The Self Defense Sweet Spot: Why We Attack the Centerline In Wing Chun!

There isn’t a whole lot I can say about this clip other than it sucked.

Actually, there’s always more to say about anything so here goes:

Wing Chun teaches us that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.  The flip side of that saying is that any attack that follows this “straight line” principle also carries with it a lot of stopping power.

In this clip I happened to be on the receiving end of a quick and efficient kick to the jewels which put me down when I was pumped up and ready to go not 2 seconds before.  That’s how potent centerline shots are- all the important stuff (eyes, throat and balls) are located there! Continue reading

WING CHUN 101: How To Win A Street Fight In 3 Steps

Belts, sashes, rank and title go out the window. All that matters in a self-defense encounter or attack in the street is WHAT YOU CAN DO. If you don’t train that way, you aren’t training true martial arts.

Yep, you read right!  I realize this sounds braggodocious, sensational, more than a little presumptuous and definitely pretty ballsy…but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s true.

As Wing Chun folks, we need to always remember why we train this stuff!  I don’t train for a medal or a trophy and I sure as hell don’t train for enlightenment, at-one-ment with the cosmos or inner peace.  Now if I happen to win a medal or feel a bit more peaceful as a result of training to cave someone’s nose in who tried to jump me in a WalMart parking lot at 11:30pm-so be it, but it never detracts me from my sole objective in all of this. Continue reading

Wing Chun Training for Simple, Effective and Practical Self Defense: The PHYSICAL Aspect

 

Wing Chun full contact training
Putting the work in at a demonstration of Wing Chun, self-defense and Chinese sanshou (full contact kickboxing) on a sweltering July day. Can you tell I’m channeling some “inner aggression” due to the triple digit heat and damn near 100% humidity? Good, I wasn’t trying to hide it.

The Physical factor is the most-often focused on aspect of self-defense and any system or style of martial arts.

Many might read the previous sentence and think to themselves, “no shit!” I agree that it sounds so obvious it’s insulting but just work with me for a second.

It is obvious that physical techniques are going to form the largest component of training, as one obviously needs to learn specific techniques and be able to execute them effectively. That’s like going to handyman school and learning how to hang a shelf by watching a power-point but not picking up a hammer or actually changing the head of a drill.

I am not implying that the Physical aspect of self-defense training is the least important – quite the contrary. What I am saying is that the Physical aspect of training is all too often done incorrectly or, at the very least, much less effectively than it could be.  At the end of the day, repetition really is the mother of skill – so long as the repetitions are done correctly. with the proper mindset and mentality and in the proper scenario or situation for self-defense and personal protection. Continue reading

In The Footsteps of the Founder: Wing Chun Training For Women

Training a first-time participant inWing Chun-based close quarter self-defense. Seeing just how tailor made for Wing Chun in all areas-concept, technique, application and even build-women are never ceases to amaze me.

People begin training in the martial arts for any number of reasons.

Some are looking for a new way to exercise; others need a form of stress relief that is more engaging than an elliptical or a treadmill.  Some are drawn to the social aspect of a class environment while others prefer the solitary peace of practicing in their own home.  Some want to feel empowered and prepared to protect and defend themselves while others just like to hit someone without getting arrested.

Whatever reasons for beginning one’s martial journey,all are equally valid.

What most often draws women into the the martial arts are one of two reasons: self empowerment and self defense.  This is where things get a bit unclear-not because of their desire and drive, but because the majority of arts out there quite simply are not effective for self defense the way they are taught today. Continue reading

ALL SALES FINAL! Training Secrets to More Effective Chi Sau, Sparring and Self-Defense

Just a little reminder: there are no “fakes” or “feints” in Wing Chun.  Either you are “selling” your opponent on why your attack will hit him or he is “selling” you on why it won’t. We stay the course in Wing Chun-and that’s how we get shit done.

I was watching one one of my favorite movies the other night, Boiler Room.

Having zero to do with martial arts or fighting, it tells the story of a persuasive young entrepreneur named Seth who drops out of college and begins running a casino out of his house.  In an effort to please his father, a respected Circuit Court Judge with whom he has a strained relationship already, Seth shuts his casino down and begins working at an investment firm named J.T. Marlin.  After an uber-aggressive interview by Ben Affleck (doing his best Alec Baldwin from Glengarry Glen Ross) and surrounded in a culture of pure excess and greed, he soon becomes a standout broker, closing sales and rapidly rising up the ranks.

The problem?  J.T. Marlin is a “chop shop” brokerage firm; a front designed to screw people out of their money by using hard-line and very aggressive sales while simultaneously probing for weaknesses and signs of hesitation.

As I watched this for the 982nd time I couldn’t help but be reminded of the similarities between this movie and our end goal of Wing Chun fighting skill both in chi sau and self defense.  In both cases, Continue reading

SHIP-BURNING AND DRINK-STIRRING: “6 Principles of Combat” For Practical & Effective Wing Chun Training PART 6

Attacking my attacker with confidence and determination.  There’s just no other way to approach this stuff.

Now we come to the last of John Kary’s “6 Principles of Combat” and, like the 5 preceding this one, it is essential.  Actually, if any one of these 6 principles are absent, your self-defense plan is likely to crumble but what makes this one so important is that it has nothing to do with anything but what is between your two ears

Principle #6 : Be CONFIDENT and DETERMINED.

As the saying by Tony Blauer (that I quote at least once every other blog post) goes, “if you are facing one opponent and you doubt yourself, you’re outnumbered.”

If today’s streets can be compared to a concrete jungle, criminals are the predatory animals that stalk it.  If you show hesitation or fear, they will pounce; If you attack halfheartedly, it will only serve to anger them and raise their aggression towards you while simultaneously demoralizing yourself.  Make up your mind that if you must ATTACK, Continue reading

HIT ‘EM WITH THE MONEY SHOT! “6 Principles of Combat” For Practical and Effective Wing Chun Training PART 5

I’ve noticed that fingers raked across one’s eyes or a slap to the balls has a way of shifting one’s viewpoint rather quickly.

 Growing up I was a shark fanatic.  I would read every book I could find on sharks, I watched “Shark Week” on the Discovery Channel religiously and I played my JAWS tape until it literally snapped snapped in the VCR .

As much as the scientific aspects of how sharks breathe or hunted by sensing the movement of distressed fish in the area was interesting, what balls-out fascinated me the most, to the point of being nearly obsessed, was anything dealing with stories of shark attacks and their survivors. Continue reading

MURPHY’S LAW IS A REAL BITCH: “6 Principles of Combat” For Practical and Effective Wing Chun Training PART 4

A good old-fashioned pot-shot to the balls…yep, it doesn’t get much more basic and simple than that.

Do you have a friend who always calls or drops by at the worst possible time, and cannot take the hint to hit the road even after you are blunt and quite frankly rude to them?

How about the “friend” who secretly is happy when you are miserable?

Know anyone like that?  Sure you do. We all do.

Think they’re bad? Meet Murphy’s Law. Simply put, Continue reading

STRIKE FIRST! STRIKE HARD! NO MERCY! “6 Principles of Combat” For Practical and Effective Wing Chun Training PART 3

Cobra Kai Sensei John Kreese: bully, bad guy, all around bastard and Wing Chun’s Patron Saint of TRUE Self-Defense!

My favorite movie of all time is the original Karate Kid.  I was 7 years old when it came out and although I have had a fascination with the martial arts (thanks to re-runs of David Carradine branding his forearms in the old Kung Fu series) since I was old enough to toddle around the room, I credit that movie with jump-starting my involvement and lifelong passion for martial arts and self-defense.

 A funny memory I have is remembering my Continue reading

ALWAYS GO WITH THE GUT – “6 Principles of Combat” for Practical and Effective Wing Chun Training PART 2

Demonstrating Chi Sau at the Chinatown Summer Fair with my good buddy, classmate and all around bad-ass Kingston Go. I hesitated- and I got whacked. Lesson learned-don’t think, act!!

In keeping in line with our never -ending quest to functionalize our Wing Chun; harnessing its’ power for the singular purpose of simple, effective and realistic self defense, let us continue with the second of the “6 Principles of Combat” from John Kary, USMC (Ret.) founder of the American Combatives system of self-defense, a close-quarter, battle-tested system that is both structurally and conceptually congruent with proper use of Wing Chun for self-defense and personal protection.

Principle #2 is as follows: 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!