what does this say about our ability to use these methods in a situation that requires us to be “aware” of what is happening and what we hope to achieve?

To a large extent, this post is just me shooting the breeze, hopefully, to get us all thinking, and get us all talking.

There is a widely held opinion in the larger Martial Arts community that there is no such thing as genuine Wing Chun.

Some commentators regard this as a negative reflection of our style, while others, like myself, consider this to be a sign of continued evolution that has been at Wing Chun’s heart since Dr. Leung Jan first chose to modify his Shaolin-based Martial Art style. 

It does not matter what side of this argument we stand, as all of us that are a part of Wing Chun will tell anyone that chooses to listen that “Wing Chun is a concept-driven Martial Art”.

And that at its heart it is a single idea that is explained and interpreted through our Forms.

Dr. Leung Jan continued to adapt and refine his Wing Chun from his home at Gulao Village after he had retired and passed on his mantle to Chan Wah Shun, so from the outset there was a divergence in how the style was taught.

Chan Wah Shuns most celebrated student, Ip Man, taught an almost unrecognisable style from his master, and 2 of Ip Man’s most famous students, Chu Shong Tin, and Won Shun Leung, taught different approaches again, and both changed in different directions from each other in how they passed on Ip Man’s teaching.

My Sifu Jim Fung {Chuen Keung} trained under master Chu Shong Tin but also taught something quite different from his teacher.

But as much as things change they also stay the same.

The “Little Idea” at the heart of Wing Chun was originally and still is ‘SIMULTANEOUS ATTACK AND DEFENCE’.

The only difference between all past and present Masters is how we choose to explain and demonstrate this idea.

We should all spend a little time reading up on the evolution of Kung Fu in China, especially in the 18th and 19th centuries, of how it migrated from a Military Method to a Civilian Style, and to understand the changes that this brought about.

Military Methods focused on attacking and killing the opponent while Civilian Styles focused on defending oneself from unwanted attacks.

From its inception Wing Chun was a ‘Civilian Method’, ergo, it is a self-defence system.

This bifurcation between military and civilian practices provides a very neat Segway to talk about ‘Internal Kung Fu” and some of the new discoveries with regard to meditation.

The civilian cohort that practiced Kung Fu tended to be the same population that practiced Health and Longevity Exercises known as Chi-Gong.

As stand-alone doctrines, these required a large investment in time for each practice, so it should be no surprise that someone somewhere would see if the two different streams could be combined.

This was the motivation to create a new type of training that contained both combat elements and health/longevity elements, which became known as ‘Internal” training.

Jump forwards to 2023.

I was listening to a Huberman Lab Podcast with Stanford Neurology Professor Andrew Huberman and guest Sam Harris, who is also a neuroscientist, philosopher, and widely respected expert commentator on meditation and awareness.

It is a very long podcast but full of brilliant information and observations.

If you are at all interested in how our brain does what it does these are two of the very best guys to listen to.

The observation that really spiked my attention was when Sam Harris was talking about the different goals and objectives of meditation from a realistic and achievable standpoint.

Two neuroscientists chatting was a bit over my head but what I did understand is that the condition we relate to as “Relaxation” is a completely different condition to what we refer to as ‘Awareness”, and that they exist in very different Brain States.

He said that it is a misconception to think that the same practice can produce both ‘Relaxation and Awareness”.

We can achieve one, but not both.

Returning to ‘Internal Kung Fu” that is practiced with the goal of ‘relaxation’, what does this say about our ability to use these methods in a situation that requires us to be “aware” of what is happening and what we hope to achieve?

As you all know, I am skeptical about the benefits of any sort of ‘Internal” training on fighting ability, it is the reason I moved away from Hsing Yi Qaun and Bhaguazhag, both ‘Internal Kung Fu’ styles, so I may be reading into this something that is not there.

But Kung Fu to one side, here we have two experts in the field of neurology telling us that everything we thought was set in stone about the Brain/Body connection at the turn of the 21st century {Jan 01 2000 } is turning out to be incorrect, what does that say about information from the end of the 19th century {Dec. 30, 1899 }.






The best advertising is always word of mouth


Now that I have decided not to go ahead with surgery we at least know our forward path and can look to growing the training group.

To do this we need to advertise to get the word out there and I am currently working on some IDEAs on how to do this, but we do not have buckets full of cash to run an extended campaign so we need to get it right the first time.

The best advertising is always word of mouth, so if you get any chance to begin a Wing Chun conversation with anyone please do.

With us being a very senior group, not many schools can boast 1 Master level, 3 Associate Master levels our best effort would be to try to help people that already have some Wing Chun knowledge, perhaps they stopped during covid, or as we all know from the Academy, perhaps they are frustrated with the type of training that takes a lifetime.

Here is a post that I am hoping to use as a bit of a landing page for a new website that you could just cut and paste and email to anyone that might be interested.


On the surface Wing Chun has 6 Forms, S.L.T.  Chum Kiu, Biu Gee, Mok Jan Jong {Dummy}, Lok Dim Boon Kwan {long pole}, and the Baat Cham Dao {Knives}.

On closer inspection, we discover that only the first three Forms have independent learning objectives and that the second three Forms are suggestions, methods, or even drills, of how to combine the individual IDEAs presented through the first three Forms.

On closer inspection still, we discover that the first three Forms are not separate, individual IDEAs, but rather segments or aspects of the one complete IDEA that have been broken down and presented in this way to make the learning curve less steep.

Sil Lim Tao.

The first Form, the S.L.T. Is not, and never was, intended to deal with any aspect of making contact, it is purely about self-organisation.  However, this step is the most important and can be looked at as being something like 60% of the total work, it is foundational and without this knowledge progress is doubtful. 

On a foundational level, the S.L.T. is about organising our body, learning the optimal way to move our arms effectively and efficiently, without the need of added strength, and learning the correct alignment of our arms to become a conduit for force.

Chum Kiu. 

Chum Kiu translates to ‘seeking the bridge’, at its most basic level of understanding it is how we make contact with incoming force, how we redirect incoming force, and how we stretch and diminish the power of incoming force. Chum Kiu teaches us and allows us to explore, the defensive capabilities of Wing Chun.

Biu Gee.

Biu Gee translates to ‘thrusting fingers’, it is how we develop dynamic, moving, kinetic energy that fills our whole body and thrusts forward ‘even to the fingertips’, it develops force multipliers through ‘core winding’ and ‘weight shifting’ that maximises power without the need of added effort or strength. Biu Gee teaches us and allows us to explore, the attacking concepts of Wing Chun.

And beyond.

Set up {S.L.T.}, accepting force {Chum Kiu}, and issuing force {Biu Gee}, are practiced and studied as separate aspects or IDEA of Wing Chun but are used as a unified aspect or IDEA of Wing Chun if we ever need to use our training in a violent situation.

The three later Forms allow us to study, develop, and understand the lessons or aspects of the IDEA presented in the first three Forms, and then combined into that one, unified, IDEA.

At a foundational level, all Wing Chun training is about dealing with force, how to accept it, and how to issue it.

AllWing Chun movement utilises ‘Normal Human Body Movement’ and is governed by the Fist Logic of…






It is no exaggeration to say that until we hold a basic understanding of the first three Forms, we have not yet begun the real training of Wing Chun as a useable, dependable Martial Art.


Sil Lim Tao teaches us how to set up the ‘Wing Chun Body’.

Chum Kiu teaches us how to move the ‘Wing Chun Body’ to avoid, evade, diffuse, and diminish incoming force.  In other words how to defend against an attack.

Biu Gee teaches us how to recruit our body mass and physical movement to maximise impact power.  In other words how to counter-attack.

Hopefully, I can have a website and an advertising IDEA up by April, if we could get as few as another 6 people to grow the tribe that would be brilliant.

Stay Frosty.



This does bring up the conversation around ‘what constitutes training’? 

Hey guys,

Do not pass this up because it is a bit wordy, if you pay attention to the points raised it could take you to the next level and save you years.

In an earlier post, I mentioned how what we did in the last 24 hours can influence our actions/abilities much more than anything we did in the past 24 months.

And it has to do with just about everything that we do not touch on in our training.

Accessing our training comes down to our ability to access information via our internal storage, our memory.

This means that access to our training is influenced much more by how good our memory is than the inherent functionality of any training protocols or advice of any gurus.

If we look at how humans operate in the same way we look at computing operations, everything we do is influenced by R.A.M.

In humans this is called Short-Term Memory, or as some call it working memory.

What is our short-term and working memory capacity?

The Magic number 7 (plus or minus two) provides evidence for the capacity of short-term memory. Most adults can store between 5 and 9 items in their short-term memory.

Working memory has been conceived and defined in three different, slightly discrepant ways: as short-term memory applied to cognitive tasks, as a multi-component system that holds and manipulates information in short-term memory, and as the use of attention to managing short-term memory.

This is all a bit nerdy so I advise you to do some research to make better sense of it all.

START HERE, and then surf the net for more personally aligned information.

For a serious Wing Chun practitioner, if there is a downside to regular weight training, or any regular excessive physical training, be it for speed or endurance, it is that these protocols that will flood our S.T.M. and as such be the most easily available method of choice for our nervous system in a time of stress.

To general Martial Artists, especially combat Athletes, this argument holds the same for Relaxation and Softness, and it could well be that we ignore this at our peril.

All training is task-specific, we will learn what we work on, and the chances are very high that in times of stress, we will choose the protocol that we attach the highest priority to, which is going to end up as the one we spend the most time or effort on. 

If we are in the gym every day working on muscular strength do we really think that our nervous system would choose to use relaxation or softness over muscular strength if we need to defend ourselves?

The answer will depend a great deal more upon what we have in our Short Term or Working Memory than any preferred philosophy,  balanced training is likely to result in balanced responses.

If we are not involved in some sort of Wing Chun training in the previous 24 hours but have been vigorously involved in some other training our chances of choosing Wing Chun as opposed to some other option slip away remarkably quickly.

This does bring up the conversation around ‘what constitutes training’? 

Especially from the perspective of loading our SHORT TERM MEMORY.

By far the easiest and most economical training for time spent is some aspect of FORMS training, engaging in correct, accurate FORMS training, even if we are only working on one movement, brings in a whole package of Wing Chun related influences.

However, there is a rather large caveat.

If we wish to be capable and effective in terms of using Wing Chun, but we are only training in Wing Chun, we are facing a very steep uphill climb that many will simply not succeed at.

The reason should be self-evident, Wing Chun is comprised of normal human body movement, if we are not actively working on improving our normal human body movement, this aspect of our training will go backward, and this will wreck our Wing Chun.

This may sound a little contradictory, first I say that external physical training can make it difficult to access our Wing Chun, but now I am saying that without external training there will be no Wing Chun.

It all depends on how we prioritise each training.

If we train something every day, even if we are only training for 10 to 20 minutes per session, our brain will prioritise that over something we do 2 or 3 times a week, even if that training is for much longer per session. 

I know that there will be some Gy Junkies out there that think we need to be in the gym every day, to run every day or to swim every day if we do not wish to lose what we have gained, but the science does not agree with this, quite the opposite in fact.

The days of no pain – no gain are well and truly over, even the most elite of athletes train smarter and not harder.

The science is clear, in the past 5 years or so it has become obvious that just about everything we thought about exercise, diet, how muscles work and all forms of accepted physical improvement was a long way from accurate, of course, this is true of Martial Art as well.

There are several well-respected Doctors and Professors that run podcasts bringing clear, peer-reviewed information into the public space, most if not all of these presenters are successful in their own field and do not run these shows for personal short-term gain, their aim is to correct the record and to try to help people steer clear of bogus information.

When push comes to shove it is our body that does the work.

Becoming better acquainted with how our body works, from accessing information to completing tasks will improve everything we do, including Wing Chun.

How could it not?

People I listen to include but are not restricted to….

Prof. Andrew Huberman.  Neuroscience.

Dr. Kelly Starrett.  Doctor of Physical Therapy and movement expert.

Dr. Andy Galpin.   Kinesiology. 

Move all joints through all ranges of motion



And YES, it can be influenced by training.

One of the most valuable advances from the ‘information age’ is that we can now easily access high-level academic research papers and other sources of trusted, up-to-date information such as podcasts from reputable professors at world-class Universities.

This information is readily available and usually free of charge.

One such professor is Andrew Huberman, and his podcast is Huberman Lab.

Andrew D. Huberman is an American neuroscientist and tenured associate professor in the department of neurobiology and psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine who has made contributions to the brain development, brain plasticity, and neural regeneration and repair fields. Wikipedia

If you follow the link to the podcast you can see that the scope is breathtaking.

The central theme, even when the subject is physical such as diet and exercise, is focused on the role of the Brain and Nervous System in everyday tasks.

Although there is not a specific podcast that deals with intention, the subject comes up time and time again.

I will not cut and paste from Huberman Lab, you would be better served sitting back and enjoying a handful of podcasts, instead I will use his information to lead my own IDEAs.

In Martial Arts we talk about “Intention”, but do we know what we mean by this?

It is not as straightforward as we may think, due to the fact that in the English language we us the same word for some very different concepts.

Especially if we are coming from the conscious and subconscious mind.

In the conscious mind ‘Intention” is a deliberately chosen emotional goal. : we plan or want to do something. i.e. We have every intention of continuing with this project, whatever the cost.

However, Sub-conscious ‘Intention” is an automatic neural process that precedes a motor action, i.e. breathing in before jumping into cold water. 

Or in a more extreme example contracting our Anus if we are scared or anxious to avoid losing control of our bowels.

Frequently this sub-conscious intention process has been influenced by prior experiences of the same or very similar experiences.

And YES, it can be influenced by training.

Conscious intention can be looked at as happening on a ‘local level’.  We need to actively engage this type of intention and of course, it is reactive to the surrounding environment, it can be just as readily turned off as turned on.

Sub-conscious intention can be looked at as happening at a systemic level, it does not need a deliberate call to action to activate and as such is less likely to be influenced by external events.

In so many ways this leads us back to a discussion of the relationship between Form and Function.

In this instance, Form would be looked at as conscious intention whereas Function would be the more sub-conscious intention.

It gives us another portal to understand the importance of Forms and hopefully provides us with a more effective way of interacting with them.

For the majority of us, if we are in a situation that calls upon us to use our Wing Chun training to defend ourselves from harm, it is unlikely to be a calm, controlled, or stress-free thinking environment, we will be unlikely to try to set up combinations or enact complicated strategies.

Our brief will automatically be to deal with what is happening this very instant, right here, right now and not worrying about what may or may not come next.

In any violent situation, every action can be seen as happening in isolation, it will always be a single blow that finishes the event, and everything is on the line all of the time.

The way we practice our Forms, start at the beginning and carry on through till the end, possibly even roll straight into the next Form, there was a time when this was my practice, will do little to help us deal with ‘right here, right now’.

Even if we think we are focusing on every individual movement the ‘conscious intention’ is to do the whole Form, and even worse if our intention is to then do the next Form.

The other evening I was attempting to explain this to Costas and George but could not find the words to clearly explain it, but one thing I do know is that the ‘intention’ we are trying to develop is not actively thinking about what we are doing and how we are doing it.

This not meant to be negative in any way, everything in Wing Chun is based on Natural Human Movement, to a certain extent we already know all that we need to know.

If we allow our Mind/Body to make its own choices, if we stop trying to make it DO Wing Chun, the closer we will be to correctness.

This needs to start with how we do the Forms.

There is no clash between Form and Function, neither can exist without the other, but for the Form to influence Function, we need to do the Form with the goal of Function.

Neither Conscious Intention nor Sub-conscious Intention is a physical thing, if our focus when we are doing any Form is physical, and of course that includes physically relaxing, we are not working on Intention.


Attack what is weak, avoid what is strong.

Every General ever.



Intentions create signaling molecules that release an assortment of hormones to prepare our body for action.


This post is intended as a conversation starter, it is deliberately loose so that we have the freedom to mentally wander around and hopefully go off on some interesting tangents.

All my life I have held a certain fascination with the workings of the Human Body, and to that extent I am always reading something to do with Human Movement.

My most recent book is ‘Exercised: The Science of Physical Activity, Rest and Health written by professor Daniel Liberman.

Daniel E. Lieberman is a paleoanthropologist at Harvard University, where he is the Edwin M Lerner II Professor of Biological Sciences, and Professor in the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology. 

In short, he knows his stuff.

I will not go into the book here but I do recommend reading it, the takeaway is that all exercise was unnatural, in fact, unknown in a pre-industrial world, and from an evolutionary perspective, it still is to a very large extent.

It made me think about how we blindly accept so much information about health, movement and exercise when there is now proof that not only is much of this widely accepted information misleading but that it is incorrect.

As always my thinking drifted towards Kung Fu, and especially our Wing Chun.

We are all well aware that we face an uphill battle because of the difficulty that lies in accurate translations of established IDEAS, this is stretched even further once we accept that what laymen thought was the “Gold Standard” in 1950, 1970 even 2000 is now universally accepted as being well off the mark.

Something scientists have been aware of for a very long time is the importance of the role of intention in any action.

Intentions create signaling molecules that release an assortment of hormones to prepare our body for action.

This signaling happens at a level beneath cognition, despite what we may think, intention happens before thinking, not afterward as a result of thinking.

The concept of the often-mentioned Mind-Body Connection is based on our intentions more than our thinking.

If we misunderstand functions, protocols, and methods, if we apply importance to the wrong IDEAS then we create the wrong intention and send our body the wrong signals.

This of course leads us full circle and back to translation, comprehension, and implication.

Hands up, I am not a scientist so I could well be wrong, but where I feel this could cause problems is when we give credit to methods and protocols that are not actually responsible for the benefits we claim they deliver.

This is usually done as an attempt to retrofit our actions to what we believe we were thinking.

Once such method or protocol is relaxing {SONG}, I am in no way trying to say that relaxing is not important, it is very important and central to our training.

I am not trying to claim that we do not develop a “Net Benefit” to everything we do by relaxing.

But that benefit does not come from relaxing.

It comes from not being tense.

We must be weary not to ignore this difference just because it sounds like semantics.

When we are talking about something as nuanced as “Intention” and the subtle effects that “Intention” delivers, working on being relaxed sends a completely different signal than trying to not hold tension.

These conversations can create comprehension challenges if students choose to hold an either-or mind-set, some students totally refuse to accept that being relaxed is a different state than being in tension.

Separate, not a self-contained opposite, not the other side of the same coin.

It is lazy thinking to look at these two different states as being different ends of a sliding scale.

But even if we choose to hold this IDEA, what happens if someone falls in the middle, which is more likely than being at either end, are they relaxed or tense?

It should be obvious that we cannot, would not, hold the intention to be both relaxed and tense at the same time.

“Intention” is the precursor to function,

function is the realisation of intention,

neither requires thinking or decision-making.



We cannot lose a fight if we do not get into a fight.

Hey Tribe, 

Here is a thought exercise that I took part in way back when I was a youth, and it is still a valuable aid to our training, or rather an aid to understanding and shaping our training.

Sit down, close your eyes, clear your mind of everyday things, and imagine a situation in which you are called upon to use your training.

Describe it to yourself in as much detail as you can come up with, it is imagination so you can make it as simple or as complicated as you feel fit.

A few questions to ask ourselves once we have formed the imagining, purely to put the situation into a more detailed context are as follows.

Q. Where did the violence happen?

  1. Obviously, we decided on this imaginary place, it is not possible for us to see into the future and know this, but we created this place, this environment is where subconsciously, we believe we stand a greater danger of violence than any other place or any other environment. This place worries us, and accepting this can help us to be aware of these dangers, and by extension be in less of a chance of being caught unaware in similar situations.

Q.  Who was the attacker?

  1.   Again this is an unknowable quantity, but what it tells us is the type of person that deep down we think we may struggle to get over. It makes little difference if they are big or small, heavy or light, male or female, quick or slow. It is imagination after all, but if this is the kind of person we think may cause us problems we should focus our training on solving this problem instead of trying to solve all problems.

Identifying this can also prevent us from overreacting due to possibly unknown bias should we meet this type of person.  

We cannot lose a fight if we do not get into a fight.

And lastly…

Q.  What type of day did we have the day before this violent event?

Did we sleep well?

Did we eat well?

Was it a happy day, or a stressful day?

  1. This is the most important question and one we should think hard on.

Again this is pure imagination so how can we know.

Studies have shown time and time again that how we respond to any stimulus, not just violence, is affected more by the previous 24 hours than the previous 24 months.

Our ability to solve problems is affected more by the previous 24 hours than the previous 24 months.

How well we perform physically, mentally, and emotionally is affected more by the previous 24 hours than the previous 24 months.

When we are imagining a situation that we cannot possibly anticipate, what is the role of training, and what should we focus on?

There is no one size fits all answer to this, but by its nature training tends towards one size fits all solutions to a multitude of different questions, it is very difficult to avoid this, it is how our brains are wired.

The common denominator to surviving all of these varied situations is to be able to move well, not fall over, and stay as calm as possible.

The most effective training method for this outcome is FORMS training.

Forms training allows us to work on, become familiar with, and be capable of all aspects of a conflict situation, except for the fighting itself.

Different situations, different environments, and different types of people can and do bring about completely different problems, we could have 10 fights and none of them would be a repeat situation, there could well be no common denominator in what unfolded.

This is much closer to reality than we may wish to admit to ourselves.

We end up putting all of our eggs in one basket, training one way to successfully answer 10 very different questions.

But one thing that will be the same in all of these situations is that we will be in the middle of it.

The best chance we have is if we can consistently organise our body so that it operates close to optimal if we develop one way of moving that we can control and depend on, and have a method that is founded in one simple IDEA.

This is the power and functionality of FORMS training.

If approached in the right way, FORMS training can be equal to techniques or sparring.

“The two most powerful warriors are patience and time”

Leo Tolstoy



Once the body has been developed in this way everything we do becomes Wing Chun.

I know from my own experience that it is difficult to see how just doing FORMS can make somebody a more effective fighter.

This was my default position for a very long time, in fact, it is why as a young man I stopped training in Hsing Yi Chuan and Baguazahng, both Kung Fu styles that share a central focus on FORMS.

This began to change once I began training in Wing Chun Kung Fu back in the early 1990s.

The first stage of Wing Chun training, the first 12 – 24 months,  is approximately 80% practical techniques and physical self-defence applications,15% theory, and only 5% FORM work.

This allows students to feel that they are learning ‘Real Stuff’ for use in ‘Real Fights’ without any need to understand what is going on under the hood.

After around 2 years of this type of training, everybody that applies themselves to the work has a skill set that can get them out of just about any kind of trouble, this is an observable fact.

More importantly, everybody that does this training believes that they have a skill set that can get them out of trouble, if we believe, we will accept, and by accepting we will choose to use what we have practiced if we find ourselves in a bad situation, and yes it will and does work.

Many students give it away at this point having achieved their primary goal and do not stay to study what makes Wing Chun work and how to improve it.

This is what Chum Kiu and Biu Gee do, they help us understand the why of it all, there is nothing new, once we understand Chum Kiu and Biu Gee we can look back and see that we had been using these tools since day #1.

From here on in the trajectory is lifelong continued improvement.

Chum Kiu introduces us to Wing Chun’s thinking on how to accept and redirect incoming force, in short, our defence, while Biu Gee introduces us to Wing Chun’s thinking on how to issue force, in short, our attack.

From the first day when we performed our first Tarn Da {Tarn Sau and punch}, we were influenced and informed by both Chum Kiu {Tarn Sau} and Biu Gee {Vertical Punch}.

To describe Wing Chun in as simple a way as possible, when someone throws a strike at us, we move it out of the way and hit them at the same time.

An oversimplification to be sure, but it also covers every situation we may face, be it a kick, a punch, or even a weapon, move it out of the way and counter-attack at the same time.

Developing the shape and the alignment of a structure that can intercept incoming force without buckling under pressure is the prime objective of Chum Kiu.

Developing the shape and alignment of a structure that can transfer accelerating body mass to a chosen target without the need for excess effort or strength is the prime objective of Biu Gee.

There are many secondary objectives that we can explore and discover in both Chum Kiu and Biu Gee, but our first goal should be to achieve competence with the prime objective.

It can be a challenge for all of us to deliberately choose simplified solutions to solve what we think are complicated problems, but when we consider that one of the central pillars of Wing Chun’s Fist Logic is simplicity, this approach is more than just far-sighted, it becomes necessary.

There is an often unnoticed benefit to FORMS training.

It allows us to divorce the training from ‘real-time’ fighting.

If we look at our primate relatives, the Chimpanzee or the Gorilla, we can observe them fighting in very human-looking ways.

Who taught these guys how to fight?

No one, it is innate, as it is with us.

Training is not about learning how to fight, it is about learning how to be better at fighting.

How to develop a body that is better suited to fighting.

The Shaolin Monks knew this and styled at least two of their training sets,  Hóu Quán (猴拳, monkey fist),  and Baiyuan Tongbei Quan 白猿通背拳,  White Ape Connected Arms boxing, after the way Monkeys fight.

Chum Kiu and Biu Gee allow us to continually improve the condition and coordination of our body to take our basic fighting skills to another, much higher level.

Once the body has been developed in this way everything we do becomes Wing Chun.

Learn the form, but seek the formless.

Learn it all, then forget it all.

Learn The Way, then find your own way.

The Silent Monk



The fact that someone else’s lived experience is different perhaps even the opposite of my own lived experience does not make that person wrong.

Hi Tribe.

You should all know by now that I have decided not to go ahead with my spinal reconstruction, in the end, the trade-off was just not acceptable, less pain at the cost of less flexibility and less mobility is a poor choice that I think would have negative long-term consequences for me.

However, this does mean that going forwards I cannot take part in the normal, for us, rough and tumble.

You are all still free to knock each other about but I cannot go down that path anymore, this will mostly only affect those of you that have private, one-on-one tuition or when the numbers are odd.

This change may well alter the appearance of our training but it will have zero effect on the outcome of our training.

It could possibly speed things up, with less playing and more thinking.

Thinking about the training is more important than all physical training.

Thinking leads to understanding.

Understanding leads to confidence.

You guys have often asked me “Have you ever used your Wing Chun to get out of a violent situation”?

In truth, I am not so sure, but what I do know is that understanding what Wing Chun is supposed to do gave me the confidence to step up and smack a couple of guys that meant me no good.

With regard to more thinking…

…something that you guys hear me say often is that we cannot be wrong if we form our opinions from our own ‘lived experiences’ and relate them only to our own lives.

This of course is broadly what I mean when I say that the most important attribute for a martial artist to develop is honesty.

Seeking honesty = seeking truth.

In short, our position can only ever be that we know from lived experience or we do not know at all.

There is only personal truth.

However, this position is not infallible.

The fact that someone else’s lived experience is different perhaps even the opposite of my own lived experience does not make that person wrong.

But… and it is a BIG but, someone that argues against any person’s ‘lived experience’ by quoting someone else’s ‘lived experience’ instead of referring to their own is always wrong.

We all begin from a place of ‘not knowing’ and have no other choice than to begin the work from another’s position, but it is never our position and can never be blindly accepted as truth.

The ultimate goal of training is to abandon other peoples thinking and to establish our own.

In the later years of my association with my teacher, Jim Fung, he would preface any answer with.. “this is how I see it”.

As much as I respected and admired my Sifu his truth was never my truth, just as my truth can never be your truth.

This may sound as if I never accepted what my Sifu said and tried to prove him wrong, which at its heart is one of the biggest problems with Wing Chun’s partisanship, so many students adopt the position of “my sifu is right, therefore, your sifu must be wrong”, but this was not the case at all I worked diligently to prove his information right and relevant to my own lived experiences.

I accepted his teaching without question and tried to absorb it into my own understanding, this is why I look at all training and training-related thinking through the lens of Sports Participation and Sports Science.

Having played sports for most of my life, I can easily relate information to lived, albeit sports-related experiences.

Perspective is always critical to understanding.

What can be correct for one person can be incorrect for another.

Over the three decades that I have been training in Wing Chun I have had many, many conversations with my peers, when I agreed with them I was a ‘good old boy’, but when I disagreed I was a heretic.

I have even been accused of going out of my way to prove someone wrong.

This is ridiculous, what can I hope to gain in my own training by proving one of my respected mentors wrong?

When I have questioned any given information, and I question everything, I then set about trying to prove it right, not wrong, to validate that thinking, on most occasions, this is exactly what happened.

Everything is a baseless opinion unless it comes from our own lived experience.

Something to accept as a norm is that there are no differentiating levels of “lived experience”, every experience is of equal value, and we can and should learn from everything.

We all discover valuable lessons from real experiences, be they minor or major, that can never be bettered by any theories or anyone else’s history.

I boxed for just over 7 years as a youth, even though I was never what you would call naturally gifted there are things you learn in the ring, even as a youth, that you cannot learn anywhere else.

Namely, that ‘will’ conquers ‘skill’.

The ability to take a punch is a better metric for future success than the ability to pack a punch.

The ability to evade a punch is a better metric for future success than the ability to take a punch.




Take that Bruce Lee.

As embarrassing as it is even Aikido has a more realistic fight simulation than Wing Chun.

Hey guys, this is in some ways a continuation, a follow-on from the last post, at least in its central theme, if you did not read the last post I recommend you read it first.

During my recent convalescence from surgery, I had more free time than I am used to, part of this time was spent combatting boredom and enforced inactivity by following links to various Wing Chun sites that kept popping into my YouTube feed.
I really should know better by now.
More than I ever remember, there are dozens upon dozens of new sites claiming that Wing Chun is the ultimate fighting system.
As an ‘Armchair’ Martial Art Wing Chun has always suffered from more than its fair share of ‘Tin-foil Hat Cultism’.
But lately, there appears to have been a complete abandonment of common sense in favor of just waving the flag.

But hey it is youTube.

How can anyone claim that what we do is a fighting system when the one thing we never engage in the Training Hall is fighting each other?

As embarrassing as it is even Aikido has a more realistic fight simulation than Wing Chun.

Shame on me for thinking this, but it is what it is.

In the time I was at my Sifu’s school, almost 20 years, I was in attendance on approx. 3,000 separate occasions, and not once did I witness anyone involved in anything that could be considered simulated fighting.

Is it possible to learn something without doing it?

Not unless you believe in the Law of Attraction.

If we forego wishful thinking and stay firmly planted in the world of men, what does Wing Chun Kung Fu, or any Martial Art for that matter, hope to teach us?

Organisation and control.

Organising how our Body operates, and how to use it to its optimal without any self-defeating use of unneeded strength or complicated movement.
Controlling the things that we can control, and not getting sucked into dealing with the things that we cannot control.
If we can understand the reality of what Wing Chun is about it sets us up to have a massive advantage.
This stuff needs to be spoken about at length, if we do not understand the Wing Chun Fist Logic how do we expect to benefit from the training?
Science teaches in no uncertain manner that the key to understanding anything is to push inwards.
Ignore the surface.
What we see as technique, as shape and Form is nothing but an illusion.
We know enough to understand that what we call BODY is a conglomerate of many different conditions, aspects, and theories.
So why is it so hard for students to even contemplate that everything is normal and that none of it is special?

Why the need for the shiny hat?

Usually, the opposite is what we encounter.
My style is better than yours.
My Sifu is better than yours.
My shit doesn’t stink.
But of course, it does.

I have no idea how long it will be before my next enforced lay-off when I have my Spine fixed, but I anticipate that it will be within the next 3 months, and I may well be away from training for a further 3 months after that, so let us dig into the Fist Logic as we return to active duty.





This is reality. No Chi Sau. No Wooden Dummy techniques. No Forms. Just blood, pain, and exhaustion.

This is something we should ask ourselves at least once a month.

What is Wing Chun for?
Is it for cage fighting?
Is it for any type of exhibition fighting?
Is it for dealing with unexpected random violence?
This type of question should be easy to answer but very few students can or do.
Wing Chun is not a combat Sport, therefore, it must be for random violence or arguments that have boiled over otherwise known as “Street Alteracations”.
If we take the time to watch street altercations, and there are plenty online, not only is it impossible to tell what style anyone does, but it is equally difficult to decide if anyone involved has any kind of training at all.
Keeping this in mind, that no one appears to know what they are doing, do we think that the answer we are looking for, the answer to random violence, lies in an organised fighting system?
For us this refers to Wing Chun but it could be any or all organised systems.
There is so much more to a street altercation than people who have no street experience give any credit to.
Most Modern Day Students tend to see all violence through the lens of M.M.A. Boxing or action movies.
Is there an easy and ready way to counter this failure?
We could use the internet to educate ourselves and fill this gap.
The late Kimbo Slice was a ferocious and much-feared fighter on the Miami underground fight scene, no one was surprised when he turned up in the M.M.A.
What was a surprise was that he was nowhere near as dominant as he was on the street.
Combat sports, Match fights, and exhibition bouts are above all else entertainment, and there are rules in place to make sure that the punter gets their money’s worth.
Rules and planning make for a much more even match-up where success is less easily achieved.
On the underground circuit Kimbo’s main strength was his phenomenal punching power, he was unmatched in a stand-em-up and knock-em-down street fight, but pro fighters are so much harder to corner or pin down.
The best pro-fighters tend to be exceptional movers.
Even Mike Tyson who had a punch like a falling fridge moved like a dancer.
A rather large Elephant in the room with regards to M.M.A. v Street is that in the M.M.A. a submission carries the day, on the street, it is the last man standing.
In the one documented fight that Kimbo slice lost, against Sean Gannon, it was more a case of passed out and not knocked out, towards the end of the fight, both men were noticeably exhausted, Kimbo was just the first to fall over.
If we fall over in a street altercation we know what comes next.

This was two big, strong, fit men, exhausted to the point of dropping, we cannot and must not ignore this point.
Again towards the end of the Kimbo Slice v Sean Gananon fight both men were throwing air punches, and the few that landed had little venom in them.
This is reality.
No Chi Sau.
No Wooden Dummy techniques.
No Forms.
Just blood, pain, and exhaustion.
There is no doubt that both of these men were very good fighters, but they did not look it.
There is no doubt that both of these men trained, and trained seriously in an organised fighting style.
Kimbo boxed and Gannon was a BJJ man.
But neither of them looked it.
Using this as a template what do we think would happen if we faced either of them down?
Because whatever that is, and it may well be different for each of us, that is what we expect to get from our Wing Chun.
This post is getting overly long and as it is something I intend to pursue in our training going forwards I will leave it to sink in.
Needless to say, I believe that Wing Chun does have the answers we need, but answers alone are not enough.
We also need to do the work.

As an aside, both Kimbo Slice and Sean Gannon passed away far too young, perhaps it was their career choice

I again saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift and the battle is not to the strong.

Ecclesiastes 9:11