YOUR #1 “Must-Have” Wing Chun Training Item for 2020


The PREDATOR ARMOUR MKII Self-Defense Suit: if I had to choose only one piece of equipment I could use for the rest of my life for Wing Chun training, I wouldn’t hesitate for one second.

My personal approach to Wing Chun training is simple: closing the gap between the theoretical and the practical.

There are several hoops to jump through in order to close this gap, however, one thing is for sure: in order for true Wing Chun training to occur-and by true I mean effective and practical-the fundamental disconnect between theory and practice needs to be addressed: scenario-based training against an armored assailant

Being able to train with literally all of your tools at your disposal is a gift, one that the vast majority of Wing Chun folks out there never get to experience.  Choosing the best self-defense suit to fulfill your training needs is one decision that, perhaps above all other equipment or training gear, should be approached in the most discerning and thorough manner possible – but first, for those of you who have never done this type of training or who think that merely making heavier and heavier contact is the end-all, be-all of training “reality,” let me explain:

We all know that contact needs to be made in order for us to get a realistic feel for how to apply our Wing Chun in a no-bullshit, “get in-get out” way for self-defense, but there’s much more to it than that.

Contact does need to be made but increasing contact alone, while so valuable for understanding proper application of technique as well as the feel for hitting another person, is not enough.   By focusing purely on increasing contact as the sole aim of “realistic training” you are missing the most important attributes of realistic scenario and stress condition training.  The value of reality-based training must be viewed as the sum total of its’ parts to make it valuable for us.  Continue reading

BRAIN BUCKET 101: Best Headgear for Wing Chun Training 2020

wing chun sparring full contact
Boxing competition headgear is the perfect choice for, well, boxing (and kickboxing) but is very one-dimensional for the many aspects of practical and functional Wing Chun training. No worries, I’ll give you the goods below as to what you need & why you need it.

In line with my honest, no-bullshit review of training equipment for use in making your Wing Chun skills functional, practical and thereby effective for use in the ring or on the street, employing the best headgear for self-defense and full-contact training forms the one of three legs of your “training gear tripod”allowing you to fully do battle, as it were, by allowing you to actually use and apply your Wing Chun in a class setting or training session.

Choosing the best headgear for the different aspects of your Wing Chun practice is essential to effective, efficient and most of all SAFE training and is a decision you should put much thought into since using the wrong headgear during training can lead to concussions, stitches, broken noses or worse.  I’m not trying to spook or scare anyone, I’m just addressing the realities of practical and honest, no-bullshit Wing Chun training. Continue reading

STING LIKE A BUTTERFLY: Best Wing Chun Swords/Knives 2020

Demonstrating the baat jaam do form, the last formal set in the Wing Chun system. The butterfly swords tie in everything you have learned in Wing Chun; after that, it’s up to you.

The final piece of the Wing Chun system that the student learns are the baat jaam do or Wing Chun butterfly swords.  The name itself, baat jaam do, when translated means “eight directional cuts of the knife” or “8 slashing blades.” In the Wing Chun system, the learning of butterfly swords/knives rounds out and completes formal instruction in the Wing Chun curriculum. 

Given their status as the end of formal Wing Chun training, choosing the right pair of butterfly knives or swords is a decision that, in effect, reflects how far you have come since you began training. Much thought and consideration should be given into choosing which butterfly swords best suit your training needs as well as the direction you would like to take your future in Wing Chun. Continue reading

GUARD THE BREADBASKET: Best Chest Protectors for Wing Chun Training 2020

The benefits of striking to the chest in our Wing Chun training as opposed to the face are numerous.  Some are more obvious than others, however, the one thing they all have in common is that they need a form of chest protection (such as the Hayabusa Pro-Training Body Protector, seen here) in order to be effectively applied.

Proper Wing Chun training involves contact. While that statement may come as no surprise, what is surprising is how little contact most Wing Chun people actually make during their training.  Also, when it comes to contact everybody becomes a headhunter when in reality shots to the chest offer the quickest and most effective path to training your Wing Chun punch and therefore the shortest method to unlocking Wing Chun’s devastating structural simplicity, efficiency and directness.  Choosing the best chest protector to hone your Wing Chun skills for self-defense and sparring is a necessity and a process that you should not take lightly. Continue reading

FIGHTING’S “FIRST COUSINS” Best Jeet Kune Do (JKD) Books for Wing Chun Training 2020

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

COVER YOUR BASES! 3 “Must Have” Gloves for 2020 Wing Chun Practice

The right gloves are essential for purpose- driven training, not just for combat sports like kickboxing but for self defense and street application as well.

The road to functionality and functional Wing Chun training literally begins from the ground up, much like pouring the foundation of any building or house precedes going to Home Depot to pick out which blinds you will hang in your living room window or what crown moulding will go in your front room.

The gloves you use will make or break how realistic, practical, functional and effective your Wing Chun training is both for self-defense and the street, as well as for the application of Wing Chun for combat sports.  In order to fully experience and functionalize your Wing Chun skills, I have found that there are 3 best types of gloves you should be making use of regularly to truly gain all the benefits from training. Continue reading

“BRAIN TRAINING”- Best Wing Chun Mental Training/Mindset Books 2020

Ah, the dream of discovering the ancient scroll containing all of the secrets to mastery…sorry to burst your balloon but let me clue you in on a secret I found out a long time ago: shit don’t work that way, Grasshopper.  It’s all about the hard work, and mental training is no exception.

The real secret to training, skill and mastery is simply this: techniques provide the foundation but mindset and mentality make all the difference between using those techniques successfully or unsuccessfully.  Having been training since 1994 and exclusively in the Wong Shun Leung (WSL) system of Wing Chun (Ving Tsun) since 2002, I have compiled in my personal library a list of the best books on mindset and mentality relating to Wing Chun and self defense.  Each of these books satisfy all of the criteria I feel is essential in a valuable resource that you should make use of and have at your disposal.

When one begins training in any martial arts system or style, in our case Wing Chun, the first type of books he/she looks for are always “technique” or “how-to” books.  Makes sense; you want to know how to do things so it stands to reason that looking for books to teach you a skill set is a natural thing- and it is.

Continue reading

THE #1 TRAINING PARTNER: Best Wing Chun Wooden Dummies 2020

The perfect strong, silent-type of training partner: Wing Chun’s muk yan jong or wooden dummy. The right dummy will provide a lifetime of training, so choose your partner wisely!

One of the hardest challenges you will have to overcome in Wing Chun will be finding quality training partners. 

Wouldn’t it be great if you had a training partner that never got tired?

A training partner who was always up for training whenever you are?

A training partner who does not mind doing the same thing over and over and over again?

Most importantly, wouldn’t it be great to find a training partner who doesn’t mind getting beat up every single time they train? 

Enter Wing Chun’s muk yan jong, AKA the wooden dummy.

Continue reading

The Single Best Book on Wing Chun Theory & Combat Application 2020

 

Getting this new year started off right, I chose to revisit a resource I have come to rely on as my unofficial “bible” for all things related to my own personal Wing Chun practice in the hopes that you may glean some of the massive benefits I have received as well in your own training.

I have said in other posts that the majority of the books I read and recommend to others in order to improve one’s ability in Wing Chun especially as it relates to how and why Wing Chun works for self defense and the street have nothing to do with Wing Chun.

A large part of that reason has to do with the fact that I have been consistently reading and re-reading one book on Wing Chun which covers all aspects of the system from both a conceptual and technical view and does so with such depth and attention to detail that the only way to ensure that you’re soaking up all the juice is to keep reading and re-reading it. It is the single best book on Wing Chun out there.

The book is Look Beyond the Pointing Finger: The Combat Philosophy of Wong Shun Leung and the author is Sifu David Peterson.

Wanna know how and WHY Wing Chun works?  Read this book. Over and over. Continue reading

“FIGHTING CHANCE”: Best Fitness Equipment for Wing Chun Combat Readiness 2020

Martial arts and combat sports require a different level and type of fitness than can be developed in your local “big-box” treadmill factory gym.

OK

A New Year is upon us!  Most folks will wake up starry-eyed, full of ironclad resolutions to improve “this” or “that” in the next 365 days, and are fired up, pumped and ready to kick ass and make 2020 their bitch…

Sadly, most will crash and burn by Valentine’s Day.

Now that’s not an indictment on anyone-God knows I’ve failed at more things than I can count.  One thing I have had to work diligently at, and have encountered more than my share of setbacks towards-is my functional fitness level.

By “functional fitness” I mean carrying myself in a state of readiness to be able to apply my Wing Chun should I ever need it.  I do not train for the beach; I train for the street.  The worst – and I do mean WORST – position to be in is to be a martial artist who knows techniques but cannot apply them.  That is worse than not knowing anything at all.

Wing Chun is based on functionality, practicality and simplicity.  Wing Chun works in a real fight and is an excellent system of self-defense due to the above mentioned attributes-this we know, but what you may not be aware of is that the very same attributes that make Wing Chun so effective for both self-defense situations and combat sports participation, when applied to your own personal fitness and exercise program or routine for health & functional combat fitness, can greatly increase your strength, endurance and flexibility.  Not all equipment is created equal, however.  Choosing the best equipment for functional fitness, both in a self-defense and combat sports (boxing, kickboxing, MMA, etc.) sense requires the idea of fitness and exercise be approached differently.

As both a Wing Chun instructor and certified personal trainer, 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!