Moon Pointing Finger

Wing Chun: whatever happened to reality?

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  by David Peterson 

Wing Chun Malaysia - David PetersonPractitioners of Wing Chun pride themselves on the fact that it is a true combat system, designed for the brutal reality of the street. But is it? Based upon how some schools train, you wouldn’t think so! Most are so tied up in pointless games of “chasing hands” or endless amounts of complex ‘Chi Sau’ training to ever reach the stage where they could survive a full-blooded street assault. Some of them would even struggle to beat a novice boxer!

Where has it all gone wrong, you ask? Well, the biggest problem is that everybody wants to reinvent the wheel when what we were originally given wasn’t half bad at all. On top of that, Wing Chun has become “trendy” now, especially since the recent Ip Man movie phenomenon, leading to a great many far-from-qualified “instructors” peddling their wares to a largely uninformed public. The result: lots of fancy moves, but no substance.

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Chi Sau more than just sticking hands

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  by David Peterson 

Sifu David and Sifu DarrenBy and large, most people tend to believe that the Wing Chun drill known as ‘Chi Sau’ (“sticking hands”) is a reflex drill, the purpose of which is to hone the reactions and responses of practitioners of the system to the point where they can defend themselves even when blindfolded. This belief has been enhanced over the years through many demonstrations of what seems to be, at least on the surface, the “ultimate shield” against close range hand attacks.

Many claim that by merely engaging in regular ‘Chi Sau’ training, one can learn to fight more or less instinctively in a relatively short period of time. In some schools, training is very much almost exclusively ‘Chi Sau’ based, whilst in others, the complete opposite is so, with ‘Chi Sau’ considered overrated and virtually absent from the training syllabus.

 

So what exactly is the purpose of the ‘Chi Sau’ drill and what role does it actually play in the development of the Wing Chun skill set? Is it the “perfect” trapping/controlling method, or is the aim of ‘Chi Sau’ training something totally different altogether? Most importantly, is it about “sticking” to the hands at all, or has this interpretation of the exercise been grossly in error?

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The Muk Yan Jong Is NOT for Dummies

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  by David Peterson 


Wing Chun Malaysia - Sifu David Peterson - The Muk Yan Jong is not for DummiesThere is a very simple, but extremely important and much-overlooked fact that few people practising Wing Chun seem to understand about the ‘Muk Yan Jong’ form – it must NOT ever be viewed in purely “black & white” terms with regard to concepts and/or applications. The ‘Muk Yan Jong’ is a complex, multi-faceted training tool that has many “shades of grey” and chief amongst its requirements is the need to have a very active imagination in order to actually discover the full potential of what is contained within it. It is a training tool that has so much to offer practitioners of the system, but for most, never delivers all that it could because it requires a very special kind of thinking. The ‘Muk Yan Jong’ is NOT meant for Dummies!!!

One of the most respected and innovative Wing Chun teachers of recent memory, the late Wong Shun Leung Sifu, believed that the most important consideration regarding the ‘Muk Yan Jong’ form is the need for the Wing Chun practitioner to appreciate the fact that there are certain things that the ‘Muk Yan Jong’ is NOT: it is NOT a conditioning tool; it is NOT a ‘Chi Sau’  training exercise or substitute for “hands-on” experience; it is NOT meant to be interpreted as a set of rigid sequences to be applied in rote fashion in combat – to practise and/or attempt to apply it as such is a recipe for disaster (to do so presumes far too much knowledge of the opponent, and to think in that way will lead to the Wing Chun practitioner getting him or herself into a situation that is extremely difficult to recover from or escape).

 

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