Wing Chun, Reality and Street Violence – Part 4

Full-contact training to absorb impact. Does it suck sometimes? Yep but do you know what sucks a lot more? The reality of being unprepared to deal with sudden and violent force.

The last of Sgt Rory Miller’s 4 Basic Truths of Violent Assault as laid out in his book Meditations on Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training and Real World Violence, which should be on the nightstand of any martial artist who actually wants to be able to use their art in real life, states that attacks happen with MORE POWER than most people realize. (Click HERE to read my review on this excellent book as well as others that address similar issues I feel most martial artists and those claiming to teach “self defense” are sorely lacking in).

This ties hand in hand with #3-the sudden nature of an attack.  If you are a predator, are you going to dilly-dally or are you going to hit them hard, fast and powerfully? If I were some shitbag mugger rapist I’m going with Option B. Continue reading

Wing Chun, Reality and Street Violence – Part 3

Note the triangular structure and forward pressure.  Shitbag attackers and lurking thugs aren’t going to leisurely stroll up to you; they will strike HARD & FAST.  You must be prepared for a sudden attack, bum-rush or encroachment on your personal space and be ready to use your Wing Chun at the drop of a hat if you want to win.  Period.

The third “truth” of violent assault, as per Sgt. Rory Miller’s 4 Basic Truths of Violent Assault found in his book, Meditations on Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training and Real World Violence, states that attacks happen MORE SUDDENLY than most people believe.

He goes on to state,  “an assault is based on the threat’s assessment of his chances.  If he can’t surprise, he often won’t attack…when the attack happens, it’s almost always a surprise.”

That’s not to say if someone is giving you a glare at the bar or if a few gangbanger thugs approach you in a parking lot or walking down the street that you aren’t in danger of attack because you are able to pick up on vibes or other cues that something not so good is fixing to go down.  That is a different scenario entirely, one he also addresses at length in his book (check out my review of this and other books of his HERE) and one we will cover in the near future. Continue reading

Wing Chun, Reality and Street Violence – Part 2

As soon as I see the attack coming, I don’t “block.” I STRIKE! “Blocking” is just an afterthought; an insurance policy if you f**k up, that’s all.

Basic Truth #2 of Sgt. Rory Miller’s 4 Basic Truths of Violent Assault as stated in his book Meditations on Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training and Real World Violence states that attacks happen FASTER than more people realize.

Fights start quickly and most often, the one who gets the first shot in wins.  It’s the old “firstest with the mostest” theory, and it is true.  Real violent assaults are quick, ugly and overpowering. Wing Chun is designed for self-defense and as such its drills need to reflect the quick and violent nature of the street’s attacks. (For a list of resources that address the nature of combat and fighting from a realistic and balanced perspective, click HERE).

Think back if you have ever taken a “self defense” class.  After a brief overview of the “technique,” you paired off, and practiced the “technique” on a classmate or friend, and most likely with little or no speed. Continue reading

Wing Chun, Reality and Street Violence – Part 1

I always get a kick out of folks who say that Wing Chun doesn’t work because I can see where they are coming from. Most of what is put out there is complete shit. Wing Chun needs to be put forth in an honest way as a FIGHTING system-’cause that’s what it is!

Why do people who don’t practice Wing Chun think that Wing Chun is not effective?   Because they don’t see (or at least they think they don’t see) Wing Chun on TV in a cage.

These are the same folks who always love to say things like,“Wing Chun sucks!”  or “Wing Chun isn’t realistic.”  I ask them to define realistic and it almost without fail leads to the next question asked to discredit Wing Chun which happens to be one of my favorites as far as ham-handed objections go: “if Wing Chun is so deadly, why don’t Wing Chun people compete in MMA?”

 The answer to that is easy.  Wing Chun folks DO compete in MMA!  They just don’t stick solely to Wing Chun proper.  The end goals of each discipline are different.  So listen up, ’cause I’m only going to say this once. Continue reading

Solo Training: 3 Steps To DOUBLING Your Wing Chun’s Effectiveness in HALF The Time

Scenarios like this can be experienced in the mind whenever we train-we just need to conjure up whatever makes us uncomfortable.

Wing Chun solo practice is to my hectic life what church is to the devout or what an open-air nature park is to a claustrophobic.

If my practice is in the evening it is my means to peace of mind and a mental “RESET” button after a long day.  If I choose to or my schedule forces me to instead train in the morning, my solo training sessions serve as a way to set my mind on the right track to approach the day ahead in the right way and in the proper mindset and mentality.

Either way, my training time is a sacred little chunk of each day that I am very protective of, chiefly because I know the value of solo training in terms of making my Wing Chun skills functional, practical and effective.

Continue reading

Motivation vs. Habit: Applying Wing Chun For Self-Defense and Fighting

Once motivation wanes-as it will-all you have left is the HABIT of deliberate practice to gain you the skills you seek. Here I am drilling the lop sau entry with training partners Kevin Casey and Brad Liberio as Tai Chi Master Young H. Lee look on. Habit is what gets shit done, period.

In my never ending quest for tools, tips and techniques that will refine and improve my Wing Chun training routine for self-defense, fighting ability & combat sports I am always on the lookout for good quotes.  Now I don’t collect them just as a novelty or as a way to blow up my Twitter of Pinterest feeds; I remember ones that resonate with why I train the fighting art of Wing Chun and help me ingrain in my subconscious helpful reminders regarding self-defense and personal protection.  One of my all-time favorite quotes goes something like this:

“Motivation is what gets you started; habit is what keeps you going.”

Too much emphasis today is placed on being “motivated.”  Rah-rah self-help coaches make obscene Continue reading

Want To Make Your Wing Chun Skills Practical and Usable? It’s As Easy As 1-2-3

A gift from my student and good friend whom I will call “Jim,” since he has requested to be kept off social media. This was taken at a tournament back in the 1970’s or early 80’s and is of him and his partner performing a two-man kata (sequence). The inscription rings most true for anyone who engages in a lifelong study of the arts. Thank you, sir!

One of the biggest diseases in martial arts today which undermines the ability to make one’s skills functional, practical and usable for purposes of self-defense and protection on the street is the issue of rank, belts, titles or whatever else you want to call it.  I have lost count of the times I have seen a soccer mom tote young A.D.D / A.D.H.D / whatever other bullshit acronym-of-the-month-afflicted Timmy into the school I was training in to inquire about lessons and within 5 minutes ask the question, “How long will it take him to get his black belt?”

The problem I have with that is the word “get.”

“Get” a black belt?   If you want one just go buy a friggin’ belt to put on the shelf next to his lacrosse, soccer and baseball trophies.  Shit, I’ll just give you one if that makes you happy.  Sorry honey, if Timmy really wants to “get” one, Timmy is gonna have to work his ass off to EARN one.

Continue reading

Forms, Fighting and Self-Defense…What Is Wing Chun’s “Secret Ingredient” to Effectiveness?

Wing Chun is about self preservation. Anything else is gravy.

Every time you look up anything re: Wing Chun on the internet, you can find anything from what the forms are to what uniforms are used by each lineage to where the big toe from Person A’s lineage rests in the second pivot of the third form compared to  Person  B’s lineage, and so on…

By now I’m sure it comes as no secret or surprise that I think the overwhelming majority of stuff floating around out there online regarding Wing Chun as a system of self defense and personal combat is a pile of sh*t.

My answer to the question I see so much of, “is Wing Chun effective in a real fight?” is YES – with a caveat. Continue reading

Functional Fighting Fitness: How To Train Your Body To Be Wing Chun “Combat Ready”

Training for sport is not the same as training for self defense-not by a longshot-however, with all things being equal it is strength which prevails.

One of my favorite inspirational sayings is the old adage mens sana in corpore sano.  It is a Latin phrase which, when translated, means “a sound mind in a sound body.”  Specifically as it relates to Wing Chun training for self defense, fighting and combat effectiveness so many people out there miss the boat in the fact that we must have a level of functional physical fitness to apply any of the fighting arts in a realistic way.  As the saying goes, when all else is equal, it is strength which prevails.

Wing CHun’s effrctiveness in self-defense and combat lies in how it is designed.  Wing Chun works in a real fight because it is designed that way; not to mimic and insect in heat, a mythical unicorn gliding across the sky on a cloud or some other esoterically laughable scenario.  However, due to Wing Chun’s structural and conceptual perfection there are many out there who fall victim to the old thinking, “I don’t care how strong or fast or in shape someone is, I have Wing Chun on my side.”

Two words come to mind when I hear this: BULL and SHIT.

Yes, Wing Chun is, in theory, a perfect system.

Yes, Wing Chun’s greatest strength is its’ efficiency.

Yes, Wing Chun is designed for one thing: fighting.  It is not aesthetically pretty and won’t win any forms competition outside of a Wing Chun division in a tournament (but chances are since you’re reading this you already know that and, like myself, couldn’t care less).  But… Continue reading

NO Such Thing As “Wasted Time” Training: Wing Chun and Other Arts

ATA Black Belt Certificate

I just realized yesterday that in less than one month it will be 23 years since I received my first black belt.  It was July 6, 1996 to be exact.  I was 17 years old and I tested for my cho-dan, or 1st degree black belt, in Taekwondo through the ATA (American Taekwondo Association).

I remember training incessantly; running through all of my sequences, techniques, sparring and board breaking.  I was ready.  The test itself was fairly standard and uneventful as far as tests go: I went before the review board, tested and passed.  Afterwards, a group of us went out for an early dinner, as was our usual custom at least once a week after class and after a tournament or a testing; seeing as how it was a Continue reading

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A WORD OF WARNING: I tend to speak and write how I think, so some of what I say may come across as insensitive, rough around the edges and maybe even a bit arrogant. If sarcasm, political incorrectness and occasional "naughty words" offend you, you may want to move on - but if you're serious about making your Wing Chun WORK, then fill out the fields above and let's get started!