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.
While this is beneficial for learning a technique, it offers little in the way of preparing someone to address a situation coming out of a supermarket with bags of groceries in their hands, not thinking about that neat wrist lock they learned against a guy who just stands there like George McFly and grabs your wrist then waits for you to systematically dismantle him.
All of a sudden, something happens, and they freeze…why? Simple.
They were not prepared for the SPEED of an attack.
Remember, some thug isn’t going to sell tickets to see his rape or mugging. he wants to get in, get out and get away. Your Wing Chun training had better address that.
Add These To Your Training Today
Below are just a few ideas to keep in mind. This isn’t all of them but rather a “big toe in the water.” More will follow, so stay tuned, but for now have at these:
- When practicing your forms, especially Siu Nim Tau, pay attention to how your body feels when performing each and every motion of the form. Allow the feeling of the form to seep into your subconscious so that you can own each motion you perform. Remember, Wing Chun is something you cultivate; something that grows into you; not merely something you practice. That is why Wing Chun forms are not flashy or pretty. They are not for bedazzling judges at a tournament, and I will go so far as to say that if someone is doing a Wing Chun form like they would a sport karate kata, they are so far off the mark it isn’t funny. (NOTE: instructional DVDs prove to be an invaluable resource for me as I refine my art; click HERE for my review on the best ones I own and currently use)
- When training the stepping drill, cultivate a sense of oneness with your whole body. When you enter from the rolling in chi sau with a pak, lap or gum sau, make sure your whole body is behind each entry and when you step into an attack, do so by keeping the inward tension on your inner thighs so as to impose your will and not merely picking up your foot and setting it down. Any attack initiated from the roll in chi sau should be swift and economical. Check out the following clip by Sifu David Peterson for an example of what I am talking about.
- A great way to encourage the importance of limited time in engaging is by using a Gymboss Interval Timer:
Set it for 20 second intervals and reset every time it beeps. This way you should try to gain control and end the interaction before it chirps again. This will force you not to be sloppy but to act with urgency and without hesitation each time you enter from the roll in chi sau training. Check out my review of this and other useful stuff HERE and begin training with it as soon as you open the box it comes in.
Using a Gymboss will definitely make your Wing Chun training more effective for street defense and for combat sports like MMA by fostering a sense of “borrowed time.” It can also be used for self-defense drills where no contact is initially made. Simply start in a normal scenario and try to incapacitate an attacker within 20-30 seconds. For women training Wing Chun for self defense purposes, this little gem provides some of the most realistic training out there.
Do this for awhile and watch your speed, accuracy and controlled aggression skyrocket. Now you will be training with PURPOSE!
Remember, professional thugs will attack HARD and FAST. You have to respond with more of everything they bring to the table. You have the tools within Wing Chun-never forget that. You know what you have to do-now go out and do it.
Train Smart, Stay Safe