Pacific Wing Chun Association is honored by another visit from our Kung Brother Sifu Scott Cannam. His knowledge in the history of Wing Chun and the system in general is unmatched, it is always a treat to spend time rolling hands and sharing ideas and theory with him. Todays session was no different, as we began with san sik and then into flow drills Scott gave insight into theory and how to gain advantage over an opponent in structure and with proper technique. We then shared ideas on chi sao and intercepting.And at the end of class the group chased down the training mitts with kicks, and triple punches till everyone had a solid sweat on in the hot Kona sun. I am already looking forward to the next session later this week. Again welcome back and many thanks for sharing your Manao (knowledge in Hawaiian language) LRs Sifu Scott Cannam
Motion and Wing Chun Technique Application
The dragons are spirits of the waters. “The dragon is a kind of being whose miraculous changes are inscrutable.” In a sense the dragon is the type of a man, self-controlled, and with powers that verge upon the supernatural. In China the dragon, except as noted below, is not a power for evil, but a beneficent being producing rain and representing the fecundating principle in nature. He is the essence of the yang, or male, principle. “He controls the rain, and so holds in his power prosperity and peace.” Myths of the Waters, The Dragons, Myths and Legends of China, by Edward T.C. Werner, , at sacred-texts.com
Early in my Wing Chun training, “Move like a Dragon” was an analogy my Sifu used to describe the evasive and forward, never retreating way in which a Wing Chun practitioner should forge an attack. This idea of forward motion, and constant pressure upon an opponent was fostered and cultivated in various ways every training session.
Changing direction to defuse an opponents oncoming force is one method to employ in an encounter where the oncoming force is strong and overcommitted. In these types of situations a combination of change of stance, hand technique and forward pressure can be utilized to weaken the attack and incapacitate you opponents ability to recover from his own attack.
Constant motion is inevitable in a real fight situation. There will be no staged or choreographed feed and responses from friendly training partners, there will be an ever changing enemy meaning real harm to you or your loved ones if you do not move, change and have answers to movements presented by your attacker/s. One solution, train to defuse oncoming force with change and movement, train to move and be unpredictable as possible.
Reading or perceiving signs, movements, gestures, and signals from an opponent, advancing with ferocity to intercept and thwart forward motion then trapping limbs to destroy an opponents structure and ability to attack is the goal. The methods we use and techniques we train within the Wing Chun system show us ways to achieve this.
“The Tao of Wing Chun is a long path…” Alan Bak Fu Vasquez
Keep the Traditions!
Sifu John Divirgillio and Sifu Alan “Bak Fu” Vasquez hold Wing Chun Seminar in Kailua Kona, Hawaii.
A special thank you and Mahalo Nui Loa to Sifu’s John Divirgillio and Alan “Bak Fu” Vasquez for making the trip to Kailua Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii again this year for the two day Wing Chun Seminar held February 1 and 2nd 2014. It took me another two days to internalize what had been taught and another day to find the right way to describe the ideas shared by these two masters of Wing Chun Kuen, as well as other martial combat systems.
Day one focused on reflex and touch drills along with three dimensions of bridging and entry to control your opponent, then integration of these ideas within Chi Sao and other applications within the system.
Day two primarily focused on Mook Yan Jong and Luk Dim Boon Kwan with special tactical application of the ideas Sifu John Divirgillio expounded in the session on Saturday.
The ideas came fast and more ferocious than some of the fist that were being thrown, so I took some time to write this, I wanted to ensure I had described what I had witnessed this past weekend thus the late posting.
The lunches were filled with good grinds and colorful story, and everyone present had Wing Chun overload by one hour into the first session.
I would like to give special Thanks and Mahalos to my Sifu Alan “Bak Fu” Vasquez for setting up this Seminar and hosting lunch by way of superior technique, as per usual… You had to be there! lol
Big Mahalo to my Co Sifu Eugene Tagawa for entertaining, and taxi-ing Sifu’s John Divirgillio and Alan “Bak Fu” Vasquez.
Everyone whom attended had seen one of the foremost authority on Wing Chun Technique and its History doing what he does best. Thank you Sifu John Divirgillio we at Pacific Wing Chun Association look forward to your return to give us a refresher session on everything you shared this week.
The Many Aspects of Wing Chun Kuen by Lawrence Ramirez Sifu
Throughout the years of my studying Wing Chun Kuen, I’ve come across many people with different views of, and what practicing this system actually entails. So many have only watched a few video, so really do not have a clear view of Wing Chun from which they base their opinion, others may have made met up with a practitioner whom wasn’t very talented or was taught very poorly and could not articulate the basis of the System or its many facets properly. As mentioned in the previous post: ” https://pacificwingchun.com/2013/12/29/wing-chun-and-structured-mass/ ” many just do not understand all the aspects of, and what is entailed in the training involved and applications of technique possible within the system.
There are to many video available, and article published to date that either give situational views or “what if” scenarios and specific answers for a certain staged or scripted attack verses Wing Chun Technique, then showing someone whom has no in depth study of the Wing Chun system under their “belt” deflecting and overtaking a supposed Wing Chun exponent. This is neither the way to learn Wing Chun Kuen if you are truly serious about understanding the System, nor is it a way to master any other martial art. Those ideas are opinions based upon staged scenarios. This to me equates to a situation twice removed from reality.
I was told early in my martial arts training there are no “What If’s”.
No actual fight is scripted or will happen as a play with a preempted start and finish as if choreographed, there will be only the techniques your Sifu taught you, and if you actually practiced as he suggested, they will work to help you deflect or redirect, or to slip past, to help you defeat an unprepared opponent. That is only, IF you practiced…
There are aspects within the Wing Chun System, that many overlook the practice of, as an integral part of their training. Stance, basic technique, form, weapons all have to be practiced with the principles of the system kept in mind, and the body mass as part of the structured attack must all be coordinated. But how are all these ideas or aspects of the system taught? These are not absolute concrete ideal you can personally hand to someone, it must manifest within the practitioner as they mature in their practice of the art. This takes time.
I have come across many whom practice martial artists that wish to learn some Wing Chun technique only to find the training boring and then just look for the tricks or advanced techniques so they can become Wing Chun Masters, or so they may use this information to try and become the best fighter out there. In doing so they become neither.
What will happen is exactly what has been happening for decades in the martial arts world. Some uninformed people spout their low opinion of Wing Chun Kuen, or like many so called new age advanced martial technique “specialists” they even propound that no martial arts work in a real combat situation. Well its a great angle to make a buck so I wish them many dollars and a happy life.
I do feel that many whom train Wing Chun Kuen miss one aspect in particular within the system which connects the actual application of Wing Chun technique with the power of the practitioners body mass, it is the tool which actually applies this power or force. The development and use of Chi, or Qi.
This cultivation and development of Chi is embedded within the system in several area, including San Sik and all three hand forms. If study of the basic concept of Chi Breathing and the Development of Vital Energies within the body are introduced as an important portion throughout the practitioners training regiment, Chi force will come in a natural progression as the practitioner evolves in his or her training. The understanding of Chi Development and its cultivation within the Wing Chun System will enhance a practitioners Kung Fu and Health immensely throughout his lifetime.
Breathing, Chi Development, Structured Mass Movement, and Crisp Technique “With Meeeannning..” are all aspects within the Wing Chun Kuen System, when practiced, and executed properly make a practitioner a daunting opponent for any martial arts enthusiast.
Keep the Traditions!
Pacific Wing Chun Association Seminar scheduled for February 2014.
The Seminar with Sifus, Alan “Bak Fu” Vasquez founder of Orange County Wing Chun Association, and John DiVirgillio of the Hawaii Wing Chun Association, is scheduled to be held Febuary 1 and 2nd of February 2014.
Saturday – Noon till 3pm. We will gather for an Association Dinner after the Seminar on Saturday.
Sunday – 8am -1pm .
Wing Chun Association Members from all Islands and Continential US are encouraged to attend.
Please contact Lawrence Ramirez Sifu for locations, signup cost, and Hawaii lodging information.
Keep the Traditions!
Pacific Wing Chun Association has a new location. We are moving the Kwoon into Kailua Kona from Waikoloa at the end of January. New class times and Locations! Details to follow. Contact Lawrence Ramirez Sifu for more infomation. email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Be Well and Keep the Traditions!
Gung Fu by Lawrence Ramirez Sifu
Throughout the years since the Bodhidharma traveled to China and Shaolin Temple at the foot of Shaoshi mountain in the Song mountain range in the Henan province, where Gung Fu began, there have been those whom study martial arts, but were never worthy of receiving such training in the first place.
These people reside in the lower four worlds of life:
“Hell–a condition of despair in which one is completely overwhelmed by suffering; Hunger–a state dominated by deluded desire that can never be satisfied; Animality–an instinctual state of fearing the strong and bullying the weak; Anger–a state characterized by an unrestrained competitive urge to surpass and dominate others and often under a pretence of being good and wise. These four states are referred to as the Four Evil Paths because of the destructive negativity that marks them. ” (SGI-USA, http://www.sgi.org/buddhism/buddhist-concepts/ten-worlds.html).
Even Bodhidharma was plagued with this problem by one of his followers before he even arrived in China.
Some cannot grasp idea that, dedication to study, knowledge, and even Happiness cannot be transmitted from human to human, it develops within each of us. Only the ideas are shared among us, it is ultimately up to the individual to either study and manifest these lofty ideals or remain in the lower worlds or states of life.
Every martial arts style, system, or pugilistic form has this type of person among the ranks today and has had them throughout the years from the beginnings.
I have many martial artist friends from across several style, systems and lineage, they have all had personal experience with these people. It is nothing new.
Today in the ever growing world of martial artists there is another factor which rears its ugly head among those whom reside in and among the Low Worlds, those whom hold greed close under false pretense of false sage or wisdom, slandering others.
All whom study Martial Arts know these Truths, and most of us Respect each other, we may not share the same Ideas on how to take care of an attacker and send him home via the hospital, but we do respect each other and our particular Tao , or path in Martial Art.
I do not know anothers intent, but when I see it I act, if the intent is to harm someone, I protect them. I uphold the Traditions of Wing Chun Kung Fu.
Be wary of whom you teach, there are only few worthy.
Be Well, Much Respect,
Wing Chun and Structured Mass by Lawrence Ramirez Sifu
The term “Structure” holds different meaning and several function in the Wing Chun Kung Fu system. Within the first form Sil Nim Tao and basic San Sik a beginning practitioner will be taught Yee Gee Kim Yeung Ma or the Catch Goat Stance. This focus on stance or structure early in training is paramount if the practitioner is to progress and have functional technique.
As a student is able to grasp these ideals of stance, rooted structure and angular stepping technique they will have progressed to a point where their technique will be functional, but maybe not at optimal performance. Only when an understanding of movement in stance, along with the structured mass of the body can the practitioners technique become really powerful.
With proper timing of technique and structured movement of the body as one unit or a mass, strikes and kicks become much more lethal. Now for someone whom does not study Wing Chun in depth, they will miss several key points where the concept of structure, is concerned. We use the term Structure, but we do not advocate rigidity. Rigidity is not the the goal of structure within the Wing Chun system.
By maintaining a soft yet structured stance, and using properly timed techniques, a practitioner can find opportunity where as a fighter whom is rigid and over committed can easily be overcome by evasive techniques. Within soft structured limbs a flinch reflex or fa jeng, whipping power can be applied where in an arm that is super rigid half of the muscle structure that is throwing the strike is also holding the strike back. Remaining less rigid also will allow a practitioner to intercept a strike, redirect its force, and change his defending limbs in an instant to a strike. This could be attained by a catch and release action, or by using a block to slip motion. “Extreme softness enables one to be hard. Being extremely natural enables one to be agile.” (Wing Chun Kuen Kuit)
A practitioner should focus on maintaining these ideas of structure which encompasses, stance, proper angular movement, footwork, along with properly timed and applied technique when engaging an opponent. If applied as a coordinated unit or body mass, the practitioner will be very hard to attack from any angle and also extremely lethal with response to any attack when applying Wing Chun technique.
Keep the Traditions!
As a sign of great respect to his Sifus and Wing Chun Family, Pacific Wing Chun Association Awards Scott Cannam with Honorary Black Shirt/Sash which represents his dedication in studying Wing Chun Kung Fu, and to the great skill of the Sifus whom trained him. Scott Cannam founded the Red Deer Wing Chun group (Ving Tsun), in Alberta Canada. Scott Cannam is from the Greco Wong Kwoon in Alberta Canada. His Kwoons lineage is Yip Man / Moy Yat-Greco Wong / Kam Wong / Red Deer Wing Chun Calgary. Scott has great technique and very knowledgeable of the system and History of Wing Chun Kung Fu in general.
Thank you for sharing your skill and knowledge with us Scott. You truly are a Black Sash Kung Fu Fighter!
Theory of Balance by Lawrence Ramirez
Whether attacking postures presented, redirecting incoming forces and attacking from outside angles, or defending a full frontal attack directly at your centerline from an opponent, there must be balance in your approach within each of these scenarios.
Balance is said by many to be the most important factor to your defenses in a fight. It is also said to be the key to a successful attack. The fact is that Balance encompasses many ideas and has many applications within any fighting art.
There are theory of balance within form training that apply to attacking stationary and mobile defense postures, defense of both soft angular attacking and attacks with solid forward momentum, and also to each of these ideas in combination.
Within all the Wing Chun systems these ideas of balance are encompassed and addressed within the Hand Forms, San Sik, the Mook Yan Jong, and Weapons sets. Keep in mind that theory of actual application and training methods may differ due to lineage and family interpretation.
Balance is important to every empty hand and leg technique applied within the Wing Chun system. We change angles of attack or defense when we feel pressures or changes in our opponent’s posture in order to gain advantage upon and absolute control of them. But if there is no balance in the application of our technique we may become victims to our own movement. For every strike thrown at us we have several options with which to change that strikes energy into one which we can use to our advantage. If we do not use a balanced response, we may overextend an arm or cross center just enough for a trained opponent to take advantage of it.
Being over-committed is a common mistake that can have serious consequence if taken advantage of by an opponent trained to recognize this. “Strike when you should, do not strike when you should not”, or “Do not chase hands” apply in this scenario as forcing a strike can lead you into a bad situation if your opponent seizes the opportunity of a badly timed or an overzealous strike.
Balance in application of technique and in structure and stance upon entry or upon reception of external forces no matter of angle or strength is paramount. “Accept what comes, follow what retreats” is a theory of balance and teaches us to use balance in our defense and attacking as well. Using a balanced pivot, or joon ma to redirect, or diffuse an oncoming force helps us to keep balanced structure in a clash, where energies would otherwise topple an unsuspecting fighter. This theory also enables us to take advantage of overzealous over-committed attackers whom have our destruction in mind and are using force and brute strength to try an overcome a trained rooted Wing Chun fighting structure.
Balance in mind body and spirit is a popular way to describe the way a martial warrior should approach every aspect of life. Within the Wing Chun System this Ideal rings especially true.
Keep the Traditions!