FORM & FUNCTION: 2019 Best MMA Gloves for Wing Chun, Sparring and Self-Defense Training

MMA gloves are a Wing Chun guy or gal’s best friend and most valuable training aid. It is imperative to know what to look for to best suit your needs.

To make your Wing Chun skills truly functional, practical and effective – for self-defense or full-contact combat sports such as MMA, muay thai and sanshou kickboxing – depends on several factors, not the least of which is the gear you train with.  Shin pads, mouthpiece, chest protector, groin cup and headgear are all necessities to have in your gear bag, but the single most important item of your gear will always be the gloves you have to punch with.

MMA gloves offer a very specific benefit to us as practitioners of Wing Chun as their open-palm design, loose fingers and minimal weight allow us to train, for all intents and purposes, as if we had no gloves on at all.  Choosing the best MMA glove to suit your needs is of the highest importance when training to make your Wing Chun skills work for you in an efficient, effective and ,above all, realistic way. Continue reading

GUARD YOUR LOW-LINE, ATTACK THEIRS! 2019 Best Shin Guards for Wing Chun, Sparring and Self-Defense Training

Wing Chun is a close-quarters system, and it doesn’t get more close-in than a boot to the shin or a stomp to the instep. Think you can realistically train without using the right gear  (such as the Fairtex SP5 Competition Shin Guard shown above)? Think again, Grasshopper.

One aspect of Wing Chun that does not get enough attention is its’ use of the kick. The Wing Chun kick is a low-line technique most often delivered to the shin, the kneecap or the hip in order to displace the opponent’s energy by immobilizing or causing pain. Training this very valuable but often underutilized aspect of the art requires the right gear and shin guards are the only way to realistically train the kick. The question then becomes: what kinds of shin guards are best suited for Wing Chun training, not only for self-defense but for applying the art to full contact combat sports such as MMA, muay thai or kickboxing? 

Choosing the best shin guard for your Wing Chun training, both for self-defense practice (first and foremost) and for full-contact combat sports participation such as kickboxing, MMA or sanshou fighting is of the highest importance as your training progresses. Continue reading

BUILDING YOUR “SELF DEFENSE SUCCESS LIBRARY”: The Top 5 Self Defense Books You NEED On Your Bookshelf 2019

What “secret weapon” do all successful people in any skill have in their homes? I’ll give you a hint: it rhymes with LIBRARY.

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

GUARDING THE BREADBASKET: 2019 Best Chest Protectors for Wing Chun, Sparring and Self-Defense Training

The benefits of striking to the chest in our Wing Chun training as opposed to the face are numerous.  Some are more obvious than others, however, the one thing they all have in common is that they need a form of chest protection (such as the Hayabusa Pro-Training Body Protector, seen here) in order to be effectively applied.

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

“BRAIN BUCKET” 101: Best Headgear for Wing Chun, Sparring and Self-Defense Training 2019

wing chun sparring full contact
Boxing competition headgear is the perfect choice for, well, boxing (and kickboxing) but is very one-dimensional for the many aspects of practical and functional Wing Chun training. No worries, I’ll give you the goods below as to what you need & why you need it.

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

THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE: My Top Pick for Best Functional Wing Chun and Self Defense Training Headgear 2019

 

There can be no room for “what-ifs” or error when deciding on the right headgear for dedicated Wing Chun or close-quarter self training. Fortunately , the ProForce Thunder Combat Padded Head Guard, shown above, wraps them all up and ties them with a pretty bow.

Wing Chun system of close quarter combat and self-defense is unique amongst martial arts as it is predicated on close-in fighting in the very lethal range of trapping.  The right headgear, therefore, is essential for our training Wing Chun in an open, honest and no-bullshit way not only for self-defense and close-quarter combat but for the functionalization of Wing Chun’s basic techniques and principles (which can be translated into productive combat sports training as well). 

It behooves you, therefore, to select the best headgear for the very specific needs of functional Wing Chun training as well as being able to apply your Wing Chun skillset for both self-defense training and combat sports such as MMA, kickboxing or tournament competition.   Continue reading

BUILDING YOUR TRAINING BASE: 2019 Best Martial Arts Shoes For Wing Chun, Sparring and Self-Defense Training

Choosing the right footwear is an essential yet often overlooked aspect of proper training. Martial arts shoes such as the famous Feiyue line from China as well as leather dress loafers (both seen here) each have their place in training, ’cause you just never know…

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

THROWING BOMBS: 2019 Best Boxing Gloves for Wing Chun, Sparring and Self-Defense Training

A solid pair of high-quality boxing gloves, such as the classic Fairtex BGV1 Boxing /Muay Thai Glove shown here, can raise your Wing Chun skill set to the next level by preparing you for the realities of hard contact during training.

When seeking out the best training equipment for Wing Chun, self defense or full-contact training, it’s hard to beat a solid pair of boxing gloves.  While everyone can see the place and role boxing gloves play in training for full-contact combat sports such as boxing, kickboxing or MMA, what many Wing Chun folks do not realize is that a good pair of boxing gloves can be just about the most useful training aid towards functional and practical use of Wing Chun. 

Choosing the best boxing glove for your training needs is one of the most essential yet overlooked aspects of Wing Chun training, as they can take both your self-defense training and sparring experiences (either for class training or for combat sports participation such as boxing, kickboxing and MMA) to the next level by allowing you to apply as well as defend against techniques thrown with speed and power. Continue reading

“FIGHTING CHANCE” FITNESS: 2019 Best Combat Fitness Equipment for Functional Strength, Power, Endurance & Flexibility

Martial arts and combat sports require a different level and type of fitness than can be developed in your local “big-box” treadmill factory gym.

Wing Chun is based on functionality, practicality and simplicity.  Wing Chun works in a real fight and is an excellent system of self-defense due to the above mentioned attributes-this we know, but what you may not be aware of is that the very same attributes that make Wing Chun so effective for both self-defense situations and combat sports participation, when applied to your own personal fitness and exercise program or routine for health & functional combat fitness, can greatly increase your strength, endurance and flexibility.  Not all equipment is created equal, however.  Choosing the best equipment for functional fitness, both in a self-defense and combat sports (boxing, kickboxing, MMA, etc.) sense requires the idea of fitness and exercise be approached differently.

As both a Wing Chun instructor and certified personal trainer, Continue reading

TAKING CARE OF THE “TWINS” 2019 Best Groin Guards/Protectors for Wing Chun, Sparring and Self-Defense Training

Training scenarios like these are why a solid groin cup or protector in your gear bag is a non-negotiable, since everyone knows that nothing gets the point across faster than a well-placed ball shot.

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

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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!