This is not the body that did the WORK, this is not the mind that studied the IDEA.

I was forwarded a FB page from a contact of sorts, it was of a Wing Chun Group showing a workshop with a Hong Kong Sifu.

It was the standard format showing how to do S.L.T. movement to inflict a powerful strike.

In the comments someone trolled the Sifu saying some rubbish about how it would not work and how he should be pressure testing his stuff.

I was not surprised by the trolling it really was the type of video presentation that encourages trolling and is so easy for an uneducated person to look at and think that Wing Chun is a ‘FAKE’ Martial Art.

Not because of the Sifu, but because the students looked and acted like they would as Geoff Thompson says ‘struggle to fight off sleep’ and the Sifu was trying his best not to wake them up.

In partial defence of the troll, all of the ideas shown were extremely lame and unrealistic, even for that particular group of sleepy students.

I have done my share of workshops and you have no choice but to work with what you have been given.

Absolute fact: Everything will work if we are in the right place at the right time and we decide to use it.

Even Table Tennis shots.

Especially Table Tennis shots.

Like all trolls, the guy was a total dick-head with little to no idea about genuine street like situational violence.

It is never the Martial Arts style that gets pressure tested, it is the person.

It is about how the person reacts when his/her body and mind panic.

This is why demonstrations that show students chilling and having fun are prone to trolling, where is the stress factor?

Dealing with genuine violence is all about understanding and compensating for our hormonal response and not about physically fighting.

Hormone induced panic is not controllable, it happens because we experience a sudden shock.

Hormones do not trickle in, they flood the system before that initial shock has fully registered.


Thinking that we can somehow control our hormones once they are running amok in our bloodstream is madness.

Advising students to breathe easy, relax, centre, put their minds in their spine is great and all that, but about as achievable as levitating out of the way once the hormone dump has happened.

That is why so many Wing Chun demonstration videos look so lame, even when the information is excellent.

These videos all end up looking like a David Attenborough presentation of a bunch of Pandas with some Sifu or another making up stuff you can do with the S.L.T.

100% Troll bait.

But I pity the Sifu, he is on ‘a hiding for nothing’ from people that understand neither violence nor Wing Chun.

Wing Chun, like all Socially Oriented Martial Arts, is a method to explore violent contact not deal with violent contact.

Once the shock happens and the hormones drop we are out of our standard operation settings.

Right here, right now, in this shit storm. This is not the body that did the WORK, this is not the mind that studied the IDEA.

We have not trained in this completely new physical/mental/emotional condition or for this chaotic unknown/unexpected/random situation so it becomes a flip of the coin type of thing.

This sounds much worse than it is because it is the same for all styles, all people, even the Bad Guy.

What we can do in training is to explore why such shocks occur and work on limiting the chance of that occurrence.

Awareness and avoidance are key ideas to factor in.

Shock is a result of something happening that we did not expect or something that we may have expected acting in a different way.

Such as a small man with a massively heavy punch.

Or a big, heavy man that moves like a ballet dancer.

When we engage another person our aim may appear to be self-defence, at least initially, but in reality, we should be attempting to take the shock out of our opponents attack and ramping up the shock level of our response.

Diminish the incoming load while increasing the outgoing load.

The initial panic problem is due to our poor timing, essentially, if the strike gets to us quicker than we expected we slip into Hormone Shock.

Hormone Shock is a response to things happening too quickly for us to evaluate and respond to.

It is all in the ‘timing’.

The easiest way to control ‘timing’ is to control the space in which it is happening.

The longer something takes to happen the less the chance of shock.

At this present juncture, where we should be, social distancing, 1.5 metres from each other, we are still too close to our partner to adequately respond to a surprise attack.

At this position, Chi Sau range, we are deliberately placing ourselves in the ‘Shock-Zone’.

Playing with this aspect, especially as we really should be anyway, can help us get a new perspective on what we think we do.

Distance {Space} = Time.

If we have sufficient Space and Time we will be able to think in a much more concise manner, better and clearer thinking minimise shock.

A quick but important sidestep, we do not get more time by stepping into an attacker, just sayin’, this is physics, not Wing Chun.

It is only thinking that can help us.

It is our MIND that gets shocked but our BODY pays the price.

The question becomes how do we get more time?

This subject is a whole series of posts in itself, but to generalise we stretch the time we have been offered.

When we stretch something it gets weaker, longer and slower, even if we still get hit the shock of that hit is much less.

Something we can explore during this enforced period of Solo Training is ‘how can we use our training to apply this idea of stretching the timing of an incoming attack’?

Our ability to control this first second of the engagement will depend far more on quick thinking and creativity than 30 years of training.

We will all come up with our own solutions, and this is as it should be.

Below is a video from the vault, back in early 2018 when I was still working for the railways as a Controller, that can give us a starting point towards stretching time.

If some of the content of the above video appears a trifle disconnected to the content of the article here is a link to the original post that may, or may not help clear things up. CLICK HERE.

Violence happens by Surprise, Closer, Harder and Faster than in most Martial Arts Training.





Or of course there is always someone that asks ‘Will this work in the street’?

This is just a bit extra to keep our heads somewhere near what our training was.

It is meant to be light hearted and off beat but it may just come over a tad confused and delusional.


Over the years I have been teaching there have been many students that when shown something a little bit outside the box say ‘Can we do that in Wing Chun’?

Or of course there is always someone that asks ‘Will this work in the street’?

I get it, we understand that there is a bunch of ‘shitheads out there and we may just bump into them so we best be ready’.

But we do not know who they are so we do not know if what we are doing is enough.


It always was.

It always will be.

I also do a belated look at the Rubber Mallets.





The quick takeaway would be “Chill out, nobody can relax anyway”.

This post could well be proof that I have been cooped up in my place for just a bit too long.

There is nothing in this post that we do not all know but perhaps it will encourage you to think about it a little bit more or at least again.

The quick takeaway would be “Chill out, nobody can relax anyway”.

The key to what we do is more about experiencing what it means to be a body.

Stay frosty tribe.

Nothing is true. Everything is permitted.




It is as they say ‘the fight in the dog and not the dog in the fight’.

There is a gentleman named Lee Morrison that has a group named Urban Combatives, I really enjoy listening to him talk, usually on other peoples podcast but also on his own Youtube presentations, he talks from experience and he knows what he is talking about.

It is for good reason that he is one of the worlds most respected men in the world of interpersonal violence.

Recently I was watching one of his ‘reflections’ on Youtube when I noticed in the sidebar that he was showing a workshop he held with a British Wing Chun School, this piqued my interest.

I rarely watch his practical videos, the ones I have seen are brilliant but Urban Combatives, as the name implies, focus on dealing with extreme violence with extreme responses.

There is no thought of ‘Counter Attack’ and no thought of ‘Minimal use of Brute Force’.

Lee Morrison has a specific approach to dealing with Bad Guys, an approach that grew out of his own life experiences, one he very obviously understands deeply and trusts completely.

However, as organic and genuine as Lee Morrison’s style is it is still a style, styles do not win fights, men do, watching him I am sure he would.

It is as they say ‘the fight in the dog and not the dog in the fight’.

When you listen to some of his discussions on dealing with violence, his ‘Fist Logic’ is remarkably aligned with Wing Chun’s ‘Fist Logic’, albeit ballistically so, this is an important point to consider when watching the video.

The video of his workshop at the Wing Chun School pretty soon sees him respectfully informing all attendees that Wing Chun’s ‘Chain Punching’ is all but useless in real situations, the reaction from the Wing Chun Students is stunned bewilderment.

He is of course correct, as we well know.

In discussing this video I am painted into a corner by the fact that I do not know why this school invited him so it is impossible for me to know what they were looking for, and as such make fair and unbiased comments.

Form your own opinion.

If you watch the video if it was not for the fact that L. M. lightly criticises Wing Chun it could be a Wing Chun lesson, a ballistic Wing Chun lesson but all in all still Wing Chun.

To my eyes, it looked as if the guys attending did not try to integrate Wing Chun movement, which is really sad because they may have not seen the connection, the bridge, and may have missed the value and transferability of what L.M. was demonstrating.

Then again perhaps they got it all.

I am not trying to criticise the Wing Chun guys involved, this is a heavily edited video that is posted to benefit Urban Combatives and more than likely drive business to him for his workshops, so to be expected it is shaped in that direction.

Clips that showed how Wing Chun is IDEALLY suited to this type of approach may well have been left out.

Never forget that Youtube is a shop window.

Apart from the very ballistic nature of the event, this is how we train, how we think, for my money, this IS Wing Chun so there is a good deal we can take away from this video.

If you guys cannot see the alignment between what L.M. is doing and what we do talk to me, or at the moment send me an email or put it on the group chat.







When I was training this morning I thought I would stick this out there, it will be at least 4 weeks before we can be in a face to face scenario, this is intended as a starting place, buy some bands, buy some clubs, it is easier still to buy them on-line and get them delivered, Amazon get things to us in quick time so I advise using them, but they are not always cheaper.

Here is a link for bands. BANDS.

And here is one for Rubber Mallets. MALLETS.

Bunnings are even cheaper than Amazon for Mallets but their post out is super slow.

As crazy as it sounds if we create our own circuit based on Wing Chun movements it will help us get better progress than usual training due to the fact that we are thinking deeply about what we want to do from a personal perspective.

Go through some of the videos on the clubs vimeo channel, for instance in the search pane write Chum kiu and check a few random videos, if anything does not make sense tell me which video you are referring to, give me a timestamp and I will watch it and try to explain it it a better way.

I can do this with other peoples videos as well, but keep in mind that i will only be able to answer about how it relates to what i teach.

Film yourself doing a form and send it to me for assessment.

Although I do not think that Zoom or Skype sessions are effective we could try one.

Start a Q&A on the Whatsapp.

If we develop a program that can keep us training and still having fun we will all move forwards.

Anyway, stay tuned in.




Beware of patterns that do not translate well to other patterns or other conditions.

Hi Guys, as we go into this “Hard Lockdown” we will all have plenty of time, let me know of anything you would like to work on and I will knockout a video, I have time as well, right now this is just to keep us all in the loop, nothing new just a recap on STANCES.

Areas to think in…


The number one function of our brain is to control our movement, we know that not only is there a brain-body connection but also a body-brain connection that using our body in different ways stimulates neurogenesis, stimulates neuroplasticity is stimulates Brain-Derived Nootropic Factors which is the fertiliser for making new connections [synaps?] so we have to move.

Observe the movement taking shape.
Become curious about what is happening.
Be kind to yourself.

Frugality matters, reduce complex problems down to their simplest elements, even the most complicated relationships and problems have identifiable underlying patterns.

Beware of patterns that do not translate well to other patterns or other conditions.

They will create cross pattern interference that our Brain has to somehow resolve

Understanding the work.

What is true interpreting energy?

If your vision and hearing have no basis, it is difficult to achieve accuracy.

When your vision takes in far and near, left and right; when your hearing takes in rising and falling, slow and fast; when your understanding of movement encompasses evading, returning, provoking, and completing; and when your sense of action embraces turning, exchanging, advancing, and retreating, then this is true interpreting.

We must internalise and focus on the core concepts of the art.

Never forget that all styles are created to deal with certain real yet local problems,

as our problems change so does the art need to, it is evolution.

It is vital to understand the environment that our practice will need to perform in.


The difference between bodywork and intention is that although the movement is the same they are fundamentally the opposite of each other.

Bodywork tends to focus on the process, the “HOW”.

Whereas Intention focuses on the product, the “WHY”.

A lot of people that struggle to make the transition from Form to Function do so because they tend towards thinking that Process and Product, Form and Function are the same things because they share the same movement, this is understandable and happily also avoidable.


Learn the form, but seek the formless. Learn it all, then forget it all. Learn The Way, then find your own way.





Any finish to movement should be brought about by contact with the target.

Hey guys, who would of thunk it, another 2 weeks at least, I will post at least once week through the Lockdown to try to keep the juices flowing.

This is just a bit of general stuff but I am awaiting the delivery of my Rubber Mallets from Bunnings hopefully they will work out for use as a Clubbell substitute.

Just to clarify something, when I talk about some Biu Gee movements that extend out of the Goldilocks Zone it is that they are allowed free passage of movement to end range, but they make contact inside the Goldilocks Zone, for any movement to stop at a certain place it would need to slow down first, not what we want.

Any finish to movement should be brought about by contact with the target.




Once we miss a planned session not only do we disappoint ourselves emotionally but we increase the chances of missing more.

It looks like we could be in lockdown for a few more weeks, fifty {50} new community transmissions overnight, things look grim, so we need to be sure that we keep our spirits up and we can help this by keeping up some level of training. 

There is plenty of things we can do solo, good things that can improve what we do and what we know, the danger to our solo training is boredom and procrastination.


Set aside a few slots of time to train and stick to it, do not be over ambitious and think that you will train for an hour each day, that is a recipe for failure.

Once we miss a planned session not only do we disappoint ourselves emotionally but we increase the chances of missing more.

Allow yourself 30 minutes 3-4 days a week, if you are in the groove, enjoying what you are doing you can extend the session to be as long as you can keep focus. If you are into it. 

When we consider the different ways we can approach the work it is easy to find something different to do every day, even if it is only 10 minutes a session.


Create a mini-program that works on completely different things each session.

  1. Awareness/stillness exercises.
  2. Awareness/movement exercises.
  3. Band work.
  4. Pole work.
  5. Form/structure work.
  6. Mix and match sessions.

If you begin every session with 10 minutes of standing awareness, especially if you are doing this outdoors early in the morning the benefits to your mood and overall well being will be enormous.

Set aside time for some related research, thinking, contemplating is a big part of all Martial Arts.

Try not to get stuck just surfing the net.

Make a list of different categories of interest and tag them to the active sessions.

Youtube can be a great training partner.

Resources we should assemble are sites that provide good information on

General Body Maintainance.

Sites I visit are…


Smashwerkx RX.

G.M.B. fitness.

There are dozens of eually good sites, find one that you like the way they present the information and stick with them

Sports-Science Movement and Bio-Mechanics.

 Wildman Athletica.

The Squat University.

The Lean Berets.

Again there are dozens of these.

Fight Related.

I do not recommend visiting other Wing Chun Schools sites, we all do things differently to a certain degree and there is a real chance of seeding confusion, but visiting other styles can oddly enough help us see what our style does.

Pual Vunak

Tommy Yankello. World Class Boxing Gym.

Watching other styles gives a good view of how other people may use their body.


Ultimately this is central to what we do, it is a huge field that we all address differently, just google it and find something that resonates.

Do not underestimate the training benefit of research, before we can do anything with our body we need to engage our head.

Knowledge is power.

Learn everything you can, become as powerful as you can be.

If you guys have any questions on any aspect of Martial Arts / Self Protection hit me up on the Whatsapp group or email me if you want to keep it private.

Moving quickly is attained through smoothness.

Smoothness is attained through moving slowly.





All I can tell you is that it is not a physical thing, it is not a secret technique that I have been perfecting for the last 40 years in anticipation of this day.

There is a great quote that I have always attributed to Helio Gracie, founder of the Gracie Ju-Jitsu clan that goes…

“Learn to fight like an old man because one day you will be”…

… but in trying to verify it I cannot find any reference at all on the Internet.

Perhaps I dreamt it, still a great quote.

Well, today, JULY 8TH, is my 68th birthday.

That day is this day.

So what does it mean, to fight like an ‘old man’?

I first heard {or dreamt} this quote when I was around 30, and like all young men that wake up one day to discover that they are 30, I was feeling old.

At that time, my thinking was the quote counselled that technique was superior to force, that patience was a better strategy than haste, that being first was far more useful than being fast.

I still hold with and teach all of these IDEAS, but at 30, I was not an ‘old man’, surely this could not be it.

Perhaps the answer lies in seeing what I am doing today that I did not do when I was younger?

I am slower, for sure.

Everything is done with less intensity, no surprise there.

Otherwise, everything is as it has always been.

What is it?

All I can tell you is that it is not a physical thing, it is not a secret technique that I have been perfecting for the last 40 years in anticipation of this day.

It is an attitude.

If I found myself in a bad situation my first choice would be to not fight at all, that is a complete no brainer, and to be honest, not an option I would have considered when I was 30.

Could this be it?

If it is not my choice, keeping in mind that this thing we do, Wing Chun, is a ‘counter-attacking martial art, I would be responding and not reacting, all the same I would want to end it instantly.

Anyone I will be in conflict with will be younger, fitter, stronger to choose any other option would be suicide.

So perhaps this is how to fight like an ‘old man’…

On the first strike, unload everything.

Looking at this, yes, this fits the quote, maybe.

The thing is I have always done this and think it is great advice for everyone because we never know who the ‘Bad Guy’ is or what he knows.

Still looking backwards the first fighting advice I ever received was from my Grandfather, Jack Finn.

Jack was a genuine ‘old man’ as all Grandfathers are, he was not a martial artist but had served and seen action in two world wars, he knew what a fight was.

He told me when I was about 7…

“it is the height of bad manners to hit a man that is looking at you”

…this makes even more sense than my idea of going in first and going in hard, clever ‘old bastard’.

Is it even something that we do?

Wing Chun is a counter-attacking martial art so in the end we will only be able to work with what the ‘Bad Guy’ gives us.

My feeling today, as an official ‘old man’, is that the real understanding of ‘fighting like an old man’ is to simply never stop training, even once you are an old man.

“ Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see. 

Arthur Schopenhauer 





We work on relaxing until we understand what it takes to not be tense.

To a large extent, this is another dimension to the last post.

My late sister was a dancer and from as far back as I can remember I was her ‘Crash Test Dummy’, I was expected to make her IDEAS become movement.

I would not consider myself a dancer because of this, but I was allowed to peek behind the curtain, or maybe just inside the tent.

Something I became very aware of is that the most important attribute of a ‘dancer’ is to not become fatigued.

I am not just talking about stamina here, not drifting towards ‘gassing out’.

It is the subtleties.

Like having the ability to shake a leg or to make expansive arm gestures for extended periods without losing shape or articulation.

It is here that ‘dancing’ and ‘ Wing Chun’ tread the same path.

Or perhaps I could say stage.

The pursuit of easy movement is ‘super’ important in Wing Chun, but I do believe that many follow this path for the wrong reason.

They pursue relaxation.

And end up missing the point.

Something all Wing Chun Instructors say is that Wing Chun is NOT meant for match fighting, it is meant for the real world, violent street encounters.

A violent street encounter is brief and rapid.

It will be over before it has begun.

Ask yourself ‘in the 5 seconds before someone {possibly you} has a position of unassailable dominance how will I relax’?

Nobody with any IDEA of violence is training to relax.

This is another case of “the finger pointing at the moon”.

We work on relaxing until we understand what it takes to not be tense.

If this is confusing get a chat going on the whatsapp group.

An average Boxer knocks people out on the street every day of the week, an average martial artist would struggle to fight off sleep.

Geoff Thompson