Wing Tsun Kung Fu Vancouver Blog
How can YOU learn from MY experiences with more than a dozen Wing Tsun masters?Benefit from WingTsun-CoreConcepts, a blueprint for training, learning and even teaching Wing Tsun Kung Fu!Join the ‘One Day Only’ seminar in Vancouver BC on December 7th 2013! Wing Tsun is devastating Kung Fu for the underdog. Are you the underdog? When outside a club or restaurant, when walking at night to the parking lot; the moment someone begins to threaten you, starts to become verbally abusive, they will see you as the victim. They think they can take you out. That they can crush you.Even if we feel relatively skilled, fit, strong, fast - to the aggressor, it doesn’t seem to matter, we ARE the victim. There is the surprise moment, nobody typically expects, when the victim literally explodes into the attackers position. From underdog to successfully fighting violence! This is where the organized learning and training process comes in. A dedicated program structure as well as the right tools to make it work for you. The attacker doesn’t know Wing Tsun, nor does he care. Your skills must be able to adapt to an high-pressure scenario under elevated stress while being the underdog. Remember, that’s you! Saturday, December 7th 2013 will be featuring by demand one more time all the ideas behind the WingTsun-CoreConcepts with 20+ short demos and explanations throughout that 6-hour seminar, an extremely condensed version of the experiences of my 29 years of Wing Tsun. The essence of what I learned from more than a dozen WingTsun masters. The seminar will deliver the how-to of using the WingTsun-CoreConcepts, the blueprint for training, learning and even teaching Wing Tsun. What is this blueprint based on and what does it even mean? 1. During 1990 and 1994 I traveled all over Europe and joined hundreds of hours of seminars of the WT grandmasters Leung Ting and Si-Fu Kernspecht. I met several well-known students of the late GM Yip Man. During seminars, private lessons, regular group classes in their schools, I received instruction from just about all the first generation WT instructors. During those five years I also graduated from the self-financed WT job education at the trainer academy of Langenzell Castle. 2. The next 15+ years I worked with many instructors who visited me from the EWTO, AWTO, ITWA-NAS, NTWO-GB and the list goes on. Also with Wing Chun, Ving Tsun instructors, and masters in Karate and Taekwon-Do, just to name a few. 3. During this time I began in thousands of training hours to formulate the WingTsun-CoreConcepts, tested them, asked and received valuable feedback. I started to write a book about the Core-Concepts which got with every seminar better, more focused, more relevant and to the point ... but yes, also took much longer than anticipated. In short: The blueprint of the WingTsun-CoreConcepts is a system of training, learning and teaching methods based on 29 years of my Wing Tsun experiences, teaching twenty-one years of it full-time.The essence of what I have learned from two grandmasters and more than a dozen masters, a blueprint which I "test-drove" for over 15 years. One Day Only! Six-hour Seminar!1. Have you missed a seminar or two, or more during the past couple of years? 2. Did you ever want a blueprint of what Wing Tsun material is in which program? How to train it? How to check your progress? 3. Do you feel at times that you just can't remember certain crucial exercises? Trying to remember the important key points? Now is your chance to get it all in one day! You will have a set of organized and systematic training tools for a long time! Making sense of your training - measuring your progress!
WHY should you join the seminar?Only during this one seminar will I deliver the result of my work of the past 15 years in one complete presentation! The 20+ demos will be filmed.
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Discussions about differences and development of physical strength and Wing Tsun punching power
There were some questions I had about my Wing Tsun training. I am currently starting to focus on punches that have that what we call "can opener" wrist action*. * aka phoenix-eye fists inch-force issuing powerWhile you mentioned it many times already in seminars and private lessons, I am only NOW becoming fully aware that it maximizes the power more, using that kind of wrist action. I am trying to find that right balance of getting that wrist power with the punch while not tensing up with my arm. Mentally I am imagining to twist or dig in a sword into the punching bag with my full body behind it when I hit with my knuckles. Would you think that this visualization is in the right direction? Would there be anything else I should look out for when training punches with a focus on wrist power?One of the training methods I am starting now is doing some of those stick drills we had at the Wing Tsun seminar, but I am using a crow bar for added weight. I figure similar to Wing Tsun Chi- Sau where muscle groups are being conditioned, building up the muscle groups supporting wrist power would in the long run give me the opportunity to use force while being still relaxed. Am I getting the right ideas about this?
I always start to answer somewhat like that:
If someone tells you to punch with your left arm, it’s not a problem, you just do it.If someone tells you to punch with your right arm, it’s not a problem, you just do it.If someone tells you to punch with elastic force or with an impact that I personally call the "can-opener", it's usually impossible without the proper training. We cannot just ‘do it’.
In the same way, as you cannot lift a weight that is too heavy for you. Even if a fitness trainer tells you how to squat, how to angle your wrists, to lift from your legs, ... the weight will still be too heavy to lift.In the latter example, the person has to reach a specific level of strength first. Then the technical advice will come in handy and make the exercise easier, more economic, pain- and injury free. This does not mean, that a trainer should dare to hold off on the right technique support.
We went, especially during the last Vancouver WingTsun-CoreConcepts seminar, through a set of exercises, which produce over time this, what I call "Wing Tsun Power" or "Elastic Force", as opposed to physical strength.Only when those exercise groups are practised on a regular basis, the right muscle groups will learn to respond, will activate seamless and in sequence.Only knowing the muscle groups, trying to access them with sheer will-power, will unfortunately not do the job.
Remember, how I always compare the two different types of physical strength and Wing Tsun power by example?I compare with student 'A' different feats of strength training exercises. 'A' lifts more weight than I can, does more sets, more reps. Ergo, he is stronger than I am.I move a lower weight, do fewer sets, fewer reps. Ergo, I am weaker than 'A'.'A' punches me hard, I walk him backwards, while taking his punches, until his arms collapse or he doesn't have any space left in which he can punch effectively. The end result, no or little effect through the punches based on more physical strength.When I punch 'A' lightly, he collapses on the spot or gets thrown against a wall, depending on the punch I choose.Which proves that there is a difference between physical strength and "Wing Tsun Power" (latter chosen short of a scientific term).I am proven to be weaker, yet can produce significantly more punching power.All in all, the "secret" is in the punching-power-developing exercises I pointed out during the last WingTsun-CoreConcepts seminar in Vancouver.
Many Wing Tsun exercises turn out to be quite efficient and focused functional strength exercises. You just have to know the how-to!
The 'stick drills' we did, have nothing or little to do with Escrima, Arnis, Kali stick drills. They are simplified drills, derived from the training with the Wing Tsun double knifes, which besides the technical implications means the usage of your muscles is very, very different.
All that does not mean that physical strength is something of a bad boy in the whole equation. The stronger someone is, the more can eventually and with the right training be converted into the most economic punching power. Physical strength into functional strength!
It does not mean that one should discontinue any strength training. Rather the opposite.I also want to avoid the misunderstanding that strong people can’t punch hard. My point is that almost all the times there is still a sleeping potential which hasn’t been woken up, yet. Many strong students who I worked with, when punching the hardest they could, they were due to tension and other factors only at 20 to 40% of their true potential. Scary thought, eh?!
During that training phase I use that power-scale as a visual example. On one end of the scale we typically try to punch hard, meaning strong, yet often end up stiff and tense.Once we attempt to punch relaxed, the results are often rather weak or brittle.Visualising the 'power-scale', we take the relaxed strike, working on leaving weak and brittle behind. We take the strong punch, working on eliminating stiff and tense. At one point during the training, relaxed and strong will meet at a very individual point on that scale, ... and form "Wing Tsun Power".At which point on the scale might be different due to training intensity, passion and other components.
The stronger student more often relies on his physical strength longer, while the weaker student has no choice but to work extremely hard from the beginning, trying to catch up.
In my experience the somewhat weaker student, who continues to train focused, can eventually achieve more, compared to the stronger, who for too long relies on his strength, until he meets someone stronger and realizes that he also has to 'transform' his strength into punching power.
An enormous portion of the physical strength to functional strength transformation comes from our WT Chi-Sau methods, which are partially based on the then unintentional way of doing Chi-Sau in the 1980's. The how-to of it would now take too long to explain. But just like any strength training, we have to count the hours of this special WT Chi-Sau we do per week. Then we can estimate our results.
To come to a conclusion: the line-up of recent seminar exercises are the key, besides the right Chi-Sau training.
So it would be the coordination and collaboration of fluid relaxed body movement + joint flexibility/independence + proper structure alignment using certain muscle groups = Explosive WT power? With the goal that everything is an explosive coordinated body movement, like a punch, Bong-Sau or Tan-Sau are in reality coordinated body movements?
Many people try to be explosive without having the right tools, meaning the muscles (in fact mainly the fascia) are not properly developed. The WingTsun-CoreConcepts exercise sets are designed to produce this toes-to-fingertips elastic force. Then the explosiveness will come (almost) by itself.
A slingshot doesn't work properly if the rubber-band is too short to stretch or too weak. Or in other words, if you drive an old East German Trabant with a 23 horsepower two-cylinder two-stroke engine, you can stand on the gas pedal; it still takes 21 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h.Any punches and visible Bong-Sau or Tan-Sau are just still images, one picture out of a movie scene. It's the moving pictures, the continuous scenes that make the movie.
One of the most important skills in Wing Tsun is the fluid non-stop co-ordination of hand- and footwork, with upper body motion/mobility being the paramount feature!
A final note; different Wing Chun, Ving Tsun and even Wing Tsun lineages have of course and thankfully so, different opinions and interpretations.
All the real Wing Tsun secrets on Video! I’ve got it all, and you don’t! Prfft!
If you are following my blog, you surely know that I often want to tease you a bit before I talk about a particular topic. So, don’t take the “Prfft!” too serious.
As most instructors, I receive many e-mails asking me if I have watched already this or that videoclip, if I would have the time to explain this example of an exercise on video, or what my opinion is about practitioner so and so.
Video can indeed be a great research tool in addition to having experienced instructors and dedicated training partners. Video analysis is after all for many athletes an indispensable tool to assess performance, to evaluate crucial details of movement. Trainers use it to compare athletes, to correct techniques.
Now in a highly interpretive martial art like Wing Tsun, this can be a problem. Why? Let’s start with three reasons:1. There is too much out there. Every novice and wannebe kung fu star uploads videos. It becomes very difficult to find the right videos to analyze.2. The (anonymous) keyboard warriors on all sides trash any video, elevate their own sifu, super master, top instructor to the level of ‘kung fu god’, so that people who don’t know the scene or haven’t trained long enough to have a well-informed opinion, simply get lost. – There is more politics in martial arts than in politics!3. When I started to collect videos*, it was very difficult to find the right sources. The few who own a video rarity, rarely ever share. They want another one in exchange.
* I am not talking about publicly available videos, that have been published by the EWTO or various WT organizations. Many of them have long been withdrawn from the market. … But yes, I’ve got them too.
I mean the either secretly filmed videos, or the ones only destined for the grandmasters or masters own home collection. The 80’s or 90’s videos when only one preferred master student was allowed to film a whole seminar, to keep it as reference, or because the master wanted a documentation of his teachings for his personal video library.
Over the years I collected quite a lot of what is out there. It’s now on some 14 or 15 DVD’s, adding up to about 30 hours of material, and I checked it recently: approximately 48 GB in size!
For a brief moment going back to point 1 above: “There is too much out there.” There is also another side to it. I have watched instructors who are very good in real life, but look quite horrible in demos on video. I have met people with mediocre and also non-existing skills, who can demo well and look (in the eyes of many) great on video. Unless you were exposed to many good instructors, trained hard and tested your skills and sharpened your analytical abilities, it can be quite difficult to figure out what to look for.
So, in order to conduct a video analysis you have to have videos of the ones who are considered experts in WT, preferably while they are teaching. Which brings me back to the 48 GB of WT video material. I will mention a few …
For Sigung Leung Ting’s 60th birthday celebrations many seminars were held in 2007 in Italy (EWTO) and Hungary (EEWTO). Leung Ting was accompanied by Grandmaster Cheng Chuen Fun, 9th Level WT, Sifu Leung Koon, 8th Level WT, Leung Kwok Wah, 4th Level WT, Robin Tsang, 3rd Level WT and Lau Ping Sheung, 3rd Level WT, who gave a detailed explanation of the teaching methods they use back home in Hong Kong. The privately filmed material from the seminars and demos was transferred onto a set of 5 DVD's at about 90 minutes each, almost 8 hours of top Wing Tsun instruction and demonstrations. Many, many EWTO, EEWTO and IWTA instructors and masters are on these videos.
Some of you know the official (approx. 1 hour) tape of the 25 year celebrations of the EWTO in 2001. It was a three day event. There is also an unofficial uncut five hour tape, showing many little highlights here and there. This five hour tape was a gift only to the grandmasters back then.
- Si-Fu Keith R. Kernspecht - old film strength training- Si-Fu Keith R. Kernspecht Chi-Sau in Italy with a world champion- parts of 1976 demo, first Sigung Leung Ting visit in Germany, about 10 minutes, applications, Chi-Sau, wooden dummy form parts, long pole, double knifes- few moments of old by Si-Fu Kernspecht secretly taped video of GM Rene Latosa and GM Bill Newman- Sifu Michael Fries, in the early 80's the first "junior" Sifu- a very young Sifu Frank Ringeisen- Sifu Michael Fries in Chi-Sau with Sifu Thomas Mannes, who was back then student grade 6 in 1978- a clip you don't want to miss, Si-Fu Kernspecht against multiple opponents, end of the 70's- old clips of 12th SG's test towards their 1st TG: Sifu Thomas Schroen, Sifu Giuseppe Schembri, Sifu Oliver Koening, Sifu Henning Daverne in a white student shirt- Si-Fu Kernspecht as "referee" during full contact test at the castle- Sifu Frank Ringeisen and Sifu Thomas Mannes, demo on the poles- Sifu Heinrich Pfaff and Sigung Leung Ting, WT weapons demo during Budo Gala- few seconds of long pole training at the castle- Sifu Tassos in the phone cabin- Sifu Andreas Gross in the castle, Sifu Klaus "the giant" Dingeldein- short demo by Sifu Turan Ataseven- very nice the enthusiastic demo by Christa Wagner, known through the Wing Tsun @ Nike commercial- demo through the German special command (hostage rescue team) under Sifu Juergen Kaestner,- demo by Sifu Henning Daverne from Copenhagen with his fight club team, some know him from photos in the first edition of "On single combat" and from a demo at the 1998 Wing Tsun event in London, England
Many clips on the DVD's were originally recorded by old video cameras, then transferred to regular videotape, then on DVD, then transferred from PAL to NTSC, and sometimes a step or two in between.
The approximately 2 hours of seminar time with Professor Zhu Dashi (Chu Hok Ting) - The Living Treasure Of China during a EWTO seminar near the Langenzell Castle on the Easter weekend in 1996.
- approx. 20 min Sifu Thomas Mannes seminar (black & white film), going through some of the original EWTO Lat-Sau programs
- approx. 40 min taped private lesson by Sifu Thomas Mannes, again "old" Lat-Sau details, applications, Escrima, ground work, Chi-Sau
- demo, Cham-Kiu, usual fight applications, Sifu Thomas Mannes with the complete WT wooden dummy form
- about 1 hour and 20 min then the 'famous' first seminar and demos in 1991 of Sifu Salih Avci with Sifu Dr. Osama Sabri in front of all the different special command teams, followed by Sifu Emin Boztepe with Sifu Uwe Giese, complete form demos, Siu-Nim-Tau, Sifu Klaus "the giant" Dingeldein doing the Cham-Kiu, Sifu Dr. Osama Sabri the complete Biu-Tze form, throughout Si-Fu Kernspecht narrating, Emin again with fight and control applications, then Salih and Osama, and so on ...Si-Fu Kernspecht is also personally demonstrating with Salih Avci, Thomas Mannes, Andreas Gross and others, the old Bruce Lee programs, that were partially the basis of the EWTO programs
- yet another Sifu Thomas Mannes seminar, probably mid 90's (many, many Siu-Nim-Tau, wooden dummy, Cham-Kiu applications, etc.)
Every instructor needs every now and then inspiration, if teaching or training, continuing to learn.
Several 1980’s demos, open house event and seminars with Sifu Emin Boztepe.
Also a private tape of the Wooden Dummy Chi-Sau sections.
Approx. 20 minutes, Sifu Norbert Maday seminar, plus his 1-hour teaching film "Ten lessons of Wing Tsun", 'old school' Wing Tsun.
There are very active, critical, constantly improving WT practitioners out there. Some lead Wing Tsun into different directions.It’s up to you what direction you choose. All those videos are milestones in the recent history of Wing Tsun. The material can give important clues as to this martial arts development. It’s an enormous collection of (video) snapshots of WT in the 80’s, 90’s and the 2000 decade.It gives an inside view into different WT interpretations!
But don’t turn into a “YouTube master”. Where is your Wing Tsun training at?
Questions? What’s your take on video analysis? Email me!