Do you know your weaknesses, more importantly, do you know how to avoid them?

There is something that we should never forget, and that is…

why we are training?

We are learning to defend ourselves against a persons or persons that intends us serious physical harm.

Despite that training is fun and enjoyable, as I think it should be…

We are not playing.

We are not learning to dance.

Question? Do you know your weaknesses, and more importantly, do you know how to avoid them?

How can we plan for something that we do not even know is going to happen?

Let’s start with the worse thing we can think of, it will be different for all of us but be honest to yourself, there is no need for anyone else to know, we all have one darker fear and if we are ever slipping towards it, we will panic big time if we have not at least played it out in our minds a few times.

My favourite military maxim that should always be considered is …. ‘no battle plan survives contact with the enemy’.

This is not about being real, it is about being semi-prepared, engage your imagination, if in doubt about what would happen in a real situation pick the worst option you can think of.

I will use my worst fear as an example, but it is just the thought process that is important, develop, ask and answer your own questions.

My biggest worry is that I am on the floor!!!

Question #1. How did I get here?

Did the Bad Guy knock me down? Did he catch a kick I attempted and threw me? Did I trip over my own feet?

Most fights that end up on the floor are there because people fall over much more than someone does Ju-Jitsu.

Whatever caused this problem becomes an area for involvement in our training, develop a style that kicks less, stays out of reach of your partner, and develops a better, more well-balanced movement.

Question #2. Could I have prevented this?

If it was something the Bad Guy did what happened that allowed him to be in a position to do that?

Was it his skill and speed or was it a case of me being inattentive or late to respond?

Either way, this problem was caused by not being in control of my personal space and something I can take into training is the question “what does it mean to control my personal space”?

As a training exercise in Chi Sau get a friend to continuously press you and work on maintaining the same shape, position and distance from them at all times.

Ask yourself can I control my personal space by standing in one spot while my attacker is mobile, there is no correct or incorrect answer here, just a specific personal idea that we can train to be more natural.

Question #3. Was he fast or was I slow?

We can always work on our speed, especially the speed we think, our body only ever works at the speed of our thoughts, to a very large extent being quick is about having fewer choices to deliberate on.

Do not waste valuable mental processing time on trying to develop or use ‘Mind Force’, be deliberate and only think about things you can do that will actively help.

If we do not know how to transition from one situation or one position to another we will be stuck in both time and space and an easy target.

Again as a Chi Sau drill work on changing shapes, stances, and positions in space.

Create a drill in Chi Sau where one partner applies a strong forward drive, and the other partner tries to find a way to get behind the aggressor, do not be nice to each other, make it a win / lose game.

In training we usually tend to just do as we are told, often there is no genuine connection to what we as students think may happen, or what we may need, and very rarely is there any student input to reflect a personal worry or experience.

As Instructors we should encourage this type of engagement, as students, we should force ourselves to ask questions, even when we think they may be stupid.

Nearly everything we do in Wing Chun falls under the umbrella of simultaneous attack and defence, in so many street situations this is a practical impossibility. The IDEA is sound, but how close can we get to it?

In street situations the attacker has no time to try to find the best shot, there is no feinting, no dodging and weaving patiently seeking a better position, it is just a flurry of whatever and it is instantly in our face.

Most street violence that Wing Chun would engage with, the average mugging, for instance, is over in less time than it takes to read this sentence.

I am serious, if we lose control of the first 4 or 5 seconds it is ‘lights out and go home’.

If we do not see it coming we are not going to stop it from happening, this is an alarming thought, but it is what it is.

There is a saying in the Boxing World, “it is the punch you do not see that knocks you out”!

Question #4. Why was I unprepared?

No one can teach functional situational awareness because the situation changes from day to day and place to place, because of this most situations we find ourselves in will appear to be almost out of nowhere.

Unpreparedness is our default position, get used to it, train it.

If our regular training does not include ways to regain a good position from a bad position then the prognosis will be terminal, do not fall for the fantasy that Biu Gee teaches emergency techniques, find a way to make space and regain balance.

Question #5. How did this situation arise?

The only way to avoid potential problems is to see them as they evolve, and leave before conception.

Most people that fail in a violent situation do not fail because of a lack of skill or ability, it is usually a lack of trust, or a lack of confidence all made more destructive by the shock inherent in being attacked.

There are hundreds if not thousands of violently effective people who have no training at all in our world, but they are courageous to the level of foolhardiness, they will walk into our fists, we have a huge advantage if we can only bring it to the fore.


Plan ahead.


This is what all training should be. Any other approach is leading to the wrong choice at the wrong time.

Work on your weaknesses, play to your strengths.



it is like thinking that 6 different patterns combined in an ornate carpet are somehow 6 different carpets

Hi guys, over the years I have written hundreds of posts and articles, but I think that this is the most important of all of them. If you can take some time to think about the information here it will certainly help you understand how I think about Wing Chun but also get you well on the way to forming your own IDEA.

The main goal for all of us is to make Wing Chun a personal expression of our knowledge.

Then any information can be valuable information.

When we surf the Internet we find many different opinions on what Wing Chun is, this is completely fine and we have no need to worry about it, the difference is only in the training approach which may or may not relate to the learning outcome.

At times like this we do well to remember that all roads lead to Rome.

For my guys, all rivers eventually reach the ocean.

And take their twigs with them.

Wing Chun is usually described as having 6 forms, I do not like this description, it is clumsy and suggests a separation that simply does not exist, it is like thinking that 6 different patterns combined in an ornate carpet are somehow 6 different carpets.

I prefer to regard Wing Chun as having only 1 Form, which is of course the Sil Lim Tao, presented in the way of 3 attitudes, the first Form [that usually retains the S.L.T.title], the Chum Kiu Form and the Biu Gee Form.

And 3 processes, Mok Jan Jong [dummy], Baat Cham Dao [knives] and Lok Dim Boon Kwan [pole] that allow us to combine and explore the 3 individual attributes.

A more contemporary way to perceive this is to see the First Form, the Chum Kiu Form and the Biu Gee Form as 3 separate yet related theories that we test in the 3 processes of Dummy, Knives and Pole with the goal of discovering ‘our own’ Unified Theory of Wing Chun.

This is the code that grants us access to the Sil Lim Tao.


First Form Theory. A method of how to set up an upright neutral body, how to move the arms without disturbing this neutral body and finally how to positively charge this neutral body to become a powerful single unit.

Core learning objective. Unify/stabilise an [Upright] STATIC FRAME.

Related research process. The Mok Jang Jong.

Second Form Theory. A method for supporting the arms with the body on contact with incoming force, how to coordinate the movement of the arms with the movement of the body, an introduction to the hierarchy of movement and sequential acceleration in a linear orientation.

Core learning objective. Unify/stabilise a MOVING FRAME.

Related research process. The Lok Dim Boon Kwan.

Third Form Theory. A method of focusing attention to specific points of the body, to develop an understanding of how to enlist the powerful core muscles, and an introduction to weight shifting within the bounds of the frame in a rotary orientation.

Core learning objective. Dynamically empower a unified/stabilised MOVING FRAME.

Related research process. The Baat Cham Dao.

While there are established Forms for the Dummy, Pole and Knives they should be seen as good places to begin testing the theories and not as essential patterns.

A unified theory of Wing Chun resides inside each and every one of us, the big question is can we get it to come out?






We should not overlook that Dr Leung Jan had no intention of inventing a new style.

If you research just about any Kung Fu, for each style you will find several books, diagrams and instructions dating back many generations.

But not Wing Chun.

Why is this?

This is speculation, based on good research but never the less still just me reading between the lines.

We know without a doubt, that Wing Chun was formulated [not created or invented] around mid-1850 in Foshan, by Doctor Leung Jan, a doctor, bonesetter and herbalist.

Dr Leung worked with the local opera troupe in a position I imagine much the same as modern-day sports teams have physios and physical therapists.

His knowledge of anatomy and his experience working with active Martial Artists would have deeply influenced his thinking.

Dr Leung was himself a Martial Artist of some merit but his earlier style was not recorded, smart money would bet on it being a Shaolin style, but there is also a decent argument for Xing Yi, Wing Chun shares many movements and ideas with Xing Yi.

Through his work with the troupe, he would have seen at first hand which of the movements/shapes caused the most injuries [ this would be due mostly to poor alignment] and which movements/shapes appeared to be structurally sound.

It does not take a huge leap of the imagination to think that he would have naturally amended the art he practised to fit his findings.

Foshan in 1860 would have been a very tricky place to live, and an even trickier place to be well off financially, this is just me imagining things but it would be no surprise if we found that he had been the victim of several attempted muggings and he may have found the classical Kung Fu not fit for purpose in those situations.

So he embarked on a journey to change what he knew.

He jumped in the river.

Everything physical in Wing Chun already existed in the other styles.

Dr Leung combined his knowledge and intelligence with the physical aspects of his previous training into what became Wing Chun.

We should not overlook that Dr Leung Jan had no intention of inventing a new style.

It was Dr Jan’s approach and thinking that formed the core of today’s Wing Chun.

From the outset, there were no original movements, postures or techniques, just a new way of thinking about existing movements, postures or techniques.

Depending on our frame of reference Wing Chun has either no actual movement, postures or techniques, or it encompasses all movement, postures and techniques.

I prefer the latter option, and as such we are not only free to employ this thinking to any new development of movement, postures or techniques but are expected to make this connection, and advance this progression.

To stay in the past was the very thing Dr Jan moved away from.

Our first task is to decide which house we choose to live in.

Remain in the past, in effect in the thinking and ability of the late 19th century, or to go boldly where no man has been before and try to resolve Wing Chun’s Fist Logic with up to date thinking allied to the ever-changing landscape of Human movement.

How well we understand something is determined by how well we can act upon it, how well we can act upon that knowledge.




The idea that Shaolin monks would seek enlightenment and then go off to war is a Wuxia invention, a Hong Kong Movie Industry Myth.

Now that we have begun exploring along the lines of the Subtle Body we mustn’t wander off {mentally} and think that it is something that it is not, namely MINDFULNESS.

There is nothing wrong with mindfulness or using Kung Fu shapes to practice mindfulness.

Although it should be obvious that when you are using Kung Fu shapes to practice mindfulness you are practising mindfulness and not Kung Fu.

Working with the IDEA of the Subtle Body is very much a part of physical training for physical Kung Fu, albeit psychophysical/psychoneural/psychomotor, perhaps just plain PSYCHO!

Mindfulness practice has no place in fighting and cannot aid with the physical aspects of training.

What we in the west refer to as mindfulness came about due to a Medical Professor named Jon Kabat-Zinn, who created an 8-week course for terminally ill cancer patients to relieve pain, anxiety and stress, he called it Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR).

Mindfulness is a powerful tool when used as intended

The 9 Attitudes of Mindfulness according to Jon Kabat-Zinn

  • Non-judging.
  • Acceptance.
  • Patience.
  • Beginner’s mind.
  • Trust.
  • Non-Striving.
  • Letting Go.
  • Gratitude.

I think it is quite clear that none of the above attitudes is of any use in physical training and even less use in a violent situation.

Mindfulness should be an aspect of our holistic training and I will cover that in a later post.

The idea that Shaolin monks would seek enlightenment and then go off to war is a Wuxia invention, a Hong Kong Movie Industry Myth.

Do not fall for it!

The work we are heading towards is influenced by some of the giants of neuroscience the late Prof. Karl H. Pribram, the late Dr. Moshé Feldenkrais and the very alive Dr. V.S. Ramachandran.

Look them up and get a head start on training.

Stay tuned, stay in touch, there is much more to come and as I get a better handle on explaining things it may even begin to make sense.







Engaging in this kind of mental exercise allows us to step away from what have come to think as reality.

It is amazing how much these old posts echo what we did this past Saturday, you would think we had passed this way before.

Using Wing Chun Fist Logic, Economy of Movement, this is a re-post and not a rewrite.

When we are confronted by abstract IDEAs that we struggle to adequately explain we use the mental tool of an analogy using the description of something we understand at some level to stand in for another completely different thing.

Such as seeing our body as a grove of bamboo that bends and sways with the wind instead of resisting it to imagine how to handle incoming force.

Or in the way the Shaolin Monks crafted their movements after different animals, this is also a kind of analogy.

Tiger, Crane, Leopard, Snake, and Dragon are all essentially the same Kung Fu, the same preparation, the same conditioning, the same body-work it is only their inspiration of how to use their Kung Fu that differs.

Tiger style relies on brute force and upper body strength, Leopard style is defined by fast attacks targeting soft tissues, pressure points, and vital areas, Crane style is more of an evasive style, Snake style relies on speed and intimidation and finally Dragon style, which combines traits of the other four animals. 

The chosen movement style of any monk is a reflection of the physical analogy they most relate to and of course, that choice is fueled by their imagination, fueled by how well they can visualise and internalise the analogy.

It is not that big a stretch to say that all Kung Fu is the same body-work and that only the individual analogies separate them, we all begin with the same blank canvas.

In the more word-centric western thinking, we do well to replace the IDEA of analogy with the IDEA of strategy.

In this way, there is only one martial Style with many ways to use it, which means we can learn from a multitude of sources.

Setting up the body, understanding how to maintain the set-up when moving and changing shapes are the core of the training, how and where we use that training is dictated by our chosen strategy/analogy.

Things get a bit wacky when we look into this way of training, there is a need to suspend our chosen reality and view everything as a movie, later on we can decide what the movie was about.

Movie #1.
A twig on a river, the twig moves but the river stays in the same place.
Our arms are the twig, our body is the river.

Movie #2.
A Fire Hose, no matter how much water is gushing out of the hose nozzle, the hose is always full.
Our hands are the water, our body is the hose.

Movie #3.
Our Body is a Spider Web, it is not possible to only move one part of the web, it all moves together no matter what part we move.

Engaging in this kind of mental exercise allows us to step away from what we have come to think of as reality, step away from the rules that govern it, and get closer to seeing things as they are.

Before we get all Carlos Castaneda stay connected to the FACT that at the centre of all Shaolin Fighting Moks training was Dhyāna/Chan/Zen – a state of being, an IDEA, they were always trying to be in the moment and to understand themselves as men, they were never trying to be animals.

Engaging in out-of-our-head thinking can be more than beneficial in so many ways…


…At the end of the day, 2 + 2 must always equal 4.

It is good to keep an open mind, but not so open that our brain falls out.

The universe is founded in symmetry, unification through symmetry, the fundamental theme of Mother Nature, all of the forces of the universe combine to form simpler structures, unifying them through a simple symmetry.

What is simpler than being ourselves?

Unification through symmetry is the theme of the universe.

The governing paradigm of the whole universe is symmetry.





Ip Man stated that there are 3 hands {Sau’s} in Wing Chun, Tarn Sau, Fook Sau, and Bong Sau.

A standard training model in Wing Chun is to study the bio-mechanics of all the Forms, especially the first Form, known to most as the S.L.T. 

As a result, training tends to become full of statements like “Rise up, sink down, focus forward, and relax”.

As important as these things are they have the potential to lead students away from the true purpose of  Wing Chun, which is of course dealing with violent people that mean us harm.

In the lineage that I am part of, there are almost 500  moves in the 6 combined Forms.

It is inevitable that students will get lost and start thinking that at least some of these moves are important.

I assure you, THEY ARE NOT.

They may even believe that these moves are a representation of what Wing Chun is.

Once again, THEY ARE NOT.

They may start believing that to be successful in a fight you must relax when in truth, most people who survive violent street encounters do not recall what they did that was so successful.

Usually, it was a lucky punch that saved the day.

As Arnold Palmer once noted when a spectator called one of his shots lucky  “it sure was, and the more I train the luckier I get”.

So, training is important if we ever hope to get lucky.

What should we be training? 

What should we look at taking away from that training?

What are all of the Forms and all of the buzzwords teaching us to understand?

Learning a Form or even all the Forms will only teach us how to do a Form.

Chi Sau will only teach us how to do Chi Sau.

Relaxing will only ever help us to relax. 

Many of my contemporaries will of course argue with this, but there is no getting away from the fact that all training is catastrophically task-specific.

This is mostly due to the way that our brain stores information and has little to do with the training methods of past Grand Masters.

What is our training trying to teach us?

Keep it simple.

Wing Chun always tries to keep things simple, it is teaching us how to dissipate force and expel force, it is teaching us how to hit another person and how to avoid being hit by another person.

That’s it.

Every move in every Form can be used for defensive purposes or attacking purposes, so it cannot be the move itself that is important.

If we think about it we can parry with a punch, we can strike with a Fook Sau, studying punches and Fook Saus in their own right is pointless.

We should study what it is they are trying to achieve, once we understand this we can do it with any posture, any movement, any name.

What we are trying to achieve is shaped exclusively by our Intention.

Intention” is a wide subject, even in something as simple and limited as Forms, so in this instance, I prefer to call it the “Inherent Attribute”, or even easier just “Attribute” of the move.

Ip Man stated that there are 3 hands {Sau’s} in Wing Chun, Tarn Sau, Fook Sau, and Bong Sau.

Everything else stems from them, this is why the first Form is at the core of Wing Chun, it introduces this Trinity for our examination.

It is the Attributes of this Trinity that everything is built upon, not the shape or where it is situated in the Form.

What is the Attribute of  Tarn Sau?

Although we have a shape that we call Tarn Sau we could redirect incoming force with any shape, hence Dai Sau and Bill Sau appear as variations of the Tarn Sau shape, in fact, a Fook Sau latch operates as redirection and when doing so could be seen as working as a Tarn Sau.

Tarn Sau introduces The Attribute of Redirection.

What is the Attribute of Fook Sau?

From my singular perspective, for instance during Chi Sau, the aspect of
Fook Sau is about controlling the space behind my bridge, and not an attempt to exert control on the opponent.

However, if wanted to I could control my opponent by pressing with a Pak Sau or Chum Sau even folding the elbow over but either way, Fook Sau is about control.

It does not matter what I am using if I am controlling my space or controlling my opponent’s Arms with any shape. I am accessing the Attribute of Fook Sau.

Fook Sau introduces The Attribute of Control.

What is the Attribute of Bong Sau?

Bong Sau is the Wing Arm, whenever or wherever we move our Arm we are flapping our Wing, all our Arm movements are us flapping our Wing. 

If we follow this rationale then every time we move our Arm anywhere we are performing Bong Sau, if we are performing the movement we normally refer to as Tarn Sau I am utilising my Bong Sau with the redirection attribute.

Think about that for a moment, digest it.

When performing what we normally refer to as Fook Sau I am utilising my Bong Sau with the control attribute.

Think about that, digest that.

When I strike I simply put a hand weapon such as a Fist, a Knife Hand, or Palm on the end of my Bong Sau.

Bong Sau introduces   The Attribute of Movement.

So much less to learn. So simple.

From this perspective Chi Sau becomes almost magical, all I do is control my own space behind my bridge {Fook Sau}, yet my partner is constantly redirected my action {Tarn Sau}.

This approach to training simplifies all applications, I either redirect or control, and of course strike.

The latter Forms teach us new ways to use our whole body, a Butterfly Knife or a Pole to redirect or control.

First and foremost of the Wing Chun Principles is Simplicity.

Think about that, digest that.






A General Theory of Fighting Arts becomes grounded in Human Movement and not, as it so often is, ‘Esoteric Ideology’.

To get maximum benefit to your Wing Chun education, this post, the previous two posts, and a few more to come, should be treated as a long read.

 The General Theory of Fighting Arts is a term widely used to try to get students to identify the mutual movements of all martial styles, and the alignment with most dynamic sports.

One thing we have all been told, and if we are talking to beginners or non Wing Chun people often repeat is that ‘Wing Chun movement is based on normal human body movement’.

I do not think that students give enough credence to this statement, that ‘Wing Chun movement is based on normal human body movement’.

It gets treated as if it is just some sort of cagey advertising spin just as many Instructors still claim that Wing Chun was invented by a woman, a device to encourage smaller, less athletic men to take up Wing Chun instead of a rival code.

But Wing Chun IS based on normal human body movements.

If we approach the work from this perspective and look at what is presented and how it is presented, we see a pattern emerge, that in the progression of the FORMS, as we move from the first Form to Chum Kiu and then Biu Gee, this progression is nothing more than the introduction of more complex movement for people not familiar with this way of moving.

This approach more than likely had merit back in 1860s Foshan but today, due to the average sporting curriculum of most western schools every 12-year-old child is familiar with these moves.

A very large proportion of what is introduced through the Forms is simply unnecessary, at least from the point of view of controlling our body.

Do not get me wrong, the FORMS are needed for other reasons so I am not suggesting abandonment.

But we can easily be moving at a level that is needed for any aspect of the work be it the Dummy, the Pole or the Knives if we put more practice and focus into moving better as a Human.

Take any movement or action from any sport, especially a throwing or bat and ball sport, and you will find the moves somewhere in the Form.

 A General Theory of Fighting Arts becomes grounded in Human Movement and not, as it so often is, ‘Esoteric Ideology’.

This week spend some quality time exploring the similarities between Martial Movement, Sports and Dancing, once you see how they amalgamate, consolidate and integrate FORMS become a secondary consideration. 


And while you a re at it put some minutes into the MAGNIFICENT SEVEN.

Here they are, and here is a recap.






The things we can learn from STANCES and FORMS are so deeply important that they are beyond value.

This post is pretty much a follow on from the last one, these types of posts allow us to approach the IDEA from more everyday Human perspectives.

Anyone with fighting experience, especially ‘Street fighting’ experience, will tell you that there are ‘NO STANCES’ in a fight.

A stance is a perfect Idea, an ideal shape and position that we benefit from being as close to as we can be.

The reason for this is explained by the ‘THEORY OF THE CONSERVATION OF MOMENTUM’.

In practice, we only ever move into a stance or out of a stance, yet all the action happens in the space between these points.

STANCES and FORMS share the same confusion, we spend a great deal of time and energy training them but in the end, we will never use them.

This is a paradox of cosmic proportions.

This is why it is so difficult to get beginning students to engage in a meaningful way, even students with zero fighting experience know instinctively that STANCES and FORMS have no practical value.

The first confusion we come across is that although we train them statically they are in fact transitional shapes that we move into or out of.

The things we can learn from STANCES and FORMS are so deeply important that they are beyond value.

How we resolve this importance from a purely personal perspective will determine the quality of most if not all of our Martial Actions.

Stances should be looked as being still points in a progressive movement, and not specific shapes and locations.

If it was available back in 1860 Doctor Leung Jan would have simply used ‘Time Lapse Photography’ and completely ignored the path of STANCES and FORMS.

Despite Stances being static they are an exploration of Human Movement, allowing us to look in detail at how our body is set up at different points in a possible progression.

Most importantly starting points and finishing points, but they can also function as a fault-finding method if we are not hitting the end stance position correctly when we move through a certain sequence.

When we look at Stances in relation to Forms we see a suggestion of how we would/could connect a start point Stance to an endpoint Stance.


Adding otherworldly importance or abilities to STANCES and FORMS has definite entertainment value if someone is a ‘Hobbyist’, but being involved in any kind of thinking that is not ‘RIGHT HERE-RIGHT NOW’ can only be detrimental to an aspiring Martial Artist.

We can only become the Martial Artist that we hope to be in 2,3 or 5 years by understanding and being the Martial Artist that we are today.

And we can only become that person by understanding the training we are doing today.



The Little Idea???


This is a repost from before Covid 19. It is extremely important stuff, without this we are just dancing.

Where or what is the ‘LITTLE IDEA’.

Could it be that we are the ‘LITTLE IDEA’?

Any training is really about self-realisation.

The development of a new self, or at least a new vision that goes above and beyond us, sets new paradigms, attains new heights.

A self that is physically, mentally and emotionally on a different level.

A competent and capable self.

Trained and ready to face any challenge. 

Not just violence.

Wing Chun is a vehicle.

But like any vehicle on any long journey, we would do well to know how it works, how to fix it when it breaks down, to treat it with respect, so that it lasts us a life time.

On any journeys of significance, as we progress, we accumulate new knowledge and develop opinions.

Opinions that change as we gain further knowledge.

It is how we grow, move forward, transcend.

At this juncture, my opinion is this… 

The most important aspect of our training is to stabilise our spine.

 I believe that this is ‘THE NUCLEUS OF THE LITTLE IDEA’!

All of our training, all of our FORMS, our drills, our Chi Sau and whatever else we are involved in and around are nothing more than ‘stress tests’ to see if we can play them and maintain “a stable spine’.


It grows from using this Nucleus, thinking about this Nucleus, becoming this Nucleus.


Task number one.


There are numerous methods although ultimately they all boil down to Intra-abdominal Pressure {I.A.P.}

I am in no way a physical therapist, I am not going to advise you how to do this, but to be expected there is a ‘living shit tonne’ of videos on Youtube, by real doctors.

This is a decent one for getting the general gist of where and how to start.

Watch this and then surf the recommended video links on the right of the presentation and find one that makes sense to you.

Work on this alongside your ‘Crazy Horse’ exercises.

‘Crazy Horse’ is an awareness and conditioning exercise, in time we need to infuse I.A.P. into it.

This is not particularly difficult, but neither is it quick.

In the numerous styles that I have studied there has always been talk of breathing techniques, Buddhist breathing, Daoist breathing, belly breathing, diaphragmatic breathing, breathing into our feet the list is endless.

They are all on the right track but they are also wrong in so many ways.

It was not until about 5 years ago when I was seeing a rehab specialist for several weeks, at the ‘Pain Clinic in Liverpool Hospital’, that I was finally able to put all the pieces together

We always boast that what we do in Wing Chun is based on ‘normal, human body movement’ but few schools teach ‘normal, human body movement’.

They teach ‘Wing Chun’ movement, which is so very rarely normal and only partly human.

I know that I am repeating myself here…

First, let’s be better humans.

As always…





I ask myself, does my IDEA that Wing Chun has only ‘one move’ transfer to the blades?

I finished my training this morning {Monday 23 / 08}, outside in that glorious sunshine, and I decided to do a little cleaning/maintenance of my sword collection, of course, once you take a sword from its scabbard, ‘Mars, the God of War’ decrees, it must be swung.

Like it or not, every Martial Artist is a Priest of Mars.

2 European ‘Hand and a Half’ swords, a Japanese Samurai Katana, a Pearl River Pirate Wakizashi, a Chinese Jian, an Indonesian Kris, and also, even though it is technically a Dagger, a Tanto.

I am always amazed, even though I should not be, how each sword feels so different.

As a Chef of 50 years, I am well aware and comfortable in the knowledge {the IDEA} that every blade has a different purpose, and that if you treat them poorly, or use them for a lesser purpose… they will bite you.

I have the scars to prove this.

The length, the weight, and the balance of each weapon lend themselves to very different visualisations.

The European Swords ask us to pierce aggressively, to smash and wield almost as a hammer.

The Katana is ‘so’ obviously built for cutting, slashing, slicing and dicing. Quick, lethal.

The Wakizashi conjurs up images of leaping from ships hacking anyone that stands in the way. A tool for strong men.

The Jian and the Kris both talk of mobility and elegance, of footwork and quick thinking. Of noble men and tribal princes.

Finally, the Tanto, close-quartered and possibly sneaky, to the point, if you will excuse the pun. An assassins choice.

I did not use any recognised FORM for my play, I let the blade decide what to do, and they all chose something different yet apt for my imagining.

Was it really the swords making these choices or were my actions the result of the movie I was playing in my head?

I ask myself, does my IDEA that Wing Chun has only ‘one move’ transfer to the blades?

Why not?

One thing I do know is that every time you play with a bladed weapon, be it a sword, a dagger, or a war axe, there is always a real purpose in that play.

A purpose that does not end well.

Later on, sitting quietly, absorbing, internalising what I had acted, how I had moved, and what was my intention, I could see the IDEA, the Sil Lim Tao, in my actions.

But is it really there, or am I trying to force a square peg into a round hole?

If it is there, as I believe it is, how do we manifest it into our everyday work?

There are only two forces in the world, the sword, and the spirit. In the long run, the sword will always be conquered by the spirit.