Maybe you have worked to get ahead in learning another martial art and maybe you regularly passed rank tests and moved up the ladder. However, maybe you had an uneasy feeling that you have not learned the fundamentals of the art. There may not be a self-defense application. Perhaps you cannot conceive of how these movements can work in a surprise attack, in an enclosed space, or with obstructions.

None of this is true in learning Leung Ting Wing Tsun.

A long time ago, Leung Ting took his training in the Yip Man lineage and created a teaching program that would be a step-by-step, repeatable program, one step building on the last. This program has spread around the world in over 60 countries. Wing Tsun is a true martial art, not a sport. You will learn to coordinate hands and feet, posture, strengthen and stretch body and mind, and build your confidence. At the same time, your individuality is addressed. Not everybody is built the same. Not everybody has the same experience or background. This is taken into consideration as well.

Leung Ting’s Wing Tsun is the only self-defense martial art I have seen that has a tangible method to use an attacker’s force and a tangible way to learn it. This broadens its application for weaker, smaller individuals. At the same time, we have traditional training for exertion of power and balance the training for individual skills.

Thank you for reading…

-Sifu Keith Sonnenberg

We have all seen how some high school students play football or try out for track or gymnastics and make the team and others just cannot make the cut. The first set of students are picked because they are naturally coordinated. They did not have much time to get that way in one or two years of junior high school. The second set, the rest of us must practice hard to get someplace. It might be difficult on your ego to see the talented rise to fame, seemingly with ease. If it’s any comfort, the talented also must work – hard.

If we graduate high school without making the cuts for athletic competition, well that is life. After graduating from school, there are fewer chances to get on an athletic team unless you take up martial arts.

If you study martial arts, sometimes the same thing occurs. The talented students seem to rise to the top quickly. Of course, this should be no reason to quit. On the contrary, you should maintain your pace. Quitting means you lose the valuable time in precise training that most people never try, and the benefits are often unexpected.

History is full of examples of talented practitioners rising quickly and giving rise to jealousy in the ranks. The one that comes to my mind is our Grandmaster Leung Ting. He was a very talented student of Sifu Leung Sheung. Sifu Leung Sheung was the first Hong Kong student of late Grandmaster Yip Man. The young Leung Ting studied every day for several hours. He was present so often in Sifu Leung Sheung’s school, Sheung became irritable upon seeing him every time he turned around! *

Later, one of Leung Ting’s uncles arranged for him to meet the late Grandmaster Yip Man whereupon Leung Ting became a private student of Yip Man. *

After his training under the late Grandmaster, Leung Ting created a teaching system of his own to better maintain the consistent quality of his system and renamed what he had learned as “Wing Tsun,” instead of the more common terms being used at that time of “Wing Chun” or “Ving Tsun.” From his experience under the Grandmaster Yip Man, he discovered how easily the concepts and techniques could be misunderstood or interpreted differently.

There were many difficulties in maintaining relationships with others in the Yip Man clan. His renaming would put his teaching system in a different category. He would become the grandmaster of his own system, not affiliated with the others. Literally Grandmaster is like being the Grandfather, the master’s master.

Even talented people must work hard if they are going to be of a high standard. Jealousy has no place in martial arts training. Traditional martial arts are an inner effort. We train the inside, our inner physical, mental and emotional health.

Si-fu Keith Sonnenberg

*Reference book “Roots and Branches of Wing Tsun”

**Interview with Sifu Wang Kiu

One aspect of the self-defense martial art of Wing Tsun (Yip Man lineage) that may not be well known are the advanced motor skills learned throughout one’s body in the training. The ability to move two hands at the same time doing different movements is just the start. Beyond this are the sticky hands skills,

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You might say that anybody that takes a martial arts class is a martial artist. Then again, you could say that anybody that is climbing up through the ranks should be classified as a martial artist.

I ask the question because many people that are in a martial arts class have never thought about it before. It is possible they A) do not think of themselves as a martial artist or B) do not know specifically what constitutes the title of “martial artist.”

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Besides just combat and self-defense training, a true martial art can hardly be called an “art” unless there are aspects that involve perfecting your body’s movements. The art of Wing Tsun starts in simple actions based on the first Wing Tsun set of movements. They are called the little idea form. The name refers to the basic ideas presented. The movement have ideas behind them – profound ideas that help you perfect your skills. A representative movement is in the form for everything that comes later.

One set of techniques are hard to illustrate in a photo. They are the breathing method that relieves stress and anxiety. This type of breathing is common to other disciplines. However, in Wing Tsun, the breathing is done during the slow movements of the first third of the form. In one set of movements you have several things going on at one time. This is to prepare you for the training ahead.

You can feel the difference after you have completed the form. It sets you up for a class. It is important to dispel any stress and anxiety you may feel at the beginning of a class so that you can learn a certain number of abstract ideas and perform well. This is a practice you will want  to incorporate into your daily regimen and you might even use the breathing ideas in your daily tasks.

Give us a call or send us an e-mail if you would like to schedule a trial class. To your health and wellness.

-Sifu Keith Sonnenberg

You may attend a variety of martial arts schools these days. In some
towns and cities, the schools are on every block. However, relatively few teach
the higher Chinese skills on a routine basis. Usually very advanced skill-training
goes to only the most senior black-belt students. Most of the intermediate training
involves random sparring and forms. None of those long-range styles teach the
sticky hands handed down to them from Yip Man. In Leung Ting WingTsun®, sticky
hands is an intermediate skill.

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Training the arms in WingTsun is not the same as weight training. We will explain the training methods in a minute but first, some explanations:

The ultimate purpose of arm training in WingTsun is to deliver a serious and disabling strike to a vital area of a serious attacker as a self-defense method. To do this, the aim is to develop flexibility, reactivity, control, explosive power and sticky energy. The benefits are fast hand speed, ability to intercept oncoming attacks to the face or body, develop spacial relationships, precision hand movements, reaction time increased behind the wheel of a car, catch falling objects out of the air, react quickly to all manner of unpredictable emergencies, hands stay flexible into old age as long as the practice continues.

The training methods are:

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Grandmaster Leung Ting, has said that WingTsun™ is not a ‘style’ but a system. All the parts work together without contradiction. Carried further, Wing Tsun is a concept. It is a system not weighted down by thousands of techniques grouped together from several disciplines, the majority of which are unrelated as to concepts. They would be impossible to put together and used with any degree of speed or reliability. In a real self-defense situation, a defender must react spontaneously according to the moment. There certainly is not any time to re-think that anti-grapple or that kick you just learned the way it was done in class. You must react according to the concept rather than the choreography. After all, your attacker doesn’t know this movement and he doesn’t care! Self-defense that is available is the most useful.

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Once a layperson who has an interest in martial arts also becomes acquainted with Wing Tsun (or wing chun) techniques, the fascination often begins. Due partly to online videos, tons of chatter, posts, blogs, and YouTube stars, many “wing chun fans” become obsessed. All the internet surfer wants to do is be like the guy in the videos or the star of the movie about Yip Man. It is a shame that the obsession doesn’t include an obsession with the ‘secret’ of Wing Tsun.

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Two methods of evading an attack using Wing Tsun methods will be described here. Evading an attack in the martial art of Wing Tsun™ involves movement in the most economical way. Wing Tsun uses the smallest movements possible. The first method involves a compact turning out of the path of the attack. Only one foot is required to make the turn. It might be more accurate to call this a shift. A practitioner of Wing Tsun™ turns on the center of the foot. To train this skill, you must be sure that both the toe and the heel turn at the same rate and angle. As you do this, 100% of your body weight must shift to one leg. The back remains straight with gravity. Your back must not lean back. The turn is normally at least 45 degrees but can be as much as 90 degrees. The non-weighted leg remains on the floor with light pressure but NO weight!

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