Sifu Ralph Haenel, learning and teaching Wing Tsun Kung Fu since 1984
Changing lives, one punch at a time.
Book "The Reality of Self-Defense!" by Ralph Haenel
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The practical strength training guide for Wing Tsun Kung Fu (Wing Chun, Ving Tsun) practitioners and fitness enthusiasts.
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Siu-Nim-Tau, a Wing Tsun Kung Fu form for WingTsun (Wing Chun, Ving Tsun) practitioners and fitness enthusiasts.
Training notes on the journey between Kung Fu Beginner and Master INFO
Kung Fu - The Workout; an easy to follow result driven guide for beginners and fitness enthusiasts. INFO
WingTsun-CoreConcepts, Beyond tradition and technique - training concepts for Wing Tsun Kung Fu students and instructors! INFO
Wing Tsun Kung Fu Vancouver Blog
Saturday, 9 April 2011
"Craft, Cooking, and Kung Fu" by Adrian Law
There is nothing mystical about the art of Wing Tsun Kung Fu. There is no hidden, secret knowledge or special, unseen, mysterious powers. It simply is what it is: Kung Fu – a craft or skill where anyone can learn the basic, improve slowly over time, and with enough effort, practice, and a little personality, learn to master it one day.
I personally compare it to cooking but I’m sure everyone has their own comparison. I heard someone once describe the four phases of learning a craft; one goes through:
1. Unconscious incompetence – one starts out not knowing that they don’t know
2. Conscious incompetence – slowly they learn the basics but make
valuable mistakes—mistakes that you want to make so that you know not to make them
3. Conscious competence – one has to work hard and focus to avoid mistakes and start getting good
4. Unconscious competence – mastery, one can perform their craft effortlessly
I guess most people drop out at the first phase when they learn that whatever “it” is, is going to take a long time to learn. In the cooking world, this is where newcomers would say: “Arrgh, cooking is too hard. Time to get some take out…” Phase 2 and 3 are probably the most frustrating, probably because it takes the most time, effort, and real dedication to understand the basics, practice them again and again, and then work on the details to get good. Once again, in the cooking world, an apprentice learns to cut an onion and starts slowly with the basic knife cuts. Then as he or she gets used to the motions, they learn more details: why it’s important to make uniform and even cuts, the names of the different cuts, the importance of trimming the root, peeling, ways to cut faster, cleaner, more efficiently, etc.
The cooking world (and the Wing Tsun world I’m learning) is all about repetition. Hours upon hours are spent doing the same menial tasks again and again and again. Hours spent peeling potatoes, making sauces, or breaking down a whole duck. I’ve learnt from cooking, that the key is actually doing the task physically. Sounds obvious but knowing how to do something intellectually is not enough, one has to actually do it! This is easier said then done because most people think: “I already know how to make a soup, let’s move on.” I’ve seen lots of chefs who claim that they know to fillet a whole salmon, but when you give them the nicest looking fish and watch them do it, they fail immediately or have the most horrible technique. I’ve learnt it’s better to say: “I don’t know, please show me” than have an epic fail.
Even extremely talented master chefs will shut up and watch someone else show them how to fillet a fish, because they know there’s always a better way to do something. I’ve always thought that humility and craftsmanship going hand in hand; that good craftsmanship fosters humility and humility fosters good craftsmanship. Phase 4 is obviously the most satisfying, one I’d like to experience one day. I envision this is where one can incorporate their own personal touch in addition to the fundamentals of their craft to take it to a new level, improve it, and be part of the living art. I’ve seen some chefs juggle multiple tasks while making multiple dishes: cooking vegetables, making a stew, braising veal, simmering a stock, stirring a sauce, with the phone on one ear, and talking to the Maitre’d at the same time, all without breaking a sweat and everything tastes amazing!
That’s mastery—when their body has change, when their fingers can feel the difference in quality; when the details of their craft are fused directly into all their senses, they’ve gotten used to the repetitions of the fundamentals so well that they can execute without even thinking and without effort. This is where I want to be—to have good kung fu.
Monday, 21 March 2011
Setting foot for the first time into a martial arts school?
Tough time, trying to make it back to classes after a break?
Tips and lessons learned from Grumpy George and others!
Time and again trainers eventually hear the following from interested people who are thinking of coming to an open house:
- I was intimidated coming into the school.
- I had this picture of a bunch of sweaty tough guys looking down on me.
- I came, had a quick look from the outside and kept walking.
- I didn't know what to expect.
Also from former members, who had to pause their training and after a break were trying to restart their training:
- The break I took was too long. I thought it's too late to start training again.
- I thought everybody will look at me and ask where I have been.
- I thought people will talk about why I have been absent.
- I thought it's too late to catch up with my class mates.
All those thoughts are more than common. It is normal! You are not alone. Just read what a few of our members went through.
Motivating oneself to coming to the open house.
I too came to the open house in 2003 and walked past, almost turning around to go home! I hadn't taken any martial arts before and was intimidated. But without knowing it at the time, I had followed the first WT principle: go forward! I didn't like the idea of shying away from something unknown because I was always a timid youth growing up and had resolved to turn my behaviour around.
The lesson I learnt and would advise others: it’s almost always better to do something you're thinking about than not doing it, even if its the wrong decision. At the very worst outcome, you will have wasted some time and effort but at least found out that WT (or what ever the thing is) is not for you.
But the very best outcome is that you will gained something valuable for the rest of your life and can be proud that you've overcome an uncertain obstacle (meeting new people/strange environment).
As for restarting one's training, motivation is crucial again because its so easy to think: "I've been out of it so long, what's the point" or "I can train at home" or "I will go next week". I think what motivated me is just making the effort to show up for just one class.
The energy from class is intoxicating (thanks to you Sifu) and you know you cannot recreate it at home. Furthermore, seeing you--Sifu and others like Tony, Edmund, Sebastian, Philip, Sia, Rob and the rest of the trainer team move with such fluid power really makes me want to be part of it. Essentially, the environment of my WT "family" motivated me to come back, because everyone is working towards being really good. And knowing that you have the "seed" of skill planted, however small and long ago, that can be developed into something great is better that knowing that it will die and goes to waste. So, that's my motivation for coming back--seeing a potential come to fruition. That and the jealousy that Tony is so good now :) Hope my ideas are helpful, Adrian
First I did not know what to expect. I knew only a little about Wing Tsun. The experience of 15 years in Olympic wrestling in Europe, some years in boxing, plus Aikido in North America shaped my approach to martial arts. When I started Wing Tsun Kung Fu classes under Sifu Ralph, that changed everything. So, here I am, changing for the better, enjoying myself, working hard, having a good time with a group of nice guys. That is all folks.
In my opinion - if somebody wants to come, he doesn't look for reasons as to why not, but for reasons as to why yes. Of course, everybody needs sometimes somebody who pushes him to make the right decision. I say it this way - WT is a very intelligent and effective martial art for every man or woman. I advise it for everyone.
Having experienced walking into Wing Tsun for the first time with no previous formal martial arts training I can tell you it is a bit of an uneasy feeling.....
One of the things that really made the difference for me very quickly in deciding if Wing Tsun, or this particular class was the one for me was being engaged by some of Sifu Ralph's students right away.
I think If I would have walked into a class where people were beating each other into a pulp and had a bunch of tough guy jerks I would have turned around and left right away....
It was the other students that had come before me that took the time and energy to make me feel at home ... like I could be a part of this and all I had to do was show up......
Having experienced walking away from my training for a little while I have also experienced the regret of missing out.
I personally had other commitments that I needed to attend to for a period of time but when I returned....
There was Sifu Ralph with a big hand shake and then slapping a hug on me as if to say welcome home brother....
I can live in regret for stopping, I can live in regret for not starting this wonderful art years earlier but I choose to bring humility and an open mind to learn From EVERYONE in our classes because the energy we co-create is the heart of Martial Arts for me.....
For anyone looking to try it out or anyone feeling poorly because they stopped practicing....
The door is always open to all comers and there is a place for you because there was a place for me and those who came before me....
After being away from Wing Tsun class for two years, I wasn't sure how much my skills would have deteriorated. I remembered sometimes missing classes for just a few weeks and finding that I definitely felt 'rusty' when I finally got back -- what would it be like to start again after two years? I knew my those who were at my level when I left had been training hard every week for that whole time. It even crossed my mind to ask my Si-Fu if I should start from the beginning again (level zero) and earn my way anew through all the student levels. I didn't ask, though; I figured I would see how it went against my old training partners first.
When I did, there were definitely layers of rust to clear away. My reactions were slow, stiff and lacked all power. But the miracle was, beneath the rust there was still a fully functioning 'machine' (set of reactions); what's more, the rust was gone within just a few weeks. It seems the muscle memory was there all along. It was a great endorsement of Wing Tsun training's focus on details and body mechanics -- in short, real motor skill development as opposed to 'techniques.' While my brain had forgotten volumes of detail, my body remembered.
Did you read the first part of this series of two posts? Please go to Are you a “dream ranger”? Or do you at times submit to the dark side? Watch the video and also read tips from Helen about starting your martial arts training and from Mike about returning to classes.
Wednesday, 16 March 2011
Lightning fast, the secrets of Kung Fu! What did Carl Douglas and George Harrison have in common?
As you can possibly imagine; today’s post is a bit on the lighter side of martial arts life. The eBay explanation to the cover of an old German music magazine told me: “Carl Douglas – Everything about Kung Fu!” Naturally, I had to have it.
By the way - At the end of the post, I will describe a totally deadly Kung Fu technique!
So, Carl was quite the one-hit wonder in 1974 with “Kung Fu fighting.” In the German charts #1, ahead of Sweet (#3 and #17), David Cassidy, Suzi Quatro, George McCrae, Slade and others. John Lennon made it in December of 1974 from #19 only to spot #7, Neil Diamond #20. The British charts featured David Essex on top. Number one in America was Billy Swan.
Sorry I can’t help it, it’s so cheesy; for the Germans here the #2 after Carl Douglas, Michael Holm.
So much for a tidbit of music history. Back to Kung Fu fighting.
There it is, finally on page 44 of the magazine: “Everything about Kung Fu” I knew it, finally I will know it all. But first a lot of “Kung Fu”, hard work, training my iron grip by having to go through the previous 43 pages in search for the ultimate Kung Fu secrets. Carl makes it difficult. Many probably gave up somewhere between the pages 20 to 30. Not me!
Now, the all-revealing text begins! Carl Douglas in 1974:
“My song ‘Kung Fu fighting’ is on millions of turntables. Since then do I, the founder of ‘Karate-Rock,’ live a life of danger. I didn’t know, but in the eyes of many traditional Chinese have I committed a dangerous sin: I have made the secret art of Kung Fu public and by doing so became a traitor on Chinese tradition. Until recently Kung Fu, the weaponless art of self-defense, was completely unknown, compared to Japanese Karate and Korean Taekwondo. No wonder that a martial art like Kung Fu, which is the perfect blend of mind and body and on top also develops character, was only shown to family clan members. ... Kung Fu consists of six different styles, based on the movements of animals. That’s the reason for the names of the techniques: Tiger, Praying Mantis, Snake, Horse, Monkey and Crane style. Each style features 4000 to 5000 stances, out of which you defend yourself against attacks. All movements are designed to work very quickly with the least amount of strength, targeting nerves and other sensitive areas of the human body. Many parts of the body can turn into absolutely deadly weapons, but of course only in an emergency. Your Kung Fu should follow ancient guidelines like:
1. Avoid an attack instead of hurting the opponent.
2. Hurt the opponent instead of injuring him.
3. Injure the attacker instead of killing him.
4. Kill only if you otherwise would get killed.“
And it continues. Carl Douglas: “Now you want to know if since the record has been released, I live in fear of revenge from Kung Fu fanatics? No, I don’t! Years ago, George Harrison disgraced East Indian heritage by using the holy sitar in his and the music of The Beatles. The prophecies predicted dark setbacks, but George is still alive (1974).”
So, Carl was the original traitor. Now we finally know. Wasn’t there somebody else? Bruce ... something? Oh well, can’t remember. Whoever this Bruce guy was, he might have had nothing to do with real Kung Fu, unlike Carl.
Tonight we will train in class the secret Kung Fu, as shown on page 45 of the magazine. The attacker kicks, you quickly duck to the ground, completely naturally jump up under the kick in progress, and simply throw the attacker to the ground. Then you are absolutely safe while standing between the legs of the former kicker, now able to hit him where the sun doesn’t shine.
Any last words?
Everybody was kung-fu fighting
Those cats were fast as lightning
In fact it was a little bit frightening
But they fought with expert timing
Monday, 28 February 2011
Are you a “dream ranger”? Or do you at times submit to the dark side?
My thoughts for this post came from very different experiences in the virtual and the real world. Within a short period of time, I came across completely different ends of the spectrum, the positive and negative, the yin and yang of human expression.
Recently I ended up giving way to some gossip, meaning I read comments on YouTube. In my personal opinion, YouTube clips have portrayed great people looking not so good, and seriously flawed performances looking pretty good due, for example, to the video frame rate. However, the comments typically steal the show. I have always said that there is unfortunately more politics in martial arts than in politics. But, there is also increasingly more blind fanaticism in all martial arts, just as in other areas of life. With the anonymity of the Internet, it has become so easy for “keyboard warriors” to express their often strange opinions. One gets the distinct impression that professional jealousy, pure hatred and complete inability to respect other people’s work would be an endless source of income for psychiatrists. Real or assumed martial arts skills and boundless ego is not a lethal but rather dumb combination, a fountain of personality disorders.
It all leads me to another observation. Many people don’t seem to get, that the studying of martial arts is the careful building of skills and knowledge, not the collection of data, techniques, or number of more or less instructional videos watched. Many seem to mix up quality and quantity of information. There is more knowledge than ever accessible, yet it doesn’t necessarily lead to more creativity, dynamic learning and innovation. Information is more ‘scanned’ than acquired. Clicking replaces thinking.
So, when now does this post lead into a positive direction? Let’s go from the virtual world into the real world. Any instructor and student is capable of forming and influencing their environment, making encouraging contributions that motivate everyone.
Recently I noticed how many students have returned to classes, after having been away for only several weeks or even after a break of a number of years due to work and family commitments.
That’s what it is all about. Studying and training in a supportive class setting. Not giving up on your dreams. Showing persistence and patience. It doesn’t matter if you start something new, or if you get back to follow your Kung Fu journey. Dream and do something about it!
Before I conclude today’s post with the link to a videoclip that in part motivated these thoughts, I want you to read a few lines from our students. More is coming up during the next days ...
Reading the first two postings also reveals how a instructor is being motivated!
Now, the video. First, I saw the following videoclip posted by Alex Richter, a talented Wing Tsun instructor from New York. I showed it to a few people and all of them said: “Gosh damn it, this makes you (almost) cry!” And yes, it is a bank commercial.
So, how about that video, are you a “dream ranger”?
Click here to read the second part of this series of two posts. Read what Todd and Adrian, Jan, George and Rob have to say about starting your martial arts training and about returning to classes after a break.
The title of part 2 of 2 is:
Tuesday, 16 November 2010
I have been bad, very bad ... the secret life of a martial arts instructor.
Most martial arts students think of their instructors as those 365/24/7 committed people, who get up at 4am in the morning, train for two hours, teach punches and kicks all day long, do their evening classes with yet another burst of super-power martial arts energy, all topped up with some relaxing form training, before going to bed and sleeping for four hours, during which they are naturally at any given moment ready to come within 0.6 seconds out of the deepest sleep phase and chain-punch bad guys to oblivion, delivering 120 punches in 16 seconds, also using their autopilot guided instinctive reflexes.
Well, I am so sorry that I have to disappoint you. Despite all proof to the contrary, martial arts instructors are also just humans. And as all other humans, they like to be lazy every now and then. They just don’t like to talk about it, since many want to be this untouchable example of dedication to their admiring students.
On the other hand who doesn’t like to talk about their heroic achievements every now and then. Remember those Grandpa stories? “When I was young, I had to go to school without shoes, in the snow, uphill, against the wind, twenty miles to the next village.” ... and so the story goes.
There is always a little bit of truth behind it. My Great Grandma started to work in 1894 at the age of 14, six and a half days a week, working an average of sixteen hours a day.
Back to martial arts. In 1990, I was still working in a 3-shift job. Monday and Wednesday evenings, I taught classes in my own Wing Tsun School. Tuesday and Thursday evenings, I learned in the school of my WingTsun teacher. During rare days off, I either took private lessons from my instructor or gave private lessons to my students. Friday afternoons I often left with one of my students, Tino, driving more than 700 kilometres to the Wing Tsun castle for a weekend seminar held by my Sifu or Sigung.
During vacations we drove to Italy, no, not just for fun, to join the annual WingTsun summer seminar in Livorno. When I visited Copenhagen in Denmark, it was due to a seminar by my Sifu. Met great people there, Sifus Lars Lind, Allen Jensen, Henning Daverne and others, a very hospitable bunch of WT instructors.
But as I said initially, I was at times, or we were very, very bad. There was this one evening after a long day of working, early nightfall, snow in Berlin, which caused big chaos on the streets. So, we took the underground train (U-Bahn) and went to our instructor’s school. Many old apartment buildings have backyards which lead to the next apartment building, the next backyard, and so on. His WT School was located at the back of one of those old buildings. You could sneak up, look through a broken window and see who was teaching. That very evening we saw that our instructor wasn’t there, a assistant was leading the class. So, we left, went to a great restaurant and had a fabulous dinner.
Another time, we had driven for hours at 200+ km/h on the Autobahn, arrived in Heidelberg, checked into a hotel, were all ready to go to the evening Wing Tsun session at the Langenzell castle, but something went wrong ... No, not really. Our prebooked room at the hotel was taken, so we got an upgrade, access to the pool and a complementary dinner in the fancy hotel restaurant. As you might have guessed, the evening training went ahead without us.
So, two bad examples opposite of years of driving across Europe to seminars, spending just about every day off and every single vacation in Wing Tsun classes and seminars. Visiting the schools of Sifus Thomas Roggenkamp, Hans-Peter Edel, Frank Ringeisen, Thomas Mannes, Christoph Gefeke and others. Okay, we weren’t really that bad but nonetheless there was a break in our commitment and that was only natural.
It is OK to be lazy every now and then, even to take a short time-out.
While working on motivating many at Wing Tsun Vancouver, Wing Tsun Victoria and even Wing Tsun Calgary regarding our upcoming year-end seminar in Vancouver I experienced one of the best examples of commitment.
I just received an e-mail from German Ferrer, the Sifu of the Calgary Wing Tsun school. Several days ago he e-mailed me, that he can't make it to our seminar, that he has a business trip planned to Edmonton, a business meeting in Calgary, and also the company’s Christmas party on Saturday. I had also just given a seminar in Calgary. Understandable that he should be unable to attend, right?
Well, a few minutes ago he e-mailed me that he changed all plans, booked a flight and is coming early Saturday morning into Vancouver for the seminar.
Now that's commitment!
His only comment: “I want to keep my perfect record of attending the Vancouver seminars.”
UPDATE (Nov 18th): Yet another committed Wing Tsun practitioner in Calgary is coming to Vancouver. He called all the other residents at the hospital, at which he is working, arranged to have his shift covered, booked a flight and will be here for the year-end 'Knockout' Seminar.
And yes, Evan also took time off and attended the very recent seminar in Calgary. Did you read his seminar review? Click here!
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Wednesday, 3 November 2010
Punchers Are Made; Not Born - instruction must be systematic and scientific in order to develop an effective fighter.
It is always a highlight for me as well, if one of the members of our Wing Tsun Kung Fu schools celebrates a personal achievement. Mike started his Wing Tsun training in 1999. Family and job commitments required him every now and then to pause his training for several months at a time. Did he give up? No, absolutely not. He always came back and restarted his training. His commitment, his very analytical and practical approach has its roots in his early boxing days in the 1970's.
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Tuesday, 12 October 2010
More than 28 tips on how to be a better (Wing Tsun Kung Fu) trainer!
Is there anything a trainer can’t do?
Over the years, I have talked to many instructors of different martial arts, also to fitness trainers and dance teachers. Whenever it comes to a general description of the job, many smile and explain it half joking and half serious as kind of a mix of being a teacher, good technician, psychologist, marketing expert, educator, even comedian, store manager, fighter, motivator, entertainer, showman, collection agent, and then some. All that mentioned in no particular order, I might add. Let’s not forget, in today’s world the instructor also needs to be a social media wizard. Do you have a presence on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or LinkedIn?
While working in Wing Tsun classes on becoming a better instructor, the following pointers might help you to take a step back and review your own performance. After all, you teach the student to get better, which should also mean that you personally improve with each teaching experience!
Let’s assume, for our example here, the instructor gets in front of the class and starts to teach the form training. He is teaching the Siu-Nim-Tau, the first form of the Wing Tsun Kung Fu system.
Which pointers could improve, how we help the student to make progress, to understand the exercise, to get ideas for their home training?
- As instructor, one should look around and find out who is new in class.
- Observe who may still be stuck in a previous part of the exercise or didn’t quite grasp the next step.
- Don’t forget, you are able to start the form from beginning to end, show it backwards, or jump at the snap of the finger into each part of the form, you know all the benefits, you are well versed in the applications, know how to breath, which muscles to feel. But, a beginner or at times even a intermediate learner will get lost.
- Induce a sense of teamwork while mentioning good performance, don’t forget or single anyone out, people do notice, - it doesn’t matter how old we are or where we stand in life, everyone can use a pat on the back for effort or accomplishment.
- Mention again the benefits of the form. One should know why we go through particular sets of exercises.
- At the end; encourage questions, lead somebody’s arm, correct their shoulder position. Some need to feel the movement, others need to hear the explanations, some need to look at example scenarios from different directions. Show muscle groups involved. Move! Make a clear distinction between right and wrong movement.
Now. Are you ready to be a teacher, entertainer, technical specialist, historian, motivator, showman ... and more?
Are you a speaker? Are you a storyteller?
There is nothing a good trainer can’t do, or isn’t willing to add to teach better!
Or, if you are the student; help your trainer to evolve, ask questions, ask again, ask differently, ask for direction. Without going into even more detail, instructor and student can always benefit from each other.
Want to read stories of persistence, perseverance and patience? Go to http://trainerteam.wingtsunkungfu.com.
Rarely is anyone born a great teacher! Work on it! Train, teach, help!
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Monday, 27 September 2010
Breaks, motivation and different goals. Martial arts are no different than life.
Recently we had several of our members return to classes after years of absence due to family commitments, night school, working out of town and other reasons. It’s always great, to see familiar faces back in training. It gives every instructor who is proud of teaching a wonderful motivation.
Others just started their training with us a year or two after having been to one of our open house events. Having followed our activities by reading the occasional news e-mail, following us on Facebook, even YouTube or Twitter, kept them up-to-date.
Last week I met someone, who has been to our open house, but decided to join another school. That’s great! Why? Because in his case, it showed the commitment of the person and that he was seriously looking for the martial arts school that was right for his needs.
Over the past weeks, I was talking to a few of our (Wing Tsun) seniors. Everyone gets caught in a motivational low, needs a break from even the most exciting hobby. That’s normal, that’s human. Of great importance is to repeatedly redefine your own motivation. One asked me how I can possibly show, explain and demonstrate the Siu-Nim-Tau form again and again, this now for over 26 years. Well, I enjoy it, I work on finding new ways of breaking down exercises into details. I find better or different ways of explaining them. I continue to improve my own performance; ... and take pride in it. For every explanation, I use analogies: The difference between a martial ARTIST and a martial artist is the same as between a one-hit wonder and a band that produces solid hit records even after decades of making music.
So, find your niche, define your motivation, do something that’s fun and enjoy it!
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Sunday, 19 September 2010
Wing Tsun Kung Fu training tips
Three ways to improve your martial arts (Wing Tsun Kung Fu) training and two examples to learn from!
Tip 1 – Take it slow
Tip 2 – Make small changes
Tip 3 – Learn your limits, …
Don’t forget, when I show a exercise, I often demonstrate a “finished product,” how it should look and feel after weeks or even months, years of hard training.
Don’t mistake the following with acquiring real Wing Tsun skills:
Sometimes we may not even be aware of our training routine. So, it most certainly helps to review our attitude towards a successful training. When you support your partner’s growth, your partner will help you in return to progress faster. Real Confidence comes from reliable skills.
Ask yourself: Do your skills match superior strength and speed of a violent attacker, who sees you as a weak victim?
One example to learn from
1. Train the very important initial ability to control fast punches that seem to come out of nowhere.
A few times, I have experienced the following question: “Can you team me up with someone else. The guy is just too weak!” Yeah right, think again, you are missing one of your best training partners. Besides, it’s up to you, what you make out of every training session. If you just train to get a good workout and sweat, maybe you should rethink your intentions and goals.
A second example to learn from
Now, what’s so bad about that?
Point 1. I can pretend to hit somebody’s face as much as I want, as often as I want. It doesn’t make me better. For the purpose of this brief training note, I neglect here possibly important issues regarding the law and potential reports of witnesses against you after a physical altercation. (Scenario: The initial attacker bleeding all over the place and blood dripping from your fists. … Get a good lawyer!)
Our trainers work on striking to the body. Now you can give it all in your training session and see if you can move a person, find out if your punches have any impact. Why?
I learned from skilled instructors who could vary the results of their punches. Just to mention a few (controlled!) examples:
You can’t achieve that skill by imitating a punch that “would in reality hit the face.” Why then martial arts training at all? Anybody can hit somebody else in the face. But a powerful, yet controlled punch to the chest, leaving the other person rattled, for this skill you have to train hard, very hard.
The goal should be increasing punching power that can be measured. Variations of striking power depending on different scenarios. Once example only: A ‘light’ palm strike that sends a opponent flying and gives you the chance to remove yourself from the fight, instead of a exchange of wild punches, leaving a bloody mess on both sides. That’s a skill.
Instead of fighting your training partner, help each other to figure out the details of your training to become knock-out punchers!
Two more examples, to help you improve your training, will follow soon!
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Sunday, 8 August 2010
Part 9 of 9 - Interview with WingTsun grandmaster Leung Ting
Interview with WingTsun grandmaster Leung Ting
Health & Lifestyle Channel
*The opinions and views expressed are those of the authors and participants of the TV show and do not necessarily state or reflect the views of the trainer team at Wing Tsun Kung Fu Vancouver.
LT: frm my Dai Dizi (most senior student). Later she learned from me. Have you seen God of Crockery? A movie by Stephen Chow. She (Karen Mok) was the character with the scar on her face. It was before she was in the movie that she came to ask me to teach her Wing Tsun.
Host: Can she do a few moves?
LT: Yes, she can do a few moves.
Host: You’ve taught so many female actresses. Among them, which one do you feel was your best student?
LT: Oh my! This is really hard to answer. Like Michelle (Mi Xue) for example…. (interrupted by hose). [This Michelle is not Michelle Yeoh]
Host: They all have talent?
LT: I feel that all actors/actress have a natural talent. If they did not have any natural talent then they would not be such outstanding actors, right?
Host: Michelle Yeoh. Has she learned WT from you?
LT: Michelle Yeoh has never approached me. I don’t really know her.
Host: I think she also made a movie called Wing Chun.
LT: I know. The director was Yuan Heping (Yuen Woo Ping). Yuan Heping and I know each other fairly well. He often visits my school. He made that movie without telling me. What a bastard. At the time he went to visit his doctor whose office was across from my school and we ran into each other. He asked me to introduce one of my foreign students who is a champion fighter and I said “sure”. He never followed up on that meeting and not long after his movie “Wing Chun” came out. I was ribbing him. “You bastard, you made a Wing Chun movie without telling me”. I am very familiar with him.
Host: What do you think of Michelle Yeoh’s performance in the movie Wing Chun?
LT: I won’t comment on that. (laughing). Actually, I feel Yuen Woo Ping is a really talented director. He made many martial arts films and they are really good. Otherwise he would not/ cannot (unintelligible)
Host: I know you have been a fighter choreographer /adviser in a lot of martial arts film. In the up coming movies Yip Man 2 and 3, would you consider providing any advice for these films?
LT: If they are interested in seeking out my advice then I would provide it. Right? Actually, I feel if you are using Wing Chun to do things, this is my life’s principle. Like for example, my literature degree (background). I studied to high levels. But I have never desired to become a literature professor. My doctorate degree is for martial arts instruction. So I feel because this is my part of my character. I don’t like to sit inside an office working all day. I feel Chinese should promote Chinese martial arts (?). This has always been my principle.
Host: Actually you have promoted WT in over 60 countries moreover so many of your tudi, tusun….i know you are very busy. You have many followers on the mainland… (interrupted by LT)
LT: I just started now because I was always abroad. At the time I was only spending 3-4 months in Hong Kong. Now I am over 60 years old and retired. Then I realized that it is impossible to completely retire because there continue to be many overseas students coming to HK to see me. So I said, OK I will just go into semi-retirement. Now in the last 2-3 years, each year I have travelled the world for about three months to a few larger countries. For example, Germany has the most branches, Hungary has many branches and also America has many branches. Sometimes I go to Australia. Now I feel, especially the Chinese…. Why do Chinese do not learn Chinese martial arts?
So I feel strongly, Chinese should try their best to promote Chinese martial arts.
Host: Right. Today we have been very lucky because it is very difficult to get Professor Leung Ting to come on to our show. As one member of the audience has said, it has been a real eye opening experience and thanks to the Sifus for visiting. Thank you Professor Leung Ting. Also thank you Bun Jai… Ah- Ming. Thank you.
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