Keep Your Arms Close and Your Opponents Closer

Today we talk about keeping your arms close and your opponents closer.

A fully extended arm makes it easier to be grabbed and pulled. This was something my Sifu mentioned after he watched the video of me doing Chi Sao with my friend Marc (episode #069). He noticed that my arms were almost fully extended. From my perspective, I thought I was keeping Marc out but from my Sifu’s perspective, I was giving Marc my arm to be grabbed. I should have kept my arms at 135 angle, so that my arms were closer to me, which makes it more difficult for my opponent to grab and pull it.

Also, when I lose contact with my opponent, especially during Chi Sao, I need to quickly reestablish the connection. Even if I keep my guard hands up, I need to close the distance and maintain connection with my opponent. Without the connection, I’m not in range to do anything.

I think Wing Chun is only effective within a certain distance between an opponent. Once I’m out of range, it makes anything I do ineffective.

So as a reminder, keep your arms close and your opponents closer! 🙂

Hold Your Ground

Today we talk about holding your ground and I share a drill you can use with your partner to practice!

In class we went over a drill that was really fun that works your fight or flight response. This was the first time I’ve done this drill in class so it took a while to get used. It was hard to not back up or step to the side but once I got used to it, it became very interesting.

When I was defending and holding my ground, I realized my opponent could only throw the same type of strikes and this made it easier and easier to block and deflect.

When I was on the offensive, I also realized how quickly my attacks were limited to just a few strikes. At such a close distance, without space to step in on, there was not enough momentum to generate any power in my strikes. So even at such a close range, my strikes were essentially useless. This was definitely a very interesting insight.

If you want to practice this drill, grab a partner! There are two roles, one defender and one attacker.

1) Defender: Defend without stepping back but you can shift. Also, don’t try to push your attacker back, keep the distance close.

2) Attacker: Attack and close the distance. Do not step back when there’s no more room to generate power for your strikes.

Switch roles after two minutes.

Give it a try and let me know how it goes in the comments!

Eyes Closed Chi Sao

Today is another class note focused on Chi Sao, more specifically, Eyes Closed Chi Sao!

The idea behind Eyes Closed Chi Sao (ECCS) is to shut out all your visual distractions and focus on finding openings created by your opponent.

When I first tried this, it was scary because I couldn’t see what my opponent was going to do with my eyes closed. But when I got used to it, it made it much easier to focus on my opponent’s intent. I don’t know how to describe it any other way but “intent”. I could feel when my opponent is about to step forward or strike, etc. This was because my eyes were closed, I could no longer rely on my sight but had to use my other senses to Chi Sao.

It’s a very fun drill and I encourage you to try it out with your training partner. Go soft so you don’t hurt each other, especially if it’s your first time. Just roll and see if you can find each other’s openings and try to strike when the opportunity presents itself! Let me know how it goes in the comments below!

The ABCs of Wing Chun

Today we talk about the ABCs of Wing Chun, “Always Be Counterstriking”!

Here are 3 reasons why you need to counterstrike:

1) You’re getting hit, you need to stop getting hit. Counterstrike to change your opponent’s mentality from being aggressive to being more defensive.

2) If you don’t strike back it lets your opponent know they can keep attacking you. Take control of the momentum so that it’s in your favor, not their’s.

3) Wing Chun’s defense is also the offense.

Keep that in mind that next time you’re training with a partner. Let me know how it goes in the comments!

Pinning Your Opponent in Chi Sao

Today we talk about Chi Sao and how to properly pin your opponent.

To pin your opponent efficiently, you need to do 4 things:

1) Strike first so that your opponent feels danger

2) Clear your opponent’s arm as they defend or react to your strike, meanwhile blocking their other arm from countering you

3) Step in to close the distance

4) Bump them to disrupt their flow

5) Oh and this should all be done simultaneously 🙂

Do you guys do anything similar in your Chi Sao training? I’m definitely interested in hear what you guys do so let me know in the comments!

The Final Section of the Wing Chun Dummy Form

These are the applications to the final section of the Wing Chun Dummy Form.

Section 1 – Reacting to multiple punches
Section 2 – Jamming/preventing further strikes
Section 3 – Intercepting and sweeping opponent

I really enjoy Section 3 because like take downs, sweeping an opponent utilize the push/pull mechanic and is very effective. I plan to incorporate more of these types of techniques in my Wing Chun training!

These are my class notes and are more for my own personal review but if you find them useful for your review, please let me know!

Take Downs in Wing Chun

Yesterday in class I focused on section 7 of the Wing Chun Dummy Form which covers the take down!

In Wing Chun, I think take downs are very effective but they’re not practiced as much as other drills.

I don’t have much experience with take downs so my knowledge is very limited but the most important thing to remember is that you need to cause a push and pull reaction from your opponent.

I had a lot of fun practicing the take downs but wished that we dedicated more class time to practicing it with everyone in the class.

What do you guys think about make take downs a more integral part of Wing Chun training? Let me know in the comments!

Keeping the Distance & Push/Pull Technique

Today I share some class notes about keeping the distance and the push/pull technique!

Keeping the distance is a fundamental of movement in Wing Chun. When an opponent steps into you, you keep the distance by taking the same distance stepping back. The idea is if the distance between you and you opponent remain the same, neither person will be able to strike the other. According to my Sifu, he says that Grandmaster Ip Chun is a master at keeping the distance and when he does close the distance, it’s to attack.

This leads to the next topic, pushing and pulling. If your opponent commits to their strike to attack and charges forward, you can take advantage of their momentum by controlling where they go with a pull. The same is applied when they try to pull you. Instead of resisting, use the energy they’re using for pulling and step into them knocking them with their own energy.

Comment to let me know what you think!

Side Stepping in Wing Chun

Today we talk about side stepping in Wing Chun and in the Dummy Form.

Yesterday in class I focused on the applications of section 6 of the Wing Chun Dummy Form. I focused on stepping to the side. In my original step, I place all my weight on the front leg and lead with my head first. That’s a bad habit and my Sifu helped me realize that. He demonstrated how he does it by keeping the weight on the back leg and NOT leading with the head leaning in, haha. Since it’s a bad habit of mine, it will take time for me to adjust and correct it. I hope you can learn from my mistake and correct your bad habits early.

These Class Notes episodes will be more for my own review but if you find it useful, please let me know. But if you don’t find it useful, please let me know how it can be better. Feedback is always appreciated and I read everyone of them!

Lastly, did you find this episode helpful for you? Do you have the same bad habit I had? Let me know!