Classy and hopefully it’ll receive proper coverage in the rest of the world, in all languages. Sad it couldn’t happen before Sum Nung passed away though:
Wing Chun master Si Kwok Lam and Yip Chun co-produced movie “Yip man”, who had apologized 6 times and “served Tea” to Yuen Kay San’s grandson(left in picture, wearing glasses) for misrepresenting and disrespectful to the Lengendary death dual champion during 1920-1950s during a news conference in China, Mr. Si and Yip admitted in front of documents and witness that Yuen Kay San represented Wing Chun family and answer all the public death duals in Foshan in those years, he is senior to Yipman in the Wing Chun family tree.
One of the most well known names in Master Leung Jan’s Side Body Boxing family was Fung Sang Sifu! The late Fung Sang Sifu was the first member of the Fung family to openly teach his families art in Hong Kong. In our family it is said; before Chun Suk (Fung Chun) and Fung Chiu, there was Fung Sang! Fung Sang Sifu was interviewed (by the Sun Mo Hop magazine) many years ago but to this day not much is known about this talented man. So, I contacted Fung Sang SiBok’s family and we organized an interview! Respect to Fung Sang!
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!
There’s a great story about Ayoob creating his stress-fire combat shooting programs. Traditional shooting approaches required a complex 9-point body alignment that didn’t hold up under the stress conditions typically faced in lethal encounters. i.e. trained shooters would miss even at incredibly short range because their arms would shake, adrenalin would dump, and they couldn’t produce consistent, reliable application.
Ayoob simplified things down to a 3-point alignment, using alignment mechanics that were far more reliable under stress. The results looked very impressive.
Flashback – Kano, when vying for the position as instructor to the police forces, had to ready his team to compete against many other jujitsu coaches in Japan. Instead of teaching them “deadly” techniques they could never practice on each other with any degree of realistic resistance, he simplified. He removed anything that couldn’t be trained safely, yet repeatedly and applied against an unwilling, skilled, resistive opponent.
Rather than making the art “less deadly” due to missing so-called death techniques (or whatever), they attained similarly impressive results.
Flashback – Did the red junk boat actors, having to use their art to survive, attain a similar realization about simplicity and realistic, progressive, systematic training? Is that why WCK geometry is what it is? If we remove the mystic mumbo marketing jumbo and try to sweep away the return-to-complexity succeeding generations of humans often find necessary to re-impose on martial arts as they become further removed, is it possible? I think so.
Fundamentals aren’t martial arts specific, nor are they specific to martial arts. Stepping back, there seems to be readily discernible patterns to those who “discovered” how to teach functional skill to large groups of people (individuals don’t count — natural ability is too easy a distraction).
When I look for a coach, I seldom if ever care what story they have or even how good they are. I look to how efficiently they can make me good. The best coaches I’ve found make improvement almost immediate, and can get you doing what they can do very quickly. And they all tend to use the same or at least very similar methods to do it.
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.
Celebrating the New Year, we took a few minutes out of our Los Angeles Chinatown Wing Chun class to discuss the new Ip Man movie, starring Boston’s own Donnie Yen.
As a second generation student of Ip Man (also romanized as “Yip Man”), my students asked me about the authenticity of the movie and historical facts. Recently released on DVD in Chinese, I watched it and enjoyed it. Donnie plays my Sigung, Ip Man, in Foshan, China during the Japanese occupation in 1938. In my opinion, much of the movie is completely fictionalized, but lots of fun and entertaining.
Combat Journal Interview with Robert Chu by Salim Badat, first published at Combat Journal Website June 2008
1. How did you get to train in wing chun?
I started training in WCK when I was 14, after starting other systems of martial arts since age 7. I also studied Okinawan Shorin Ryu and Judo since age 10 and had some hard core training in that, so when I learned WCK, it was rather easy. A friend from the Chinese restaurant I worked in had some basic training and taught me the Siu Nim Tao set and the basic exercises Pak Sao, Lop Sao, Dan Chi Sao and Cern Chi Sao, as well as shifting from the 2nd form. I also learned basic fighting tactics with WCK. Afterwards, I decided the system was good and sought out more competent instruction.
The more boxing became a focal point of kung-fu, the more pole sets were ignored or dismissed entirely.
First published in Inside Kung Fu July 2007 Issue
By Robert Chu
Robert Chu is a well-respected Chinese martial artist, wing chun instructor and licensed acupuncturist/Chinese Medicine practitioner in Pasadena, Calif. He can be reached at chusaulei.com.
“Gwong’s pole set movements were as ‘graceful as a flying dragon, and as powerful as a tiger.’ ”
“With the fist, fear the young adept; with the staff, fear the old master.”
I first wrote about and published an article in the Spring of 1999 in Exotic Martial Arts of South East Asia Magazine on the Flying Dragon/Tiger Gate system, also known as the Fei Lung Fu Mun. This system was brought from China to the United States by my master, the late Lui Yon Sang (Lei Ren Sheng) of Guang Zhou, China. Lui was a native of Toishan and had lived in New York City as a Traditional Chinese Medical doctor and herbalist.
I would like to share with you, a few stories from our Kulo Research projects in China!
Kulo eBook 2 contains English translations, for the first time ever, of the 13 Historical Posters that are hanging in Leung Jan’s Family Estate in Kulo village, Hoksan! Below is a couple of “sneak peaks” from a very famous “challenge match” and more! And, there are many more “challenge” stories and much more info – Get the whole picture and all the stories in eBook 2: “Leung Jan; The Kungfu King”. “Coming Soon”
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 a Lop 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!