In Structure, Simplicity
In Technique, Efficiency
In Application, Intensity
And In All Things, PRACTICALITY
The 820EXPRESS Ving Tsun Martial Science Club (820XVT) was founded in 2012 by Instructor Robert Bartkowski to promote and preserve the Wong Shun Leung system of Ving Tsun as a combative system of personal protection and self empowerment as taught to him by Sifu Philip Ng (himself a direct student of the late Grandmaster and undefeated no-rules challenge fighter Sifu Wong Shun Leung ) of the Ng Family Chinese Martial Arts Association, headquartered in Chicago’s Chinatown.
For those who may not be aware, Wong Shun Leung was the man directly responsible for instructing a young Bruce Lee in Hong Kong. In fact, Wong Shun Leung’s own experience as a street fighter with an undefeated record in some say hundreds of bare knuckle no-rules challenge matches in Hong Kong, as well as his direct, no-nonsense philosophy of personal protection (forged out of having survived several street encounters against both armed and unarmed attackers, and almost always outnumbered), inspired Lee in the evolution of his own personal style of jeet kune do, which translated means way of the intercepting fist.
Philip stressed to Robert the need to create a more centralized and standardized organization for him to better spread the art of Ving Tsun to his students, thus ensuring the art is passed on in a progressive yet undiluted manner. 820XVT is dedicated to constant growth and self learning via the medium of the art and science of Ving Tsun Gung Fu through proper and constant training to attain combat proficiency.
It is the belief of the 820XVT that true inner peace and self confidence can only be attained when one inherently understands that he/she can handle him/herself in any environment, either by recognizing and avoiding a potentially dangerous situation, verbally diffusing a possible conflict or, if necessary, successfully incapacitating an attacker and removing oneself from harm’s way. It is in this spirit that the 820XVT Club was formed.
Our logo speaks volumes as to who we are and what type of training we engage in.
First, we are a Martial Science Club. Why Martial Science?
Wong Shun Leung called his expression of Ving Tsun, “Ving Tsun Kuen Hok” or “The Science of Ving Tsun.” We do not view Ving Tsun as an art per se, although it is. We view Ving Tsun as a scientific, surgically precise yet barbaric when necessary system of personal protection skills and strategies. If other martial art styles and systems can be likened to art classes in high school by way of their aesthetic beauty, Ving Tsun can be compared to physics and geometry, as we are guided by immutable laws and scientific principles.
Why a “Club?”
A “Club” is defined as “an association of two or more people united by a common interest or goal.” Our common purpose is, as stated above, self empowerment and personal protection through attaining combat proficiency by training in Ving Tsun. Whether we have 10 members or 10,000, everyone is an individual, not a name or a number. We are a family whose members look out for one another and genuinely care for each other. Classes are relaxed; discipline is often not necessary, as everyone is there for a common purpose and motivated to train. This sense of intimacy in training fosters the bonds of brotherhood and camaraderie amongst its members.
Of the two figures, you will notice the attacker is larger than the defender. That is because, at least where I come from, attackers tend to target those smaller in size, strength, etc., just as a cheetah never picks the fastest or strongest gazelle to hunt. Add this to the fact that the art of Ving Tsun is said to have been founded by a woman and you can see why this art is ideally suited for those who have neither the size or physical strength to outmatch an attacker by force or physical stature alone.
The Chinese characters for “Ving Tsun Kuen” pays homage to the traditional nature of the art; i.e., that we train and pass the art on in an undiluted way. Although many members of the club cross-train in different styles, when we train in Ving Tsun it is VING TSUN time. We do not blend or combine the system with others in our classes. This ensures the potency of the art remains intact by a firm grasp and fuller understanding of the concepts and principles of the art.
INTELLIGENCE & INTENSITY
The bottom rocker contains the words “Intelligence” and “Intensity.” These are the two adjectives that best describe the spirit in which we train. Ving Tsun is a thinking person’s art. We do not do anything that is of no use. Conversely, we must train with INTENSITY so as to be prepared to use our art in a realistic manner should the need ever arise. The Circle in the middle of the logo symbolizes constant change and evolution. We are all evolving (or at least should be) as martial artists, fighters and most importantly, as human beings. We chose the modern style of the circle in lieu of the yin/yang symbol to recognize that while our art is more than 350 years old, we live in a fast-paced, constantly changing society and as such, we must adapt to our surroundings and strive to apply our art in today’s world without losing the art to bastardization under the guise of “modernization.”
It is our belief that by training earnestly and diligently in Ving Tsun, the concepts of simplicity, efficiency and directness can be applied to all areas of one’s life, not just martial arts, thus leading to a happier, more productive and balanced life. This can only truly come about, as stated earlier, by attaining the skills and abilities necessary to protect oneself and one’s family.
ONE FINAL THOUGHT…
Please be aware that although we are a supportive and close-knit community, we are an invite-only club. Each prospective student must interview with the instructor to determine if his/her personality and attitude is the right fit for the class.
We are not here to pander to or please anyone, nor are we here to try and “sell” anyone as to why they should train with us vs. anywhere else. We will not waste time trying to make someone conform to our training, as that will take time away from those in class who know why they are here. There are no egos here; everyone is here because they want to be here and behaves accordingly.
When we train, we stick to the Ving Tsun system; we do not alter or modify the curriculum, as it does not need any modifications or alterations-just hard work and dedication. In class, we stick to the agenda.
If you are the type of person who has the attention span of a 6 year old with ADD who just drank 3 cups of coffee; if you are the type of person that likes to deviate from the plan when it becomes monotonous or “boring” for you; if you are the type of person who likes to fiddle with your own thoughts while a technique is being explained or a point clarified then make no mistake- we take that as a sign of disrespect to our class, our system and our lineage and you will be asked to leave.
When we roll up our sleeves and go to work it is eyes forward and ears open. If you can’t get down with that, look down the road.
We train as we wish and how we wish with full respect to our system, our lineage and the reality of combative encounters which are greater than anyone’s name, rank or reputation.
Sifu/Head Coach Robert and the 820XVT are currently located in the Champaign-Urbana, IL area. Training is conducted on a private or semi-private (up to 4 students per session) basis and is done by appointment only. This ensures each session is customized to the student or students’ needs and goals for training as well as each participant’s individual ability level.
The 820Express Ving Tsun Martial Science Club (820XVT) is a PROUD Affiliate of the following organizations:
Please contact Robert via the following means:
for more details regarding training.
Training will only be scheduled on a private or semi-private (up to 4 students) basis both to ensure safety and to ensure that each student receives personalized, highly attentive and detail-oriented instruction.
Thank you for your interest, and we look forward to hearing from you soon!