It is a fact that the human brain cannot distinguish between a real experience and a vividly imagined one. If you have ever awoken in the middle of the night from a horrible nightmare to find yourself soaked in sweat or clenching your fists or moving around at all, you have just experienced the mind’s (and therefore the body’s) reaction to just such an event.
Top level coaches and practitioners in all disciplines, athletic an non-athletic, all share one training method: Continue reading
One of my favorite acronyms when teaching Wing Chun and for my personal training regimen goes like this:
Adaptation is the Shortcut to Success (A.S.S.)
When discussing Wing Chun as an effective art for street self-defense or for combat sports, or when demonstrating how and why the Wing Chun system is ideally suited to all body types, from the combat athlete to the slenderly-built woman or the older individual who lacks the physical makeup to compete in pure strength with a young, muscly dude I always hammer home the Continue reading
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
The Emotional realm of any self defense encounter is where people are most often attacked first, many times without knowing it.
This manifests itself in the “gut feeling” one gets when in an uncomfortable or unfamiliar environment. Many times you’ll hear someone say, “I just have a bad feeling about this place” or words to that effect. This should be your first indicator to increase your awareness, for a bad situation will beget an emotion.
Often times you will feel a certain emotion before you formulate a clear thought about why a person, place or situation is cause for concern.
To experience the power of emotion, I invite you to try this simple exercise: ask a training partner, close friend, sibling, spouse, etc. to get right in your face, eye-to-eye, and hurl insults at you, screaming and staring intently into your eyes like a Drill Instructor. Even though you know in your mind this person is your friend and will never cause you harm, you will feel uncomfortable, your heart rate will increase, you will get fluttery. 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
How many times have you practiced a certain skill but were unable to grasp it? The harder you tried, the harder it was to perform this skill, until finally you just didn’t care anymore, and then – BAM! You performed the aforementioned skill flawlessly and with ease.
It seems that I had to re-learn this idea every time I learned a new skill in Wing Chun: poon sau rolling, stepping, pak sau entries, keeping the wu sau hand up while moving in. I could go on listing them but any more and I’d probably start weeping, but you get the point. Self defense has no room for ego or feelings of doubt or fear, yet self-defense training often involves extensive work in dealing with those topics.
The good news is that once I adopted the mentality of “I’m going to come in here, focus on each drill I’m doing at that moment, put the work in, and f**k it, I’ll get it when I get it,” things became easier for me and my skills started to improve.
Anyone who knows me knows I love a good quote, and whenever I happen upon one that really resonates with me and passes my stringent criteria for some really cool stuff Master Po would say to a young Grasshopper I copy it down in a little journal I have that I use for on-the-spot motivation and reinforcement in my noggin.
One such great quote I read re: all things self defense goes like this:
A tornado haze of windmill violence… brutal defeats refined; simple dominates complicated.
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
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.
No figure in the history of martial arts in America has been surrounded by as much controversy, myth, flamboyance and flat-out bullshit as the late John Keehan, also known as Count Dante. The self-proclaimed “Deadliest Man Alive,” Keehan was once a respected sensei, undefeatedtournament fighter and former Midwest Director of the United States Karate Association (USKA) and the one person responsible for entrenching the martial arts in Chicago and the Midwest during the early to mid-1960’s.
After parting ways with his instructor Robert Trias (the “Father of American Karate” who opened the first dojo in the USA in 1946) Keehan began promoting himself as the “Crown Prince of Death” and offered his booklet, World’s Deadliest Fighting Secrets, for sale in the back of comic books and bodybuilding magazines.
An absolute attention hound and fierce self-promoter, Keehan would walk his pet mountain lion down Continue reading
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Neither the creator/author or host of this website nor any of the authors/creators of any products listed on this website are not responsible in any manner whatsoever for any injury that may occur directly or indirectly from their use or implementation.
Since the physical activities described herein may be too strenuous in nature for some readers to engage in safely, always consult a physician prior to training.
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