Why Making Wing Chun Work Is (A LOT) Easier Than You Think…

What makes Wing Chun work is the same force that makes the water seep through the soil. Simplicity and the path of least resistance.

Making Wing Chun work is easier than you think.

Why?  Simple.

Wing Chun works because Wing Chun is designed to work.  It’s not designed to circulate energy throughout the body.  It’s not designed to have the practitioner mimic an animal (sorry all you “wing chun is based on the motions of a snake fighting a crane 300 years ago” folks…it’s not.  Sounds sexy, I know, but still, nope) and Wing Chun was most definitely not created as some physical portal to higher consciousness.

Everything about Wing Chun-its’ forms, techniques, structure and application-is designed to be applied combatively.  Wing Chun was designed as guerilla warfare to overthrow an oppressive regime.  Period.

How effective someone can apply the art is determined by Continue reading

TRAIN WITHOUT CEASING: How To Tailor Your Wing Chun Practice to the Demands of the Day

To me, training time is “church time.” When your schedule is so hectic that training time becomes tight, what do you do? Have church all day.

Over the last 2 years or so I have been borderline obsessed with experimenting and trying to find various ways to “sneak” training into my day. Why?  It never fails: I plan on setting aside time to train, and suddenly something needs to be done.

This would frustrate me greatly, until I realized that by waiting until “X” time to train I was setting myself up for more frustration.

I remembered an old quote I read about old monks in a European monastery who sought to “pray without ceasing,” meaning letting each act of each day be a prayer or offering to God, rather than sitting around all day chanting.  Made sense to me – I mean, if that was the case, nothing would get done and people would eventually come, steal their crops and take all their shit away.

I like that quote so I began thinking about it and Continue reading

Be Your Own GURU: One Simple Change To Make Wing Chun Training Twice As Efficient and Practical

The only thing that separates success from failure in defending oneself is the ability to take ACTION and apply the knowledge that is in your head.

Internet entrepreneur and social media phenomenon Gary Vaynerchuk consistently calls the majority of people who listen to his podcasts, read his books and follow him on social media “students,” not “entrepreneurs.”

Why does he say that?  Because they read, plan, strategize, journal, make dream boards, order another book, listen to 7 more CDs, write their 10 year goal list and read some more…but do not GET GOING.  They do not ACT.

A survey was done that found out 90% of folks who invest in a self-help product such as a book or CD set never even begin using it, and of the 10% who do start, 90% of them never finish reading or listening to it!  Whats’ more, out of the 10% who do finish the book or CD set, 90% of them do not implement what they have learned into their lives.  Once they have the course or book in their hands or on their shelves, this is where most people stop.

Makes no sense, right?  Wrong. Continue reading

I’d Rather Beg Forgiveness Than Ask For Permission: Chi Sau, Self Defense and the Street:

Getting it in with my Sifu and very good friend, Philip Ng. Phil taught me what REAL chi sau is all about (hint: it’s not just sticking to your opponent’s hands!)

What do we get drummed into our heads growing up?

The importance of being “nice.”

That word drives me crazy.  In fact, the two words I dislike the most are nice and unique.  Why?  They don’t mean anything.  Seriously, what does nice really mean?  The absence of something bad.  Think about it-what carries more weight, hearing someone say that so-and-so is a “nice guy” or that he is a “good man.”

The same goes for the word “unique.” If everyone is “unique” then by pure philosophical reasoning no one is.

Continue reading

GUARD YOUR LOW-LINE, ATTACK THEIRS! Best Shin Guards for Wing Chun Training 2020

Wing Chun is a close-quarters system, and it doesn’t get more close-in than a boot to the shin or a stomp to the instep. Think you can realistically train without using the right gear  (such as the Fairtex SP5 Competition Shin Guard shown above)? Think again, Grasshopper.

One aspect of Wing Chun that does not get enough attention is its’ use of the kick. The Wing Chun kick is a low-line technique most often delivered to the shin, the kneecap or the hip in order to displace the opponent’s energy by immobilizing or causing pain. Training this very valuable but often underutilized aspect of the art requires the right gear and shin guards are the only way to realistically train the kick. The question then becomes: what kinds of shin guards are best suited for Wing Chun training, not only for self-defense but for applying the art to full contact combat sports such as MMA, muay thai or kickboxing? 

Choosing the best shin guard for your Wing Chun training, both for self-defense practice (first and foremost) and for full-contact combat sports participation such as kickboxing, MMA or sanshou fighting is of the highest importance as your training progresses. Continue reading

FORM & FUNCTION: Best MMA Gloves for Wing Chun 2020

MMA gloves are a Wing Chun guy or gal’s best friend and most valuable training aid. It is imperative to know what to look for to best suit your needs.

To make your Wing Chun skills truly functional, practical and effective – for self-defense or full-contact combat sports such as MMA, muay thai and sanshou kickboxing – depends on several factors, not the least of which is the gear you train with.  Shin pads, mouthpiece, chest protector, groin cup and headgear are all necessities to have in your gear bag, but the single most important item of your gear will always be the gloves you have to punch with.

MMA gloves offer a very specific benefit to us as practitioners of Wing Chun as their open-palm design, loose fingers and minimal weight allow us to train, for all intents and purposes, as if we had no gloves on at all.  Choosing the best MMA glove to suit your needs is of the highest importance when training to make your Wing Chun skills work for you in an efficient, effective and ,above all, realistic way. Continue reading

SIX (AND A HALF) POINTS OF POWER: Best Wing Chun Long Poles 2020

My instructor Keith (front) and me (back) demonstrating Wing Chun’s luk dim boon gwun, or six-and-one-half-point-pole set during one of Chinatown’s annual summer fair celebrations.

The Wing Chun itself system is very small in its’ core teachings and curriculum, and is designed that way for a very specific purpose. There are only three empty hand sets,  the muk yan jong or wooden dummy set, and two weapon sets: one for longer range and one for shorter.  Together they comprise a complete progression taking one through all facets of self-defense and close-range combat skill.  Each one is vital to the mix and contains lessons which will enhance your ability to protect and defend yourself and your loved ones. 

Once the foundation and basic principles, techniques and concepts have been ingrained in your muscle memory by way of the forms, dummy and chi sau drills, weapons are introduced in order to reinforce those ideas and key principles by applying them to something outside and independent of your physical body.  Continue reading

THROWING BOMBS: Best Boxing Gloves for Wing Chun Training 2020

A solid pair of high-quality boxing gloves, such as the classic Fairtex BGV1 Boxing /Muay Thai Glove shown here, can raise your Wing Chun skill set to the next level by preparing you for the realities of hard contact during training.

When seeking out the best training equipment for Wing Chun, self defense or full-contact training, it’s hard to beat a solid pair of boxing gloves.  While everyone can see the place and role boxing gloves play in training for full-contact combat sports such as boxing, kickboxing or MMA, what many Wing Chun folks do not realize is that a good pair of boxing gloves can be just about the most useful training aid towards functional and practical use of Wing Chun. 

Choosing the best boxing glove for your training needs is one of the most essential yet overlooked aspects of Wing Chun training, as they can take both your self-defense training and sparring experiences (either for class training or for combat sports participation such as boxing, kickboxing and MMA) to the next level by allowing you to apply as well as defend against techniques thrown with speed and power. Continue reading

MOVING TEXTBOOKS: Best Wing Chun Instructional DVDs 2020

When seeking out qualified instruction via DVD, make sure the instructor’s lineage is beyond reproach and his or her mechanics and grasps of basic principles are sound and presented in a way that is easy for you to understand. One such example is this DVD by Gary Lam’s top student, Sifu Greg LaBlanc.

Learning any martial art from a DVD is a daunting task.  Nothing will replace finding a qualified instructor to guide you through the nuances and subtle points of the Wing Chun system, since Wing Chun is an art and system of self defense predicated on feeling and close-in contact.  Given today’s high-tech world we live in, however,  the landscape of learning has changed. Finding the best DVDs on the market to guide you through the Wing Chun system and serve as “go-to” references for clarification is not only doable but necessary to gain a firmer understanding of what makes Wing Chun such an efficient and effective fighting art. Continue reading

THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE: The Single Best Functional Wing Chun and Self Defense Training Headgear for 2020

 

There can be no room for “what-ifs” or error when deciding on the right headgear for dedicated Wing Chun or close-quarter self training. Fortunately , the ProForce Thunder Combat Padded Head Guard, shown above, wraps them all up and ties them with a pretty bow.

Wing Chun system of close quarter combat and self-defense is unique amongst martial arts as it is predicated on close-in fighting in the very lethal range of trapping.  The right headgear, therefore, is essential for our training Wing Chun in an open, honest and no-bullshit way not only for self-defense and close-quarter combat but for the functionalization of Wing Chun’s basic techniques and principles (which can be translated into productive combat sports training as well). 

It behooves you, therefore, to select the best headgear for the very specific needs of functional Wing Chun training as well as being able to apply your Wing Chun skillset for both self-defense training and combat sports such as MMA, kickboxing or tournament competition.   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!