reviewof the movie the prodigal son
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Review of the movie The Prodigal Son

Review of the movie The Prodigal Son

As one of the first theatrical productions to feature Wing Tsun (Wing Chun) as a martial art, the movie won the 1983 Best Action Choreography at the Hong Kong Film Awards and was nominated for best picture and best director. Herewith is my review of the movie The Prodigal Son…

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Your attacker’s force

Your attacker’s force

A key thing to remember if you are ever assaulted is to slow the attacker down. An attacker depends on the element of surprise to be successful and so he will likely act suddenly and fast. One way to do this is to plant the bottom of your foot on his knee cap. If you have rooting, that is, a good plant on the ground with your other foot and a vertical posture, the power of this defending foot is not even as important as the forward pressure. You can slide this foot to either side of his and press. All the while you must keep your hands in a position to protect your upper body. In WingTsun, a kick is always accompanied by a hand technique. Once you have done damage to your attacker’s knee, you can advance forward and rain on his parade with chain punches.

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Wrist circling

Wrist circling

An observer may note that WingTsun™ practitioners repeat the circling of the wrist numerous times during the course of practicing a WingTsun form (kuen). Is this just an obsession? No it is not. The founder must have thought that this was an important practice and it is. In fact it is has been referred to as part of the “chi kung” of WingTsun. It is a strength-building and beneficial exercise to be sure. However like all WingTsun movements, wrist circling has a very practical and extensive number of applications.

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WingTsun Forms

WingTsun Forms

Form.  What is “form?”  Form refers to sets of movements in a martial art that define that system of martial art. In Chinese systems they are called “kuen.” In Japanese systems they are called “kata.” Some Korean styles call them “hyung.” Some martial arts have nine or ten forms and some have fifty or more! Memorizing and perfecting forms takes quite a bit of time. The more forms, the more time. The idea is to perfect the movement, sometimes for its own sake and sometimes to attain certain practical skills. In modern times, the practice of forms has evolved into performance and competition, at least in some martial arts circles. The forms are supposed to represent scenarios that are defense movements against several attackers in logical sequences. The sequences are performed in front of judges who grade on several criteria and winners are determined in a way similar to gymnastics or figure skating.

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Balance

Balance

WingTsun™ builds on your present abilities. Students have the opportunity to balance themselves inside and out with WingTsun training. In today’s world, we have numerous opportunities to lift weights, run the treadmill, jog and so on. WingTsun offers something different. WingTsun builds the physical core, teaches the student to use both hands and both feet at the same time (walk and chew gum), kick, punch, strike, throw, and use unique geometry and forces to defeat an attacker.  WingTsun is the specialist in self-defense but it does not ignore form. Form (kuen) is defined differently in WingTsun than in other martial arts. In the form Siu Nim Tau, a simple idea is taught together with simple breathing. Practice the breathing and be energized.

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Circling step

Circling step

One of the first techniques that WingTsun™ students learn is the circling step. By itself, the circling step seems like a meaningless exercise.  However, the act of circling one’s leg around an oncoming attacker’s leg makes good sense when you see how it is used. Your leg makes a tight circle around an attacker’s leg thus evading the attacker’s strong, approaching force…

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Narrow it down

Narrow it down

You can learn to punch. You can learn to kick. Fine. What, then, are you actually doing when you punch or when you kick? What is the range? What is the purpose? When you punch or kick air, you are practicing the flight path and the energy of the movement. In Wing Tsun™, many of the movements are taken in isolation at first. This teaches a student the precise thing that is happening. What muscles are being tensed? What is it supposed to feel like? How does one emit power?

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My belated review of the movie Ip Man

My belated review of the movie IP MAN

I saw the movie Ip Man quite a while ago in late 2009 and yet here is my belated review of the movie IP MAN. The movie was released in Hong Kong in 2008. A movie about WingTsun (wing chun) like this has been a long time coming. It appears to be a dramatization of the real events in the life of Ip Man (Yip Man) prior to his move to Hong Kong after the take over by the Chinese Communists. At this early period in the life of Ip Man, the enemy of the freedom of the Chinese people was not an ideology but the nation of Japan which had invaded certain parts of China and occupied it during WWII. This film is remarkable on many fronts. For the first time in the martial arts genre, the film shows the technical martial arts fighting while also showing the real living habits of the characters, their customs and habits, their moral dilemma, their imperfections and their heroic qualities. Instead of non-stop fighting, interrupted by occasional speaking parts and minimal story, this movie carries the story relentlessly to a dramatic conclusion. The renowned late grandmaster of Wing Tsun (wing chun) was born into a wealthy family. He was the youngest to learn the art from Chan Wah Shun, the grand master of Wing Tsun in that part of China in the late 19th century. Ip Man used a remarkable sum of money in those days to pay his sifu the proper amount for lessons. The movie depicts his fortunate and carefree life and how he established and maintained a reputation as a kung-fu master in the town of Fat Shan and how that all went away with the start of hostilities of the World War. All fight scenes were shot with care and mastery of editing and choreography. The cruelty of the Japanese occupying forces was used for maximum emotional effect. The techniques, while not exactly as we in the Leung Ting WingTsun® system might have done it, were credible enough to give one the feeling of an art of economy and practicality. It is some of the best major motion picture depictions of the art of Ip Man (Yip Man). I strongly recommend it for both martial artists and non-martial artists alike. I give it: Martial arts genre rating – Five Stars. Non-genre movie rating: Four Stars.

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Centerline . . .

Centerline . . .

Start with an advantage.  The Leung Ting WingTsun® system does.  We find the shortest distance between two points so that we always control the shortest distance to our target. That distance of course, is a straight line.  In the WingTsun™ system, the line is called the centerline and forms the line from your chest to your opponent’s chest.  WingTsun students learn to defend this line with a lead hand called man sau and a rear hand called wu sau…

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Getting Over the Hump

Getting Over the Hump

The most difficult time is the beginning.  This is true in every athletic endeavor whether or not you are an athlete.

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