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Some schools that teach a mixture of styles of martial arts may begin by showing you the basic moves in more than one fighting style with no basic start of understandable concepts. Oh they might explain how this set of techniques is used and why but that hardly explains how you, the tall guy, for example, are supposed to deal with your opponent who is a more athletic guy with a bigger build. In addition, those moves are a few steps more advanced from where you should be. They do it as a sales gimmick to keep you interested. Sounds fine, you say. It is not fine. Every person, no matter how talented, requires repetitive practice of a technique in isolation before they can put it together with footwork, follow-ups, and other relevant details. Your ability to absorb details that make success possible with those techniques are not going to be ingrained into your “muscle memory.”

An enemy or a ring fighting opponent is going to try to disguise their intentions should they initiate an attack. To use the techniques you have learned, those techniques need to be available to use instantly without pre-thinking. In addition, your own skills need to be flexible enough to change in a nano-second. This requires some mental training as well. Some beginners may have the mindlock of indecision, fear, or stubbornness born of loyalty to what you trained on last night. If you have ever been in a fight, you know that you cannot pre-plan anything about such an encounter. Wing Tsun teaches you to “give up” that favorite technique or your pride in your strength if it isn’t working.

It is important to learn a system of movement that has flexibility. That sounds fine but what real flexibility is, is the ability to move like rubber and cling to an attacker’s limbs to guide them away from their target or you moving away with rapid footwork while counterattacking at the same time. You will not need to see an attack and then try an intercept it in mid-air. This is an error-prone strategy. True sticky hands skills are the solution to this missing element in most fighting styles. It is part of what you will learn at Wing Tsun Arizona.

-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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Action

It can be a confusing world out there.  Everybody has an opinion.  It can be important to be able to weigh those opinions and decide their worth. Even better would be to judge for oneself.  Many people are afraid of taking #action for fear of “making a mistake.” They may even be frozen to inaction.  They often erect false barriers to advancement.

While one person hesitates because he feels inferior, the other is busy making mistakes and becoming superior.” – Henry C. Link

“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” – Albert Einstein

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Learn a Real Close-Up Martial Art

by Sifu Keith Sonnenberg

The close-range fighting methods of southern China have their own methods and WingTsun™ is significant among those martial arts.  WingTsun fighting techniques operate inside the comfort zone of many people and well inside the comfort zone of many other fighting systems.  At this range, most fighting methods have no defenses. It is assumed by some martial artists that when you are very close to your opponent, one simply switches to knees, elbows and grappling techniques. There is more to the story than just switching distances and weapons.

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