Wing Chun, Reality and Street Violence – Part 1

I always get a kick out of folks who say that Wing Chun doesn’t work because I can see where they are coming from. Most of what is put out there is complete shit. Wing Chun needs to be put forth in an honest way as a FIGHTING system-’cause that’s what it is!

Why do people who don’t practice Wing Chun think that Wing Chun is not effective?   Because they don’t see (or at least they think they don’t see) Wing Chun on TV in a cage.

These are the same folks who always love to say things like,“Wing Chun sucks!”  or “Wing Chun isn’t realistic.”  I ask them to define realistic and it almost without fail leads to the next question asked to discredit Wing Chun which happens to be one of my favorites as far as ham-handed objections go: “if Wing Chun is so deadly, why don’t Wing Chun people compete in MMA?”

 The answer to that is easy.  Wing Chun folks DO compete in MMA!  They just don’t stick solely to Wing Chun proper.  The end goals of each discipline are different.  So listen up, ’cause I’m only going to say this once. Continue reading

Solo Training: 3 Steps To DOUBLING Your Wing Chun’s Effectiveness in HALF The Time

Scenarios like this can be experienced in the mind whenever we train-we just need to conjure up whatever makes us uncomfortable.

Wing Chun solo practice is to my hectic life what church is to the devout or what an open-air nature park is to a claustrophobic.

If my practice is in the evening it is my means to peace of mind and a mental “RESET” button after a long day.  If I choose to or my schedule forces me to instead train in the morning, my solo training sessions serve as a way to set my mind on the right track to approach the day ahead in the right way and in the proper mindset and mentality.

Either way, my training time is a sacred little chunk of each day that I am very protective of, chiefly because I know the value of solo training in terms of making my Wing Chun skills functional, practical and effective.

Continue reading

Motivation vs. Habit: Applying Wing Chun For Self-Defense and Fighting

Once motivation wanes-as it will-all you have left is the HABIT of deliberate practice to gain you the skills you seek. Here I am drilling the lop sau entry with training partners Kevin Casey and Brad Liberio as Tai Chi Master Young H. Lee look on. Habit is what gets shit done, period.

In my never ending quest for tools, tips and techniques that will refine and improve my Wing Chun training routine for self-defense, fighting ability & combat sports I am always on the lookout for good quotes.  Now I don’t collect them just as a novelty or as a way to blow up my Twitter of Pinterest feeds; I remember ones that resonate with why I train the fighting art of Wing Chun and help me ingrain in my subconscious helpful reminders regarding self-defense and personal protection.  One of my all-time favorite quotes goes something like this:

“Motivation is what gets you started; habit is what keeps you going.”

Too much emphasis today is placed on being “motivated.”  Rah-rah self-help coaches make obscene Continue reading

Want To Make Your Wing Chun Skills Practical and Usable? It’s As Easy As 1-2-3

A gift from my student and good friend whom I will call “Jim,” since he has requested to be kept off social media. This was taken at a tournament back in the 1970’s or early 80’s and is of him and his partner performing a two-man kata (sequence). The inscription rings most true for anyone who engages in a lifelong study of the arts. Thank you, sir!

One of the biggest diseases in martial arts today which undermines the ability to make one’s skills functional, practical and usable for purposes of self-defense and protection on the street is the issue of rank, belts, titles or whatever else you want to call it.  I have lost count of the times I have seen a soccer mom tote young A.D.D / A.D.H.D / whatever other bullshit acronym-of-the-month-afflicted Timmy into the school I was training in to inquire about lessons and within 5 minutes ask the question, “How long will it take him to get his black belt?”

The problem I have with that is the word “get.”

“Get” a black belt?   If you want one just go buy a friggin’ belt to put on the shelf next to his lacrosse, soccer and baseball trophies.  Shit, I’ll just give you one if that makes you happy.  Sorry honey, if Timmy really wants to “get” one, Timmy is gonna have to work his ass off to EARN one.

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Forms, Fighting and Self-Defense…What Is Wing Chun’s “Secret Ingredient” to Effectiveness?

Wing Chun is about self preservation. Anything else is gravy.

Every time you look up anything re: Wing Chun on the internet, you can find anything from what the forms are to what uniforms are used by each lineage to where the big toe from Person A’s lineage rests in the second pivot of the third form compared to  Person  B’s lineage, and so on…

By now I’m sure it comes as no secret or surprise that I think the overwhelming majority of stuff floating around out there online regarding Wing Chun as a system of self defense and personal combat is a pile of sh*t.

My answer to the question I see so much of, “is Wing Chun effective in a real fight?” is YES – with a caveat. Continue reading

Functional Fighting Fitness: How To Train Your Body To Be Wing Chun “Combat Ready”

Training for sport is not the same as training for self defense-not by a longshot-however, with all things being equal it is strength which prevails.

One of my favorite inspirational sayings is the old adage mens sana in corpore sano.  It is a Latin phrase which, when translated, means “a sound mind in a sound body.”  Specifically as it relates to Wing Chun training for self defense, fighting and combat effectiveness so many people out there miss the boat in the fact that we must have a level of functional physical fitness to apply any of the fighting arts in a realistic way.  As the saying goes, when all else is equal, it is strength which prevails.

Wing CHun’s effrctiveness in self-defense and combat lies in how it is designed.  Wing Chun works in a real fight because it is designed that way; not to mimic and insect in heat, a mythical unicorn gliding across the sky on a cloud or some other esoterically laughable scenario.  However, due to Wing Chun’s structural and conceptual perfection there are many out there who fall victim to the old thinking, “I don’t care how strong or fast or in shape someone is, I have Wing Chun on my side.”

Two words come to mind when I hear this: BULL and SHIT.

Yes, Wing Chun is, in theory, a perfect system.

Yes, Wing Chun’s greatest strength is its’ efficiency.

Yes, Wing Chun is designed for one thing: fighting.  It is not aesthetically pretty and won’t win any forms competition outside of a Wing Chun division in a tournament (but chances are since you’re reading this you already know that and, like myself, couldn’t care less).  But… Continue reading

NO Such Thing As “Wasted Time” Training: Wing Chun and Other Arts

ATA Black Belt Certificate

I just realized yesterday that in less than one month it will be 23 years since I received my first black belt.  It was July 6, 1996 to be exact.  I was 17 years old and I tested for my cho-dan, or 1st degree black belt, in Taekwondo through the ATA (American Taekwondo Association).

I remember training incessantly; running through all of my sequences, techniques, sparring and board breaking.  I was ready.  The test itself was fairly standard and uneventful as far as tests go: I went before the review board, tested and passed.  Afterwards, a group of us went out for an early dinner, as was our usual custom at least once a week after class and after a tournament or a testing; seeing as how it was a Continue reading

The Self Defense Sweet Spot: Why We Attack the Centerline In Wing Chun!

There isn’t a whole lot I can say about this clip other than it sucked.

Actually, there’s always more to say about anything so here goes:

Wing Chun teaches us that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.  The flip side of that saying is that any attack that follows this “straight line” principle also carries with it a lot of stopping power.

In this clip I happened to be on the receiving end of a quick and efficient kick to the jewels which put me down when I was pumped up and ready to go not 2 seconds before.  That’s how potent centerline shots are- all the important stuff (eyes, throat and balls) are located there! Continue reading

Siu Nim Tao: The KEY to Making Wing Chun Practical and Effective, Part 2

Performing the Siu Nim Tao set at one of many demonstrations/lion dances around the Chinese New Year. This form truly is the glue that binds Wing Chun together and a treasure chest of fighting skills.

Before I get chomping on the second installment of my Marxist manifesto on the importance of the Siu Nim Tao (SNT) or “small idea” form as a staple -no, the staple – of your Wing Chun training and making the skills of Wing Chun practical and its techniques effective ion real life usage, let me just address a comment made to me re: my blog in general, specifically, the tone of my posts.

Strong Feelings

I do use occasional profanity, and frequently draw analogies that sometimes poke fun at people I find rather irksome or annoying.  There is usually a heavy dose of sarcasm regarding ways of thinking or training I find ineffective, skewed or just plain stupid. Continue reading

Siu Nim Tao: The KEY to Making Wing Chun Practical and Effective, Part I

Drilling the “fook sau/tan sau” section of the Siu Nim Tau form. The secrets held in this form can only be unlocked by action; by regular and focused performing of the form.

Many of my posts thus far have dealt more with concepts and realities of self defense and personal protection; they have been quite broad and intentionally so.  It was necessary for me to approach things in this way to set the tone for my approach to and interpretation of training in Wing Chun.  That is all well and good, but now I want to shift gears a bit and begin to focus on the more specific technical aspects of the system as it relates to 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!