Be prepared to practice.

Have you ever belonged to a small martial arts group or even a big commercial school where the instructor staff and the senior students just stood around and talked and goofed off?  We know your time is valuable and so is ours.  We won’t waste your time. Be prepared to practice at the Gilbert and Scottsdale classes!

Your Siu Nim Tau practice is efficient…

Your Siu Nim Tau practice represents an efficient way to learn the basics of WingTsun™. It contains every basic idea – a condensed set of movements intended for your daily practice. Some of the highlights are:

1. Front thrusting punch
2. The three ‘seed’ techniques, tan sau, fook sau, bong sau
3. Double-hand movements to take care of frontal and rear attacks
4. Defense against attacks from the side
5. Breathing techniques for health
6. Stretch in the upper body joints
7. Leg strengthening by remaining in one place for the duration

– Sifu Keith Sonnenberg

Is WingTsun for Fighting or Improving Yourself?

Laypeople and the public at large normally view the practice of martial arts as something for tough guys or violent people.  They get the message which the media sends loud and clear and the message from the martial arts promoters themselves: Learn to hurt somebody with your bare hands. The message stops there.

We get the question often:  If WingTsun is so good, why doesn’t a WingTsun expert fight in the mixed martial arts matches? The promoters of mixed martial arts like to claim that the ring they fight in is reality fighting.  However if it was reality fighting, it would have been banned years ago by authorities.  Many efforts were made to do this.  The promoters responded by making even more rules, disallowing more techniques as “illegal.” The claims about reality fighting have stuck and the promoters are very successful with this marketing.

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Stress Management

All aspects of #Wing Tsun training have the ability to help you manage stress and ultimately, reduce stress. Stress creeps in and humans are very adaptable.  They adapt to it until it isn’t noticed anymore!  Most people do not even realize how much stress they are carrying until they have had a chance to manage it.  We say “manage” because if humans had no stress at all, there would be no forward movement in getting healthy, in pursuing a career in going to work, etc.

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Joint health and WingTsun™

WingTsun™ Kung fu has specific joint health exercises built into its forms.  Some might call these exercises part of the “chi-kung” of #WingTsun Kung fu.  The first exercise that one learns is the wrist circle.  After performing WingTsun’s unique vertical fist punch called the “Sun Thrusting Punch,” the hand is opened the palm is turned up.  The arm is outstretched to the front, parallel to the floor and the elbow is locked.  The palm is then bent back palm facing toward you, keeping the elbow locked.  The fingertips are turned clockwise when using the left hand until they point straight downward.  The fingers are then curled toward the back of the knuckles and the hand is quickly clenched as if it were a clamshell closing.  This simple exercise is easy to perform, can be done anywhere and, when repeated 10 – 20 repetitions and two sets daily, will reduce any pain symptoms caused by joint deterioration.  Such exercises keep the joints “lubricated” by stimulating the body’s natural healing and maintenance mechanisms.

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WingTsun™ is a way to Functional Fitness

Do you have trouble jumping onto the treadmill and hoofing it for 30 minutes?  Do you have trouble dropping to the floor and doing 20 push-ups?  How about ten arm curls with each arm with a 25 pound dumbbell on a Sunday afternoon?  Would you feel strange or afraid stepping onto a floor with a lot of screaming dudes in white uniforms lunge punching with blood-curdling intensity?

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Herewith is a reprint of a write-up by Marie-Elizabeth Finamore about Wing Tsun movements.  Marie Elizabeth Finamore can also be reached via Facebook:

What the West has to say about

Wing Tsun Kung Fu

By Marie Elizabeth Finamore, MS, ATC, CSCS, LMT

with WingTsun technical assistance by Sifu Keith Sonnenberg

Wing Tsun challenges the physical body in many ways, and exercises and improves concentration, visual acuity, balance, core stability, and breath control, as well as a full body muscular exertion.  Speed, agility, power are developed, and keys to the technique.  Really the only movements NOT challenged in this system are those involved in overhead reaching. 

Core stability is challenged in the basic stance, which a semi-squat with all lower extremity joints rotated inward achieved after alternately rotating the joints externally and internally.  Isometrically this also challenges balance and all lower extremity muscles, as this is a very unusual position to most Westerners.  Of course, and movement of the arms or legs away from the core challenges your stability, especially at the speeds demanded in Wing Tsun.  In actual combat, of course, any blow landed or blocked also challenges the core.

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Good posture with Wing Tsun™ Kung Fu

Wing Tsun kung fu training promotes good posture as a function of self-defense but, possibly due to its heritage in southern Shaolin kung-fu, also for health reasons.  This article at the Mayo clinic web site depicts in a slide show, some good tips to keep posture correct day to day:  Prevent back pain with good posture.

Another good link: The harm of what looking down at your cellphone does to your spine

Kay Tang wrote an excellent article for the Arizona Republic on exercise and balancing cardio, strength training and stretching in: Exercises That Are Necessary to Be Healthy.

Check it out!

The legs are the first to go

The saying goes that “the legs are the first to go.”  How true this is depends on many factors of course.  If you eventually get arthritis, knee problems, hip problems, ankle problems, or diabetes and you have to have surgeries on your legs well before you retire, your primary means of transportation is now out of commission or severely curtailed.  It is important to get up and move!  Doctors always recommend exercise.  Martial arts are a great way to get leg exercise.

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