Many people wonder how to make movements automatic and reactive in developing their martial arts skills. I can understand disappointment if you practice all your basics regularly on your own and see little if any results. Besides increasing the repetitions, how are martial arts skills built?

I will speak for Wing Tsun Kungfu since it is the martial art that I have spent the most time with. However, I believe it is the same with other arts as I spent years in Korean karate and Filipino Escrima. One should think about the intent of the movements.

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Many a Wing Tsun / Wing Chun / Ving Tsun student and lay person has read and studied the story of the origins of Wing Tsun. They have heard of the Buddhist elder, Ng Mui who was a Siu Lam (Shaolin) kung fu expert. The story goes that she escaped the burning of the Siu Lam Monastery by Ching soldiers along with four others each of whom gave rise to various kung fu styles that exist today. Ng Mui eventually taught another female, a teenager named Yim Wing Tsun. The teenager eventually married her betrothed. Her husband decided that this secret style should be named after her. Wing Tsun was eventually passed down in a narrow family line until the present day. Read more

This FREE one-hour class, presented by Wing Tsun Arizona will include Situational Self-Defense & Physical Self-Defense.

Class limited to 12 participants. We will normally hold this class at our location at 745 N. Gilbert Rd. #129, Gilbert, AZ 85234. However if your organization has at least 12 persons that can participate in the class, we can hold it at your office or facility.

We can arrange for a weekend time for the class on a weekend – Friday, Saturday or Sunday evening. A weekday time may be available by special arrangement.

Contact instructor Keith Sonnenberg for questions or discussion on bringing this class to you or your staff.  (480) 668-9220   sifusonnenberg@wingtsunaz.com

 

 

“Everybody tries to make martial arts complicated,” something Grandmaster Leung Ting Ting has often stated. The Wing Tsun idea starts with simplicity. This martial art started out 300 years ago as a martial art of change. The developers thought that existing martial arts were too complicated.  They wanted to change the prevailing approach which was teaching numerous predetermined sequences of movements to make the learning faster and simpler and retain effectiveness. Learning numerous forms was and is considered a distraction. Predetermined poses, sequences and techniques can greatly slow a martial art student’s path to effective self-defense abilities, many of which have no relevance to today’s applications. Many old martial arts were designed for military battle where the weapons were halberds, swords, and soldiers on horseback on uneven terrain.

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The difference between Wing Tsun and other martial arts is not always obvious. Many of the martial arts that come from the so-called Shaolin root have a basic set of movements called a “form” which is a pattern of hand movements and steps which might be compared to a dance. However, the techniques have fighting applications. The principals are normally how the style defends and attacks, how to get power, how to turn and fight and so on.

Wing Tsun does have a basic form called Siu Nim Tau. Its meaning is “Little Idea Form.” The techniques in the form teach very basic ideas such as the “Character Sun Thrusting Punch” and the three seed techniques, tan sau, fook sau and bong sau plus two more sections of techniques totaling 108 points.

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Virtually all martial arts taught today had, at one time, a very effective combat purpose. As the decades and centuries passed, the purpose for some arts faded. To preserve the concepts, techniques, and philosophy of those arts, many were preserved as sports. The best self defense martial art was usually the one that had not been converted to a sport. However, it also had to be relevant and had application to modern circumstances.

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The internet seems rife with claims about which is the best self defense martial art or which is more effective in a seemingly endless effort to recruit more students. Claims of ineffectiveness based on a video of one martial artist beating another are a waste of anybody’s attention. Any person can beat another at any given moment based on many factors which may not be obvious in a video. Calls to join schools or arts based on questionable reasoning are common. Calls appealing to convenience, faster learning, instant success, solving a problem you have with crime in your neighborhood with a few quick visits to your local self-defense practitioner are also frequent. What seems to be forgotten is whether a martial art offers something a person is looking for such as a fitness and health regimen they can handle, a recreational activity, a unique skill to learn, or a reasonable expectation of learning common self-defense. After all, most people do not expect to be attacked by a champion ring fighter.

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It can be useful for WingTsun students to develop self-defense scenarios in their mind as long as they are not “fixed formulas.” In other words ask yourself “what if this happened?” OK, most of my students already know that if somebody asks, “What if I took a swing at you?” or “What would you do…,” that this can be a useless and even dangerous verbal exercise. After all, you really don’t know how they will attack until they actually do. However, it can be useful to speculate with yourself. In other words, ask yourself this question as a bit of internal dialog, “How well would I do in a real self-defense situation?” “What WOULD I do if somebody came around a corner and tried to grab or hit me?” These mental exercises can help you visualize the beginning, the middle and the end of an attack defended by classical WingTsun movements. This can also aid your self-confidence.

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Among martial arts for self defense, Leung Ting WingTsun® is consistent throughout. It is important from a realistic standpoint that a defender have automatic reactions trained into their nervous system so that a surprise attack can be dissolved without planning, thinking about it, or reconsidering, all of which would mean failure to defend oneself. It is also important that a self defense martial art or a self defense course not be a grab bag of ‘solutions’ which are formulaic. There are no formulas to defend in an unknown attack.

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Logic permeates the WingTsun approach. The simplest idea is the best idea in the WingTsun way of self-defense. A human tendency is to over-think and complicate matters. In a life or death struggle the simplest path is often a straight-line to the target and also the quickest. Sometimes there are barriers. WingTsun has the answers there too and WingTsun has a simple solution that does not involve a clash of forces.

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