Proper Wing Chun training for self-defense involves contact (and lots of it) aimed at the most sensitive and pain-inducing areas on an opponent’s body: their eyes, throat and groin. Every male on Earth knows which one is the worst to get hit, which is exactly why the first piece of equipment you put on before each and every training session should be a groin cup. Choosing the best groin protector/guard, also known as a groin cup, is vital for proper and productive Wing Chun training in any capacity (be it for self-defense or for full-contact training for combat sports such as boxing, kickboxing, muay thai or MMA) for 2 main reasons: Continue reading
I am a firm believer in having and building a “success library.” Anyone who is successful at a certain skill – be it cooking authentic Italian food, playing the saxophone or repairing lawnmower engines- more than likely has quite a few books on the subject. Training Wing Chun for the purpose of developing and applying simple, effective and practical self-defense skills is no different.
After sifting through my extensive collection of books I have compiled a list of the top 5 best books on no-frills self defense out there. The books listed on this review are those I feel have the proven to be the most useful and valuable to myself as a Wing Chun guy, specifically as it relates to integrating my Wing Chun training into the matrix of simple, effective and practical self defense, thereby making Wing Chun work for me as a system of pure combat and fighting skills. Continue reading
I have said this so many times thus far, and I will continue to do so until my tongue falls off and I puke up thumbtacks: Wing Chun as an art is based off of structure.
Everything you will do in Wing Chun has its root- literally-in the structure of your body. From solidifying the Wing Chun yee jee kim yeung ma stance to the body unity expressed through the forms, from the reinforcement of basic concepts through the weapons of the long pole and butterfly swords to the application of Wing Chun theory and technique in a combative sense by way of chi sau and sparring training, everything boils down to one thing: structure.
A key component in training your structure is the use of the wall bag. The wall bag is to Wing Chun what the heavy bag is to a boxer. Boxers use a heavy bag to develop power, structure and rooting which forms the bedrock foundation of their entire game plan in applying their skill set. Wing Chun is no different; we need a tool to reinforce our body’s structure, rooting and power generation which will then bleed over into all aspects of training, from our forms to applying the techniques of the Wing Chun system to chi sau, weapons training and sparring. That tool is the Wing Chun wall bag.
Much care should therefore be put into choosing wall bags that most accurately and completely reinforce your structure in Wing Chun training, since the rooting and structure you develop will bleed into every area of your Wing Chun fight game, without exception.
Picking the right training equipment begins literally from the ground up, with the right shoes. Once the heart of a Wing Chun fighter is born, it must be cultivated through a “trial by fire” training process which begins from the soles of the feet. Choosing the best martial arts training shoe is vital for your Wing Chun training, be it for forms practice, a reality-based self defense scenario or for sparring or other full-contact training for combat sports like MMA, kickboxing or boxing.
The reason shoes are so important in training is simple: once someone has made the decision to make their Wing Chun training useful and practical for the street and in real-life situations, a shift in training must occur. Mentality in training changes, techniques are approached differently and so on.
All of those are essential and immensely valuable for whoever seeks the “truth of combat” in their Wing Chun training; however, the the main ingredient in Continue reading
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
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
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
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
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
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