Complement Your Wing Chun Training

Today we talk about complementing your current Wing Chun training!

When I first started Wing Chun, I had trouble with two things:

1) Understanding how to control my movements
2) How to exert my power

From my experience, learning Wing Chun was the first time I had to use my body to do multiple things at once. I had to Block, Strike, and Shift. It sounds simple to say and even simple to do now but it was a struggle and it hurt my brain trying to figure it all out.

I realized I was trying to do each movement chronologically like Tan Sau, Punch, Shift. I figured out how to batch my movements together instead and I did this by taking a step back to look at the common movements between them all.

What I noticed was the direction I was moving. So I knew that if I was doing a left hand Tan Sau, I would probably be Shifting towards my left. I connected those together and all I had to do now is Punch. So now I knew that whichever way I was Shifting, I was blocking with the arm of that direction and knew that my free arm was for Striking.

After this discovery, I started practicing all my other techniques that required multiple movements the same way by batching the actions together. I would practice the movements on my own at home and just repeating them over and over again until it became muscle memory.

Now, for exerting power, this is something I’m still working on it. When I say power, I don’t mean just the strength of my strikes but also the force when I step in and my stability when rooting.

I used to step in and end up collapsing into my opponent where they don’t budge and when they return the strike and step in to me, I get knocked off balance, whether I Shifted or not.

The best thing that has helped me so far has been strength training. I follow the Stronglifts 5×5 program, you can Google it for more information, and what I think helped me the most are Squats and Deadlifts. Both of these exercises are heavy lifts but they work out my entire body and most importantly, my core.

I believe my core is what helps me generate my power to stay grounded and also add strength behind my strikes. I’m sure that there are other ways to go about it but this is the way that has worked for me.

These were the two things I learned to overcome and I continue to work on them.

That being said, I can’t assume that we learn the same way. For some people, everything may come naturally, and for others, we have to work for it. I’ve shared what has helped me, so tell me about your experience!

Question: Is there anything you do to complement your Wing Chun training? If so, what is it? Let me know in the comments!

Unlock Your Third Arm With Wing Chun!

Today we talk about how Wing Chun gives us an extra arm!

In Wing Chun, we are taught to defend against two arms using only one of ours.

Let me explain:

– We can essentially use one arm to block side to side
– We can block then strike
– We can block with a strike

In my examples, notice that we are essentially using one arm to do the job of two. Giving my free arm free reign to strike.

Sometimes though, I get caught up in defending and forget I have another arm. A trick for me is to always pair my blocks with a strike. If one of my arms is defending, my other one better be striking.

The best way to practice this is going back to the fundamentals and reviewing the Tan Da drill. This is one of the first drills I learned, where I had to Tan Sau, Da, and Shift. Essentially doing three things at once. I use this as my template to mix other techniques together to focus on doing multiple things at once. By pairing things together, it makes it easy for my body to remember, adding it to my muscle memory.

By having a three arm mentality, it really gives us a chance to be creative in how we can go about using our techniques. If we focus on using one arm to do two things, it cuts down on redundancies and focuses on efficiencies. Just something to think about 🙂

My question for you is: What are some ways you use your three arms? Let me know!

“I Have Two Hands”

Today I want to share with you a quick mantra that helps me when I overlook one important concept in Wing Chun.

My mantra is “I have two hands”.

During Chi Sao, I am so focused on defending that I forget I have a free hand for striking. The idea is to defend and also strike at the same time. It was the one concept that I was taught early on but I still forget that I have two hands. I get caught up with all the attacks coming at me that I end up in a defensive mode instead of using both my hands to return my opponent’s pressure.

One thing to keep in mind is to not use two hands to do the same thing. Don’t block with two hands and don’t strike with two hands. One should be focused on the blocking and the other should be focused on the striking. I think separating the two is the best way to remember this and to make it a habit!

I have two hands and so do you 🙂

Lastly, surprise announcement. You can now get your very own Practice Wing Chun t-shirt! Check them out here!