Forms, Fighting and Self-Defense…What Is Wing Chun’s “Secret Ingredient” to Effectiveness?

Wing Chun is about self preservation. Anything else is gravy.

Every time you look up anything re: Wing Chun on the internet, you can find anything from what the forms are to what uniforms are used by each lineage to where the big toe from Person A’s lineage rests in the second pivot of the third form compared to  Person  B’s lineage, and so on…

By now I’m sure it comes as no secret or surprise that I think the overwhelming majority of stuff floating around out there online regarding Wing Chun as a system of self defense and personal combat is a pile of sh*t.

My answer to the question I see so much of, “is Wing Chun effective in a real fight?” is YES – with a caveat. Continue reading

Functional Fighting Fitness: How To Train Your Body To Be Wing Chun “Combat Ready”

Training for sport is not the same as training for self defense-not by a longshot-however, with all things being equal it is strength which prevails.

One of my favorite inspirational sayings is the old adage mens sana in corpore sano.  It is a Latin phrase which, when translated, means “a sound mind in a sound body.”  Specifically as it relates to Wing Chun training for self defense, fighting and combat effectiveness so many people out there miss the boat in the fact that we must have a level of functional physical fitness to apply any of the fighting arts in a realistic way.  As the saying goes, when all else is equal, it is strength which prevails.

Wing CHun’s effrctiveness in self-defense and combat lies in how it is designed.  Wing Chun works in a real fight because it is designed that way; not to mimic and insect in heat, a mythical unicorn gliding across the sky on a cloud or some other esoterically laughable scenario.  However, due to Wing Chun’s structural and conceptual perfection there are many out there who fall victim to the old thinking, “I don’t care how strong or fast or in shape someone is, I have Wing Chun on my side.”

Two words come to mind when I hear this: BULL and SHIT.

Yes, Wing Chun is, in theory, a perfect system.

Yes, Wing Chun’s greatest strength is its’ efficiency.

Yes, Wing Chun is designed for one thing: fighting.  It is not aesthetically pretty and won’t win any forms competition outside of a Wing Chun division in a tournament (but chances are since you’re reading this you already know that and, like myself, couldn’t care less).  But… Continue reading

NO Such Thing As “Wasted Time” Training: Wing Chun and Other Arts

ATA Black Belt Certificate

I just realized yesterday that in less than one month it will be 23 years since I received my first black belt.  It was July 6, 1996 to be exact.  I was 17 years old and I tested for my cho-dan, or 1st degree black belt, in Taekwondo through the ATA (American Taekwondo Association).

I remember training incessantly; running through all of my sequences, techniques, sparring and board breaking.  I was ready.  The test itself was fairly standard and uneventful as far as tests go: I went before the review board, tested and passed.  Afterwards, a group of us went out for an early dinner, as was our usual custom at least once a week after class and after a tournament or a testing; seeing as how it was a Continue reading

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

COVER YOUR BASES! The 3 Types of Gloves To Include In Any Practice Session

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

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

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.


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.

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!