to.

There are some good people out there.

Not many, but some.

The little IDEA.

… Wing Chun does not fight.

The Bad guy attacks us, we counterattack and finish him right there and then.

There is no fighting.

Obviously, there is a good chance that on the first encounter, we are taken unawares and we do not pull off our counter-attack.

 In which case we force a retreat to a better position and await the Bad Guy to attack us again.

This time we know what is going on and we succeed and finish it.

There is no fighting.


It is always the same little IDEA.

We do not fight.

This is hard to GROCK for a very large portion of the Wing Chun Community because they, fortunately, have no experience of violence.

So they fall for fancy words and flashy videos.

Try this.

Dealing with violence is a lot like cooking.

It makes no difference how many books you have, or how many shows you have watched, you could even have a friend that is a world-class Chef, but as soon as you are put on the stove it turns out you cannot even cook an omelette.

Do not laugh, cooking an omelette correctly is not that easy.

In fact, before I retired, when I was interviewing for a position in my kitchen it was one of the tasks I asked all hopefuls to carry out.

In many cases it was the rock they perished on.

Cooking an omelette requires focus, and correct timing but above all else confidence.

Moral of this post…

… never take an EGG to a BUN fight.



When my Sifu passed away, hold that thought I do not expect to pass away, there where so many questions left unasked.


As you all know, sometime in the first half of this year I am undergoing an extension to my previous Spinal Fusion.

For reasons I do not understand {I was a Chef in my career and not a Neuro-Surgeon}, they cannot simply extend the existing architecture but need to replace the old and put it all in new.

Because I have had this operation previously I fully understand the recovery process, but back then I was 42 years of age, this time I will be 70, perhaps it will be the same, I hope so.

Last time out it was 3 months before I could supervise hands-off teaching and 6 months before I could do hands-on teaching and resume my training, I expect this to be the minimal process this time around.

I do not like to consider it but there is a chance that I will not be returning to teaching at all.

When my Sifu passed away, hold that thought I do not expect to pass away, there where so many questions left unasked.

My not returning to teaching is to a large extent the same thing as my Sifu’s passing away.

My advice is to hope for the best outcome but work for the worst outcome.

The best course of action would be to train as often as possible over the next few months.

The second best course of action would be to make sure you have questions to work on when you do turn up to train.

As for what those questions should be, think of the things that do not make sense, or things that you think would not work in reality, because it does all work when you understand.

My advice would be to treat this year like it was only half a year, and dig in.

Believe me I fully intend to return and to keep teaching for many years to come, but there is a real chance that this could end up in a list of “Famous Last Words”.





Forms are the theatre of teaching without words, the lessons are able to settle at their own pace and make their own sense.

Humour requires an open and nimble mind, it allows us to simultaneously see what is in front of us without unneeded complexity and also see things in a new and refreshing light.

For instance…

Q. What is the difference between a Greengrocer and an Aeroplane Pilot?

A. One sells veggies, and one flies a ‘plane.

Sometimes things are as obvious and in our faces as that, no need for inner depth or secret understanding.

Some other jokes help us see that we were in fact looking in the wrong direction…

Two girls were talking and one said to the other…

… “I lost my virginity years ago, but luckily I still have the box in came in!

Boom, Boom, sooner or later the really important things are not so important after all.

So above all else let’s try to be mentally flexible and open-minded.

2023 is just around the corner, do we know what it is we are carrying forwards to this new year.

I hope so, because that is all we have to build on…

…our past training is the foundation for our future progress.

Or regress!

As always we should begin with a question.

What is a FORM?

A FORM is a collation of IDEAS.

A FORM is a piece of theatre we use to explore and interpret these collated IDEAS.

It is a per-FORM-ance.

Intellectually a FORM is a filing cabinet to store all relevant data.

We could go as far as to say that a Form is ‘the box’ the IDEA came in.

Accepting this is the first step to understanding what is inside the box.

Anybody that has even the slightest understanding of Wing Chun knows that everything we do is infused with and directed by the Sil Lim Tao.

In short, in Wing Chun, everything is Sil Lim Tao.

Do we understand what we mean when we say “everything”?

A Form is a method for those few that know the deep secrets to explain their knowledge to the multitude that doesn’t know these secrets even exist.

Forms are the theatre of teaching without words, the lessons are able to settle at their own pace and make their own sense.

Forms are alchemy, a way to take a base material, the novice, and through practice, refine it to a more noble material, the practitioner, and eventually, a Master.

If like me you prefer science, in a book entitled Human Performance, the well-known psychologist Paul Fitts proposed three stages of learning motor skills:

  1. a cognitive phase.
  2. an associative phase.
  3. an autonomous phase.

Whichever lens we choose, whatever prose we use…

… Forms are the uncarved block that already contains the masterpiece before the first touch of the chisel.

Or the thumb drive that holds the algorithm.

The wordless wisdom holds us hostage.

I know from experience how difficult it is to dedicate time to doing just Forms, it took me around 7 years to finally commit and settle into a new way of approaching the work, but I also know that it is Forms that link us to the reality of using Wing Chun out in the wild.

If we are looking in the right direction.









The holiday season is upon us, that once a year extravaganza of office parties and family gatherings, the perfect opportunity to use our training.

If it happens that you do not get to Kung Fu anyone I hope you all have a great hat ever it is you celebrate.





Training is training – playing is playing – fighting is fighting.

This post is not a sly swipe at a different style than the style I train in.

It is not even about styles, unless we are talking about dancing, and yes I have danced, in fact I have danced this dance, and though it is known by many names, today we will call this dance…

…first in best dressed.

It is usual when dancing to decide beforehand who is ‘Lead” and who is “Follow” this way both dancers come away with their shoes still shiny and all of their toes intact.

I have danced this dance as both ‘Lead” and “Follow”, as first in and as not first in.

In the video the Ponytail Guy does not realise that he is the ‘Follow’ and steps up with his arms open as if he is the ‘Lead’ expecting his partner to smoothly and quietly join him.


Let me make it very clear, this is not a dig at anyone or any other style, this could be any of us.

Mr Ponytail gets clipped hard by the first kick, you can see that it hurts him, and just completely messes him up, his brain says W.T.F.

The kick breaks his thinking up so much that as he is limping away he is looking for the next kick, the nervous system will do that if we are not careful, and he completely misses the slap that is coming in behind it.

Why would any of us do any better?

Mr Ponytail would never have volunteered for this fight unless in his own circles he was considered good at what he does, possibly a senior of his school.

He would not have stepped onto the mat…

…which by the way is a courageous thing to do for anybody…

… unless he thought, no, unless he believed, that he could at least hold his own.

But more than likely he fancied the win.

Just as he should have.

I for one would not put myself up for it unless I thought I could win it.

If we can resist the cheap thrill of criticising Mr Ponytail there is a great deal we can take away from this.

He who dares wins.

He who defends doesn’t.

In the real thing, the BIG EVENT, it is more about attitude than style and ability.

If you watch the video again read the body language of the two dancers.

Mr Ponytail thinks that this may be a bit of fun, more so than Mr No Hair, Mr Ponytails smiles, almost skips until that kick lands.

What was it Iron Mike said…

…’everyone has a plan’.

Mr Ponytails downfall came weeks before he stepped onto the mat.

I had a student that always pestered me to do sparring, but he did not know what sparring was, sparring is a way to work on aspects of a fight that you believe may need to compete with.

Sparring is one guy working on something and his partner agreeing to be hit while he works on it.

There are professional sparring partners that get paid serious money to do perform this function.

Correct, proper sparring is serious training, and not playing at fighting.

Training is training – playing is playing – fighting is fighting.

Students that possess no real experience of violence tend to conflate these very different activities.

Mr Ponytail turned up looking to play at fighting, you can see it in his face, you can see it in his movements.

If we do find ourselves out there in what Geoff Thompson referred to as “The Pavement Arena” more important than anything else is the will or intent to hurt the other guy, without that we are only dancing.

A big problem I see is that not many Wing Chun students hang around long enough to work on Biu Gee, let alone long enough to understand it.

The average Wing Chun player never gets their training wheels off.

Biu Gee is the attacking side of Wing Chun training, it can take many years to get to Biu Gee.

In the Standard Model we first focus on the defensive work, after all our main worry is a surprise attack, a mugging or the like so we do a lot of work on fending of the initial onslaught and then we work on turning the tables, this is essentially Chi Sau and Chum Kiu.

Then we attack, with the sole intention of completely destroying the opponent.

Domination, not dancing.

Biu Gee.

At the end of the day, how we relate to an attacker is a call we make on our own terms, we make a simple choice of who do we wish to be.

Mr No Hair or Mr Ponytail?

And think about this, if we go back again, and just look at the body language, Mr No Hair knew exactly why he was there and what needed to be done, but there was no MALICE, no evil intent.

On the Pavement Arena, there is only EVIL INTENT.

“To be a warrior is to learn to be genuine in every moment of your life.”

Chogyam Trungpa



What is being taught is not correct but it is relatively easy to nudge it in the right direction if we know what to look for, and we are honest with ourselves.

I am still busy writing the e-book that I spoke of some months ago, writing an E-Book that actually has useable, honest information, is a very long-drawn-out process, longer than my first E-book by a country mile.

It is very clear to me that I will need to do an accompanying Video, or perhaps just commit the whole thing to video to bring clarity to some of the more, let’s say semi-controversial, deep or weird aspects of the training.

Here is the lead-in to my Chapter explaining Biu Gee, feedback is welcome.

What we were told as the history of Wing Chun is more and more being brought into doubt, recent research from respected professional Social Science Researchers has shed light in some dark corners, Ip Man is looking more and more quixotic.


Hassan-i Sabbāh. 1034–1124

S.L.T. ‘C’. section.     BUI GEE.

As with Chum Kiu, it is important that we do not consider the Biu Gee to be a new Form but more a new dance, or even better some new moves to an old dance.

 If we can do this, once we get past the dance and have time to think about the moves of the Biu Gee, it actually helps to make Wing Chun smaller.

Observing how a certain movement from the first Form is expanded in the Chum Kiu and then transformed further in the Biu Gee lets us make the connections needed for the whole system to become one movement, one IDEA.


A brief chat about what is publicly presented as Biu Gee, especially on YouTube.

Biu Gee is often referred to as being secret information that must not pass outside the door of the school.

 Although I do not believe in there being secret information in Wing Chun I am comfortable with the idea that early Wing Chun Schools wanted to keep their best bits to themselves and as such used disinformation so that other styles would not have knowledge that could allow them to win in a fight.

Especially at the time of the Hong Kong Rooftop Challenge Fights in the 1950s.

There was potentially so much Face to be lost.

 So not really secret, more likely just obscured from outsiders.

It makes a lot of sense not to allow your enemies to know what you do, but how do we keep it all to ourselves, how can we teach publicly without exposing our knowledge?

Junior students always talk to their friends, always try to show how their style is superior, they show everything that they have been taught, repeat everything that they have been told, in this day and age it is Youtube, nothing is held back.

If we are genuinely working on ways to defeat our opponents what would we do if we knew the opponent was listening to our lessons?

We would disguise all the information in a way that sounds correct but in reality, would never work.

This is mainstream Wing Chun today.

What most of the world thinks is Wing Chun is not the whole truth, in fact, I believe that it is deliberately misrepresented.

Is it at all possible to teach broken Wing Chun and yet somehow have the students learn the truth?  

This is the myth behind the whole closed-door student thing, in public, they were taught broken Wing Chun then behind closed doors, it was corrected.

I do not think that this is likely, it would be too confusing, but what I think is a real possibility is that the serious students were told clearly that everything was broken and that the real work was to explore what they were taught and understand why and where it was broken.

Learn how to fix it, or at the least come back to their Sifu with their findings so that he could put them on the right path.

If as students we believe everything we are told we have voluntarily accepted the disinformation.

Yes, the magic “broken” Wing Chun will appear to work really well in theory, in training, even in demonstrations it will appear to be unbelievably good.

‘One Inch Punch’ good?

 Disinformation fails if it does not appear to be true.

Wing Chun is fighting and fighting is not that complicated.

Unless someone has never had a genuine violent experience it is patently obvious that most of what is passed off as Wing Chun will fail and fail instantly against even a moderately combat-experienced fighter of any style.

It is not a long way wrong, but it is wrong enough, some vital information is missing.

But the truth is out there, in fact, it is right here in front of us in plain view.

 We call it Biu Gee.

 The correction formula that teaches us how to nudge broken Wing Chun into the art we all hope it is.

The ideas presented in the first two Forms will not work correctly without the oil and grease that can only be found in Biu Gee.

 It was always meant to be this way.

 Only loyal, dedicated students trained long enough to be shown Biu Gee.

 Dedication and loyalty to the school got the gravy.

But in this time-poor, ‘please feed me’ world that we live in, especially when we are paying serious coin to the Wing Chun School to provide a service, very few students undertake the real work.

 It is not the student’s fault, they more than likely were not told it was broken, many Instructors that set themselves up as Sifu are unknowingly teaching broken Wing Chun.

It is not their fault either, for they did not realise that they were teaching broken Wing Chun they simply passed on their Sifu’s disinformation in the way it was passed to them.

Generations of effective disinformation.

What is being taught is not correct but it is relatively easy to nudge it in the right direction if we know what to look for, and we are honest with ourselves.

Our Sifu or Sigung cannot teach us anything, only point us in the right direction, we must do the work in our own way and find our own Wing Chun.

There was a time in my training when my Sifu said to me…

  …“When you come to my class it should be to get your homework marked and not to ask for my help with your training”.

I very much doubt that I was the only one of his students he said this to.

No secret information here.