just another Wing Chun blog

X Marks the Spot

by Robert Chu

Trapping is a core training method of Wing Chun Kuen, but it has been complicated to teach.

Over the years, I’ve searched for ways to teach the skills to my students.  I would explain, “After striking with the Tan Da, the right fist changes into aLop Sao and traps the opponent, where you strike him with a Lop Da, then you can continue on to Jut Da!”

I’d get puzzled looks – then the opportunity was lost…and it became a mess and a jammed up tangle and struggle for the students.

Recently, I’ve turned to core objectives when teaching and every training method has its skill set, tools and theme.

Perhaps its my having to read aloud to my two young ones, but a few pirate stories have inspired me.  In a good pirate story, theres always a map, then a big “X” on it to denote where the treasure is!

I simply tell the my students now, “X marks the spot!  Cross the arms, and when it looks like an “X” diagonally, horizontally, or vertically, left, right, or center, or high, middle, and low, simply strike them!”

Its worked out so beautifully, that even I am surprised.

Since martial arts skills are largely physical, we should learn them physically, rather than just intellectually or with words ad nauseum.  Words are representations of what is.  If you develop a skill set, you bypass words, which don’t have to get translated, then cause a time lag due to thought.  Thought is one of the factors for slow reaction time.  Many instructors get too technical with certain students.  Some students are more kinesthetically gifted, others auditory or visual.  That is why some students eyes glaze over when an instructor begins a long winded dissertation of their system’s superiority and terms and jargon…if you show the visually gifted, and make the kinesthetic ones feel, you’re doing your job properly as an instructor!  Of course, you have to tell the audtory gifted ones…

Some suggested I should use the WCK terms in English, rather than the Cantonese mother tongue.  I have no problem with that, since I am bilingual, however, English is multisyllballic, whereas Cantonese monosylliballic.  It just makes things longer.

If I were to teach the WCK terms in English, it would sound like this, “After striking with the combined strike and spreading hand, the right fist changes into a Grabbing Hand and traps the opponent, where you strike him with aGrab and simultaneous strike, then you can continue on to Choking bridge and strike!”


The three ranges of Wing Chun

written by a student of Sifu Tom Wong

Short range is the range that is most associated with Wing Chun, even with those who are only remotely familiar with the style. This close range infighting is very advanced and can only be properly learned, practiced, and understood after the longer range concepts are fully grasped. This distance is also commonly known as trapping range. In Wing Chun we practice sticky hands, or chi sau for this.

My teacher has a specific and unique method for teaching sticky hands.

First, the preliminary training for long range and mid range techniques teaches students in our family to close the gap, move in and “stick” to our opponent. Easier said than done. We spend a great deal of time perfecting our mobility, foot work, not wasting movements, stamina, speed, timing and agility.

This is the forward energy often mentioned in Wing Chun but hardly understood. Students in our family “bug the opponent like a bee or a fly or a hummingbird”. Starting from a distance, as most confrontations do, and then ending up “too close for comfort to the opponent”.

Every technique we use, every weapon we use, and every principle we follow carries this spirit. The close range principle is easily understood by soft style practitioners, but it seems to be mysterious to some Wing Chun artists. I will adress this later because it is very fundamental.

Once after sparring 3 or 4 people in a row, Sifu asked me, “Now, what do you think you can do better next time?” I thought for a second. Then I said,”Workout harder!”, because I was completely out of breath. He said, “Hmm…no that’s not it…once you get in, you don’t know what to do!” At this point I am familiar with the long and medium ranges but the short range I have yet to master.

In application, from my past experiences with other challengers and Kung Fu brothers from other schools, I see people often neglect this part of Wing Chun principle that is vital to a Wing Chun practicioner, or they demonstrate actions that are different than what they preach about Wing Chun.

My teacher says sticky hands is a fragmented part of Wing Chun training. There is more to Wing Chun than just that. As a result, Wing Chun has gotten a bad reputation for only looking good but with no practicality. That’s why people try to mix it with Muay Thai or some other hard style of boxing when it comes to real fight training.

Totally incorrect.

Everyone who practices martial arts, has had a few fights, or is fairly intelligent when they start martial arts always gets the idea to take the best stuff from every style and create their own personal superstyle. In fact this is how martial arts evolves. But most people are not qualified to do this for one reason. In order to get the best from every style you practice requires years of training. But most people study only short while, or even worse they study for years but never fully grasp the principles and never master the style. So when they take from the style they only end up taking a few moves or techniques; never carrying with them the spirit, the essence of the style.

They dont get “the best stuff”.

In our family one of our founders, Fung Siu Ching, incorporated Tai Chi grappling into our Wing Chun. Many people practice some form of Tai Chi and some form of Wing Chun and try to mix the two. So what makes ours different?

Well, Master Fung was well known to be a very experienced general, marshall and bounty hunter for the Qing. He had real hand to hand combat skill for most of his life. He knew Tai Chi grappling probably better than he knew his wife. It was in him, it was a part of him. A soft, internal style principle that is our Kung Fu is internal–its in your soul, your DNA. Many readers frown on the Wing Chun and Tai Chi relationship, and confuse us with some of the masters who add Tai Chi technigues into their Wing Chun techniques like adding apples and oranges together.

Some swear that Fung had studied Shaolin Crane Style (Shaolin practitioners have said this). Most of them have never heard that Ng Mui was from Aumei White Crane Cave (stated by the Master of Lost Track style in the book Lost Track Style Kung Fu and Master Sum Nung). The Aumei Pi style of Kung Fu is actually a family of many mixed styles of Shaolin and Wudong, by many masters of the two, over hundreds of years! It became a new fruit! Back to my point.

Closing the gap in our Wing Chun is similar to Xing Yi and Tai Chi principles. In both styles the master gets close. In Xing Yi they close in. In Tai Chi they allow the opponent to close in. We do similarly but still different. We move forward in a yielding manner. Once in close, short range, trapping range, the most deadly, powerful, accurate finishing blows are executed. In this range we also differ from other Wing Chun families because we emphasize much more stand up grappling, White Crane sweeping and throwing, take downs, and breaks.


Coaching From The Ancestors

by Jim Roselando

One of the main criticisms by the modern practitioner would be that it is pointless to look into our arts roots as today’s fighters are not the same as the boxers from the time when Wing Chun was developed! Well, times may have changed but the human body has not, and, the reason for the research is to help us understand what was the goal (or purpose) of the training (when the union of the Emei Snake & Fukien Crane took place) which was the paradigm shift for a martial art development process. The new system was rooted in two giants of Chinese martial and health arts, which explains why our art was designed to be more effective and efficient than other systems. This article will address some of the core coaching from the Wing Chun ancestors and how we can utilize their teaching to maximize our own development today!


The art of Wing Chun Kuen, just like any art, has many aspects of training. Solo, footwork, partner, sticking hands, dummy, free fighting and other elements that all need be developed, but one of the key aspects in developing the practitioner is a proper solo cultivation. So, why we practice is quite simple. “To develop and integrate our whole body.” This brings us to one of the common stories we have all heard which is that “wrong training is harmful to the practitioner”? Well, what kind of wrong training are the ancestors talking about? What could be done in training that could be harmful to the body and boxing? So, lets address some of the coaching of Wing Chun Kuen ancestor Yik Kam with regards to the solo cultivation!

One boxing classic states: Internally train the breath and Qi. Externally train the muscles, tendons and bones. This is the clearest guide for understanding what is to be cultivated during your solo practice, and, will develop the right stuff needed to activate and integrate your entire body. These two simple phrases will be the guide for keeping us from swaying off the path when it comes to understanding what two aspects our solo practice will develop! They are the core of how to train the internal, and external, aspects of our body with our martial art. The inside training is thru stillness (this training is specifically targeted/isolated in the first section of the first set) and moving works the external training but in our art they are both exercised thru our solo practice and the result of the training will be the foundation for the qualities famous to our art. This would be the ability to use qualities of joining, sticking and spring shock force with a centered wholesome body. The offensive and defensive tools of our art are being simultaneously developed during solo training but this article will focus on the core engine building and not its extensions.


The training concepts for solo practice that come from Wing Chun ancestor, Yik Kam, are actually quite simple and come directly from the ancestral Kuen Kuit (boxing poetry). Keep in mind that the art of Wing Chun is a “natural state” or soft form of Boxing. This means, the main purpose of Wing Chun’s solo training is to condition your whole body while simultaneously developing the tools and dynamics of the art. The platform of development, and conditioning, during solo practice would be:

1) Physical

2) Mental

3) Breathing

4) Energy

5) Force

The primary purpose of the solo practice is designed for loosening up the practitioner! The two easiest aspects to grasp during solo training would be the physical & mental. The physical body must be released and every part of the body must be open and softened from your daily exercise. The second aspect of training is the mind. If the mind cannot relax then how can the body? So, as one begins to gradually quiet the mind via the breathing awareness, the training of loosening of the physical is being developed at the same time.

There are direct relations with the process of quieting the mind and the breathing layer of training. A quiet mind is the result of breathing awareness and this brings us to understand something about energy. For without a relaxed body, mind & breath there is no energy cultivation. So, bringing awareness to your posture, relaxation and breathing is the foundation of the Boxing Sets exercise. During your solo training the breathing must be effortless and this requires a gradual and natural process to Sink the Qi to the Dan Tien thru lower abdominal breathing. The Zheng Qi energy will eventually cultivate and transport from the Dan Tien throughout the entire body creating a fully integrated but dynamic structure. When all the first four areas are cultivated the practitioner will have Ging (soft wholesome force) that drives our Wing Chun and is the result of this specific path of the solo development! A body that is elongated and released thru solo practice will have the quality of heavy and light with a greater range of elasticity to the body thus taking the foot off the break while driving your martial art!

Final Thoughts

If the art of Wing Chun was designed to be highly efficient then it had to be very simple. The goal of the solo training was to return the body to the natural state while developing the tools and dynamics of the art. Keep in mind that to develop your body and mind still requires time and effort. This is the Kung of Kung Fu! Solo training without this methodology would actually deplete us and close off the body as a result of the training which brings understanding as to why; Wrong training is harmful to the practitioner! Wrong development will harden the body and close off the joints, which depletes sensitivity, shock force and many other key elements. A tense breath and body obstructs the flow of blood, which disturbs your ability to respond and react in a dynamic situation. If one utilizes the simple five stages of cultivation for their solo practice these concerns need not apply and you will be on the fast path to famed state of Sung (letting go) thanks to a little coaching from the ancestors!


Training Notes from Yip Chun

Some brief notes taken during a seminar April 29th and 30th, 1995 at the school of Chris Chan (Chan Shing) in San Francisco. Martin Eng translated during Yip Chun’s talk; Dan Lucas wrote and edited these notes (with apologies to Yip Chun).

To Begin

If you could choose, which would you prefer: to be a good fighter, or to have good health? Most people would choose good health. So, if you teach Wing Chun, I would like you to emphasize the health aspect of the art.

How does a cook cut with such precision? Because he practices every day. Because the bricklayer does his work every day his lines are straight and approach perfection. This is the meaning of “gung fu.” Although Wing Chun is not our profession, we still have to do it every day in order to improve. After you reach perfection you won’t change. Martial arts training is more dangerous than learning a trade, so we have more reason to train with diligence.

Your Fook Sau is at the same angle whether you put strength into it or if you keep it soft. So you don’t need to use strength. When I need it I use it, when I don’t need it I don’t waste it. You may have a lot of money, and I may not. You may not know how to use it, or how to invest it, but you spend it anyway. Then, when you need it, you don’t have it. If I have very little money I don’t waste it. When I need it I take it out and use it. In this way I always have some when I need it.

At the point of contact is where the opponent feels pain. Until then force is useless. Force is needed only at the point of contact. The time you need force is very little.

We do a lot of air punching to strengthen the arms and increase speed. But if you hit someone in the head it can hurt your hand unless you work on the sandbag. With practice on the bag it’s like walking around with a hammer. To develop a heavy hand, therefore, you should practice both air punching and sandbag punching.

Chum Kiu

There are two main points in Chum Kiu: to avoid by turning, and to be stable. I practiced the Lahn Sao turning movement in Chum Kiu every day all day for three months, but my father wouldn’t teach me the next movement until I got it right. “You think three months is a long time?” he said, “I followed my master for three years!”

Wooden Dummy

There are three main points to remember in practicing the wooden dummy:

  1. Never treat the dummy as a dummy.
  2. It’s purpose is position and hand movement, not strength.
  3. The hand stays as close to the dummy arms as possible.

Don’t practice to use power on the wooden dummy, but practice to learn how to control your opponent.

When I face the dummy the wooden leg is in my way and I can’t put my leg forward. In reality, the farther I extend my leg towards the opponent’s center the more power I have in my attack.

Some people call the wooden dummy leg techniques “Baat Geuk”, the eight foot movements, because the form has eight different ways of using the kick in combination with a step.

Toward the end of the dummy form, after the Gum Sao, the footwork is wrong. It’s been passed on this way though we don’t know where it came from. People are people, they’re not 100 percent correct. You believe your own wisdom. Everything you learn you should think about and try out, that’s the proper way to learn. Fifty percent you learn from your teacher, the other fifty percent you add yourself. After the Gum Sao in the form we cross over, then come in. In reality a Gum Sao is used to push or press away from you and you can’t cross to the other side, instead you should go in on the same side as the Gum Sao.

Chi Sao

Chi Sao isn’t fighting. Chi Sao is like a bridge between the forms and actual situations. You’ll be in trouble if you use Chi Sao to fight with.

You can do Siu Lim Tao 1000 times and each time it’s the same. Each time you do Chi Sao it’s different. Free style fighting is about winning and losing. Chi Sao is for training with your Wing Chun brothers and sisters. You can’t do Chi Sao with students from other schools.

Other styles teach you the movements and then you go out and try to apply them. You can learn this way but you have a high price to pay. Chi Sao provides a way to practice while minimizing injury.

Chi Sao teaches:

  • Good hand movement.
  • Good feeling/reflexes.
  • How to use force (when to let go, when to pull, and so on).
  • Good position.

When you use these four you use all four, not just one at a time. Which of these four do you think is most important? What you see is easy to learn, what you don’t see is hard to learn. Therefore the easiest of the four to learn is the hand movement, because you can see it. The proper way to use force is harder to learn because you can’t see it. Proper position is the hardest to learn.

It doesn’t matter whether ‘s offense or defense, the good position has the advantage. Speed depends on position. To increase speed try to find the shortest distance to your opponent.

For me Chi Sao is like a game; an adult game. Chi Sao gives your mind rest, so it’s good for your health. If you’re tense you lose its purpose, so it’s best to treat it like a game.

Of course there was much more, but this gives you a taste of what was served


Training Notes from Dr. G. K. Khoe

The Bong sau angle is always greater than 90 degrees.GK_Khoe

Make sure the power at the wrist goes straight to the opponent’s centerline.

All forms can be changed to all other forms.

The straight punch in the first set is level, not at the nose.

Always use the combined force of two hands. When you hit, use the other hand as a reaction force.

When you switch from inside to outside in the double sticking hands, keep the elbow in or you are open to a hit. Also don’t forget about the forward force in the other hand. Keep the force straight forward to the opponent’s center, not to one side or the other.

Wong Shun Leung was famous for being able to change in the middle of a movement. Wang Kiu was famous for his variety of techniques. The first generation were all noted for different things.

The punching bag is necessary until the power comes. After that it is not so important.

At home you can still practice the mechanics of Chi sau even without a partner.

Pay attention to the Yin and Yang when practicing the Chi sau sentences.

Use the pivot or else the deflect and strike action will be too weak.

Don’t think, just react, thinking is too slow.

Practicing Chi sau with the eyes closed will enhance your sensitivity.

In the middle of a technique, many people are just too tense. So you constantly have to monitor your own tension level. Even in the middle of a technique, if you find you are to tense, don’t continue the technique without first relaxing, then continue the technique.

When you practice the Poon sau or rolling, watch that all the gaps are closed or else you are just wasting your time.

When you practice free style Chi sau, may sure you are working on something. Don’t just fight with no purpose in mind. Wild fighting does not develop a good skill. Pay attention to form and feeling.

If the opponent blocks your hit, this is like a present for you. Just apply a Lap sau or a Pak sau to this blocking hand.

There are several kinds of chain punches. One kind drags the opponent’s arms down, or crawls on top of them.

The real Lap sau is very lively, not dead. When it is applied to you it feels like an electric shock.

Holland has a woman who wins all the time using Wing Chun against the other styles. She uses very little technique, mostly a little kicking, Tan sau and a lot of charging in with chain punching.

There are two paragraphs in Wing Chun. One is the contact fighting (from a sticking position), and the other is the non-contact fighting (starting from a distance). The wooden dummy teaches the non-contact fighting. The real wooden dummy was in a box with sand.

In Chi sau, when you are hit, hit back right away. This will keep you more relaxed than when you worry about the fact that you got hit.

Don’t push the opponent away, then you have to get him back again before you can hit him.

A good exercise is to practice the symmetric two arms in and two arms out Chi sau.

With the weapons you keep yourself thin, with the hands you don’t.

Wing Chun does not just rely on one technique.

Don’t lean forward.

In the Chi sau, only apply the elbow if there is a reason to apply it. Otherwise you are open to many quick counters. An example is to use the elbow if the opponent drifts off the center.

If the opponent attemps a high kick, immediately lift the foot and counter kick, then the opponent will not be so anxious to apply the high kick.

Wing Chun theory can also be used to analyze other styles. You can analyze the other style and know that they are doing it wrong and you will know the reason why they are doing it wrong. Wing Chun theory can enhance the skill of another style whether it is a punching, kicking style or a grappling style. Some styles are just large collections of techniques. There is hardly a point for these styles to have forms.

Many styles have great difficulty with the rapid close range punching technique of Wing Chun.

Wang Kiu just taught 12 students when I learned from him. He taught only privately, 2 students a night.

Practice a lot of sticking hands and changes.

The Wu sau should be high enough to protect the throat.

Wing Chun is really Chinese boxing, which can be seen especially in the Chain punching technique.

In Wing Chun, advance slowly then suddenly charge in (according to timing). Constantly pressure the opponent to make them tense. Use psychology to tense the opponent, then to relax him and then attack when he relaxes or lets the guard down. There are many strategies for getting in.

Get the body weight behind the Chum sau by relaxing the knees.

A rock solid stance and a supple top is very important. Without a good stance the top cannot be supple.

Keep the pressure very even and continuous at all parts of the rolling cycle. There should be no gaps or holes in your defense. You could defend by just sticking.

The Bil Jee is the enemy of the Chain punch but the crossed Tan and shocking Lap works even better. The dragging chain punch can counter the enemy of the chain punch.

Wang Kiu has a very tight stance on the ground with the pigeon toed stance. He is very rooted and not possible to move. Fighting with Wang Kiu is like fighting with someone who has 10 arms. Wang Kiu’s fighting is like a symphony orchestra, everything from all sets are blended smoothly into the Chi sau. Pushing, pulling, jerking, slapping, sweeping, chopping, punching all come in a carefully orchestrated manner and in a continuous non-stop flow.

Against the double grab, you can apply the shoulder attack, but the pull has to be a real one, otherwise you will get elbowed.

Practice the empty hand version of the knife set first because the weapons are just extensions of the hands.

For demonstrations you can have a more elaborate opening for the staff set or wooden dummy set.

The Chinese broadsword can be used to train the Baat Jaam Do (eight cutting butterfly knife). The broadsword is always cutting, there is never a dead point. The Japanese sword is also a good weapon to practice against for Butterfly knife technique.

The Hung style should have the same knowledge as Wing Chun because it comes from the same place.

Wang Kiu speaks English, Japanese, Dutch, Cantonese and Mandarin. He works as a translator in Holland.

Lok Yiu had a Chum sau like an earthquake. It was Yip Man who said this.

The Thai boxers have very tough shins and can withstand most blocks. To fight them, you have to have breaking power with your hands. Thai training is more realistic than Karate. They also have a good two sword art. But Karate is actually much richer in technique. The Thai’s carry their arms on the side of their head to block the roundhouse kick and turn slightly to block the center punch. But a TaeKwonDo instructor in Holland managed to beat a good Thai fighter with a well placed toe kick to the open spot (in the center).

The fights in Hong Kong always had a referee. You flip a coin for who attacks first. Usually one person ends up bloody and the fight is stopped.

Wong is Cantonese. Wang is the Mandarin way to write Wong. Wang Kiu is pronounced Wong Kiu.

In real combat you do not worry about just hitting a special target. You hit whatever sticks out. If the knee is forward, kick it. If the hand is forward, hit it.

Don’t rely on strength in Chi sau training.

You should learn Wing Chun as an art, not just to fight. Only then will you be able to see the whole structure of the art.

In class, have a proper opening and closing to the session. Have questions at the end.

Yip Man taught very slowly and meticulously. That is why the first generation was good.

You can go in two directions in Wing Chun, the hard external way or the internal way. Wang Kiu is able to do both. Wang Kiu said at least the internal way of training won’t hurt you.

There is little point in sparring with other styles until you have mastered the wooden man techniques. Sparring at too early a stage develops many bad habits which become impossible to correct. If you spoil the student, they will just want to spar and nothing else. Entering tournaments before you have really mastered the Wing Chun way is a painful way to learn martial art.


Emin Boztepe – Training Notes 2

There is no magic or mystery, just a lot of hard work. Most people are too lazy to get good.emin boztepe 2

It isn’t the number of years you have practiced but the number of hours you have put into those years.

If you want to learn to punch, you must punch a lot. If you want to learn to kick, you must kick a lot.

Emin practiced:

  • 2 hours straight rolling
  • 35 minutes FULL POWER punching against a bag
  • 7 hours straight on the wooden dummy
  • 2 hours straight with 3 actions on the pole: bring it down, bring it up, poke
  • 6 hours a day regularly

Note: that’s why he is so good. Those people who think they will get good in 6 months just learning his system without putting in the work are dreamers. Even in the Wang Kiu line, one student practiced seven years straight only charging in (fast closing skills).

The key to making Wing Tsun work is the footwork. Therefore every practice should involve shifting (turning), and stepping footwork.

The proper Wing Tsun stance has 100% of the weight on the rear leg. The pelvis is tilted in. The front leg is springy and can’t be swept. The knees are close so that a kick can’t get in. (this was the forward stance description).

Getting into kicks is a matter of timing, which comes from a lot of practice against kicks. Start with the easy ones.

Wing Tsun does not use the backwards step. Stay there, go forward, or turn.

When a force comes, we don’t interfere with the path of that force. We use a swift intercepting force and turning of the body to neutralize the force. The second set of Wing Tsun teaches the appropriate footwork. The direction you turn depends on the direction of the force.

You don’t plan which action you’ll take. You have to feel how the force is coming. Imagine a stick floating down the river and that stick hits a rock. The stick will get deflected in some direction which could not be predicted beforehand. Similarly when a punch comes in, we receive that force and that force makes our body react and change to an appropriate Wing Tsun structure like Bong sau or Tan sau.

Wing Tsun has no blocks or deflections but only temporary transition points. This Bong sau only occurs for an instant and then changes to an attack.

When you punch, you relax everything so that eventually you can transmit the power from the ground and all the joints in your body to your fist. As soon as you tighten something, you are blocking power.

The showmanship one inch punch sends you flying. The real one inch punch will drop you on the spot.

Don’t forcefully deflect punches with the Bong sau or else you are doing Karate using Wing Chun shapes.

To learn feeling, one partner feeds the other force, then they react with Bong sau, Tan sau, Fook sau, Chum sau etc.

The arm is like a spring with the same pressure always. If you push on the Bong sau, you are compressing a spring. When you release the pressure, the spring snaps into your face.

Every kind of strike is powerful in Wing Tsun.

Once you attack, there are fists, elbows, knees, … everything comes at high speed.

You need an organized training system or else little progress will result.

The Wing Tsun system has numerous innovative training procedures which slowly bring the student up to the level of being able to handle any of today’s styles of martial art. But again it is the students hard work and not some secret techniques which brings results


Wing Chun Seminar Review: Kenneth Chung’s Boston Seminar (1997)

by Kathy Jo B. Connors

Many of you have heard and read about Ken’s methods, and have a good idea already about how he conducts his seminars. For the best technical overview of the types of things Ken covered, I would referkenneth chung1 you to “A Path to Wing Chun” on the Planet Wing Chun web site. Rather than taking the same approach, perhaps the best way for me to tell you about Ken’s seminar in Boston, is to share my experience with you in a more subjective and personal way. So here is part of my story…

On Friday, I made my 6 ½ hour drive from my home in Rochester New York to meet my former teacher and his girlfriend at their home in Burlington Vermont. The drive was gorgeous. I ventured off the NYS thruway at Utica in order to cut through a corner of the Adirondack State Park. The road cuts kitty corner from New York to my destination in Vermont. It was like driving through a landscape painting of mountains in the latter stages of fall foliage, with the surprise of a hidden lake or stream, clumps of white birch, amidst the hills and mountains at each turn. The peaceful drive gave me time to reflect on what I’d read and heard of Ken and his approach to Wing Chun, and also to reflect on my own training thus far.

I arrived to meet Eric & Erica in the afternoon. To stretch out from the ride, we walked to a nearby park overlooking Lake Champlain, and chi sau’d by the water’s edge as the sun set. They then served me with a delicious meal of homemade nori rolls, and taught me how do dress and eat them. After dinner, we climbed into the car to continue the remaining 3 ½ hour trek to our motel in Waltham Massachusetts. When we checked in, we were greeted by a note from Dr. Jack Ling, saying to meet him and Ken the following morning in the motel lobby, so we could ride together to the seminar.

At the appointed time on Saturday morning, I found Ken waiting downstairs. When I walked in I recognized him immediately from the pictures I’ve seen on the Internet. He identified me also, either from the expression on my face, or perhaps from the video I made last March for the Sil Lim Tau video project which he said he had seen, and gave a warm and hearty greeting. A moment later Jack Ling walked over, with an enormous smile which is dwarfed only by the size of his heart. With Eric and Erica arriving just behind me, the introductions were hardly over before our conversations turned to Wing Chun. As we rode, Ken began explaining some wing chun concepts needed for understanding the “soft” way. He told us that the keys are position, sensitivity, and power, in that order, and that he applies his skill first by neutralizing the opponent, then by utilizing them. So in his way, Ken was warming up our Wing Chun minds before we even started.

We arrived an hour before the official seminar start time. This allowed Ken to give us and the other first time attendees an overview of the material from his last visit to Boston, and to begin explaining his interpretation of Wing Chun. As the time neared, more students filed in. Though there were only 13 of us over the course of 2 days, we were a very eclectic crowd, including people with backgrounds in Moy Yat, Yip Chun, Augustine Fong, Yip Ching, Fut Sao Wing Chun, some with a mixed background in other families, and of course a couple of people following the Ken Chung/Leung Sheung path. In fact, Dr. Jack Ling was also a student of Leung Sheung in Hong Kong, and with Ken’s help is now reviving and renewing what he learned there.

Ken began with demonstrations of his “soft force.” This is where Ken first really gets your attention. Through what seems like the lightest of motion and touch, Ken will rock your world. As he went around the room to give each person the first hand experience, I saw one by one, the big guys being off balanced, in some cases displaced by several feet, and others with no visible movement other than something akin to a shock wave accompanied by a look of total astonishment. When it came my turn, I received a very light and controlled version of his “girl hand,” and though I thought I was prepared for it I heard myself aspirating an involuntary “Oh my God!”

Throughout the course of the next two days, Ken demonstrated, illustrated and explained in painstaking detail both the implications and the mechanisms involved in producing the soft power. Ken is “hands on” in a multidimensional a sense; not just by letting you feel his force, but also by having you try the concepts out on him, and by actually having you touch and feel him. He will show how to do something, then let you put your hands on his arms, legs, or back to feel what is happening that is not visible to the eye. When you watch him in action, you will visually see the result of his effort and say to yourself, “only a very strong guy like him could do that!” but then he will have you touch his upper arm as he repeats the same application, only to find that his large biceps and triceps are completely relaxed and disengaged. I will not make a lame attempt at explaining his body mechanic, but see that it absolutely requires a relaxation, using muscle would only be a detriment. There is a physical development that supports and drives the relaxed force though. Ken let us feel the development of the knee and elbow areas which are acquired through persistent training. There is also a body mechanic, a sort of dynamic connectedness that I have yet to fully understand, but I believe it is related to the idea of what is often called “borrowing” force from the floor, up through the joints, the back, and out through the shoulders, arms and finally projecting somewhere behind or through the opponent.

But there is more to Ken’s Wing Chun than just body mechanic. It is his constant positioning, calm, lack of greediness. It is also his attitude, and his intent. He does not rush in, he will wait for you to come to him, then he will use you. He does not avoid you or push you away, he “embraces” you. Ken says he is “very sensitive” but there is more meaning in that than just the physical contact of his heavy “wet noodle” arms, which reminded me of limp Play Dough. He is also sensitive in a visual way; he will look at you, sometimes expressionless, sometimes with a great big grin, but always through you and all around you – his eyes are not tunnel visioned at yours. He can “sense” without touching you where your balance is, and how to uproot you. I also hypothesize that his “sensitivity” has a key mental and psychological component, but this is an area not easily explored in a 2 day seminar.

Ken showed us how to train the first form, stepping, punching and bong lop. On the second day, Ken gave us opportunity for his correction, in stance, first form, stepping, and for some in chum kiu. For those who may think this is too elementary, I guarantee that if you have not been training in a way that is consistent with Ken’s path, you are ripe for a big awakening. Ken’s approach is very personalized. While he is addressing the group, he is also working with each person individually, showing or giving each person something they need. To correct my SLT, he helped me into my stance, deeper and deeper, and more in and more back; by the time I was in it (as close as we were to get anyway), I was so challenged by my concentration on maintaining the structure, trying to understand my body position, and managing the pain, that I did not have enough concentration left to even remember the opening moves to SLT correctly. Ken corrected with exacting precision, the feet, the knees, the hips, the hands, the head, the axis, the hands again, the feet again, the sink, and so on. He even tells you to correct your facial expression, to smile (LOL) and how to use your vision. I don’t know how long I was in the stance, it may have been all of 30 seconds, though it felt like eternity. Again, Ken’s sensitivity came into play…just as he had helped me into the stance, he was kind enough to help me out of it and to lend support until I could reliably stand on my own again. Later, when checking my stepping, he immobilized my forward hip momentum, which I have been using to propel myself forward; no hip also immobilized me, and again, painfully, brought to my attention that I must learn a new way of moving. I have never had a teacher who provided such painstaking analysis and detail of my positioning and mechanic.

It is impossible to capture all the detail that Ken covered. But all the while, his incredible teaching and coaching skills were evident. He is sensitive and a multi-media presenter. He uses words and descriptive phrases and illustrates through demonstration. He has a most delightful sense of humor, which not only draws people in and relaxes them, but helps to illustrate his points. He mixes his humor with his intensity, which allows him to convey the gravity of the subject matter while keeping the atmosphere enjoyable and not too heavy. He uses his incredible persona to make a lasting impression on you. He has a knack for knowing what works to explain, and also who is receptive and who is not. And as much as he is demanding, he also has a deep wellspring of patience, which I personally put to the test again and again.

Ken’s Wing Chun does not turn off at the end of the class. At lunch and dinner, his conversation easily returns again and again to Wing Chun. He is in his element in entertaining an endless series of questions on technical issues, his training in Hong Kong, Wing Chun history, and more. Ken calls himself “cocky” but I distinctly see it as the kind that stems from validated confidence, and not the kind of cockiness rooted in ego. He is at once self assured and humble. He is also very generous and kind, and open in his sharing of himself and his Wing Chun.

I hated to see the seminar come to a close. Ken really does connect, and the impression he makes is a lasting one. By the time I left, I felt that he was not only a coach to each of us, but also an ally and a friend. He is a complete package. It was also sad knowing that all the wonderful people at the seminar live so far away from me. Fortunately, a number of them have email. ;)

I have a lot to digest, and a lot to work on. No doubt I will have lots of questions. For those of you anxious to collect forms, drills, and fancy hands, best wishes to you. I am no longer worried about not being able to do pushups; in an ironic way, I’m kind of happy about it. As for me, my SLT and I will be spending a lot more time together. I believe that anyone truly interested in Wing Chun would be benefited by a seminar or training with Ken. Anyone can attend a seminar with Ken and enjoy the privilege of being reeled by his power. But to really receive something of value, I think you must also be willing to come with an open mind, an empty cup. Being among the “youngest” at the seminar in terms of my Wing Chun training, may in a sense have put me in company with the luckiest.

Well, there you have it, at least a start of my impressions. I’m off now to try and recapture my “girl hands.” But my first order of business is to eliminate that little head shaking thing I do when I know I’ve executed something incorrectly (which is most of the time)…Ken hates that, so if he asks, tell him I’m working on it. ;)


Eddie Chong – Training Notes

by Ray Van Raamsdonk

Notes from a visit to Eddie Chong in 1982

  • Leung Sheung was noted for his expertise at the Bil Jee.eddie-chong-4
  • The knees are in to stop the front kick. When you turn a kick is also stopped. Practice with a brick between your legs.
  • Practice with a tennis ball between your elbows.
  • The Bil Jee is the enemy of the Chain punch.
  • Practice the wrist hit on the sandbag. Practice the slanted kick on the dummy post.
  • Never have a high Bong sau otherwise a quick slapping leverage technique can be applied against the elbow.
  • Always Pak sau the elbow. Even against a very strong guy it works.
  • Do the Huen sau slow and with some tension to build up the forearm muscle. Don’t move the elbow too much.
  • Do the Chi sau but learn to charge in with it.
  • Don’t lean back in the stance.
  • Eddie does not do the low Wong Shun Leung Gan sau like Leung Ting’s version in section 6 of the first form. Wang Kiu’s version is the same as Eddie’s version in this part.
  • Practicing the double palm hit, Jut sau, double Huen sau, double low palm hit continuously on the wooden dummy is good for building up power.
  • The knife can beat the stick and the stick can beat the knife.
  • In chi sau, as soon as my attack started, I was countered with multiple hits. They were good at catching the timing early.
  • Eddie prefers the pressing flat palm over the pressing vertical palm. (Gum sau vs. Chum sau)
  • Never take the hand back. Never suck back your force. Always keep a forward force.
  • Against Eddie’s TaeKwonDo kicks (brown belt level) Kenneth Chung charged in and double palmed him into the wall every time no matter which type of kick he threw. Eddie said he had very fast kicks.
  • When grabbing the opponent’s hand, never use the thumb or else you can’t punch quickly enough.
  • Against the Judo throw, put the palm into the hip and you can’t be thrown.
  • Eddie’s group had a lot of experience against Hapkido, Karate and Aikido.
  • Eddie was good at the heavy arm of Wing Chun.
  • Don’t use the long hand in Wing Chun. Just use it for demonstrations. Wing Chun also has shortcuts.
  • If you can do the Huen sau a few thousand times, then you are pretty good.

Against my left hand grabbing his right arm, Eddie applied the Bil Jee elbow. Against a straight punch, he applied the Tok sau to send me backwards. Against the Chum and punch he applied the Bil sau to trap both hands. Against the shoulder attack he applied the horizontal Chum Kiu elbow. Against my attempt to grab his fingers, he let me do it and then punched me with the other hand. Against a cross wrist grab. Eddie applied a simultaneous Tan sau and punch. Against my Tai Chi wrist and elbow control maneuver, Eddie just turned the elbow in and I was countered. Everything had very simple solutions. Against my front kick, Eddie circled his foot and kicked my support leg.

Eddie had nice controlled counters to my various attack attempts. The club was very friendly and treated other Wing Chun people like they are part of the same family. In 1990 I visited again and they were very friendly again. All of Kenneth Chung’s line treated me in a respectful friendly manner. To me this reflects well on the teachers.


Emin Boztepe – Training Notes 1

by Ray Van Raamsdonk

Here are my thoughts on Emin:

I first heard of Emin Boztepe when he had an encounter with Grandmaster William Cheung in Germany in the late 1980’s. I was studying Wing Chun under Dr. G.K. Khoe, a student of Wang Kiu. At the timeEmin-Boztepe-in-his-prime I didn’t think too much about Emin except that he was just a wrestler kind of a guy who took William to the ground and that was that.

Many years went by and during those years I continued to study Wing Chun and learn from different masters. I am familiar with many branches of the Wing Chun family. One day I read a note on the Internet which said how skillful Emin Boztepe was. This sparked my interest because the note put him at a level where he could handle very high ranking people of different arts. In my own mind Wing Chun was good but somehow I always wondered whether it can really handle those super fast kicks from the other styles like you are taught in class or whether they would just be too fast. We were told that the Wing Chun people do very well in tournaments in Europe but we have never seen such tournaments and so it was just talk to most club members. Some of our members eventually in fact switched arts and went back to other styles because they lacked confidence in Wing Chun. They knew it was good in the close range but did not trust it at all in the distance fighting.

So, I contacted Emin Boztepe to ask if he could give a seminar on Wing Tsun in Canada. Emin was quite nice on the phone and said that he would come. This was last year. But at the same time we were considering someone else for a seminar and couldn’t decide as a club who to get. Usually our members want to go to no more than one seminar per year. So we didn’t get Emin Boztepe. This year (1994) we decided to get Emin to see what he was all about. In a short sentence, we were SHOCKED at how good he was. Everything I had read about him was true. He was like that mysterious stranger who comes into town in the movies and when the stranger leaves, the town is never the same again. At the seminar we had mostly Wing Chun people attend but there were also people from Karate, TaeKwonDo, Hapkido, Aikido, some Kung Fu style and Escrima. On the first day Emin blew everyone’s mind with his awesome demonstrations of Wing Tsun. To Emin we were all beginners. He could do it all: grappling, kicking, punching, escaping from joint locks, and handling wrestling. He showed us simple things relating to hitting and footwork but then demonstrated how this simple stuff could defeat anything anyone could throw at him. Emin’s movements were swift, accurate and graceful. When I first talked to Emin I said, “Your stuff may be great because you train six hours a day and are rough and tough, but what good will that do for our smaller female members?” Emin responded by saying that he trained more women than anyone else and they are all good. I still had my doubts. When I saw Emin in action, he defeated people not at all by relying on brute strength. He was a very superior technician and used a very soft springy touch. He showed how the little person can apply the art against stronger opponents. There was not one person in the room who was not convinced of his skill.

Further than that, Emin was a superb teacher. We have female members who are professional top notch teachers themselves and who consider most males just “Bruty.” They have hardly ever said any kind words about any teacher. But both of them said they hope to be able to teach like Emin someday. Emin was very meticulous in being able to pinpoint the finest of details. He could explain why it is done that way. He could break everything down into very logical steps. By the way, I am not on Emin’s payroll and am not a part of his organization. I am trying to honestly report what I saw.

I thought before, that Emin would do a lot of weights and therefore he wouldn’t have that relaxed sensitive touch that we have, but I was wrong. He could react to the smallest of forces and offered little resistance to work with. He was incredibly fast. He was a master of technique. Not once did he rely on techniques other than pure Wing Tsun technique. (Note: Wing Tsun is still pronounced Wing Chun but Leung Ting’s organization wants to distinguish their art from the art of other Wing Chun families). His footwork was very impressive.

The second day of the seminar was spent on applying the knowledge from the first day to kicking attacks of any kind. Emin does not care if they are Thai boxing kicks, Karate kicks, TaeKwonDo kicks or Hapkido kicks. He handled them all. He always just goes in towards your center. The footwork is phenomenal. At one point he asked one of the smallest female members to come up to the front to face a second degree black belt in Hapkido. He asked the Hapkido guy to throw very fast roundhouse kicks to her head then by giving her a push, just at the right moment, demonstrated to her that it was only timing and proper footwork to get inside this kind of kick. After you see Emin you have no more doubts about handling kicks. But as Emin said, there is no magic, no mystery, it is just hard work once he shows you what to do. Emin always picks on the most skillful, largest or best people to demonstrate on. Then in a relaxed way neutralizes anything they do. Emin does not care what art you do or what ranking you have in your art.

In the afternoon Emin taught the common ways that wresting, grappling or jujitsu people take you down to the ground. Once we were moderately familiar with these techniques we were shown how to counter these attacks. Again the counters relied on workable techniques even for smaller people. Some of these things I had never seen before. Everyone enjoyed it. When I first heard that he taught wrestling and how to counter it with Wing Tsun, it didn’t sound very appealing to me but it was fun, and effective.

On the third day Emin split the class into those with Wing Chun background and those with none. Those with Wing Chun background did Chi sau. Before we started he said that we knew nothing about Chi sau. This sounded quite arrogant to me since he knew nothing about what we knew. But once he crossed hands with us we couldn’t help but agree. He was very subtle, very light, very sensitive. It was not possible to find his center. His hand and foot coordination was very good. Even though he does not hurt you, he is one of the most scary individuals you would ever want to face. Emin’s corrections, explanations and demonstrations of Chi sau were very good. In all honesty I would say that I have felt one or two others in the Wing Chun world who also have exceptional skill (Dr. Khoe and Kenneth Chung) but Emin had a real systematic way to pass on his skills. I would say he has the most organized system for teaching. During the course of the seminar Emin would answer all questions with theory and impressive demonstrations. He demonstrated multiple opponent defense, defense against stick and defense against knife. He demonstrated both how to use the knife and how to defend against it but he said realistically, forget it. The odds are heavily against you no matter who you are. A question came up about Bruce Lee’s one inch punch. Emin said, “That’s nothing,” and proceeded to demonstrate on the largest member who weighed 240 pounds. Emin’s soft looking punch, sent him one foot up and four feet back to land on top of some desk. However, in reality, he said, the effect will be quite different because you will drop on the spot.

For any Wing Chun practitioners who have doubts about their art or who think they are already the best, you have seen nothing until you have seen Emin. I would highly recommend Emin to anyone who has any doubtful ideas about Wing Chun. I remember reading some literature that Wing Chun was just a primitive system of combat which anyone can learn in two years and that’s it. In fact many people do learn Wing Chun that quickly and then move on to newer more exciting looking arts. Wing Chun or Emin’s Wing Tsun is the most effective thing I have seen to date. You read this in the literature all the time about everyone’s art and think, “Oh, sure!” Not all the people who attended will join Emin’s organization but ALL who attended agree that he was the best they have seen. We felt that we were seeing a Bruce Lee in the making at the height of his career. Emin does not claim to be the best, but no one can think of anyone better. Emin has not learned the complete Wing Tsun system yet but what he has learned he has learned completely. He can execute everything he has learned. Many of us have learned everything but can’t realistically execute anything.

No one we have ever had before for a seminar has had such an emotional effect on our club members. If fighting effectiveness is what you are after then you will seriously start to doubt the things you are practicing now. A lot of the Wing Chun arguments on the Internet newsgroups would not exist if those people met Emin in person. Emin is a tough taskmaster but is sharp with wit and humor. Not everyone will like him but none can deny his skill. Emin is very strict on what type of individuals he teaches. It is a good thing, and you will know what I mean when you see his art. In Germany many clubs have switched over and remained loyal to Emin once they had seen his art. He was declared fighter of the year in Germany in 1988. Now I can see why.

In the early days the Wing Chun clan in Hong Kong had many good fighters. I think since Emin the Wing Chun clan will have to reevaluate the way they train their art. There are of course other good Wing Chun fighters around but unfortunately the ones I have seen have not got a training system which can handle today’s very complex modern fighter. WT and WC have conflicting principles. Wing Chun usually refers to Yip Man’s earlier art and WT is the later art which has been modernized to handle today’s type of fighters. The Germans have done a lot of their own research in this area. I expect it will still evolve, especially if WT and some top WC representatives meet. I think we are just about to see a new crop of Wing Tsun / Wing Chun fighters come from Europe who will revolutionize our view of what is Wing Chun. In the 1980’s I produced a Wing Chun newsletter called Wing Chun Viewpoint that I was very proud of. This newsletter went around the Wing Chun world. My teacher’s teacher Wang Kiu always said that most written things on Wing Chun are rubbish. After all these years I can see now what he means. I still think the information was still good and valuable in a very general sense but realize talking is quite easy. Really knowing what you are talking about and being able to perform what you are talking about is another matter altogether


Lessons from Patrick Chow

by Ray Van Raamsdonk

Training notes from 1976

Patrick Chow was a slimly built individual who was a private student of the late Grandmaster Yip Man. His family was wealthy so he could afford the fees. When I met him, he was teaching various people with eight to ten years of martial arts in different styles like boxing, Hung Gar, Choy Lee Fut, Tai Chi and others. He asked people to come up and try anything they liked on him. What impressed me was that he handled the attacks in a very controlled manner without relying onpatrick chow speed or strength. He was very, very relaxed and supple in his actions. He said that Wing Chun was small circle Kung Fu. He said other Kung Fu systems also have many of the techniques, but teach them at a much later stage. He said Wing Chun just disposed of the big movements. In 1976 Patrick Chow charged $50/month which was more than double what anyone else charged. He had no intention of teaching the complete Wing Chun system. He said, “None of what any of you learned will work on me.” I will teach you just a bit of Wing Chun but I guarantee it will improve your skill. Because of Patrick’s skill level, everyone thought it was worthwhile.

For quite a few months, practice consisted of getting into the Wing Chun pigeon-toed stance or goat-restraining stance. Then students would slowly (very slowly) bring the Tan sau out, do a Heun sau, and slowly bring it back. Then do the same with the Fook sau. We did this for one hour straight each class. I didn’t know why at the time. All I knew was that Patrick was incredibly relaxed. He had very short range powerful hits and he always outmaneuvered everyone else. He never hurt one person in a fight. For seven months straight, we only learned part one of the “Siu Lim Tao” form plus some applications.

Here are just a few of the things he said:

  • To be good you should do daily sticking hands practice.
  • Keep the elbow in. This determines the circle size.
  • In Wing Chun we never take the hand back to hit.
  • Never put the head and knee forward like other styles. If you do, you will certainly get hit.
  • Step right in the center of the opponent’s legs, then hit.
  • Always protect your center.
  • Attack the opponent’s center. Punch at the nose. Always face the opponent.
  • The stance must be very active or mobile. Yet at the same time it must be very rooted.
  • Either foot from the pigeon-toed stance can kick.
  • Always use a straight line attack. A straight line attack is the shortest distance between two points.
  • Wait for the opponent’s movement. When it comes then counterattack at the very same time. Never block, just counterattack.
  • The stepping punch determines success in Wing Chun. It is just like an arrow shooting from a bow.
  • In the old days, sticking hands were not that important. (Note: Patrick was quite good at it though.)
  • In Wing Chun you go to the next step only after you have mastered the previous step.
  • The first part of the “Siu Lim Tao” is the door to the Wing Chun system. It represents one quarter of the whole system. I had to practice this part for two and a half years before I got taught anything else.
  • If you practice nothing else, then practice 500 double punches every single day.
  • If an opponent from the side surprises you, then turn and do a double punch.
  • The top punch is as high as your nose. Even if you do not hit the opponent, at least you protect your own nose.
  • In an engagement with a Korean kicker, the kick came fast but my Gum sau to his kneecap almost shattered it.
  • Against a very quick jab that someone threw, Patrick applied a light Pak sau to the outside of the arm and then punched the nose with the same hand.
  • Against a kick to the knee, Patrick was very quick to sidestep and simultaneously kicked the opponent’s rear leg.
  • Patrick’s students in Hong Kong specialized in different things. One was good at clawing techniques, one was good at the use of the palm, and one was very good in his Wing Chun kicking skill.
  • Yip Man was better in kicking than with his hands. His fellow students were much better with their hands.
  • Patrick suggested hitting the sand bag for one year. No more than this or you may develop arthritis. Patrick thought this killed Bruce Lee, because your body is just like a machine which wears out if you overtrain. The sand bag at first has peas or rice in it, then it is filled with sand, then it is filled with small BB-sized steel or iron balls.
  • Patrick said other styles have the defect of having their knee and head forward and their elbow out.
  • When I asked Patrick if it is good to practice a few different styles at once, Patrick said if you practice one day with the elbow out and the next with the elbow in, what will you use in the real fight when you have no time to think? You will lose the fight because your mind will hesitate. You use what you practice, so you have to make up your mind what you want to practice.
  • The wooden dummy is trained for two solid years. After that you will have the required skill and you can sell it. The wooden dummy should be the size of the practitioner.
  • Practice the slow Tan sau exercise to build up your forward flowing energy.
  • After the Bong sau deflection, you can do a palm up hit.
  • Practice at home can consist of practicing the first form very slowly, practice double punches, chain punches, turning the stance right and left with the elbow parallel to the floor, stepping with the punch (same hand and foot forward), elbow and palm practice on the sand bag. Everyday do Chi sau.
  • A bean barrel exercise is to drive the poking hand in (biu sau), then twist and claw at the bottom and pull the hand out.
  • 90% of the Hong Kong police who train in martial arts, now train in Wing Chun. For bodyguards it is almost mandatory to know Wing Chun.
  • The second best Kung Fu system is the Bak Mei or White Eyebrow style. (Patrick felt they curved the chest in too much.)
  • A very famous Bak Mei master in Hong Kong just died from overtraining. All of a sudden he just spit up blood. So be careful in your training.
  • Patrick practiced hitting nerve points on the side of the opponent’s punching hand using the middle knuckle of the index finger. It made the whole hand go numb.
  • Against very tall opponent’s, Patrick sometimes resorted to a jumping, whipping uppercut to the throat. It is mostly used without the jump however.
  • In the single sticking hands, modern students use the Bong sau. Older generation students used the Tan sau to stay inside of the opponent.
  • Move the feet to get into an advantageous position.
  • After the single sticking hands, use a lot of force to hit your partner. Later also use the feet to step in and really try to hit.
  • Patrick felt that Tai Chi was too soft and Hung style was too hard.
  • The use of the Wing Chun knife is the same as using the hands. A spear can be trapped between the blades.
  • Wing Chun is a ladies style. You can’t expect a lady to develop the same force as a large man. Many Wing Chun practitioners use too much force.
  • Many Wing Chun practitioners use the wrong arm angle. Their Tan sau is too steep. This means it can be pushed up. Some also have the Tan sau too low. This means you can punch over the top.
  • Someone threw a quick uppercut at Patrick and he used a double palm technique which resulted in the uppercut punch hitting that person’s own face.
  • In the first form, the teacher can test the Wu sau coming back by hitting it at any time. If the student is too stiff or not concentrating, his whole body will move or his Wu sau will collapse.
  • Wing Chun people often grab the back of the head to force it forward, then hit the head.
  • The Huen sau can be used to escape a grab.
  • You can change the Huen sau into a side hit. But if you are countered with a high fist, you can use the Tie sau (lifting hand) to counter and hit the opponent’s head.
  • For tournament fighting, conditioning is performed everyday by lightly hitting the student so that his resistance builds up. This works because each new generation of cells will become stronger when it replaces the old cells. The new cells are better able to withstand shocks.
  • Yip Man went to the Hong Kong police station to show them Wing Chun. He showed them part of the Siu Lim Tao. They all laughed at this display and said, “That’s not a martial art!” Then Yip Man sat down on a chair and asked various people to attack him. They all failed and then they switched to learning Wing Chun.
  • Wing Chun initially got established in Hong Kong by knocking on various gym doors and challenging the instructors. The Wing Chun challengers usually won, thus attracting all the students.
  • [Yim] Wing Chun was quite a tall lady.
  • Don’t punch, but throw the punch.
  • Two straight punches will handle a hooking punch. Hit straight to the nose, then hit to the eye area with the other hand. Other good alternatives are to use the elbow or use kicking.
  • Against a front bear hug, you can cave in the chest and thus create enough room to punch.
  • Wing Chun can handle Thai fighting but you have to train in the proper way first. People with a good fighting spirit can do the job. Many Wing Chun people don’t train hard enough and hence will fail. Patrick said North American’s are more strongly built and should be very good Wing Chun tournament fighters against other styles. A lot of money can be made in Thailand if you have a good fighter.