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.

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Siu Nim Tao: The KEY to Making Wing Chun Practical and Effective, Part 2

Performing the Siu Nim Tao set at one of many demonstrations/lion dances around the Chinese New Year. This form truly is the glue that binds Wing Chun together and a treasure chest of fighting skills.

Before I get chomping on the second installment of my Marxist manifesto on the importance of the Siu Nim Tao (SNT) or “small idea” form as a staple -no, the staple – of your Wing Chun training and making the skills of Wing Chun practical and its techniques effective ion real life usage, let me just address a comment made to me re: my blog in general, specifically, the tone of my posts.

Strong Feelings

I do use occasional profanity, and frequently draw analogies that sometimes poke fun at people I find rather irksome or annoying.  There is usually a heavy dose of sarcasm regarding ways of thinking or training I find ineffective, skewed or just plain stupid. Continue reading

Siu Nim Tao: The KEY to Making Wing Chun Practical and Effective, Part I

Drilling the “fook sau/tan sau” section of the Siu Nim Tau form. The secrets held in this form can only be unlocked by action; by regular and focused performing of the form.

Many of my posts thus far have dealt more with concepts and realities of self defense and personal protection; they have been quite broad and intentionally so.  It was necessary for me to approach things in this way to set the tone for my approach to and interpretation of training in Wing Chun.  That is all well and good, but now I want to shift gears a bit and begin to focus on the more specific technical aspects of the system as it relates to Continue reading

Applying the “Rambo Principle” for More Effective and Practical Wing Chun Training

 

Shame on us if we engage tool-bags like this on the internet!

As Wing Chun people we are, by nature, defenders of the art against those who question whether or not Wing Chun works in real life, whether or not Wing Chun is effective as self-defense and so on.  The problem is this: most of us go about it the wrong way.

How?

Easy.  We feel compelled to rebutt or refute all the shit-talkers on the internet (whose belts, if they even train at all, resemble bow-ties), pounding away at our keyboards with the enthusiasm of Ralphie writing his “What I Want for Christmas” Red Ryder BB Gun manifesto for his grade school class writing assignment.

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Continue reading

Why Do YOU Train Wing Chun? Tapping Into The Source of WHY Wing Chun Works

Discussing why I got into the martial arts and why I still continue my training in Wing Chun. Clarity is power, so you need to get really clear on why you train Wing Chun and what you train it for if you ever hope to make your skills serve you for self-defense, on the street or in the ring.

Why do YOU train?

That’s a damn good question.

There are literally as many reasons why someone begins their martial art journey as there are grains of sand on a beach.  All are valid, and all are equally important as they are what spurns someone into action; into taking that first step. However….the funny thing is, there is only ONE right answer to the question of why someone continues to train, and more specifically as it relates to you and I, why we train in Wing Chun.

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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

FIGHTING’S “FIRST COUSINS” Best Jeet Kune Do (JKD) Books for Wing Chun Training 2019

Attacking the eyes as soon as I see him cock back to hit. Simple, direct and efficient-but is it Wing Chun or JKD? The correct answer is IT DOESN’T MATTER. Use it! Who gives a shit where it comes from!

The relationship between Wing Chun and Jeet Kune Do (JKD), Bruce Lee’s personal expression of martial art, is one of the most misunderstood and polarizing yet potentially valuable ones between any arts on the combative spectrum.  So many folks have preconceived ideas to what each art means, what it doesn’t and how each should and should not be trained that a gap has grown between the two.

Bruce himself pinpointed the root of this gulf when he stated, “when you get down to it, real combat is not fixed and is very much ‘alive.’ The fancy mess (mainstream martial arts and how they are taught and practiced) solidifies and conditions what was once fluid, and when you look at it realistically, it is nothing but a blind devotion to the systematic uselessness of practicing routines or stunts that lead nowhere.

For those willing to put in the time, energy and work, each art contains Continue reading

“That’s the Chicago Way!” Are You Ready, Willing and PREPARED to Use Your Wing Chun on the Street?

 

I’ll keep this short, sweet and to the point today.  Here’s a little clip from one of my favorite films, The Untouchables.

I was thinking about this scene the other day.  Being from the Chicago area I’ve always liked this scene but what makes this stick out in my head is the mentality that the seasoned cop Malone imparts to the determined but hesitant and somewhat naive Eliot Ness as to the way things work and what must be done in order to achieve his goal.  Much the same way when discussing martial arts training for any semblance of self defense or personal protection, the reality of any encounter must be honestly addressed, and this must be reflected in the way techniques, concepts and principles are not modified per se, but rather adapted to fit any situation. Continue reading

Little Things = Big Things: The RIGHT Way To Train Your Chi Sau Skills For Self Defense and the Street

I always say that the best and quickest way to get better at Wing Chun in the only way that counts- personal protection and combat skill-is to keep the end goal (again, personal protection and combat skill) in the back of your brain while concentrating fully on whatever task you are working on.

I train Wing Chun for fighting skill and to be able to use it in a street situation should I ever need to.  However, that does not mean that my training deviates away from structure and technique work.  Not at all.

What it means to Wing Chun folks is simple: if you plan to ever use your Wing Chun in the street or in a combat sport, you need to familiarize yourself with functionalizing your skills, not abandoning them in favor of thai kicks and right hooks.

Functionalized Wing Chun training is more conceptual in nature and crosses any lineage lines, so it can be easily integrated with any other form of training or left alone can be developed in devastating fashion. Continue reading

Injecting PURPOSE Into Your Practice: The Secret Motivator to Wing Chun Training For Self-Defense

Acting as the dummy while teaching a throwing technique for my class. Teaching is not a privilege; it is a responsibility to transmit useful and real info, not bullshit theory or fluff.

Ever had some days where your training seemed “ON?”  You felt powerful, strong and productive?  They’re the best aren’t they?  Yep, sure are.

By that same token, we have all had those days where training seems about as productive and enjoyable as wading through mud when your shoes take turns getting stuck and coming off.  God knows I’ve muddled through enough of those.  It’s like I would have a voice on repeat-loop in my head that would say to me, 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!