Learning and Training Efficiently in Wing Chun Class

Today we talk about learning and training efficiently in our Wing Chun class.

When I’m learning, I need to process everything. Meaning, when someone is teaching me something new, I have to visualize it in my mind first to determine how I can use it in my Wing Chun. Meanwhile, in real time, my body is kind of just there because my mind is focused on the learning part.

Which is why I like that my Wing Chun class is structured. Structured meaning that there are always things we do in every class.

We start off with warm ups and forms. We go through all the open hands forms together, this includes Sil Lim Tao, Chum Kiu, and Biu Tze. I think this gives everyone a chance to review the forms especially if they’re not familiar with it yet.

After the forms, we do drills and Chi Sao. I love this because I get a chance to work with everyone, and in between, learn more about each person. I think martial arts creates the biggest diverse environment because people of all shapes, size, colors, and gender get together to focus on improving themselves and I think it’s amazing.

After all the warm ups, forms, drills, and Chi Sao. We finally work on our own thing where my Sifu spends time with each student to work with them on the next thing they need. This is the most important part because everyone is at a different level and I appreciate the individual attention I get from my Sifu.

I know that repetition may come off as boring or just plain repetitive but for me, the repetition helps my muscle memory so that when I’m going through the motion, instead of worrying about my technique’s form, I can spend my thoughts on what I need to work on for that moment.

So my question for you is, how’s your class normally structured? And do you prefer it that way? If not, what would you change? Let me know in the comments!

To learn more Shan Wu Wing Chun (New York Martial Arts School), check out http://www.shanwuwingchun.com

Putting Our Wing Chun Reflexes Into Action

Today we talk about our reflexes and our natural instincts.

In Wing Chun, We train to step forward but what if I’m not at that level yet and my natural reaction is to be defensive and step back?

Our ultimate goal in Wing Chun is to intercept, step forward, and strike. But if we’re not there yet, and we react defensively and step back, what should we do?

Here are 3 things to keep in mind when you do step back.

1) Keep your hands up in Wu Sau position. This is very important because you need to be ready to block.

2) Don’t retreat directly backwards. Step to the side. If you’re still going backwards, step backwards at an angle so your opponent has to readjust their center.

3) This is the hardest part, counter striking. Stop backing up, and counter. End your opponent’s momentum and counter strike.

In a controlled environment like a class, it’s easy to practice stepping forward. But our natural instinct may be to be defensive and not confrontational. If that’s the case, remember to keep your hands up in Wu Sau, retreat to the side or at an angle, and counter strike!

Here’s my question for you. What is your natural instinct? Are you more confrontational and ready to strike or are you more defensive and ready to block? Let me know in the comments!

Maintaining Balance with the Wing Chun Stance

Today we talk about maintaining balance when I’m in my Wing Chun stance and how to test it.

Before we get started, I just want to mention that my Wing Chun stance may be different from yours. I learned to put my weight on my heels (heels down) so it makes it easier for me to stay grounded and Shift.

I test my balance by leaning forward, leaning backwards. If my stance isn’t correct, I will end up tipping over forward or backwards.

If I am tipping forward, it may be because all my weight are on the balls of my feet, towards the front. To correct this, I would place my weight on my heels and sink in by bending my knees and pushing my hips forward and out.

If I tip backwards, it may be because I’m leaning too far back instead of pushing my hips forward. To correct this, I push my hips forward and let that dictate how much I’m leaning back.

The key things to remember is to make sure my weight is on my heels and my hips are forward. This is how my normal Wing Chun stance is and how I remain in my Wing Chun forms.

On another topic, since I started spending time with my friends from different Wing Chun styles, for the Central Park meetup, I’ve become more receptive to using the balls of my foot (heels up) for stepping. I’m still new to it and I find it very useful when practicing outside of class, where the ground isn’t always flat and smooth.

Wing Chun vs The World

Today we talk about using Wing Chun against other fighting styles!

This is definitely a topic I want to hear your opinion on so I’m going to share my opinion first.

I think all fighting styles are good because if they weren’t, they would no longer exist.

If we were to focus on two specific styles, for example: Wing Chun vs Muay Thai. Depending if the fight follows Muay Thai rules or Wing Chun rules, that style will have an advantage over the other but having an advantage doesn’t always guarantee winning a fight.

However, without rules, I believe every style, or no style, has the same odds with a 50% chance to defeat their opponent and 50% chance to be defeated by their opponent.

That being said, this brings up another question. What is the purpose of putting two fighting styles against each other? To determine which is better? I think this is an open ended question because there will always be someone that is stronger, faster, and better, regardless of fighting style or experience.

Now, I want to hear your opinion about Wing Chun vs other fighting styles. What do you think? Let me know in the comments!

Let’s Talk About Jut Sau

Today we talk about Jut Sau and how I use it as a combo starter.

Jut Sau is present in the Dummy Form and Sil Lim Tao Form. To do Jut Sau, I use the ball of my palm to stick and pull my opponent. Jut Sau is a small motion and can be used to quickly transition into a strike.

I believe Jut Sau is a good combo starter because it creates a lot of options. For example, I can Jut Sau then strike with the same hand. I can also use it, like in the Dummy Form, to pull my opponent and strike with my other arm simultaneously.

I’m guilty of not using it as often but I want to know how you use it (outside of the forms it’s used in). Tell me about it in the comments!

Using a Rash Guard in Wing Chun

Today we talk about using a rash guard or compression sleeve in Wing Chun.

It’s summer in New York and it gets really hot in class. This leads to a lot of sweating and it makes training a bit messy when I’m sliding off my opponent’s sweat.

I’m trying out the rash guards (or as I like to call them, Chi Sao Guards) and here’s what I think so far:

– It keeps my sweat separate from my opponent and my arms no longer slide off my opponent’s arms during drills and Chi Sao.

– I’ve never wore long sleeves in class before so wearing these rash guards has been my first experience with sleeves in Wing Chun. I find it uncomfortable and prefer using only my arms.

– It doesn’t affect my sensitivity or my techniques but once again, it feels different than when I’m just using my arms.

I plan to continue using them for the remainder of the summer but in the mean time I’d like to know what your take is and if you wear any extra athletic wear for your Wing Chun training. Let me know in the comments!

Keeping Contact and Control

Today we talk about using this part of our hands to keep contact and control of our opponent!

I stick to my opponent to maintain contact but making contact doesn’t always mean sticking, and sticking doesn’t always mean control.

If my point of contact with my opponent is my wrist or my fingertips, there’s nothing I can do to follow my opponent because the area of contact from my wrist or fingers limits what I can control.

The palm, however, is a good part of the hand to use for sticking and following the opponent without being aggressive. It also offers enough surface to easily adapt to my opponent’s movements whether they want to move up, down, or side to side.

What do you think about sticking with your palm? Let me know in the comments and tell me how you go about sticking. Cheers!

Drilling Forward and Rooting

Today I share a drill with you that helped me focus on rooting myself and driving my energy forward!

This drill requires a partner! So grab your training partner if you want to try it out.

Now decide who will be defending and who will be attacking.

The person defending will need to create a box on the ground. That box is where they need to stay in. The goal of the defender is to hold their ground and stay in the box. If they move outside the box, they lose! Here are a few exceptions:
– You can step forward but only to strike
– You can only take, at most, one step back or else you lose

The goal of the person attacking is to move the defender out of their box. This can include grabbing, pushing, baiting, or any other method that can lure or move the defender out.

One tip for this game is to avoid pushing because it ends up turning into a battle of who’s stronger. The goal of the game is to work on both persons’ techniques!

This is a very fun drill so give it a try and let me know how it goes!

Practice Wing Chun Year Two

It has been one year since we started the Practice Wing Chun show. Let’s talk about what’s next for Practice Wing Chun in Year Two!

The Practice Wing Chun show began as a way for me to talk about Wing Chun without any bias and stay neutral. Then it grew and we ended up starting a little community. Look at all of you!

Youtube: 300+ subscribers
Facebook: ~3000 likes
Twitter: 400+ followers

I am so thankful to have all of you in my life. You spend your free time to watch the show, and continue to every week, every episode. I sincerely appreciate you. You’re awesome!

I hope to continue creating value for you so you can learn, or use, at least one thing from every episode!

Year Two will be the same format but I plan to introduce new ideas and encourage new habits. They may not immediately seem connected with Wing Chun but it will 😉

If you’ve been watching since the beginning, you may already know I am open to learning new things and I believe in sharing ideas freely. But my most favorite thing is getting feedback from you when I introduce an idea or technique! I’m always open to feedback, so never hesitate to be completely honest. All of your constructive feedback, suggestions, and comments contributes to helping me grow and making me better!

Lastly, believe it or not, we are people from all over the world and we all connect on one thing, our love for Wing Chun!

Lets keep practicing, let’s keep training.