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Articles

What I Have Learnt Through Beimo

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by Sifu Wong Shun Leung

The following article is a personal account of what the late Wing Chun master, sifu Wong Shun Leung felt were the main lessons he had learnt about combat through his experiences of "beimo" or skill comparison, a somewhat subtle way of naming the many full-on fights he had with practitioners of literally dozens of Chinese and other fighting systems during his forty plus years as a Wing Chun devotee. The "beimo" is a long established tradition in the Chinese martial arts and in the Hong Kong of the 1950's and 1960's, one name shone out like a beacon when "beimo" was the topic of discussion. That name was Wong Shun Leung, student of Wing Chun patriarch Yip Man, classmate and trainer of Bruce Lee, and the man who became known in martial art circles as "Gong Sau Wong", the "King of Talking with the Hands". During these celebrated "contests", which took place on rooftops, in back alleys, behind closed doors, in the countryside and anywhere else that was found to be convenient, sifu Wong is said to have never lost a fight, and most witnesses claim that the majority of exchanges took no more than three techniques to determine his victory. Quite a few of these "contests" were arranged by a journalist who was keen to conduct these "tests of skill" so as to obtain exclusive articles for his newspaper, "The Star". Unlike the tournaments of today, these were real fights where rules and protective clothing were unknown, where serious injuries could and, occasionally, did take place, and where there was absolutely no room for "martial magic". The "beimo" sorted out the martial artists from the bullshit artists.

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The Wing Chun forms - a brief overview

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by David Peterson

As an instructor and communicator of the martial arts, specifically the ‘Wong Shun Leung Method’ of Wing Chun Gung-fu, it is very important to be able to explain the art and present its concepts in as succinct a way as possible. This is of course to ensure that each and every student can gain a deep and practical understanding of what the system offers them, and how best to use this “tool” for self-improvement and personal protection. Clearly, one can get into very detailed discussions on all aspects of the system, but sometimes this can cause more confusion and lead to greater misunderstanding than clarification. Especially for the less experienced students, too much detail can inhibit, rather than enhance their development.

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"Get Out Of The Way, ...And Make Them Pay!"

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The Street-Effective Footwork Of Wing Chun

by David Peterson

Everyone knows how boring it is to practise footwork, but there isn’t a martial artist alive who could deny the importance of acquiring the skills involved. It doesn’t matter how fast or powerful your punches and kicks might be, without a delivery system, no striking technique, no matter how great it might be, is of any use at all if it can’t reach the target. Even more important is the need to be able to avoid an opponent’s attempts to attack, while still being in an advantageous position, hence footwork, no matter how tedious, is a skill that needs to be drilled constantly.

Not only does footwork require constant drilling to perfect, it must be structurally sound and based on logical principles in order to be effective under real conditions. While much of the footwork patterns practised in many martial arts may work within the relative safety of the dojo, dojang and kwoon, or in competition or pre-arranged demonstrations,

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