Take Control: Women’s Self-Defense Program
What do women want to learn from a self-defense class?
• “I want to feel prepared to respond to an attacker who surprises me”
• “Basics of self defense to have enough time to run”
• “Basic skills to defend myself from an attack or to escape a dangerous situation”
Over the course of three weeks in our Take Control: Women’s Self-Defense Program, women learned just to do that as part of a wellness-sponsored activity from the University of Illinois at Chicago, School of Public Health.
Using the principles of Wing Tsun, women practiced over and over, how to punch with vertical fists, defend themselves with lan sau followed by elbow hits, do a front kick, and apply tan sau and jum sau to protect themselves.
Women had “aha” moments such as using one’s “gut” to react if someone enters the boundary of one’s personal space and what can be done to pre-empt a hit. Women were also enlightened to the concept of moving forward if the way is free and facing one’s opponent instead of pulling away.
By the end of the three weeks, women had this to say:
• “It’s possible to be prepared for an attack”
• “If a person enters my circle of comfort, I know how I can react once that space is broken”
• “Be calm and aware to defend myself rather than showing intimidation”
Most importantly, the best take-away for the women was they now had the option to think, plan, and react if necessary and BE in control.
The centerline theory is a fundamental principle in how we fight in Wing Tsun. From the beginning, we are taught to always protect our center because that is where all our important organs are (heart, throat, eyes, nose, etc). On the other hand, when we attack, we are taught to hit our opponent’s center because that is where they are most vulnerable. Thus, through punches, pak sao, tan sao, bong sao, and other wing tsun moves, we work our way in to hit our target.
Over the years, learning to go for the center has taught me other lessons. It has taught me to focus on reaching my goal and if get de-railed for a second, I can regain my center. If situations cause a shift in my life, I can re-direct my energies to get back on point and be centered. My centerline theory.
“Owning” my Wing Tsun benefits my mind, health, and spirit as I determine what level I want to take my martial arts. In this mindset, I am drilling my newly-learned WT self-defense form because I will make it my own with practice. Please check out the 45 sec video clip. Thanks to WingTsunKwoon who created this awesome WT self-defense form.
With the approval of GGM Atillo and Master Dalan, we are pleased to share with all of you a short video of Atillo Balintawak Eskrima training at Wing Tsun Kwoon.
On March 3, 2017, Great Grandmaster Crispulo Atillo and Master Derrick Dalan of Atillo Balintawak World Arnis-Eskrima Original Saavedra Style (http://atillobalintawak.com) were back in Chicago to train the Instructors and Members of Wing Tsun Kwoon on the Filipino Martial Art of Atillo Balintawak Eskrima.
During the same day, we (SiFu Ray Jurado, Allan Sargan and Don Saavedra Briones) had a private lesson to review the Atillo Balintawak Fundamentals, Grade School, Middle School and High School Curriculum with GGM Atillo and Master Dalan. There were a lot to cover in a few hours! It was a good thing we have been training every week in preparation for this training! During dinner, GGM Atillo shared his stories about Lorenzo “Tatay Ensong” Saavedra, Teodoro “Doring” Saavedra, Venancio “Anciong” Bacon, his father Vicente “Inting” Atillo and Delfin Lopez. We were in awe hearing the history of these prominent and influential eskrimadors from GGM Atillo who is the only remaining original member of both the Doce Pares Club and Balintawak Self Defense Club!
The following morning (March 4th), we headed to our WTK class at HiFi Fitness to train with our Senior WTK Members (Julie, Randy and Ian). It was their first time meeting GGM Atillo and Master Derrick. They have only heard stories of our previous training sessions with GGM Atillo and Master Derrick. We wanted to expose them to this great Filipino Martial Art and experience first-hand GGM Atillo’s unique style of Eskrima.
Since this group training was only for Senior WTK Members, GGM Atillo and Master Derrick were able to provide personalized instruction on the fundamentals of Atillo Balintawak Eskrima and focused on each individual’s needs. They learned Atillo Methods 1 to 4 for every strike and defend. Needless to say, Julie, Randy and Ian really enjoyed training with GGM Atillo and Master Derrick.
Later that day, was our private lesson to review the College Level Curriculum. The College Level lessons build on the previous levels and are now focused on Spars. GGM Atillo and Master Derrick really focused on fine-tuning our form and structure as well as giving us a better understanding of the principles and concepts behind these Spars. We completed the review up to Lesson 5 – Spar 22. We were exhausted! At dinner, GGM Atillo shared more stories about his life as an Eskrimador. He started training in Eskrima when he was 14 years old. He has been training several hours every week for over 64 years!
During our final day of training (March 5th), we completed the review of Lesson 6 – Spar 23-34 of the College Level Curriculum and the fundamentals of disarming. We covered a lot of material this weekend!
Finally, we wanted to announce that we have been awarded the honor and rank of Disciples of the Atillo Balintawak World Arnis Eskrima (ABWAE), Original Saavedra Style, as appointed by GGM Atillo and Guro Dan Inosanto, Adviser & Consultant of the ABWAE. We are officially listed in GGM Atillo’s site http://atillobalintawak.com/abwae-ranking/ as Disciples. Thank you GGM Atillo! We are honored to be your Disciples!
We would like to thank GGM Atillo and Master Dalan for coming back to Chicago and sharing their knowledge and experience with us at WTK! If you are ever near Beaumont, CA or have the opportunity to bring them to your martial arts school, we highly recommend training with them.
“GGM Atillo is the developer and teacher of Atillo Balintawak Eskrima. I think that what sets his art apart from other Eskrima styles is the completeness of technique and the comprehensive, step-by-step curriculum.
It takes practice and dedication to master this style, but it’s effectiveness is fulfilling and well worth the time. The disarm and counter techniques are amazing and could be another separate curriculum in itself. I thoroughly enjoyed practicing and listening to GGM Atillo’s stories of the past (politics and all)!
Thank you GGM Atillo and his right hand man, Master Derrick for their patience and knowledge. Their openness is always refreshing and fuels my enthusiasm for the art. Our WTK members had a great time and look forward to the next eye-opening seminar!”
– SiFu Ray
“Finally made a full circle! After bouncing around several styles of Filipino Martial Arts (FMA), training with GGM Atillo and Master Derrick is like coming home. This is the most complete FMA system I have ever seen. Their knowledge base and, most of all, their patience in correcting my bad habits are exemplary. I look forward to many more lessons in the future. Thank you GGM Atillo and Master Derrick!”
“I have been looking for a good Balintawak instructor in the Chicagoland area for several years before I first met and trained with GGM Atillo and Master Derrick back in June 2014. I was blown away by the depth of GGM Atillo’s technical skill, knowledge and understanding of Balintawak. I knew then that he was the best and that I needed to continue learning from him.
I truly am very fortunate to be considered one of his Disciples.
Maraming Salamat GGM Atillo and Master Derrick for coming to Chicago and sharing your art with us!”
As a Wing Tsun practitioner, I am learning to enjoy the Wing Tsun moment.
What does this mean you might ask? It starts with being relaxed. You will not be able to enjoy the moment if you are tense. I imagine being like a sponge.I keep my limbs soft so that my opponent does not feel undue force but like a sponge, I am springy with energy. My limbs are alert so that I can take advantage of a “hole” that I may find in my opponent’s structure as we spar. I wait for the moment where my opponent makes a mistake: mis-directs his force, stiffens up, or structure falls apart. I absorb, re-direct my opponent’s energy and come back with an offense to devastate. This all happens in a split second, and it is a moment to enjoy.