Structure and Pressure: What Chi Sau Is All About!

Quick one today –

Check out the above clip of myself and one of my instructors rolling in the gravel back lot behind the school I used to teach at on the far south side of Chicago.

Keith, a former national champion in Ving Tsun and sanshou (Chinese full-contact kickboxing) at the time worked not too far from the school I taught at.  He would occasionally drop by after work on his way back to the city and observe my class, jump in and Continue reading

SHIP-BURNING AND DRINK-STIRRING: “6 Principles of Combat” For Practical & Effective Wing Chun Training PART 6

Attacking my attacker with confidence and determination.  There’s just no other way to approach this stuff.

Now we come to the last of John Kary’s “6 Principles of Combat” and, like the 5 preceding this one, it is essential.  Actually, if any one of these 6 principles are absent, your self-defense plan is likely to crumble but what makes this one so important is that it has nothing to do with anything but what is between your two ears.  What is also so important is that this one is the FUNDAMENTAL difference between effective and ineffective Wing Chun training.

Ready for it?  Here it is:

Principle #6 : Be CONFIDENT and DETERMINED.

As the saying by Tony Blauer (that I quote at least once every other blog post) goes, “if you are facing one opponent and you doubt yourself, you’re outnumbered.”

If today’s streets can be compared to a concrete jungle, criminals are the predatory animals that stalk it.  If you show hesitation or fear, they will pounce; If you attack halfheartedly, it will only serve to anger them and raise their aggression towards you while simultaneously demoralizing yourself.  Make up your mind that if you must ATTACK, Continue reading

HIT ‘EM WITH THE MONEY SHOT! “6 Principles of Combat” For Practical and Effective Wing Chun Training PART 5

I’ve noticed that fingers raked across one’s eyes or a slap to the balls has a way of shifting one’s viewpoint rather quickly.

 Growing up I was a shark fanatic.  I would read every book I could find on sharks, I watched “Shark Week” on the Discovery Channel religiously and I played my JAWS tape until it literally snapped snapped in the VCR .

As much as the scientific aspects of how sharks breathe or hunted by sensing the movement of distressed fish in the area was interesting, what balls-out fascinated me the most, to the point of being nearly obsessed, was anything dealing with stories of shark attacks and their survivors. Continue reading

MURPHY’S LAW IS A REAL BITCH: “6 Principles of Combat” For Practical and Effective Wing Chun Training PART 4

A good old-fashioned pot-shot to the balls…yep, it doesn’t get much more basic and simple than that.

Do you have a friend who always calls or drops by at the worst possible time, and cannot take the hint to hit the road even after you are blunt and quite frankly rude to them?

How about the “friend” who secretly is happy when you are miserable?

Know anyone like that?  Sure you do. We all do.

Think they’re bad? Meet Murphy’s Law. Simply put, Continue reading

STRIKE FIRST! STRIKE HARD! NO MERCY! “6 Principles of Combat” For Practical and Effective Wing Chun Training PART 3

Cobra Kai Sensei John Kreese: bully, bad guy, all around bastard and Wing Chun’s Patron Saint of TRUE Self-Defense!

My favorite movie of all time is the original Karate Kid.  I was 7 years old when it came out and although I have had a fascination with the martial arts (thanks to re-runs of David Carradine branding his forearms in the old Kung Fu series) since I was old enough to toddle around the room, I credit that movie with jump-starting my involvement and lifelong passion for martial arts and self-defense.

 A funny memory I have is remembering my Continue reading

ALWAYS GO WITH THE GUT – “6 Principles of Combat” for Practical and Effective Wing Chun Training PART 2

Demonstrating Chi Sau at the Chinatown Summer Fair with my good buddy, classmate and all around bad-ass Kingston Go. I hesitated- and I got whacked. Lesson learned-don’t think, act!!

In keeping in line with our never -ending quest to functionalize our Wing Chun; harnessing its’ power for the singular purpose of simple, effective and realistic self defense, let us continue with the second of the “6 Principles of Combat” from John Kary, USMC (Ret.) founder of the American Combatives system of self-defense, a close-quarter, battle-tested system that is both structurally and conceptually congruent with proper use of Wing Chun for self-defense and personal protection.

Principle #2 is as follows: Continue reading

AWAKEN THE SLEEPING GIANT: “6 Principles of Combat” for Practical & Effective Wing Chun Training PART 1

 

An OFFENSIVE mindset is absolutely essential and is key to escaping a real-world situation in one piece. Get aggressive, get vicious and get primal!!

Out of my many resources I have amassed over the last 20+ years which I refer back to often to feed my brain and my subconscious as I constantly seek to refine my training in Wing Chun to be as combat effective, practical and efficient as possible is a nondescript little book I purchased online as an e-book a few years ago, the author of which has forgotten more about real life-or-death fighting than 99% of the population will ever know.

It’s no secret that I am a fan and student of various methods of close-quarter combat training as they make the perfect complement both in theory and application to my lineage (WSL) of Wing Chun/Ving Tsun as well as any other system of Wing Chun out there.   Out of the mountain of material out there, one book resonated with me-I appreciated its’ simple nature, its’ streamlined curriculum and the plain and nonchalant, matter-of-fact nature in which it was presented.  I for one believe that Continue reading

Wing Chun, Reality and Street Violence – Part 4

Full-contact training to absorb impact. Does it suck sometimes? Yep but do you know what sucks a lot more? The reality of being unprepared to deal with sudden and violent force.

The last of Sgt Rory Miller’s 4 Basic Truths of Violent Assault as laid out in his book Meditations on Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training and Real World Violence, which should be on the nightstand of any martial artist who actually wants to be able to use their art in real life, states that attacks happen with MORE POWER than most people realize. (Click HERE to read my review on this excellent book as well as others that address similar issues I feel most martial artists and those claiming to teach “self defense” are sorely lacking in).

This ties hand in hand with #3-the sudden nature of an attack.  If you are a predator, are you going to dilly-dally or are you going to hit them hard, fast and powerfully? If I were some shitbag mugger rapist I’m going with Option B. Continue reading

Wing Chun, Reality and Street Violence – Part 3

Note the triangular structure and forward pressure.  Shitbag attackers and lurking thugs aren’t going to leisurely stroll up to you; they will strike HARD & FAST.  You must be prepared for a sudden attack, bum-rush or encroachment on your personal space and be ready to use your Wing Chun at the drop of a hat if you want to win.  Period.

The third “truth” of violent assault, as per Sgt. Rory Miller’s 4 Basic Truths of Violent Assault found in his book, Meditations on Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training and Real World Violence, states that attacks happen MORE SUDDENLY than most people believe.

He goes on to state,  “an assault is based on the threat’s assessment of his chances.  If he can’t surprise, he often won’t attack…when the attack happens, it’s almost always a surprise.”

That’s not to say if someone is giving you a glare at the bar or if a few gangbanger thugs approach you in a parking lot or walking down the street that you aren’t in danger of attack because you are able to pick up on vibes or other cues that something not so good is fixing to go down.  That is a different scenario entirely, one he also addresses at length in his book (check out my review of this and other books of his HERE) and one we will cover in the near future. Continue reading

Wing Chun, Reality and Street Violence – Part 2

As soon as I see the attack coming, I don’t “block.” I STRIKE! “Blocking” is just an afterthought; an insurance policy if you f**k up, that’s all.

Basic Truth #2 of Sgt. Rory Miller’s 4 Basic Truths of Violent Assault as stated in his book Meditations on Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training and Real World Violence states that attacks happen FASTER than more people realize.

Fights start quickly and most often, the one who gets the first shot in wins.  It’s the old “firstest with the mostest” theory, and it is true.  Real violent assaults are quick, ugly and overpowering. Wing Chun is designed for self-defense and as such its drills need to reflect the quick and violent nature of the street’s attacks. (For a list of resources that address the nature of combat and fighting from a realistic and balanced perspective, click HERE).

Think back if you have ever taken a “self defense” class.  After a brief overview of the “technique,” you paired off, and practiced the “technique” on a classmate or friend, and most likely with little or no speed. 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!