Wing Chun Training for Simple, Effective and Practical Self Defense: The EMOTIONAL Aspect

 

Listen to your intuition about certain places, people or things: it’s there to serve you, not get in your way or f*** you over!

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

ENTER The PREDATOR: The Only Piece of Equipment You Will EVER Need for Real, No-Bullsh*t Wing Chun Training


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

Wing Chun Training for Simple, Effective and Practical Self Defense: The PSYCHOLOGICAL Aspect

 

wing chun sparring full contact
Confronting the demons of fear and inadequacy head-on. Nothing is better for eliminating hesitation in taking action than gearing up and GETTING HIT!  More people should get smacked around in training a bit more-it would do them a world of good.

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.

How does this work? Continue reading

The ONLY Way to Approach Your Wing Chun Training For Any Self Defense Situation

Who says a knee to the face isn’t ever a “Wing Chun” move? Idjits, that’s who. If the opportunity presents & it’s simple, direct and efficient then help yourself.  Closest weapon to closest target, right?  Any “critics” can choke on it.

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.

Let’s break this one down bit by  bit. Continue reading

In The Footsteps of the Founder: Wing Chun Training For Women

Training a first-time participant inWing Chun-based close quarter self-defense. Seeing just how tailor made for Wing Chun in all areas-concept, technique, application and even build-women are never ceases to amaze me.

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

THE SECRET TO WING CHUN’S ROOTING POWER: Best Wing Chun Training Wall Bags 2019

In order to fight, you need to train and train correctly. Wing Chun’s effectiveness boils down to structure and power. Wall bag training gives you both; to neglect this mode of training is to invite defeat.

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.

Continue reading

Wing Chun, Self Defense and Fighting Lessons from the “Deadliest Man Alive”

Dante Ad 1
Count Dante: visionary, pioneer, bullshit artist and all around badass.

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, undefeated tournament 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

STING LIKE A BUTTERFLY: Best Wing Chun Swords / Knives 2019

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

SIX (AND A HALF) POINTS OF POWER: Best Wing Chun Long Poles 2019

My instructor Keith (front) and me (back) demonstrating Wing Chun’s luk dim boon gwun, or six-and-one-half-point-pole set during one of Chinatown’s annual summer fair celebrations.

The Wing Chun itself system is very small in its’ core teachings and curriculum, and is designed that way for a very specific purpose. There are only three empty hand sets,  the muk yan jong or wooden dummy set, and two weapon sets: one for longer range and one for shorter.  Together they comprise a complete progression taking one through all facets of self-defense and close-range combat skill.  Each one is vital to the mix and contains lessons which will enhance your ability to protect and defend yourself and your loved ones. 

Once the foundation and basic principles, techniques and concepts have been ingrained in your muscle memory by way of the forms, dummy and chi sau drills, weapons are introduced in order to reinforce those ideas and key principles by applying them to something outside and independent of your physical body.  Continue reading

MOVING TEXTBOOKS: Best Wing Chun Instructional DVDs 2019

When seeking out qualified instruction via DVD, make sure the instructor’s lineage is beyond reproach and his or her mechanics and grasps of basic principles are sound and presented in a way that is easy for you to understand. One such example is this DVD by Gary Lam’s top student, Sifu Greg LaBlanc.

Learning any martial art from a DVD is a daunting task.  Nothing will replace finding a qualified instructor to guide you through the nuances and subtle points of the Wing Chun system, since Wing Chun is an art and system of self defense predicated on feeling and close-in contact.  Given today’s high-tech world we live in, however,  the landscape of learning has changed. Finding the best DVDs on the market to guide you through the Wing Chun system and serve as “go-to” references for clarification is not only doable but necessary to gain a firmer understanding of what makes Wing Chun such an efficient and effective fighting art. 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!