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.
As reality-based self-defense pioneer Tony Blauer once said, all forms of martial art training are, and I quote, “the search for the best fake stuff out there.” That quote perfectly encapsulates what I feel is the biggest missing ingredient in honest Wing Chun training out there today. Yes, contact needs to be made however what most people-even those who practice full-contact scenarios and things like that-tend to miss is the totality of a self-defense encounter. This is something that cannot be fragmented.
You need to have all pieces of the puzzle in place at the same time to effect the proper scenario. Real training isn’t about compartmentalization of techniques but immersion in the experience.
To do so requires the right kind of training gear, a special type designed for just this purpose. After 24 years of continuous training, experimenting and using damn near every piece of equipment on the market today, I have finally come across one item that I can say fills in all of the gaps in training realism, confidence building, stress conditioning and every other aspect that stands in between making Wing Chun truly functional and effective: the PREDATOR ARMOUR MKII Self-Defense Suit.
What Makes the PREDATOR MKII Armour Perfect For TRUE Wing Chun Training ?
Check out the following clip of fellow Wong Shun Leung (WSL) lineage instructor Sifu Greg LeBlanc training with the PREDATOR MKII suit. Note the attacks to the centerline, the use of elbows as you will find in both the Cham Kiu and Biu Jee forms, and full-power shots to the opponent’s power base designed to take him out of commission.
When it comes to training to be able to apply Wing Chun in an actual fight, here’s the truth of the matter: you can churn out round after round of chi sau from dawn to dusk, work the dummy like a wizard and bang the heavy bag like a bonafide badass but until you begin training this way, your training is only a few steps up from an aerobics class.
That may ruffle a few feathers but that’s just too bad. To those folks I offer the following suggestion: go back to your sashes, certificates and online debates about whose lineage is “real,” and I’ll stick to training and getting shit done.
The Limits of Conventional Training Gear
Now the majority of equipment that we seek out in order to make heavier contact is that of the “sparring” or “combat sports” variety. Needless to say, this may be fine for kickboxing, lei tai fighting or MMA but it comes with definite limits as it pertains to honest, usable self-defense training.
- The majority of “full-contact” headgear available today are designed either for boxing and kickboxing or for the full contact variety such as those found in lei tai full contact matches fighting which covered in steel or plastic cages. This is fine for sport fighting since there will be gloves and pads, however, to use these in a self-defense scenario is a moot point because it either will force you to adjust a technique so as not to hurt your hand or elbow, or it will only be applicable with a pair of gloves on-thus negating the value of the entire scenario in the first place
- There are very few items out there that are designed to protect your throat, and none designed to take a full-power shot to it
- Even the best boxing groin & hip guard (sometimes called a “diaper”) is not designed to protect against intentional full-contact and repeated strikes to the groin. Rather, they aredesigned to protect the groin in case of the errant shot or injury that happens. Using equipment like this in a live-fire scenario drill or training session will result in the “attacker” modifying the way he will approach his victim as well as the “defender” holding back or hesitating when throwing a technique such as a knee or knifehand strike to the groin
- Fingers can and do get broken trying to defend against an attacker wearing a “face cage”-style headgear. I have broken a pinkie finger in a mesh cage piece of headgear, and I have personally worn plexiglass headgear that has cracked due to elbows, knees or even palm strikes, so I know what I’m talking about here
- Even full contact fighting headgear is not designed to take shots to the eyes
- Very few pieces of equipment are designed to protect the body’s centerline area where the vital targets lay (eyes, throat and groin) since most sparring gear is designed to protect appendages (gloves, shin pads, foot pads)
Get the point?
Any way you church it up, by trying to use various kinds of sparring gear for self-defense and scenario work there will always be a subconscious fear of injury the back of the heads of both the attacker and the defender which will lead to pulling techniques, adjusting your reactions accordingly and so on.
This does no one justice and can lead to a false sense of security which, in my mind, is ten times worse than knowing nothing at all.
The Self-Defense Suit: The Next (Limited) Step In Training
A (seemingly) perfect solution to all of these training issues and fundamental problems was found in the padded self-defense suit.
Anyone who has been around the martial arts for any length of time has seen them. There are several different models of self-defense padded assailant suit on the market today, the most famous being the iconic RedMan Self Defense Instructor Suit, (shown above) and the FIST #333 Police Training Suit, seen here:
The development of suits like these definitely helped advance the idea of reality-based self defense, scenario drills and the ability for martial artists of all disciplines, Wing Chun especially for our purposes, to test their abilities as well as learn to functionalize their art by applying it in a realistic scenario.
These suits can bring the participants that much closer to touching the reality of a self-defense encounter and for that their value is immense and should be applauded, however, there are several noticeable limitations that do no service to those engaging in open and honest, no-bullshit combat and self-defense training or to those seeking to apply their chosen art in a realistic manner, which we will discuss in detail a bit further down.
Enter The PREDATOR
The good news for you is that through all of my repeated ass-beatings and injuries I have finally found what I consider to be the one piece of equipment that anyone who is serious about training Wing Chun for simple effective and practical self-defense in an honest and no bullshit way cannot do without: the PREDATOR ARMOUR MKII self-defense suit.
Check out the following clip by PREDATOR ARMOUR founder Bill Kipp, former Force Recon Marine and creator of the FAST Defense Global, Inc., explaining just how this technology perfectly addresses the limitations of both conventional gear and all of the other padded “self-defense” suits available today.
Incidentally, Bill is a hell of a nice guy and very passionate about helping others gain the most from their training. He recognizes the value of this training modality to any and all forms of martial arts training and is committed to exposing this technology and training methodology to martial artists and schools of all disciplines. Now when the founder of a piece of equipment has that progressive and forward thinking a mindset, you know that product has real value to anyone serious about taking their training to the next level.
What makes the PREDATOR MKII Stand Above the Rest?
What makes the PREADTOR MKII so unique?
There are three key elements that set the PREDATOR ARMOUR apart from the rest of self-defense suits out of the market today. What makes the PREDATOR MKII so superior and, quite frankly, peerless in the field of adrenal stress conditioning and realistic self-defense training boils down to three factors: mobility, construction and energy transference.
- Mobility- When compared to the other self defense suits on the market today in terms of the mobility afforded to the attacker to engage in any manner of scenario the drill calls for the PREDATOR MKII is really without equal. Why? For starters, as stated above the other “self-defense” suits on the market are designed primarily for police training with batons and other weapons and for this application they work very well; empty hand self-defense is more of an afterthought. On these suits the appendages are heavily padded while areas like the groin and throat are given no more or less padding,it seems, then the rest of the body. All of the extra padding leads one to waddle around like the Michelin Tire Man, becoming (as Bill Kipp said in the video clip above) nothing more than a “padded dummy” than an armored assailant. When wearing the PREDATOR MKII the appendages are free to move unobstructed or unhindered- the only padding area is directly down the center line. At first glance this lack of full-body protection might seem like a bad thing insofar as not every area of the body being padded, but remember that when you are dealing with realistic, no-bullshit self-defense scenarios you are not going to attack the arms or be able to pull off Thai kick the legs; to do so will take attention and focus off of the centerline and if you do that your odds of surviving a self-defense encounter greatly decrease. The PREDATOR MKII’s design allows for unrestricted mobility in the attacker to attack you, at full speed and with full strength, which is not something that the other suits can adequately provide.
- Construction- The headgear of the PREDATOR MKII is designed both so that the “assailant” can see clearly and the “victim” can strike full-power to the head with his/her palm, elbow or knee. All too often I have had my vision obstructed while playing the role of attacker in a scenario as well as felt the pain of the wire bars of a face cage against my palm, elbow or knee which subconsciously affected how I react as the defender, which is the exact opposite of how any training should be. The groin guard provides enough resistance to really “feel” an attack landing and reaching its’ mark, something that can’t be really felt by hitting the dipped foam padding of, say, the RedMan gear. The torso protector both the front chest/solar plexus area as well as the upper/mid back area, both of which stand a much higher chance of catching an elbow or a knee in a close-quarters scenario than a rib or the lower back. Unlike the FIST and RedMan suits, the PREDATOR MKII doesn’t waste material covering every area; it doubles up on the ones that matter, leading to a ratio of protection to mobility and unhindered movement that is unmatched.
- Energy Transference/Disbursement– The main advantage and chief factor of why the PREDATOR MKII is unique in the fact that any shots taken are not absorbed locally but, due to the unique design and construction of the armor itself, the energy is transferred and disbursed throughout the body. I can’t stress enough what a benefit this is. I have both worn and trained with suits that merely have heavy padding and can tell you firsthand that more padding ain’t where it’s at. Take the padding on the head, for example: after repeated beatings or cyclings of participants the neck muscles will get fatigued and even if your head is extra-heavily padded, if you are absorbing full-force shots all that energy has to go someplace-your neck. Muscle strain and whiplash soon follow. The PREDATOR MKII is designed so that the head is attached to the body armor which allows for the energy absorbed by any shot taken by to the head, throat or groin (the vital areas everyone should be hard-wired to go for ASAP) be it an an elbow, palm heel, kick, knee, whatever- is not only absorbed by the whole body but disbursed evenly. The “victim” can now for the first time truly go “all-in” on an assailant with zero fear of injuring either themselves and the assailant can now confidently attack their partner.
Check out the following clip of Irmi Morgenstern, co-founder of the Combat Force Academy of Denver, Co and former Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Special Operations unit member, take a few hits wearing the PREDATOR MKII.
Notice how the energy just disburses with each strike as it is transferred throughout the body, causing no whiplash or direct head trauma. Having worn everything from motorcycle helmets to “self defense suit” headgear and getting both my neck cranked and my noodle scrambled each and every time, I can tell you that no amount of padding will protect your neck and brain like this one will.
The PREDATOR MKII allows for both full mobility and full intensity since its’ design and construction allows for energy transference and the combination of the two allow for a training environment which satisfies all criteria for true self defense training in the purest & most intense sense.
Why I Know What I’m Talking About On This (& Why You Should Listen To Me)
I have been training in martial arts since 1994. Over the last 25 plus years, I have used just about every type of training gear or equipment out there. I have personally used several other types of padded assailant self-defense suits as well as hobbling together “Frankenstein-style” different kinds of equipment in order to scratch that itch of reality-based personal protection. As a result of my decades of training with inadequate coverage, I have had several injuries:
- I have had my eyes poked, raked and gouged
- I’ve gotten facial cuts from training eye jabs and rakes wearing plastic goggles which dug into my cheeks and slid around
- I have been struck in the throat with chops, elbows and web-hand strikes
- I have gotten concussed from elbows and palm strikes to a face cage which offered little by way of padding and support
- I have suffered from whiplash after elbow strikes to a motorcycle helmet (I’m not bitching-it would have been a hell of a lot worse had that motorcycle helmet not been there)
- I have had my knee hyperextended from a self-defense oblique kick
- I have broken a pinkie toe with a foot stop
- I have been kicked, hammerfisted, slapped and kneed in the balls more times and I would ever want to remember
- I have been elbowed in the ribs
- I have been hit in the back of the head and elbowed in the spine
- As a defender, I’ve broken a pinkie finger and bruised my elbows, knees and hands on wire mesh face cages
Ironically, the injuries to my knee and pinkie toe were as a result of defaulting to one of what I term secondary targets, or targets available when one of the three primary targets (eyes, throat or groin) are not available. I say it is ironic because the only reason I took those hits to my knee and foot were due to inadequate protection to allow for full-power strikes to the primary target areas! Lesson learned.
As stated earlier all of these injuries, occuring under full-contact scenario conditions, unfortunately have affected the way I would play an attacker. Now subconsciously I never intended to do that, but your body knows what your body knows. Your mind may be focused on playing the role of an uninhibited attacker, bent on the destruction of your victim, ready to attack like a tiger…but once your body knows it’s going to get kicked in the balls and hit in the throat your body’s going to react a certain way.
The result? An unrealistic, non-ideal training experience for both the defender and the attacker.
I have found that “reality-based” training comes in stages, with the walls of hesitation broken down slowly. As an attacker, when you feel the energy dispersed throughout your body you become fearless in your attacks and this will allow the defender to become fearless in their retaliation leading to a truly valuable experience. No other padded self-defense suit or armored assailant gear addresses this as completely (if at all) as the PREDATOR MKII.
The Greatest Benefit to Your Wing Chun Training
The greatest benefit the PREDATOR MKII will bring to your Wing Chun training is the concept of asymmetric training. Once again, PREDATOR creator Bill Kipp explains this perfectly in his video above (I have included the link HERE since if you’re like me you don’t like going backwards when reading something this engaging=-) but in the meantime, let me paraphrase and explain this one a bit further:
There are two base forms of combative training, symmetric and asymmetric.
- Symmetric training is based on two people engaging in a mutual combative scenario, exchange or encounter with clear-cut and set parameters. Aggressive chi sau, technique drills and even full-contact fighting are examples of symmetric training, since we’ve both agreed to “glove up” and go at it.
- Asymmetric training is based on only one party having all of the advantages. Reality-based self defense scenario training and adrenal stress conditioning are perfect examples of scenario training. There is nothing “mutual” about asymmetric training.
How does this relate to Wing Chun? Easy.
Wing Chun folks often state like a badge of honor that you cannot train Wing Chun of the way you any other mainstream martial arts such as Taekwondo, for example. A Taekwondo test can be performed 90% solo, meaning forms breaking with maybe one or two rounds of sparring in a test. Several people can test at the same time. In Wing Chun, this is not so. Outside of forms, every aspect of Wing Chun is predicated on partner work-from the drills themselves to technique application, chi sau drills and sparring-everything is based on training with a partner.
Making contact and gaining the feel for another’s energy and pressure is why Wing Chun is so potent and effective in close range. Ironically, Wing Chun’s greatest asset in this regard is also the biggest potential hindrance to making your Wing Chun skills truly functional, practical and effective.
Why? Because there’s no element of asymmetric training to it.
Now that’s not just on Wing Chun; all martial arts are based on mutual training, however, no other art rerquires as much direct contact with a partner to learn and train even its’ most basic concepts and theories. By integrating this partner-focused training (which develops reflexes, sensitivity and timing like no other type of training can) with solid scenario training with the PREDATOR MKII, that final piece of the jigsaw puzzle fits into place and your training now becomes truly complete.
…But Can Your Training Pass the Wal-Mart Test??
Please indulge me for one minute: gather up in your mind all of your years of experience, class rank, tournament trophies, black belts or sashes, etc., mentally toss all that shit out the window and instead imagine the following situation:
You forgot toilet paper. It’s 11:15 at night. It’s dreary, blustery, windy and so cold you want to piss every 10 minutes. You get out of the car, bitching to yourself about having to leave home so late in the parking lot of your local Walmart, go inside, have to deal with loud, obnoxious teens running around in the store and folks with 72 items in your cart who won’t let you by with your one package.
You walk out only to find that in addition to being seven shades of shitty outside, it’s now starting to rain. Muttering something under your breath, you flip up your collar and hike your shoulders to your ears, hunching and half-running to your car. You waddle up to the passenger side with your bags in your hand.
Without warning someone appears, face obscured by a hoodie not two feet in front of you and half-speaks, half-growls this to you as he moves into your personal space…
“GIVE ME YOUR KEYS AND GET IN THE F**KING CAR NOW!”
Now that is an asymmetric situation.
There is nothing fair, equal or mutual about it.
This is precisely the scenario we need to train for…and this is precisely the one aspect that Wing Chun, being so heavily partner-based in training does not address. This is also why the PREDATOR MKII makes the perfect complement to Wing Chun.
Wing Chun people have almost become conditioned to rely on a partner for effective training. While another body is essential for learning and applying technique, such training doesn’t prepare the Wing Chun stylist for the realities of a truly non-cooperative environment.
Take chi sau, for example. Most Wing Chun people have been conditioned it to equate chi sau with fighting when in reality chi sau doesn’t have shit to do with REAL fighting. Chi sau is a mutually cooperative combative situation that, while chock full of benefits and lessons and essential to one’s progress in unlocking the secrets of Wing Chun usage for fighting, is still a drill no matter how aggressive it is, and it is a drill both people engage in willingly.
Now we need chi sau in Wing Chun; its’ role is irreplaceable. We also need a bridge between the drills and lessons of chi sau and the scrappy, sloppy, terrifying reality of predatory behavior that scum bags engage in every day.
The PREDATOR MKII perfectly fits this “gap” and this is why, as Wing Chun people, we cannot afford to not engage in this training while looking ourselves in the mirror when we say we train realistically. Instructors especially cannot claim to teach self-defense if they do not engage in asymmetric training.
Check out another clip of Sifu Greg LeBlanc, this time explaining ad demonstrating in great detail just how the PREDATOR MKII provides the perfect “missing link” to our Wing Chun training to transition from the theoretical and conceptual to the practical-hey, I can dig that.
Lessons From The “Deadliest Man Alive”
Anyone who knows me knows my borderline obsession with the late John Keehan, alias Count Dante (I discuss him in detail HERE, way too much to get into now but worth a look) and so, let us take a page out of the great Count Dante’s book- literally.
Page 12 of his 1968 book World’s Deadliest Fighting Secrets says this:
Special note: proper emphasis on courage, aggressiveness, and actual training hall and street application of effective fighting techniques, is the most serious lacking segment in modern day Karate and Gung Fu schools.
Many Chinese systems consider courage more important than technique, strength or speed as without it all else fails, and courage can sometimes succeed alone. Most karate schools place little emphasis on courage or “guts fighting” and aggressiveness and usually even frown on it. They also do not permit body contact in their self-defense and sparring practice. This makes for a safe training hall but does little to help develop the body to withstand strike punishment and actually hinders the student when they are forced to use it on the street…
Remember, the only true test of a fighting man is what he can do, and no more. Form practice, sparring, self defense practice and brick breaking are meaningless if the man cannot withstand the burden of the ‘real thing’…”
So very true-and this was written way back in 1968! Even back then, the gap between reality and theory existed and all but a few iconoclasts such as Keehan and Bruce Lee failed to recognize or accept it. Both were heavily criticized by their contemporaries at the time but as the saying goes, “progress depends on the unreasonable man.” Folks interested in real world self-defense owe a debt to both of them.
Why The Experts Use The PREDATOR MKII
As stated earlier, all training-no matter how intense- is just that, training. With that said, training with the PREDATOR MKII Armour or will get you as close to the real thing as humanly possible in a safe and progressive yet extremely intense immersion experience.
Insofar as training goes, the gold standard of reality-based adrenal stress conditioning training courses is the Rocky Mountain Combat Applications Training Course (RMCAT) Affectionately referred to as “RAM-CAT,” this innovative and groundbreaking immersion-experience course been setting the standard in self-defense training and although no prior experience is required, a good number of participants who come are martial arts instructors seeking to unlock or bridge the gap between the “theoretical” and the “practical” in their chosen art, system or style (sound familiar? wink, wink) and the PREDATOR MKII Armour is the exclusive self-defense assailant suit of choice for the RMCAT Course. I can’t think of a better endorsement or verification of the PREDATOR MKII as the best self-defense suit out there today.
You can check out a clip of their videos hear and understand exactly why this technology of personal protection is so prized among the world’s foremost experts in it reality-based personal protection.
WARNING: this video contains some very strong and explicit language as it deals with a variety of scenarios designed to mimic the realities of a very serious topic. If such language offends you, please log off your computer, put 9-1-1 on speed dial and then practice your “fall to the floor and huddle in the fetal position” technique until it becomes second nature, as that will be your only real option when confronting an attacker.
You Get What You Pay For
Ahhh, the dirty word – COST.
Let’s just get straight with the fact that any self-defense suit is not going to be cheap. This is a fact. However, let’s also get straight with another, more important fact: when it comes to training gear and equipment, quality is king and you will get what you pay for.
Let’s breakdown what we have talked about thus far:
- RedMan Self Defense Instructor Suit ($1950.00) – A valuable piece of equipment for police and security personnel engaging in baton & weapons training, it offers a degree of protection for heavy contact but its’ wire mesh face cage (that will cause injury to a victim’s fist, hand, elbow or knee), excess of padding on the appendages due to its’ being originally created for police baton and weapons training which hinders the attacker’s mobility in role-playing scenarios and inadequate padding around the groin and throat and lack of neck / head stability to prevent whiplash makes it a less than ideal choice for reality-based scenario training.
- FIST #333 Police Training Suit ($1799.00) The FIST #333 suit provides a much higher degree of padding in both the body and the head, however, the same general limitations apply. The FIST suit, in my opinion, has a much better padding system however is predicated on full body padding as well, leading to decreased mobility for the attacker. I personally have seen the FIST suit’s plexi-glass mask be cracked and its’ wearer driven off to the hospital to be stitched up with a deep gash in his forehead due to repeated close-range palm and knee strikes. As with the RedMan, this type of training is not what the suit is designed for. As an aside, another aspect that rubbed me the wrong way was that any extras with the FIST suit is a la carte, meaning there are add-ons to buy to complete the set. Since this too is a police training set I understand needing more padding for the appendages when dealing with weapons, however, for us as self-defense folks this is a non-ideal setup since tyhis can easily lead to a “padded dummy” syndrome where I just waddle around and you hit me and think it’s realistic when in reality it’s the furthest thing from it.
- PREDATOR MKII ($2295.00) Yes, the PREDATOR MKII is more expensive-it also perfectly addresses every gap and shortcoming in the prior 2 suits. Not only that, it allows for the perfect balance of mobility and protection for the wearer and offers the ideal mode of realistic, intense scenario training for the defender. I personally view any purchases I make on training gear and equipment as an investment, not a purchase; I am investing in my future, my skill, my passion and ultimately, the lives of myself, my family and my loved ones. Add that to the fact that as I stated earlier, this would be my one single training item to save if I had just one choice, and the decision as to which self-defense suit to invest in isn’t a “decision” at all.
NEW YEAR SPECIAL EXTENDED TO FEBRUARY 28TH, 2019
*** AFTER CONVERSING WITH BILL KIPP, PREDATOR ARMOUR OWNER AND CREATOR, HE HAS LOWERED THE PRICE OF THE THE PREDATOR MKII SUIT FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY (REMEMBER HOW I WAS SAYING WHAT A HELL OF A NICE GUY HE IS?). THE PREDATOR MKII WILL NOW BE OFFERED AT A DISCOUNTED RATE OF ONLY $1995.00 + $90.00 SHIPPING FOR A TOTAL OF ONLY $2085.00 NOW THROUGH 2/28/19. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS OFFER ASAP***
Everyone Wants To Be a Beast…
Let me wrap this up with one of my favorite sayings:
Wing Chun works the same way.
In order for your Wing Chun to be effective, it needs to be trained. In order to train, you need equipment. You need books and DVDs for your mind, the proper sparring gear to make contact in class and, for technical know-how, various other forms of equipment such as the dummy and Wing Chun weapons. With all that said, the one piece of training anything that I would never be without is the PREDATOR MKII.
I am not “blowing smoke” or laying down any bullshit when I say that it will do more for your Wing Chun training in terms of the ability to functionally apply in a simple, effective and practical way than any other equipment out there combined. I know that is a bold statement but that is 100% dead on balls true. Let me share why I am so adamant about this methodology:
You Never Forget Your First Time…
I had been training martial arts for over 10 years yet had never done a reality-based scenario drill type of workshop until then. The workshop was held, believe it or not, on a dark and stormy night at Goytia’s Martial Arts, the Jeet Kune Do school where I was training at that time. After doing basic drills and such for a half hour or so (out of a 2 and 1/2 hour workshop) he abruptly ordered us into the front foyer, turned the lights off and made us turn around and face the doorway opposite the training area (he had blacked out the windows looking into the class area). He would then randomly tap each one of us on the shoulder and say, “you-get in there,” and one by one we would go.
I won’t go into detail as to what or how things went down as that will spoil the experience for those of you who have never gone through such a nerve-wracking, intense and empowering experience. All I will say is that once the seminar was over, I felt like David Carradine after picking up that big urn and branding his forearms; I felt as though I had just undergone a rite of passage that very few martial artists ever have the chance or, more importantly, the guts to put themselves through. My understanding of training, specifically why I am training and what I am training for, was galvanized that night. I have done more than a few since then and always learn something new about myself but nothing can match the enlightenment borne out of pure “oh shit!” fear of my first time training that way.
Interestingly enough, I did this before I even began training Wing Chun so I suppose this approach to training has always framed my approach to Wing Chun and how I choose to train and apply my art. It saddens me when I see so many people training Wing Chun without addressing this very very important aspect of the overall experience of training for self-defense.
One thing I have come to realize is that you don’t really know both what your shortcomings are what you are capable of until you engage in this type of training. The greatest gift scenario training can do with a piece of equipment such as the PREDATOR MKII is give all of us as Wing Chun folks the gift of clarity or purpose. Whenever I hear martial artists pontificate about self defense without engaging in actual “live-fire” reality-based scenario training and adrenal stress conditioning I am reminded of self-defense expert Rory Miller’s quote:
“listening to average martial artists talk about real-world violence is like listening to 10-year-olds talk about sex.”
Ha!! So funny- and so very true.
I have found no better piece of equipment than the PREDATOR MKII to address at this crucial yet so overlooked aspect of damn near everybody’s training.
Through its superior construction, designed to allow the attacker unparalleled mobility to act not as a “padded dummy” but rather a fully functional aggressive assailant, and it’s design of energy transference which allows for truly full-contact strikes, the PREDATOR MKII is the “chosen one” piece of equipment I would take with me to a desert island or pull out of a burning building if I could only save a single item related to my martial arts and self-defense training. It really is the “best of the best” in terms of armored assailant padded self-defense suits available to the public today.
I can think of no higher compliment to a piece of equipment and as such it is the only one I will ever recommend for self-defense training and believe me I’ve used just about all of them and have the broken bones, scars and concussions to prove it.
The ultimate goal of all martial arts training is to be able to handle yourself and I can think of no quicker way to get there or tool to get you there in the PREDATOR MKII.
Read this again, reread it and really think about everything I laid out and you will see what I already know: that this is the true “missing link” in your Wing Chun training matrix. The PREDATOR MKII self-defense suit is the only equipment you will ever need to functionalize your Wing Chun training for simple, functional, practical and above all effective personal protection and self-defense.
Take it from me as someone who has struggled with self-confidence in my own training for a good many years: you have nothing to lose but feelings of inadequacy, fear and hesitation – but you have a world of confidence and empowerment to gain.
Do right by your training partners, students, family, loved ones and most of all yourself- pick up the PREDATOR MKII and get to it. Your art will be taken to the next level in very short order.
Just like the saying goes, “everybody wants to be a beast until it’s time to do what beasts do.”
Go and do likewise, folks. Train with the PREDATOR so you can defeat any predator.
Train Smart, Stay Safe