Our WTK members have access to our private WTK Curriculum site where they can view our curriculum, forms, drills and modules. Our WTK modules are organized to allow for graduated learning of fundamentals, building upon each module to advanced sensitivity. Your first goal is to demonstrate the form of each reaction in the module. Practice the form alone prior to working cooperatively to ensure an understanding of the structure and balance that is necessary. Cooperative form is the next goal, but always keeping your structure intact. Solo as well as cooperative repetition will result in greater sensitivity.
05 – WTK Outdoor Reactions Man Sau Module Objectives:
1. Learn to punch and circle step with balance and stability.
2. Learn to yield to a greater incoming force down the centerline.
3. Drill reactions from a bridged then unbridged attack.
A video montage of WTK class drills.
With the start of the new academic year and students starting and returning to classes, safety on and around Campus is a real concern among students and parents. Helping people be safe is a primary goal of our Chicago-based self-defense and martial arts organization, Wing Tsun Kwoon http://wingtsunkwoon.com/. This year we have developed a new program entitled, “Be Safe, Be Aware” to provide women with essential information on being safe in their surroundings and physical knowledge on how to deal with potentially aggressive situations.
Our self-defense/martial arts program is unique because we focus our self-defense program on simple effective movements that one can apply quickly. We know that if a movement too complicated to perform with the appropriate timing, it is not realistic to use in any situation. In addition to the physical aspects of our program, we also talk about one’s innate mental aptitude to be safe and how to use this as a guide on potentially threatening situations. Over the past few years, we have taught women ranging in age from twenty to over sixty. Each of our instructors have over fifteen years of experience in martial arts.
On October 15th, we will be hosting a 2 hour class (9:00 AM to 11:00 AM) at Wing Tsun Kwoon, located at 820 N. Orleans (River North). The cost is: $15.00 when registered by October 12th and $20.00 when registered after October 12th. Click on the link below to register.
Be Safe, Be Aware
I have written about the concept of “being aware” in self-defense and it is certainly a topic worth blogging about again.The more I learn about different self-defense moves in Wing Tsun and other martial arts, my observation is that the most simple moves that you can execute in no more than a second are the only moves you will remember in a threatening situation. In your arsenal of efficient and effective self-defense moves, choose what you are most confident in doing but repeat the moves over and over and over until it gets in your DNA and become automatic. In your process of learning, you will become stronger and be able to synchronize your moves. In a threatening situation, use your nerves of steel, assert yourself by executing your moves with all your might, and finish off your aggressor!
Here are the key concepts one more time!
S – imple to do
E – fficient to implement
L – earn
F – inish off your aggressor
A – utomatic
W – ing Tsun
A – ssert yourself
R- epeat, repeat, repeat
E – ffective
N- erves of steel
E – xecute with all your might
S- nchronize your moves
Wing Tsun practitioners tend to be livelong learners of this martial arts because it is more than the technical skills that one learns. There are psychosocial, emotional, and intellectual benefits of Wing Tsun that separates it from other martial arts.
I have found that camaraderie is a wonderful and essential benefit in training with partners. In Wing Tsun training, my goal in working with my partner is to train better and help each other become better practitioners. We are both responsible for how we perform. Although not quite like “Dancing with the Stars,” the more the both of us listen to each other’s moves, the more we can become fluent in the language of Wing Tsun.
On the other hand, doing solo Wing Tsun forms is very meditative and is equally beneficial to my growth. As individuals, we all need ways to help us relax from the stresses of the day. For example, I can close my eyes and focus on my breathing while practicing my Siu Nim Tau form slowly. Doing the form methodologically allows me to articulate each move with greater clarity and best of all, feel my blood pressure slowly coming down. Peace!
SiSok Haw Kuo of Art of Wing Tsun (www.artofwingtsun.com) was back in Chicago from August 21-23, 2015, to train the WTK Instructors on the Luk Dim Boon Gwan (Long Pole), Classical Wing Tsun forms/movements, and to continue building our foundation of a principle-congruent Wing Tsun.
Long Pole Training:
First, SiSok showed us the body unity exercises we needed in preparation for wielding a long and heavy weapon. Body Unity is the culmination of balance, looseness and sensitivity working together to properly align your body to work in the most efficient manner possible. The arm muscles alone will not be able to generate enough power to move the long pole effectively. Subtle muscle control along with the proper body alignment is the key to explosive power.
Afterwards, SiSok trained us on the seven (or six-and-a-half) movements which make up the content of the Luk Dim Boon Gwan form. When all of the proper movement dynamics come together, performing a long pole movement seems effortless (e.g. like hitting through a golf ball, or a tennis ball on the sweet spot of the tennis racket).
Then SiSok taught us the entire form. We have seen the form in the past, but this was the first time we actually performed the entire form ourselves. The Luk Dim Boon Gwan form is short but it requires proper mental focus, control of your own movement and body unity and not allow the long pole to control it for you. It was great to see SiSok perform the form in such an economical manner that he appeared to glide through the air as he performed each movement.
Finally, SiSok showed us several partner drills that will help us understand and apply the long pole movements. There is a movement in the partner drill where we perform a controlled strike against our partner’s long pole and flow immediately into a thrust that must strike within the body width of our partner. Whenever we don’t have body unity and muscle in the strike against our partner’s long pole, we will either push away our partner’s long pole and then overshoot the strike area when we thrust, or bounce off our partner’s long pole and be forced to recover with additional movements and miss the opportunity to counter immediately and effectively.
SiSok helped us fine tune our forms (e.g. SNT, CK, BT) by explaining the proper movement dynamics of each movement in the forms. We also discussed and drilled the Magnetic Zone, Plum Flower steps, Poon Sau, Pak Da, and multiple CK/BT/WD Chi Sau sections.
Note: We need to remember to take pictures next time!
“The challenge is not to act automatically. It’s to find an action that is not automatic. Not deliberate, not random. Some place in between.”
SiSok showed us the next group of partner training methods that will help us continue to develop our base level capabilities. Then we revisited our Chi Sau sections and were instructed to discard our ready-made techniques and combinations. We let movements of the moment happen and our form to follow its function. It was refreshing to be freed from techniques. It resulted in effortless efficiency that was both fluid and spontaneous! Counterattacks that used to take multiple techniques (e.g. Jum Sau-Lan Sau-Shift-Pak Da-Character Two against 1st CK Chi Sau section entry) is distilled to an efficient way of moving that absorbs the opponent’s attack (e.g. send our arms towards the attack, then flexing slightly, we absorb the pressure with the abdomen and slow it down and transfer it to the front and then the rear leg to give it back).
Since the aim is no longer to carry out specific movements by design, it encourages us to find our own logical, practical and efficient solutions, and frees us from limiting our questions only to those associated with ready-made techniques and combinations.
Note: We PROMISE to take pictures of this principle-driven WT the next time! We got so caught up in our training, that it didn’t cross our minds to take pictures until we were writing this blog.
After the training, SiSok held a Q&A session with us to talk about the WT concepts, principles, training methods, and teaching methods.
We would like to thank SiSok for coming back to Chicago and sharing his knowledge and experience with us at WTK! Again, if you are ever in the Bay Area or have the opportunity to bring him to your martial arts school, we highly recommend training with him.