Standing toe to toe with my opponent my heart was racing a million miles a minute.  I had no idea what I was going to do.  He was much bigger than me, stronger and a longer reach, his kicks where swift, straight and longThe Wing Chun Training handbook never mentioned I was going to be this scared

But I could not help bit notice that he was a little clumsy. Not sure of his footing.  As if on autopilot my mind kicked in.  I was able to change the pace of the duel.

His blows where telegraphed, so I knew what to look for to pick up his punches early and defend.

I could now confidently confront my opponent.   But what should I do?  I could block & defend, but what in my bag of trick could I do to attack.  I was so preoccupied in my training about getting hit.  I only really concentrated on defense. Great!  I may know how not to lose but how am I Going to win. Read the rest of this entry »

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A couple of weeks ago I received an email form a reader just like you asking me if they where too young to start wing chun training.

I get a lot of questions about when is the best time to start training, what are the best tips if I don’t have a school nearby etc.

However this question resonated with me because its a question we often ask ourselves about any endeavour we seek in life that we want to do.  Wing chun being no exception.

The person in question is 17 and I sincerely would like to thank him because its for people like you that I write this blog. Read the rest of this entry »

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One of the beauties of wing Chun training is that it focuses on helping you improve so you become a better fighter.  After all the moves are swift and quick and by default your reaction times and responses are enhanced.

Throughout your wing Chun training as you develop you will start to notice subtle differences.  This is pretty much universal for wing Chun or any martial artists.

Improved reflexes.

If you have done any intermediate training and introduced to chi sao your moves will become instant and automatic.  Your reflexes are more active; your movements become smoother, quicker and crisp. Read the rest of this entry »

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Well now its 2011 and a new decease begins…and often its a time to reflect ..how has your wing chun training progressed.. what do you ant to achieve.  do you want to grade to the next level?

 

Improve a particular level of skill..enter a tournament?  its all ahead of you now…

 

The key is to focus and take those steps to achieve your goal.  it doesn’t have to be massive.  in fact prefer if it wasn’t.  

 

Small incremental steps will have a greater long term effect over trying for a major change overnight.  

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When people ask me about wing chun and why it was the art I chose to pursue, they are usually bombarded with hundreds of ways that wing chun training has helped me…sometimes my enthusiasm gets the better of me and people are left overwhelmed, sorry they asked or just freaked out by this kooky zealot.

 

So in the cold light of day with time to actually slow myself down I thought would write about just 3 immediate benefits you will receive from Wing Chun training.

 

1) Fitness.  Yes this may sound a little obvious but the actual movement and exercise during a wing Chun class will help with your flexibility – stretching your muscles and joints.  This is a big side effect for me I didn’t know how unfit I was until I started to train regularly.  Also the flexibility to touch my toes was also great bonus. Exercise also relaxes you and helps you cope with stress.  So there is also a mental health aspect to it.  Some people prefer the gym, but I like to have some purpose to my exercise rather than pounding away on a treadmill

2) Self-defence:  Well as you might think this goes without saying.  Learning a martial art is about being able to defend yourself from an attacker and develop the basic skills of a fighter.  Depending on how far you want to progress, you can become an elite tournament fighter or just devote the right amount of energy into it that will enable you to defend yourself in an altercation should the need arise.

 

A benefit if this is an increase in confidence.  Learning to fight to put it bluntly in today’s society is seen as quite the macho skill.   Learning this skill will have an impact on how you perceive yourself, some of those latent fears will disappear and also once you learn this, you will soon discover there are other skills you can learn outside of martial arts that previously you have been too scared to pursue.  That’s true in any endeavour and having confidence in yourself is the number one key for a happier life.

 

3) Finally Wing Chun in easy to and quickly to learn. It is low impact it won’t put unnecessary strain on your joints or                 body.

 

You will need to be a little conditioned.  That will cause a bit of soreness when you start, (especially when training on the wing chun dummy) however when you get into your routine you will learn that Wing Chun encourages a more graceful approach to martial arts.  This does not rely on brute strength.  Therefore this is a skill you can enhance and develop even in later life.  So it is something that can stay with you for many years.

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How is your wing chun training coming along… Have you continued with your classes ..more importantly are you practicing outside of classes.  This is what differentiates those that see wing chin as a hobby and those that treat it as a serious path.. Either way is fine. You will get out of it what you out in…

Some people say that its hard, don’t have the time or even I don’t have a training partner.  There are a number of ways to get around this. As I have mentioned before, the best place to start is the wing chun dummy.  It is the principal training device. It can be pricey if money is tight you can improvise.  Perhaps some broom handles and a post—(hey I did it when I started) not he best option ..but look online there a some great resources that show you how you can make one. 

Initiate family members or even friends to sit in…just think of fun was throughout your day where you can pick up some wing chun training time. 

Coming up with ways where you can improve your training is how Bruce Lee came to be the legendary martial artist hw is world famous for.  Now I’m not saying to go to those lengths-but its just an insights on how little things can help and build up to a larger training experience.

 

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The other day I was cleaning out my closet and came across my first ever kung fu uniform…. It was in quite good condition- however quite plain and a far cry from the modern design that is worn today…


It made me pause and reflect on the wing chun journey I had begun.  Flashes of taking my first tentative steps into the class making that decision to go. I must have waited outside for 5-10 minutes hesitating in what felt like an eternity…


I was conflicted whether to do it or not…My mind was nervous as I saw the students file into the class. .some looked menacing …So I thought forget it…it’s a stupid ideas and made my way back to the car….


But then something clicked and said…stuff it just go in have a look. If you don’t like it you don’t have to go back, these strangers wouldn’t think any less of you…


I have come this far. So to hell with it …I grit my teeth and walked right in waiving away the anxieties in my gut and approached the Sifu…


He was very warn and welcoming and I got a good vibe from him…. he showed me a few moves. Asked me to punch him – which freaked me out a bit …but hey that’s why he was the Sifu.he blocked very well was very skilful. That’s when I said to myself. Yes I want to learn this….


I lived a distance away and he was sceptical whether I would keep up with the training…He must see dozens like me walk in on a weekly basis only a few come back…Well that was many years ago now and it was one of the best decisions of my life.


It funny that at these split second, moments that we make decisions that changes our lives immeasurably.


Only goes to show the power of saying YES to new experiences.  So take a leaf out of my book next time you are confronted with a decision that’s outside your comfort zone instead of saying I’ll think about it. Say yes to it. And see the possibilities unfold.  This not needs to apply to wing Chun or kung fu training only. It is though very much a philosophy it embraces…do it for any aspect of your life where you want to see growth…the result can change your life and amaze.

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In the previous post I talked about tactics you can use to progress in your wing chun training.  The physical process of grinding through the training and tips to improve.  In this second part conclusion I talk about the mindset you need need to develop to really hit the top marks in wing chun:

 

The number one foundation of wing chun is conditioning…just by training you will physically condition your body…however you need to condition your mind to allay your fears and condition yourself to overcome your fears.    Overcoming your fears comes with repetition and practice…unfortunately to exercise this muscle is not about showing greater courage there is more to it than that..

 

To overcome this ..the downside is that you must face fearful situations and get use to plowing though them..it isn’t easy..and doesn’t get any easier  ..however once accomplished you realise that all of the fears you once had ..where not all that bad at all.

 

Until the next hurdle come your way then the fear grips again….it is only the knowledge that you have overcome your fears on previous occasions that you can gain strength to move through that fear.

 

We all have confidence in what we know and what we can do this is known as our comfort zone…unfortunately there I no growth in this territory…We need to move out of the known territory in to the darkened unknown to expand our sphere of knowledge and competence …otherwise stagnating comes in and we won’t grow.

 

We now in the past that we have overcome adversity we have done it so many times in the past…it doesn’t make sense to have this fear well up again…

 

Well that emotion is not logical …particularly fear…and when the mind is confronted with a logical argument vs fear…the emotion..

 

The emotion will always win our hands down…. Its just how the minds works.

 

All we can do is know logically know we have been here before and we can overcome.

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Your progress in your wing chun training is dependant on your consistent training and the proper uses of its tools.

 

Once you learn the wing chun ‘moves’ it is important to understand that there are nuances subtleties to the art.  Techniques like huen sao, bon sao ..wing arm are simple concepts to at first understand , however there are subtleties.

 

One of the important principles of wing chun is not to use force on force.  You don’t want to be in a situation where you are trying to outmuscle your opponents.  Wing chun always assumes that there is always someone bigger and stronger than you are …which is almost always the case..also assume they are better.

 

Training under these assumptions helps you as a fighter and resists bad training habits.

 

One of the ways to do this is to face the point of contact—this requires some guts as you are actually stepping into the attack…which runs counter to every feeling of sensibility in your body….its counterintuitive and we are not wired to do this we are wired to run like hell…this is why your trainings main aim is to reengineer what you once thought and gain new patterns of behaviours and technique..

 

 

That is what makes wing chun so effective.  The more your train the more you will become comfortable in executing what on face value appears risky..but in reality makes sense and is very practical……

 

Stay tuned for next time where part 2 we go deeper into overcoming your number one obstacle to your Kung Fu

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Your progress in your wing chun training is dependant on your consistent training and the proper uses of its tools.

 

Once you learn the wing chun ‘moves’ it is important to understand that there are nuances subtleties to the art.  Techniques like huen sao, bon sao ..wing arm are simple concepts to at first understand , however there are subtleties.

 

One of the important principles of wing chun is not to use force on force.  You don’t want to be in a situation where you are trying to outmuscle your opponents.  Wing chun always assumes that there is always someone bigger and stronger than you are …which is almost always the case..also assume they are better.

 

Training under these assumptions helps you as a fighter and resists bad training habits.

 

One of the ways to do this is to face the point of contact—this requires some guts as you are actually stepping into the attack…which runs counter to every feeling of sensibility in your body….its counterintuitive and we are not wired to do this we are wired to run like hell…this is why your trainings main aim is to reengineer what you once thought and gain new patterns of behaviours and technique..

 

 

That is what makes wing chun so effective.  The more your train the more you will become comfortable in executing what on face value appears risky..but in reality makes sense and is very practical……

 

Stay tuned for next time where part 2 we go deeper into overcoming your number one obstacle to your Kung Fu

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