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Victor Kan Wah Chit


Ip Man

Leung Jans Kulo Wing Chun


Saam Pai Fat



OctOber 2008
November December 2008
January-February 2009
February March 2009

Greening the Screen Green Festivals Dakota Blue Richards Exclusive Interview

children & cinema

SPecial Feature


Takeshi Kitano Kim Jee-Woon

Childrens film festivals Filmmakers of the future Film in schools Interview with Jonas & Alfonso Cuarn
Festivals: Sheffield, Tokyo, Latitude, Rio, AFI Los Angeles, New York, Buster Festival reports: Antalya, London, Filmstock, Doc/Fest

Australian Cinema at the Crossroads Again talking Ozploitation with Mark Hartley
Festivals: Adelaide, Dublin, Animated Exeter, Glasgow, london short FF, london Australian FF, Palm springs

Looking over the Red Cliff: The new rise of Asian cinema

Festivals: Bradford, Deauville Asian, Hong Kong, San Diego Latino, SXSW, San Francisco Asian American
August 2009
Volume 3 N 10

Dario Argento Neil Oseman Jake West

American Independents
Asiel Norton Lyn Shelton Todd Solondz
Festivals: Austin, Festroia, Raindance, Red Rock, Venice, Woodstock

Festivals: Abertoir, Bram Stoker, FrightFest, Mayhem, Terror
Volume 4 N 1
Volume 4 N 2
Volume 4 N 5


Ketan Mehta Aasif Mandvi Shyam Benegal Sharmila Tagore
Festivals: Bursa, Mar del Plata, MIAAC, River to River, Thessaloniki

DOcUMENTARiES THAT cOULD SERiOUSLY ALTER YOUR ViEW OF THE WORLD chris Atkins on TAkiNg LiBERTiES Brent Leung on HOUSE OF NUMBERS Robert kenner & Eric Schlosser on FOOD, iNc. Festivals: Artivist, Berlin, Birds Eye View, Borderlines, Bradford, Human Rights Watch, Mumbai, Sundance

Terry Gilliam Richard Kelly Gareth Edwards The People vs George Lucas Radio Free Albemuth

Cinema of the Maghreb Animation in Africa Film schools Post-apartheid cinema Mugabe and the White African
Festivals: Aluta, Cape Winelands, Jamaica Reggae, Pan African, Pune, Ventana Sur


Volume 4 N 4

Volume 4 N 3

Festivals: AFO, Bradford, Pantalla Pinamar, Plume & Pellicule, New Directors, SCI-FI-LONDON

AnimAtion & trAnsmediA

Festivals: Annecy, BAFiCi, Cannes, edinburgh, Los Angeles
Volume 4 N 5

Volume 4 N 7

Issue 25

Issue 26

The Italian Key The Queens Suite Lee Unkrich Nisi Masa

EastErn EuropE
Festivals: Cinemagic, Giffoni, Odense Festivals: american Indies, Bloody Xmas, Jihlava, London, raindance, Zlin

Matt Harlock and Paul Thomas reanimate Bill Hicks Dean Haglund: Renaissance Man Rajkumar Hirani on 3 Idiots
Festivals: BIFA, Bradford Animation, Leeds, onedotzero

Mohamed Al-Daradji Ahmad Abdalla Rula Jebreal Rafi Pitts Janus Metz

Issue 27

Vilmos Zsigmond Danny Cohen Lone Gun Manifesto In Praise of Super 8

MiDDle eAst
Festivals: Doc/Fest, Doha, Dubai, leeds, london iranian, thessaloniki

Arizona, Berlinale, Bradford, Cambridge Super 8, Human Rights Watch, iPhone, SCI-FI-LONDON
The place where filmmakers and cinema lovers meet
Buy print-on-demand & digital versions from


Master of a Generation (Part 1) By David Peterson Once merely a footnote in the biography of Bruce Lee, thanks to several recent movies based upon his life, the late Grandmaster of Wing Chun Kuen is now fast becoming a household name, but what of the real story of Ip Man?



Unsung Pioneer of Wing Chun in the UK (Part 1) By Rolf Clausnitzer

In a revealing interview, Greco Wong Wai Chung recalls his early training with Grandmaster Ip Man and Moy Yat, and how he helped introduce Wing Chun to the British public in the 1960s.


Bringing Ip Man to Life By Eric Liller

With the success of Ip Man and Ip Man 2, Donnie Yen has become one of Chinas hottest actors. Here, Yen talks about bringing Ip Man to life on the big screen and we ask him probably the #1 question on fans minds: Will he be reprising the role?


Death of a Hidden Master By Suki Gosal

Suki Gosal celebrates the life of one of Wing Chuns best kept secrets, his Sifu Leung Kwok-Keung, the hidden master of Hei Ban Wing Chun.

The Man Who Would be King By Alan Gibson Victor Kan Wah Chit, nicknamed Untouchable and King of Chi Sau, is one of the last active students of Grandmaster Ip Man. Senior in rank to both Ip Chun and Ip Ching, he describes himself as GM Ip Mans natural successor. Readers may well be shocked by some of his opinions, and yet, when Alan Gibson met him, he found him to be good company. Kans arguments are based on rank and tradition, and he has plenty of tales to tell about GM Ip Man in the glory days of Wing Chun. While Wong Shun Leung and his peers were out fighting Beimo around Hong Kong, he was holding the fort for the next generation. Kans beliefs are concerned primarily with quality Wing Chun. The remainder is arguably scandal and self-promotion.



A Core Element of WSL Ving Tsun By John Smith

When used successfully, Lat Sau Jik Chung provides less risk to a Wing Chun fighter and will ensure a far quicker and speedier victory within any intended confrontation.


Photo & Cover Photo: HAIDE AUGUSTA



Why Body Structure and How to Develop It By Dr. Robert Chu

The Path of Mastery By Wayne Belonoha Improve your training by clearly understanding the purpose of key drills like Chi Sau. With the drills boundaries clearly defined, you will be able to practise and train in the specific skills needed for mastery.

Dr. Chu discusses the importance of understanding the complexities of Body Structure, the functional core of Wing Chun.


Adopting The Prodigal Son (Part 1) By Bey Logan


Hong Kong cinema expert Bey Logan recalls his experiences on location in Hong Kong for the filming of the Sammo Hung-directed Gung Fu classic, and reveals some inside stories about the movie and its stars.



The Muk Yan Jong is NOT for Dummies By David Peterson



Wing Chuns Systems Thinking By Alan Gibson

The wooden dummy is a complex, multifaceted training tool that has many shades of grey and so much to offer practitioners of the system, but it requires a very special kind of thinking.


Wing Chun is a system, as opposed to a style, but what does this mean and how can it affect the way in which we coach or train? Systems thinking also exposes the potential folly of hybrids and the pick and mix policy of some practitioners.



Saam Pai Fat: Weng Chuns Secret Bodywork By Andreas Hoffmann



Power and Speed in Punching By Dr. Matthew Mills

GM Andreas Hoffman unravels the mysteries of Weng Chuns most important form, Saam Pai Fat, and recalls the first time he felt its awesome power and application.

40 44

The punch is a critical element of the Wing Chun system and improving its impact will clearly magnify its effectiveness. Dr. Mills examines the biomechanical and neuromuscular components of punching power and how to maximise them.



Leung Jans Kulo Wing Chun: The Foundation of Pin Sun Boxing By Jim Roselando Jr.

Master Leungs Kulo village boxing is one of the rarest forms of martial art in the world today. In this issue, we discuss the history and basics of Master Leung Jans final teaching: the art of Pin Sun Wing Chun.



The Wing Chun/JKD Stance Connection By Lamar M. Davis II

Find out just how closely related Wing Chuns Yi Ji Kim Yeung Ma is to the Jun Fan Gung Fu and Jeet Kune Do Bai Jong position.

F. SCOTT FITZGERALD ONCE WROTE, You dont write because you want to say something; you write because youve got something to say. Reflecting on those words, I am proud to present to you the very first issue of Wing Chun Illustrated the worlds only magazine dedicated to Wing Chun, regardless of lineage or style. Im aware that others before me have tried to publish a Wing Chun magazine and failed. I clearly applaud their good intentions, but unlike people before me, magazine publishing has been my bread and butter for 12 years. I hope this experience will shine through on the pages you are holding in your hands. The unbelievable support and enthusiasm you guys have already shown our Facebook fan page is simply amazing. If youre not already a fan, please connect with the page as you will be able to read any WCI related news there first. We are also on Twitter. Some of you have asked if it is possible to subscribe to the Print-on-Demand Edition. Sadly, MagCloud does not currently offer this option, but its something they are working on. However, its worth mentioning that they do offer a volume/bulk discount. Please check their website for more details. Although I love the smell of a freshly printed magazine, Wing Chun Illustrated is a 21st century magazine for a 21st century audience and we will have a Digital Edition ready soon (see ad opposite). Some readers might wonder why their particular lineage isnt immediately covered in WCI. Do keep in mind theres only so much space in each issue. For me, a magazine is a living, breathing thing that is constantly evolving, and clearly youll see changes and additions to WCI as we find our voice. I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every writer for their contributions to our first issue, and, most especially, thank them for their confidence in an unseen magazine from an unknown entity. I would also like to thank my designer Chris Patmore, my Assistant Editor Adam Thursby, and Kjartan Kragh Ohmsen for creating a kick-ass logo. Last, but not least, special thanks and gratitude needs to go to my girlfriend Payoogtong who supports my passion for our art and who is always in my corner. There are other people to thank, but before this turns into an Academy Award acceptance speech, let me just say that your help is greatly appreciated and the fruits of your labour can be seen on every page of WCI. I, for one, think weve done a pretty good job creating something you can cherish, something you can respect. In closing, its my hope that no matter what lineage we each belong to, we can all unite around WCIafter all, we all share the same love and passion for the art. One Voice. All Lineages! See you next issue

this issues contributors

[PAGE 6] DR. ROBERT CHU is internationally known in Wing Chun and Acupuncture circles, specialising in body structure methods. He is the co-author of Complete Wing Chun, and has been featured in Masters Magazine, Inside Kung Fu, Black Belt, UKs Martial Arts Illustrated and other publications. [PAGE 8] BEY LOGAN is a Hong Kong-based writer/ director/producer, a 20-year veteran of the Chinese film industry, and a worldrenowned expert on Asian action cinema. Though primarily a Hung Kuen stylist, Bey previously trained in Wing Chun, mainly under Nino Bernardo in the Wong Shun Leung lineage. [PAGE 10, 30] ALAN GIBSON is a firm devotee of the Wong Shun Leung lineage. He founded The Wing Chun Federation with the express purpose of the development and promotion of Wing Chun. Alan is known for his seminars, instructional books and DVDs. [PAGE 12] DR. MATTHEW MILLS came to Wing Chun during travels to Hong Kong between 2000-2002. He has a PhD from the Dept of Medicine at UCL. Through a long-standing friendship with Alan Gibson, Matt has developed a keen interest in the scientific basis of Wing Chun. He has co-authored several books with Alan. [PAGE 14, 26] DAVID PETERSON, a direct student of the late Sifu Wong Shun Leung, is well known for his book, DVDs and many published articles on the Wing Chun (Ving Tsun) system. He is a much in-demand seminar presenter all over the world and Principal Instructor of WSL Ving Tsun Combat Science Malaysia . [PAGE 18] WAYNE BELONOHA has over 30 years of martial arts experience and is author of the Wing Chun Compendium books. Through the guidance of Grandmaster Moy Yat and Grandmaster Sunny Tang, Wayne has mastered both the intellectual and practical sides of Ving Tsun. [PAGE 22] ROLF CLAUSNITZER started out as Wong Shun Leungs first foreign student in 1965, and also trained with instructors of other Ip Man lineages before completing the system under David Peterson. He wrote the first English language book on Wing Chun and lives in Perth, Western Australia. [PAGE 36] ANDREAS HOFFMANN is the current Grandmaster of Chi Sim Weng Chun. He learned directly from the late GM Wai Yan from 19861996, and has introduced Weng Chun to more than 15 countries. He was awarded International Grandmaster of the Year 2010 Hall of Fame, by Budo International. [PAGE 40] ERIC LILLER is the Publisher/ Editor-in-Chief of WCI . He started his martial arts training in 1978, and in 1984 he started to train Wing Tsun (Leung Ting lineage). Today, Eric is a proud and devoted WSLVT practitioner under the guidance of Morten Ibsen, David Peterson and John Smith. [PAGE 44] JIM R. ROSELANDO is a disciple by ceremony of Sifu Henry Mui and Master Fung Chun in the art of Pin Sun Wing Chun boxing. Jims Kulo Boxing Association is the HQ for Pin Sun Wing Chun in the US. His Kulo DVD, eBooks and many articles have become true classics in the Wing Chun world. [PAGE 48] SUKI GOSAL studied Wing Chun and Chinese Boxing under (the late) Leung Kwok-Keung and Non-Classical Gung Fu under Jesse Glover. A keen advocate of pressure testing, athletic conditioning and mind-setting, Suki teaches privately in British Columbia, Canada. [PAGE 50] LAMAR M. DAVIS II has practised martial arts for 44 years. He is a 2nd generation Certified Senior Instructor of Jun Fan Gung Fu/Jeet Kune Do, and the Executive Director/Senior Instructor of Hardcore Jeet Kune Do Chinese Gung Fu Association. Lamar is the author of several books, over 100 magazine articles and stars in over 50 Instructional DVDs. [PAGE 52] JOHN SMITH commenced training under the tutelage of Wong Shun Leung back in 1991, and continued regular training until the untimely death of Wong Sifu in 1997. John continues to pass on what was taught to him by Wong Shun Leung in an undiluted manner. [PAGE 54] MARK PAGE is a WSLVT coach at Havant Wing Chun (UK) , which is part of The Wing Chun Federation. He has a background in the Chinese internal martial arts, with the last decade dedicated to the WSL method of Ving Tsun. Mark continues to learn the system from Alan Gibson and Cliff Au Yeung. [PAGE 56] JAI HARMAN is a closed-door student of Master Wang Zhi Peng and Senior Instructor at Beijing WSL Ving Tsun, China. Well-known for his no nonsense, hands on approach to teaching and fighting, Jai has appeared in countless magazine articles and on every national Chinese TV channel exhibiting his skill. [PAGE 58] JIM WOODCOCK is the co-coach at Havant Wing Chun (UK) . He trained and graded under Alan Gibson, David Peterson, Kevin Bell and Mark Page in the WSL method of Ving Tsun. He has also trained extensively in the Self Protection fighting systems.

Eric Liller, Editor-in-Chief P.S. Email me comments, questions and ideas, they are very welcome.

Editor-in-Chief ERIC LILLER Publisher MUI FA PUBLISHING Palnatokesvej 33, 1th DK-5000 Odense C Denmark


Editorial submissions We do not accept unsolicited submissions. Please e-mail the Editorin-Chief to pitch him your idea for an article or interview. We are only interested in material that has not been previously published. Advertising For enquiries about advertising in the Print and/or Digital Edition, as well as advertising on the WCI website,

please contact Eric Liller: Wing Chun Illustrated (WCI) is published bi-monthly (January, March, May, July, September and November) by Mui Fa Publishing in Denmark. The opinions expressed in all articles, reviews and advertisements are those of the individual authors and advertisers, respectively, and do not reflect the opinions of the publisher

and the editors. No part of this publication may be copied by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage or retrieval system without the express written permission of the publisher. The title Wing Chun Illustrated, tagline One Voice. All Lineages. and logotype are registered trademarks. 2011 Wing Chun Illustrated. All Rights Reserved.



Photos courtesy of Apple Inc. Simulated screen image. iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch and App Store are all registered trademarks of Apple Inc.

The Digital Edition of Wing Chun Illustrated will be on sale via Apples App Store and available for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. You will be able to purchase single issues, subscriptions and back issues. WCI Digital Edition will also be available separately for Android 3.0 devices and BlackBerry Playbook. $5.99 per issue. 1-year subscription (6 issues) ONLY $29.99!

body structure

Why Body Structure and How to Develop It

BY DR. ROBERT CHU WHEN I SPEAK OF BODY STRUCTURE, THE FUNCTIONAL CORE OF WING CHUN KUEN (WCK), I AM REFERRING TO THE SKELETON ALIGNED PROPERLY, SO THAT VERTICAL CHAINS OF MUSCLES, TENDONS, LIGAMENTS, BONES AND FASCIA PROVIDE OPTIMAL MECHANICS, AS OPPOSED TO ISOLATING AND USING THE SHOULDER MUSCLES. WE ARE CONCERNED WITH THESE MECHANICS BECAUSE IT IS WHAT POWERS OUR WCK STRIKES. Body Structure is also concerned with balanceour own and our opponents. Here, we are concerned with offsetting the opponents balance in such a way that we can control him and strike him at will because we have pushed and pulled, wedged or pivoted along the opponent, destroying his balance and striking him at will because they are occupied regaining their balance. When you have control of your opponents structure, you set up your timing based on his falls and stumbling. While he is off balance, trying to regain his posture and composure, you are striking him. Proper structure requires that you act as a human wedge, equalising pressure of an opponent and creating inertia because he is offset. You maintain a kinetic balance of relaxation and tightening of large muscle groups, which can confuse and create havoc with your opponents balance. At times, you will feel like a brick wall to the opponent, other times, you will feel like a sheet of paper being blown into the wind and the opponent has nothing to stand against. I have, in the past decade, offered structure tests to teach fellow WCK practitioners
The author performing the Jut/Tok drill.

they can use WCK structure to optimise their power. Many WCK practitioners simply use the arm in a flurry of strikes. Often, the result is empty speed and no power in their strikes. By bringing the powerful quadriceps and gluteal muscles into play, you will have more impetus in your strikes. These concepts are not lost to modern athletics, but may be new to poorly trained WCK enthusiasts. In summary, this core knowledge of body structure is a theme central to the three forms, partner exercises, sticking hands, sticking legs, practice on the Muk Yan Jong, long pole and knives. Without this core element of WCK applied, there is no WCK. It will simply be a facsimile or pantomime of true WCK. Without it, knives will not be able to chop, pole work will be weak, and empty hand WCK a joke. The three exercises I use to train beginners in structure are (a) the medicine ball drill, (b) the Jut/Tok drill on the Jong, and (c) the Ngaat Yiu exercise. In the medicine ball drill, I simply have two players partner up and toss a 15lb (7 kg) medicine ball to each other while remaining in the basic Yi Ji Kim Yeung Ma stance. They throw the ball, launching it with their structure and receiving it in their structure. Although the drill is very simple, many things may be derived from it. First, the practitioners have to align the shoulders and hips, elbows and knees, and wrists and ankles to throw the ball. The ball is launched with a pelvic thrust. Secondly, in catching the ball, the reverse mechanics of absorbing the incoming force must be utilised. This is akin to receiving and neutralising incoming force. The force is caught largely on the pelvis, hips, knees and ankles. Done correctly, there will be a proper form of a pronounced pelvic tilt and angle of knee bend. This can be observed by looking at the tibia (lower leg bone). A set of 30 repetitions per practitioner is done.

the value of structure. These structure tests have been mentioned many times before in my previous articles and DVD series (see for old articles). The basic idea is to train the vertical chains of muscles to alternately relax and contract to equalise and post against incoming force. The goal is not a sensationalist demo of rooting, but rather to make the practitioner aware that


body structure

By bringing the powerful quadriceps and gluteal muscles into play, you will have more impetus in your strikes. These concepts are not lost to modern athletics, but may be new to poorly trained WCK enthusiasts.
This exercise can also be done alone, using a wall to bounce the medicine ball. Variations of stances and steps can be done with the ball, and en masse with multiple partners and multiple balls. The second exercise is a simple one drawn from the intermediary moves of the Muk Yan Jong formthe Cern Jut Sau and Cern Tok Sau movements. These moves are what differentiate the various sequence sections in the Ip Man system. The Jong will immediately provide feedback. When performing the Cern Jut Sau movement, the Jong will lurch forward and downward, showing that the practitioner has the balance of right and left, and sinking and downward energy; when the Cern Tok movement is performed on the Jong, it will be pushed upwards and backwards, indicating the practitioner has a balance of left and right, forward, and upwards energy. Since the horizontal slats of the Jong need to be somewhat flexible, this will require not arm strength, but rather, entire body structural alignment. This
The Ngaat Yiu exercise.

feedback is invaluable and will show whether practitioners have developed the proper power from the body. One should do at least 30 repetitions per day to reinforce this skill. The last exercise, Ngaat Yiu, is an exercise that I have borrowed from the Pan Nam WCK system. I was introduced to the exercise by Grandmaster Pan Nams last disciple, Eddie Chong, and have since integrated it into my curriculum. Basically, two partners engage and hold onto each others elbows while remaining in the main horse of WCK. They alternately try to push each other off balance by pushing or pulling. The first player to step out of the horse is the loser. It is great fun. Initially, the partners are taught to off balance in eight directions, similar to Judos Happo no kuzushi (eight ways of breaking balance) methods. Later, they are taught to combine and feign in one direction, while deploying a push or pull in other directions leading to 64 variations. When they have learned

The Medicine Ball drill.

these methods, they further drill up to 512 variations in pushing and pulling off balance. This central exercise is the set up for Chi Gerk (sticking legs), as well as throws, sweeps, knees and kick, accompanied with strikes while the opponents balance is displaced. Often because of my research, many have asked if I created a new system of WCK. My response is that there is no new system, just an enhanced training methodology and curriculum to accompany it, with physical examples that give you immediate feedback. Because of space limitations, I will continue to expand on the subject matter, but will explain more in future columns.

wing chun at the movies

Adopting The Prodigal Son (Part 1)

Lam Ching-ying unleashes his powerful palms against Yuen Biao.

WHEN I FIRST WALKED ONTO THE GOLDEN HARVEST STUDIO BACK LOT, I STEPPED ONTO THE RIGHT MOVIE SET AT THE RIGHT TIME. I HAD TRAVELLED ALL THE WAY FROM PETERBOROUGH, ENGLAND, TO THE (THEN) CROWN COLONY OF HONG KONG DETERMINED TO EXPLORE THE HOME OF BRUCE LEE AND MARTIAL ARTS MOVIEMAKING. THAT RAINY DAY IN 1981, AS A PALE, SKINNY 19-YEAR-OLD, I STUMBLED ONTO THE STAGES OF WHAT WOULD LATER BECOME MY ALL-TIME FAVOURITE GUNG FU FILM: THE PRODIGAL SON (AKA BAK GAR JAI). Despite its prestige and profitability, and the popularity of its stars, Golden Harvest maintained very lax security. The sleepy attendant slouched at the studio gates barely raised an eyebrow at the sight of this dazed looking English kid making his way up the steep incline towards the nondescript cluster of buildings set against the Kowloon hillside.

The property at 8, Hammer Hill Road had once been a textile factory; now they made movies instead of shirts, but little, architecturally, seemed to have changed. There was a small attempt at a period Chinese back lot, pitiful compared to the extensive space enjoyed by the mighty Shaw Brothers Studio out by Clearwater Bay. An ancient Chinese teahouse and street set had been erected; director Yuen Woo-ping was shooting his film The Miracle Fighters. As I passed by, a cluster of crew members from that movie regarded me curiously. I waved and kept going, up to the largest of a series of hanger-like buildings set into the slope, onward to the set of The Prodigal Son. Stepping from daylight into these electric shadows, I found myself standing to one side of a set


wing chun at the movies

representing the exterior of a rural farmhouse. The lights, camera and focus of the set were all aimed at a middle-aged man, heavy-set, balding, bearded, as he practised a series of Gung Fu techniques on a wooden bamboo contraption. I stood and watched for a while. Unbeknownst to me, this heavily made-up figure was my subsequent idol, Sammo Hung. The simple shot was repeated, there were fast exchanges of Cantonese between director and crew, meaning as much to me then as the clack-clack of keys on a typewriter. No one welcomed me, and no one asked me to leave. After about ten minutes, a rotund bespectacled figure approached, and enquired, in perfect English, if he could help me. This was the films screenwriter, Barry Wong, a warm, gentle soul who became an invaluable guide for me during my first visit to the studio. Later, I was placed in the care of an avuncular Aussie named Russell Cawthorne, then Head of Marketing for Golden Harvest. He was amiable enough, but slightly nonplussed that a kid from England would have come all the way to Hong Kong to watch someone make a Gung Fu movie. The main difference between Russell and Barry was that the latter actually knew what was going on out on the studio shop floor, and it was thanks to him that I got to meet Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao (and Jackie Chan, though thats a story for another day) Id like to be able to tell you that, just from being on the set, I could tell that The Prodigal Son was destined to be a masterpiece, and that there was a whole new wave of Gung Fu cinema yet to hit our shores. As it was, my head was still in the 1970s. When I chatted with Sammo, who looked to be a much younger man outside of his Prodigal Son make-up, all I wanted to hear from him were stories about Bruce Lee. I mean, here was the guy who had duelled Lee in the opening reel of Enter the Dragon ! The sequence they were shooting, I realise now, was the one in which Hungs character, Wong Wah-bo, pretends to teach his version of Wing Chun to the lead character, Leung Jaan (Yuen Biao). I was introduced to Biao, and remember wondering how a skinny kid with bad skin could actually be starring in a movie. If Id known then what I know now, Id have taken more photos, asked more

question, walked away with a bit of bamboo from the wooden dummy, for Buddhas sake (imagine what a chunk of that would bring on eBay!). About a week later, I found myself back on the Prodigal Son set, but as a resident rather than a visitor. True to his word, Barry had arranged for me to meet Jackie Chan. Chan was away shooting his film Dragon Lord in Taiwan but Barry had called Jackies manager, Willie Chan, and arranged for me to meet Jackie at the studio for an interview. The catch was that I would have to extend my Hong Kong stay by a day, and had no money left for a hotel. Undaunted, I took my luggage to the airport and spent most of the night on the roof. In the early hours, it became too cold even for someone from England: I decamped for Golden Harvest, passed the sleeping sentry and stashed myself on the Prodigal Son farmhouse set. As the grey dawn broke, I found myself sitting by a fire, drinking tea with the leathery old watchmen, waiting on the ghost of Bruce Lee It was to be many months later, on a rainy afternoon in Londons Chinatown, that I spotted a poster for the film I had visited the set of. I had spent enough time with Sammo (in character) to recognise him among the photos of the cast. I ventured inside the theatre to watch the movie itself mainly from curiosity. Little did I know Next issue: The Prodigal Son Remembered.

I could tell that The Prodigal Son was destined to be a masterpiece, and that there was a whole new wave of Gung Fu cinema yet to hit our shores.

The late, great Lam Ching-ying (right) schools Yuen Biao in The Prodigal Son.

the inquisitive hand

Wing Chuns Systems Thinking


you describe your aims the more likely you are to be able to design mechanisms to help you achieve them.

System: An integrated set of compatible elements, including: principles, theories, strategies, tactics and physical elements. Each has specified and distinct capabilities, which when working in synergy, enable the individual to perform a specified task. To satisfy our definition, we also need to define our operating environment and have a probability of success of the prescribed outcome. To help explain the rationale for this definition, lets look at each part in greater detail.

Lets examine the basis for each phrase in the definition. By compatible elements, we mean that elements within the systems structure must be compatible with each other in form, fit, and function, for example. Systems include physical, psychological, technical, environmental elements and anything else that supports mission accomplishment (e.g., task specific strength and conditioning is good, bodybuilding is not). WE OFTEN REFER TO WING CHUN AS A SYSTEM BUT HOW OFTEN DO WE CONSIDER WHAT THIS ACTUALLY MEANS? DO WE EVER THINK ABOUT HOW WE CAN USE THIS KNOWLEDGE TO BETTER UNDERSTAND OUR SYSTEM AND IMPROVE OUR COACHING OR TRAINING, THROUGH ITS COMPONENT MECHANISMS? I work in the plastics industry and one of the jobs I do involves drawing flow diagrams to understand and simplify a complex computer system. When I began using the software, I quickly realised that it would be a very useful tool for visualising different aspects of my Wing Chun. To begin with, we need to define what a system actually is. There are as many different definitions as there are systems, so I have taken a standard scientific definition and beaten it into a shape that suits my purposes. You may see your own system differently, but it will doubtless be an interesting analytical exercise to try to describe your own. I think it is important to be able to express your meaning accurately; the more tightly By each element having specified and distinct capabilities, we mean that every element should work to accomplish some specified goal or purposeful mission. This requires that capabilities for each system element be identified and limited to allow the element to be analysed, designed, developed, tested, verified, and validated either on a standalone basis or as part of the integrated system. For example, stating that Chi Sau is for developing sensitivity is not good enough. Nor is stating that Chi Sau is not fighting. I say that, Chi Sau is a drill that teaches us to be able to disengage (when jammed or held) in order to continue striking.



the inquisitive hand

Having a well-defined system will enable you to fine-tune your coaching and training to individual needs.
By working in synergy, we mean that the purpose of integrating the set of elements is to accomplish a higherlevel capability that cannot be achieved as standalone elements (just learning to hit hard or to have tidy forms is not good enough). By enable us to satisfy our definition, we mean that every system has a purpose (i.e., an effective fighting art, self protection, personal development) and a value to the user. Its value may be a return on investment or to satisfy system missions and objectives. I personally like, The studied ability to disable an assailant while limiting or preventing them from causing harm to ourselves. By in a prescribed operating environment, we mean that for outcome, and survival reasons, every system must have a stated and bounded operating environment (competition fighting, pavement area, health and fitness, defence against armed assailants, etc.). By prescribed outcome, we mean that participants (students, coaches, etc.) expect the method to produce a result. The products, by products, or services must be outcome-oriented, quantifiable, measurable, and verifiable (are you able to fight back under pressure? Can you defeat an attacker who is stronger or more aggressive? Are you getting fitter? Are you more confident and assertive?). advantage. It enables you to explain what you do, why you do it and how you do it. Importantly, it allows new practitioners to understand, why they need to train Siu Nim Tau and Chi Sau ; and how this relates to fighting back, when you are violently attacked by a stronger and more aggressive assailant. If people understand why they are doing a specific drill, or how each action works and what it can be used for, they will put more effort into ittest and help each other and be more likely perform it correctly. If they know how this integrates into the whole system, they will become a more effective martial artist as well as a better ambassador for the coach and the system. When people move from one system to anotherwhether this is from one style of martial art to another or from one lineage/coach (in the same martial art) to anotherthey might come across systematic difficulties due to the fact that primary elements of the system they

had trained in before do not fit or work in synergy with elements of their new system. A Wing Chun specific example of this could be something basic and significant like the way in which you stand, step, or pivot. Even the philosophy, logic, and the language that you use is very significant. Many people like to enquire about the differences between lineages. If you look at this question from a systems perspective it is easy to spot which elements of your own practise do not fit within another system and would consequently need to be changed (in your training), if you wanted to assimilate ideas from the other system. Simply saying something like, Your Bong Sau is in a different position. Or, Your Siu Nim Tau has an extra bit, will not cut the mustard because this observation stems from a more fundamental root. I once naively asked Ip Chun what his fathers favourite technique was. He replied, It was punch on the nose. Ultimately, Wing Chun is a Chinese method for punching someone on the nosewhile they are trying to do the same to you! If you cant achieve this with some degree of success then systemsthinking is not necessarily going to help, but it might help you to redefine what it is that you do.

Having a well-defined system will enable you to fine-tune your coaching and training to individual needs. It enables you to overcome personal weaknesses and exploit your strengths to your


the hidden forms

Power and Speed in Punching


activated and generate maximum force. During a punch the driving muscle will reach less than half the maximum possible. The difference between maximum and actual force launching a punch is called the Explosive Strength Deficit, and is a far more critical limitation on the final speed of the hand. Clearly, the striking arm does not act in isolation, but rather represents the end of a kinetic chain engaging the most powerful muscles of the body. The Gluteal Muscles (buttocks) produce more turning force around the hip than a V8 engine. A punch is initiated by a powerful contraction of these muscles, extending the leg on the same side of the body as the punching arm, driving the heel into the ground. The reaction from the ground produces rotation in the hips. This force is translated through the midsection driving the shoulder forward. The forces are cumulative, so the hand is released with much greater acceleration than would be possible using the arm muscles alone. The force production in each limb is dependent on posture. During extension of the leg, the greatest forces are produced when the limb is nearly straightened with the hip and knee slightly bent. During extension of the arm, the greatest forces are produced when the elbow is held close to the body and slightly in front of the chest. These limb positions confer the greatest mechanical advantage for each muscle group, and maximise the potential to accelerate a punch. A critical component of a punch is that at the point of contact, the muscles of the upper limb, waist and leg must be tensed. This ensures that the impact of the strike is driven into the opponent rather than the reaction forces driving us backward. The coordinated contraction of upper and lower limbs is facilitated by a series of postural reflexes called irradiation. As the fist impacts the opponent, pressure of the fingers in the palm promotes forceful contraction of the upper limb.


A Wing Chun punch is delivered in around a quarter of a second. The faster a limb moves the lower the forces generated by the muscles driving it. This is because a muscles contractile machinery becomes progressively less efficient as speed increases. At the point of contact, the energy transferred into an

opponent (and therefore damage caused) by a punch, is determined mainly by the speed the hand is travelling. The acceleration of the hand is determined by the initial impulse of force from the muscles driving it. It takes around half a second for a muscle to become fully



the hidden forms

Contraction of the hip muscles produces an even more powerful effect called hyper-irradiation, tensing the legs, waist and magnifying forces in the upper limbs. Of equal importance, due to the Explosive Strength Deficit, the hip and leg muscles will not have sufficient time to relax and contract between initiating a strike and receiving reaction forces. They will need to remain fairly tense throughout the action. A successful strike is therefore more dependent upon engaging the hips and effective use of reflex hard wiring than the absolute strength in the arm muscles. A critical examination of the punching process suggests the limitations to developing impact and implications for training. Muscular strength in the arm is not as important as the rate of force production. Equally, as a punch is executed at high velocity, muscular forces will be relatively low. These observations suggest the muscles of the arms should be trained explosively, with the objective of increasing the rate of force production. Training effects are specific, so training should be carried out at speeds close to those actually used. It follows any resistance used to train the arms must be fairly light to allow movement at close to punching speed. During execution of a punch, the hips and legs are required to sustain high forces from initiation through to receiving the reaction from striking the opponent. The legs are therefore best trained with relatively heavy weights to maintain high loads for prolonged periods. Interestingly, all of the biomechanical and neurological references for optimal punching technique can be found in Siu Nim Tau. The form is opened and closed with a series of rapid, explosive punches launched with the elbow held at the position of greatest mechanical advantage. Similarly, Yi Ji Kim Yeung Ma creates the ideal posture to maximise force production from the lower limbs while engaging the hyper-irradiation reflex from the hip muscles. The muscles of the hips and legs are constantly engaged to

Thrusting the pole provides ideal resistance training for the rear arm in the punching motion at the correct velocity.

provide a solid foundation, while those of the upper body are alternately explosively contracted and relaxed. Hidden within the Wing Chun forms is an ideal training method for punching; but it is not in Siu Nim Tau. Thrusting the pole provides ideal resistance training for

poorly conditioned compared with these individuals. On this basis there is a strong argument for an initial conditioning period prior to more formal Wing Chun training. Training with heavy weights is an excellent way to undo the worst effects of a desk job, but is probably not ideally suited to the specific demands of Wing Chun.

Interestingly, all of the biomechanical and neurological references for optimal punching technique can be found in Siu Nim Tau.
the rear arm in the punching motion at the correct velocity. Performed in a deep level stance (Sei Ping Daai Ma), the leg muscles are conditioned with high tension due to poor mechanical advantage in this posture. The muscles of the waist must also contract statically to ensure movement of the pole does not disrupt the stance. Siu Nim Tau is typically taught first in the system. The Young Idea (as we prefer to call it in my lineage) provides the essential references for further development in Chum Kiu and Chi Sau. Despite the apparently basic nature of Siu Nim Tau, it is far from simple, containing a range of sophisticated concepts and assumptions. Amongst these are that we will engage in unarmed combat and will be sufficiently well conditioned to do so. At the time it was developed, Wing Chun students would probably have been fairly well conditioned from daily physical labour. Advances in technology mean most of us are relatively sedentary and The Luk Dim Boon Gwan (Six-an-a-halfpoint Long Pole form) is often trained as an afterthought in Wing Chun. This is paradoxical for a system based on such logical principles. Conceptually it makes more sense to use a weapon than fight empty handed. Hand-to-hand combat is a dangerous last resort. It follows Siu Nim Tau is not the logical place to start the system. Wing Chun stands out as a remarkably efficient system. Nothing is retained unless it has value. While the pole may seem arcane or even redundant, from a conditioning perspective the Luk Dim Boon Gwan form is ideally suited for conditioning to meet the specific demands of basic Wing Chun. Furthermore, with only six and half techniques compared with the 108 movements of Siu Nim Tau, it is the simplest way to introduce basic Wing Chun concepts. Given its simplicity, fundamental relevance and obvious value, it follows that the humble Long Pole should be taught first.


feature 14


Once merely a footnote in the biography of celebrated screen star Bruce Lee, the late Grandmaster of Hong Kong Wing Chun Kuen is now a household name throughout the Asian world, and rapidly becoming almost as well-known in the West, thanks largely to the films Ip Man (2008) and Ip Man 2 (2010) starring Donnie Yen in the title role. A third film, The Legend Is Born: Ip Man (2010) starring Dennis To and featuring screen legends Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao, presented the film worlds version of the younger years of Ip Man prior to the events presented in the Donnie Yen films. Yet another major motion picture by art-house director Wong Kar Wai is set to be released in 2011. Plagued by production problems and taking over ten years to materialise, this movie, tentatively titled The Grandmasters, is said to tell the story of Ip Mans latter years in Hong Kong and will star Hong Kong heart throb, Tony Leung Chiu-wai in the title role.


In martial arts there is no right or wrong, only the last man standing. Tony Leung Chiu-wai stars as Grandmaster Ip Man in art-house director Wong Kar Wais long-awaited biopic The Grandmasters. Photo courtesy of Wild Bunch.


There are even now rumours of a 40-episode TV series based on the life and exploits of Ip Man to be made as well, in the not-too-distant future! The term Ip Man Effect is now appearing in the media throughout the region as a means of trying to describe the sudden and explosive interest in both Ip Man and the Wing Chun system that has now captured the public imagination. Schools that once had a handful of students training in them are now packed with people of all ages wanting to become the next Ip Man. So, what do we know about the real Ip Man and the legacy that he left behind? Well, if we rely upon what is presented on screen, the answer is not very much, or at least, a very distorted and exaggerated story of the man and his skills. The media, with a certain amount of pressure from Chinese leaders to invoke the patriotism of the Chinese people, have created a new folk hero to revere and inspire, but in doing so, have largely ignored a story that is every bit as exciting and involved as the one we see on the screen. In addition, as with Ip Mans most famous student of all, the late Bruce Lee, we have been given a sanitised portrait of the man, when in the case of both men, the warts and all story is so much more fascinating. Ip Man was born in a tumultuous time in Chinas history, a juncture between the Old China and the beginnings of the amazing powerhouse that China has become in recent generations. On November 6th, 1893, just a few short years before the Manchu Dynasty collapsed and the Republic of China was established by Dr. Sun Yat-sen (another famous resident of the Guangzhou region), parents Ip Oi-doh and Ng Shui welcomed their third child, Ip Gai-man into the world. With an older brother, Ip Gai-gak, older sister, Ip Wan-mei and younger

sister, Ip Wan-hum, young Gai-man enjoyed a relatively contented life as the son of very successful parents who owned land and property in Foshan (Fatsaan). Living on that property was to become pivotal in creating the role that Ip Man would play in the history and development of Wing Chun Kuen over the ensuing years. The Ip Family Clan Hall was located on Song Yuen Dai Gai (Mulberry Gardens Street) near the centre of Foshan and local instructor Chan Wa-sun approached Ip Oi-doh to seek permission to teach his students there. Better known by his nickname, Jaau Chin Wa (Wa the Money Changer), he was himself the student of famed Wing Chun ancestor, Fatsaan Jaan Sinsaang (Mr Jaan of Foshan), Leung Jaan. By the age of 13, Ip Man had become quite fascinated with what Chan Wa-sun and his students practised in the Clan Hall, and he plucked up the courage to ask Chan if he could learn. By then, Chan was already 70 years of age and didnt really want another student, especially the son of a wealthy landowner. He believed in the proverb that rich students make poor students, and so to discourage Ip Man, he told the young boy that the fee to learn was some $500 silver dollarsan absolute fortune at that time. Instead of this discouraging him, Ip Man went to his father to ask if he could use his life savings to learn from Chan. Surprised in his sons interest, but pleased that he was so keen to learn, Ip Oi-doh allowed his son to take the money to Chan. On seeing the money, Chan was convinced that he had stolen it or worse, so he insisted that Ip Man bring his father to approve. On hearing from Ip Oi-doh that his new pupil had willingly offered his own money to learn, Chan accepted Ip Man as his 16th

In 1917, when he was 24 years old, Ip Man returned to Foshan and surprised his seniors by being able to effortlessly overcome their Wing Chun skills, something that had not happened previously.

ip man

and final student. Sadly, barely three years after taking up the art, Ip Mans teacher, Chan Wa-sun was dead, so the task of instructing him fell upon Chans second student, Ng Chung-so. Around the time of Ip Mans 15th year, another important milestone took place in his life. With the growing interest in Western thinking and education, it was suggested that Ip Man travel to Hong Kong, then a British colonial outpost, to attain a Western education. With the help of a relative, Leung Faatting, he went to Hong Kong and was enrolled to study at St. Stephens College, a school famous for educating the children of wealthy Chinese and foreigners. Ip Man was a person who believed in justice and fairness, so he found certain aspects of life in Hong Kong quite troubling and developed strong feelings regarding how he saw the Chinese being treated there. Bullying by foreign students in the school met with swift justice in the form of Ip Mans fists on more than one occasion and he soon gained a reputation as someone who could take care of himself very well.

according to a much disputed story, one of those who heard of the episode was Leung Bik, son of Ip Mans own teachers teacher, the famed Leung Jaan. It is said that Leung Bik asked to meet the young man and in their discussions, revealed himself as Leung Jaans son after easily defeating Ip Mans attempts to engage him in a challenge match. For the next few years until Leung Biks death in around 1912, Ip Man was trained in methods of Wing Chun that he had not previously learnt from his teacher or his seniors. In 1917, when he was 24 years old, Ip Man returned to Foshan and surprised his seniors by being able to effortlessly overcome their Wing Chun skills, something that had not happened previously. However, there is much debate about this aspect of Ip Mans training history, with many believing that this meeting never actually took place. For a start, there seems to be no way of proving that Leung Bik was even alive at this time, let alone in Hong Kong, and many of Ip Mans own students had never heard anything of this story until the late 1950s when a reporter for a prominent local martial arts magazine interviewed him for an article about Wing Chun history. Even my own teacher, the late Wong Shun Leung, one of Ip Mans closest and most skilful students, stated that until that interview was conducted, he had never heard Ip Man speak of any of the history, including the story of Leung Bik. As far as the history of Wing Chun is concerned, we can only verify for absolute certainty that Leung Jaan existed, and that he was the teacher of Chan Wa-sun who was in turn the teacher of Ip Man. All history prior to that, based on research to date, is speculation and has not been proven.

The majority of other Chinese martial arts can all boast legends concerning the founding of their arts, with tales of monks and warlords, insects and animals, heroes and villains that led to the On one occasion, while walking through the streets development of their systems. With Wing Chun of Hong Kong with a friend on the way to school, being such an unknown and secretly practised Ip Man witnessed the brutal beating of a Chinese system up to the time of Ip Man (Leung Jaan is woman by an Indian police officer and went to the believed to have only had three to five private womans aid. The policeman, enraged by this, turned students, and Chan Wa-sun only 16 in his lifetime), on Ip Man, who was forced to defend himself, perhaps there was no provable recorded story knocking the policeman to the ground with a worth relating, so Ip Man, in an attempt to save rapid burst of Wing Chun skills. He managed to face (the concept of face being incredibly evade arrest, fleeing the scene with his friends, important to the Chinese since ancient times) in one of whom related the story to others and, front of his martial peers in Hong Kong, created a




story that contained exciting elements to match those of his rival systems. With the death of Leung Jaan, his student Chan Wa-sun had inherited his mantel as head of the style, with his two sons, Leung Bik and Leung Chun, choosing to not challenge for the role. After that, very little seems to have been recorded about either of Leung Jaans sons, so we cannot say for sure where they lived out the rest of their lives and whether or not they taught students. If Leung Bik did indeed end up in Hong Kong, by the time he met Ip Man, if such a meeting actually took place, he would have been a very old man, having been of a similar age to Chan Wa-sun (who, by that time, was deceased), hence Leung Bik would have been unlikely to be physically in a position to teach, let alone overcome the younger and stronger protge of Chan Wa-sun and Ng Chung-so. It is very clear that Ip Man was a Wing Chun genius, a man who trained hard and realistically to learn and master his skills. As such, we might speculate that it was through his own determined efforts, coupled with the hands-on experiences that he gained from combat in Hong Kong and elsewhere, that he returned to Foshan able to defeat his elder Wing Chun brothers. To save face with them, he may well have invented the story of Leung Bik to justify any changes or improvements he had made to his Wing Chun because his peers were more likely to accept that the skills of a family senior such as Leung Bik, a generation above them, were superior (and therefore acceptable) than the more prosaic explanation that Ip Man was simply better than them, because he had trained hard and advanced his skills and understanding. Lending weight to this genius explanation is the fact that Ip Man seems to have repeated this process again after he arrived in Hong Kong in 1950, teaching a very different interpretation of Wing Chun to the one that he taught in Foshan, but more about that shortly. After returning to Foshan, Ip Man began working as a police officer, deciding to put something back into the community. He became very well-known for his integrity as an officer of the law, and found many occasions to put his Wing Chun skills to good use in the course of dealing with criminals. Eventually, after the Japanese were defeated and left China in 1945, Ip Man became Chief of Police in Foshan. In his private time, he continued to train and test his skills, cross-training with other

It is very clear that Ip Man was a Wing Chun genius, a man who trained hard and realistically to learn and master his skills.
martial artists such as Yuen Kei-saan, Yiu Choi, Lai Hip-chi, Tong Gai, and Ip Chung-hong, and teaching a handful of colleagues, friends and relatives, but never running an actual school of his own. It would seem that he had no desire to be an instructor or run a school, considering Wing Chun to be a passion, rather than a job. Even when approached to teach in Hong Kong later on, he did so very reluctantly and was not entirely comfortable in that role. Of those whom he did teach in Foshan during those years, the names of only a very few have come down to us, with only two of them (as far is as known) continuing to teach in their own right, with students and now grand-students continuing that heritage. The two students concerned, Gwok Fu and Lun Gai, are the only students of that era still alive and both are currently teaching in Foshan today. The name of Ip Mans most outstanding student of that period was Chau Gwong-yuk, son of Ip Mans close friend, Chau Ching-chuen, owner of the Luen Cheung Embroidery Factory portrayed in the first Ip Man movie. Chau Ching-chuen was a successful businessman and loyal friend of Ip Man, supporting him financially during the war years when Ip Man had fallen upon hard times. It was at the cotton mill where Ip Man conducted classes, after dark, for these people, during the Japanese Occupation period. It is reported that he did not charge fees for these lessons, instead promising to offer the classes free of charge for a period of approximately one year so long as the students trained regularly and with a determined effort to improve. Chau Gwong-yuk eventually followed a career into business, never taking any students of his own and both Chan Chi-sun (who tragically died quite young) and Lui Ying, two of the other students from this period, also appear to have not taught others. As an indication of his humility, Ip Man refused to be called Sifu (Master) by his trainees, insisting on them calling him simply Man Suk (Uncle Man).


second nature

The Path to Mastery


Some martial arts have been developed for entertainment reasons; some for physical and/or self-development; some even for the purpose of relaxation. A style can specialise either in one express purpose or be a blend of them. With the purpose or purposes clearly set forth in the mind of the creator, he or she will then put together a training regimen (the main topic of discussion for this article) to achieve those goals. The other day I was teaching a Bong Sau drill. The new student would lift the Bong Sau upwards, redirecting the incoming punch into his face as he tried to make it work. He astutely observed that the drill as performed would not work in a fight, and that he would be hit if the punch had been a real centreline punch. I explained that in the Moy Yat system, Bong Sau is taught in four steps. The first focuses only on the handstiming, sticking, and the forward corkscrew



second nature

some drills do appear as a practical fighting technique at first glance, not all drills do. A great example is our Golden Rooster stance. We perform our forms and some of our skills on one foot with our other foot lifted high and sticking out to the front. This certainly is not a practical fighting method for our style, but it trains the very important attributes of balance and core strength. By understanding the purpose of the drill, we can side step the slippery slope where every drill has to look like fighting. Conversely, only doing drills that look like and teach fighting can be a valid method of reaching a systems goals, depending on what those goals are. So at best, without knowing the goals and complete training method of a system, one cannot reliably say whether or not a drill is good. To do so would be to make assumptions about anothers system based on our own experiences and knowledgewhich often does not include an in-depth knowledge of their system. instructor can simply say, This is a beginner level drill and having it work on the street is not something we have to worry about yetthat will come at this point, and can give specifics about when the whole skill will be learned. It is common to want to have an eye on this prize called street fighting and to paint all drills with the same brush. In our system, all drills contribute toward becoming a highly proficient fighter (because thats our purpose), and while There is a saying I quite like that states how amateurs train in what they are good at, while professionals train in what they are bad at. Between actual games and training sessions with opponents, the professional athlete will also spend countless hours working on a simple component like basketballs free throw or the baseball pitch. In our system, we believe fight training should consist of similar elements. It is important to test and train against an opponent but it is also

The Golden Rooster Stance trains balance and a strong waist.

motion of the Bong Sau. The next stage focuses on the footwork and the shifting needed to redirect the punch sideways (not up into the face). After the technique can be applied with shifting, we practise it in a more fluid environment of single then double Chi Sau and finally in no-restrictions fight practise. This was a great example of a commonly occurring problem that often causes confusion and dismay among students and instructors alike. By shining some light on the problem and outlining how our drills work toward meeting our goals, I hope it can help give a different framework you can use to assess your own drills and help improve some pieces of your own training. If a student or instructor has an unclear understanding of the purpose of a drill, and how important competencies are developed, the tendency is to try and fill that gap as early as possible. By understanding the whole system, an

It is important to test and train against an opponent but it is also necessary to spend time doing purposeful practice, fine-tuning the base skills.


second nature

necessary to spend time doing purposeful practice, fine-tuning the base skills. One common problem that often slows training and increases frustration occurs when a drill is used for something it was

not designed for. A great example from many Wing Chun schools is double-hand Chi Sau (Sticking Hands drill). Many people believe that the purpose of Chi Sau is to teach fighting, and armed with this belief they expect that any street fighting method or approach is valid for use. Chi Sau is only one small step toward the larger goal. Double-hand Chi Sau teaches our hands to return to centre, teaches our feet to move forward and not back, and teaches us how to get into the boundaries of others while protecting our own. We do not attack the head and do not perform techniques that take advantage of the drills rules. We maintain a respectful Sihing (older Gung Fu brother) and Sidai (younger Gung Fu brother) relationship during the drill so the focus remains on teaching and learning. This means we will not do, or learn to defend against, some attacks that will appear on the streetbut were fine with that because we start to learn about those attacks during long-arm Chi Sau.
Chi Sau teaches how to enter anothers boundaries while protecting your own Bong Lap Da drill, one step in learning a practical Bong Sau.

In parallel with the Chi Sau set of drills, we will start the Tsui Ma (Pushing Horse) drills and the Chi Geuk (Sticking Legs) drills. Once the hands can cross the opponents boundaries while keeping our own, the stance is strong and can withstand pressure (without leaning, as trained in Tsui Ma drills) and the legs know how to run, trap and avoid sweeps (as trained in the Chi Geuk drills), we are ready to fill in the final gaps with our Mai Sang Jong drilla no restrictions fight training exercise that very closely resembles how we engage an opponent and how we fight. In this drill, both practitioners must have very good control and flawless technique, or injuries can occur since we do not wear any protective gear. With our training curriculum, we move from very structured training drills that dont much resemble the systems purpose to those that very closely align. An advantage of this structured approach is that each drill has both a big brother and little brother drill. If I have trouble with any drill, I can go back to the more structured little brother drill to refine the techniques. Within any professional physical activitys curriculum, if any one drill tries to teach too much, it is common for that drill to end up teaching too little. Our structured method provides us with a very effective iterative learn, practise, test method. We will learn a new skill or drill, train the skill within well-defined boundaries, and when it is stable, we will test it using the next drill in the system. If during testing we find that the skills are too weak to learn what the drill has to teach, we will go back to the previous drill and train in it for a while longer. It is essential to fully understand the objectives of each drill and what it is trying to teach. Armed with this information, you will be able to step your way through the system and learn all the skills necessary to meet its goals.







Chun for several decades. Greco now lives with his family in contented retirement, spending much of his time with his grandchildren, as well as occasionally conducting Wing Chun seminars. The following three-part interview was constructed from a number of e-mails exchanged over a considerable period between Rolf Clausnitzer, a former student of Greco Wong and co-author with him of the first-ever English language book on Wing Chun, and Tony Yung, Senior Student of Greco Wong. As Greco was often too busy to

During his training time, Greco had the good fortune to meet with some of the best known and most respected practitioners and teachers of that period. In the mid-1960s, he travelled to the UK where he teamed up with Paul Lam Yuk Wing, Senior Student of Leung Sheung (the first of Ip Mans four core students) to become one of the first public teachers of Wing Chun in the UK, with students from all races and walks of life. Finally, after a short spell in Africa on business, he migrated to Canada where he taught Wing



Colour photos by Wayne Belonoha


After a few years in the UK, I went to Nigeria in Africa to work. There was one occasion when I was on a business trip to the UK. On the way back Can you confirm that you were Moy Yats first Senior to Africa, I stopped in New York for one day. I Student and how much contact you had with him? went to visit Moy Yat, who had in the meantime Moy Yat, another guy called Chow Yat Loon (One migrated to the USA. I took a taxi to visit his Dragon), and I were friends. We used to go to one school, with the intention of pretending to challenge anothers homes to playremember, back then, his students there, but as soon as I arrived, his we were just kids. Their families knew my family. mom happened to be at the door and invited me And we were all very interested in martial arts. in. The first thing I saw in his school was the book Whenever we got together, we always talked about that you had writtenwith my picture on the martial arts. While I was learning Tai Chi, Moy cover. Of course, I could no longer pretend to be Yat was learning Wing Chun from Ip Man, and an anonymous challenger! Later that day, Moy Yat Chow Yat Loon was learning Pak Hok (White came back, took me to visit all of his schools in Crane) from Chan Hak Fu, a very famous Pak New York, and introduced me to all of his senior Hok master in Hong Kong. I always wanted to find instructors there. I even did Chi Sau with all of out more about different martial arts, so I started them. Even after I had moved from Nigeria to learning White Crane from Chow. Later, Chow Canada, we still maintained contact by mail. told me to further my training with his Sibak There was one time he sent me an invitation to Koon Boon Fu (another famous White Crane become the President of the Canadian Moy Yat teacher in Hong Kong), so I did. I learned several Wing Chun Association, or something like that, forms, some White Crane combat applications, a I cant remember exactly what it was called. For sword form, and a pole form. While I was exploring personal reasons, I declined. When I look back to White Crane, Moy Yat told me he needed a partner the early days in Hong Kong, I can say that, amongst to practise his Wing Chun with. He also wanted to us kids, Moy Yat was definitely one of the wealthier apply new techniques he had learned from Ip Man ones. As his dad lived in the US, he was the kid on me. That was how I started learning Wing Chun. living in Hong Kong with his mom. While I was As I came to do more and more Wing Chun, I getting spending money from my dad in Hong started to like it more than White Crane. I enjoyed practising Chi Sau with Moy Yat and wanted to learn more. And that was how I came to meet Mak Po. Mak Po was Moy Yats Sihing. Before Moy Yat opened his school, Mak Po used to go to Moy Yats place to practise, and I was usually there too. That is how I ended up doing lots of Chi Sau with Mak Po. After Moy Yat opened up his own school, Mak Po also visited and practised there too. Aside from Wing Chun, Moy Yat and I were also very good friends. We used to go swimming and to outdoor BBQs together with other classmates. I was best man at his wedding. It was he who suggested that I should go to Ip Mans school to practise. When Moy Yat opened up his own school in Hong Kong, I became his Assistant Instructor there. Even after I left for the UK, we still maintained contact by mail. I also sought his permission to provide material to you for the production of the first English language Wing

correspond, Tony acted as intermediary and deserves a special mention for his patience and diligence in executing what would not have been a straightforward task, conveying and discussing Rolfs questions with Greco whenever the opportunities arose, usually in Chinese to ensure clarity and no loss of nuance, and then to format Grecos responses in English.

Chun book in 1969. When the book was published, I sent Sifu a copy.
I remember that clearly. I think we waited nervously (or at least I did) for about a month before Moy Yat sent a positive reply.

We asked Ip Man how to break through a Taan Sau ; his answer was the Phoenix Eye punch.

A priceless photo of Greco Wong (right) and Paul Lam with some of their senior students after they had started what was arguably the first Wing Chun school open to the British public. Vijay Paul (second from left in second row) and Fred Warren (standing next to him) were the most skilled students (under whom the author continued his training after Greco had left for Africa and subsequently Canada). Note the suits and ties how things have changed!


greco wong wai chung

Kong dollars, he was already spending US dollars. That is why he could afford to take Ip Man out often for Dim Sum and tea, and fortunately Moy Yat asked me to come along on many occasions. Moy Yat knew all along that one day he would go to the States. So his main focus at that time was on learning and doing things to prepare himself for the move to the US. Therefore he learnt a lot of different skills, like Chinese BBQ cooking, Chinese painting, calligraphy, seal making, Gung Fu, etc. Of course, he was also a very artistic individual.
This is fascinating. Can you tell us a bit more about Mak Po, who has a formidable reputation, from what I have heard?

those wheels are. Instead of using a trolley to move those tyres around, he would just carry them by himself. Despite his size, he was a real gentleman. You would think he must have been using his superior physical strength against other people in Chi Sau, but no. His hands were very soft, very sticky and very fast. You never felt that he was taking advantage of you because of his size.
I also recall reading on the Internet that Mak Po used to vet candidates for Gwoh Sau or Beimo events against other Gung Fu styles. Can you comment on these?

Although this may have been the case, I personally havent heard of either Mak Po or Moy Yat being involved in Gwoh Sau events.
Changing the subject Im sure all readers will want to know about your personal memories and knowledge of Ip Man.

His hands were very soft, very sticky and very fast.

Mak Po was Moy Yats Sihing. They both learned from Ip Man at the same time. Moy Yat used to invite me and Mak Po to go to his place to practise. When I was teaching at Moy Yats school, Mak Po used to visit, and I would find myself practising with him. Most of the time, I and the other students would be doing Chi Sau with Mak Po. After I left to study in the UK, I lost contact with him. I heard through my students researching on the Internet that Mak Po is now living in San Francisco. I dont know if he is still teaching Wing Chun. Id love to get back in touch with him. I think he would still remember me if you asked him about Ah Chun.

Greco Wong and Paul Lam in the basic Luk Sau roll before they launched into Gwoh Sau action.

As I mentioned earlier, back then, Moy Yat used to regularly take Ip Man out for Dim Sum and tea, and he often asked me to go along with them. Ip Man knew of me as Moy Yats friend and student. When Moy Yat wrote to me, he would address me in Chinese as Yau Son, meaning friend and student. During Dim Sum, we would usually take every opportunity to ply Ip Man with questions about Wing Chun. When I was training under Ip Man, he was already quite old, around 70 years old. He didnt do much Chi Sau with anybody. His school was open pretty much all day. You would just go up there and practise Chi Sau with different students there. I used to go there three times a week after school. Sometimes he was there and at other times he wasnt. When you were doing your forms or Chi Sau, and if he saw that you were not doing it right, he would sometimes come over and correct you. I didnt do any Gwoh Sau with him, but there was one occasion that he was showing me Chi Sau, and I did roll with him for a while. His hands were very soft, you didnt feel that he was using any strength, but his arms were very sticky, as if they could suck you in. Ip Man liked to wear traditional clothing, white T-shirt when training, and if he had to go out, he would put on a long coat with the buttons on the side, with white I hope you succeed. Perhaps you can tell us something socks and Gung Fu slippers. And he walked with about Mak Pos reputed strength and skills. one hand held behind his back. The cigarettes he Back then, Moy Yat and I were younger than Mak Po. smoked were unfiltered. He was always very calm We were still in school, and Mak Po was already and collected. When you asked him a question, he working as a mechanic at a bus terminal. He was usually didnt answer you right away. Sometimes a big and tall guy. He was at least six foot tall. you would think that he was ignoring you. But There were a lot of big double-decker buses after a while, he would come back to you and say, operating in Hong Kong. You can imagine how big Ah Chun, did you just ask me about...? Then he




Greco Wong adjusting a students response to a palm strike. The technique shown is one of at least four different responses the author has come across, in this case a sort of sinking Wu Sau action.

When Moy Yat left Hong Kong in 1963 to travel around the world as a seaman for a year, I naturally wanted to keep up my Wing Chun practise. So, before he left, Moy Yat introduced me to Wong Shun Leung. I was still a student without much money, and Wong Shun Leung charged $60 a month, so I couldnt quite afford it. Chu Shong Tin and even Ip Man charged only $40. So Moy Yat suggested I train with either Chu Shong Tin or Ip Man. I went to Chu Shong Tin first and trained with him for a while. I admired Chu Shong Tin as a teacher because he would stick hands with his would give you an answer. There was one question students. Later on, I went to Ip Man. By that time I that we asked him during Dim Sum and tea. I had already learned all three forms, Chi Sau and forgot whether it was Moy Yat or I who posed the the dummy. I just wanted to verify and compare question. We asked him how to break through a the things I had learned from Moy Yat (much as Taan Sau ; his answer was the Phoenix Eye todays Wing Chun students like going to different punch. He didnt teach Moy Yat the six-and-a-half- seminars, reading different books, and watching point long pole or the butterfly knives until after different videos) and to keep up my Chi Sau Moy Yat had opened up his own school in Hong practise with different students of Chu Shong Tin Kong. Ip Man then personally went to Moy Yats and Ip Man. Some of the other teachers at the time school to teach him the pole and the knives. After included Ho Kam Ming, Jiu Wan, and Ip Mans Moy Yat had learned these, he taught them to me, younger son, Ip Ching. His eldest son, Ip Chun, as he needed someone to practise with. was around at the time, but did not appear to be really involved with teaching. I used to see him Can you tell us about some of the other famous names occasionally at Ip Mans school, but did not see him in Wing Chun at the time? practise with anybody, either drilling or Chi Sau.


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The Muk Yan Jong is NOT for Dummies



The Muk Yan Jong is a complex, multifaceted training tool that has many shades of grey and chief amongst its requirements is the need to have a very active imagination in order to actually discover the full potential of what is contained within it. It is a training tool that has so much to offer practitioners of the system, but for most, never delivers all that it could because it requires a very special kind of thinking. The Muk Yan Jong is NOT meant for Dummies! One of the most respected and innovative Wing Chun teachers of recent memory, the late Wong Shun Leung Sifu, believed that the most important consideration regarding the Muk Yan Jong form is the need for the Wing Chun practitioner to appreciate the fact that there are certain things that the Jong is NOT: it is NOT a conditioning tool; it is NOT a Chi Sau training exercise or substitute for hands-on experience; it is NOT meant to be interpreted as a set of rigid sequences to be applied in rote fashion in combatto practise and/or attempt to apply it as such is a recipe for disaster (to do so presumes far too much knowledge of the opponent, and to think in that way will lead to the Wing Chun practitioner getting him or herself into a situation that is extremely difficult to recover from or escape). Herein lies the true nature of what the Muk Yan Jong IS there to teach us. It is primarily a means to learn the basic skill of RECOVERY. It isnt there to teach us how to have unbeatable skills, extreme

Dont just hit the Jong like a robot, or with unrealistic expectations, or with a plan to apply each sequence verbatim in a scenario that will never occur.



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David Peterson performs the Biu Sau/Dang Geuk movement from the final section of the WSLVT Muk Yan Jong form.

More crucial than anything else, it is extremely important that one never loses sight of the fact that the Muk Yan Jong is a piece of training equipment, simple in construction (a trunk of wood with three arms on two levels, each representing both the left and right sides, and both the inside and outside, with the mid-level arm representing mid-level kicks as well, and a single leg protruding from the front), and mounted in such a way that it cannot move more than a few inches in any direction. As such, the Wing Chun

Photos: Brett Brogan

power or unstoppable attacks. It is there to provide us with the best means possible to overcome what is our very worst enemy of all: our natural human capacity to make mistakes. No matter how much we think we know or how good we think our skills are, somewhere along the way, we all make mistakes. In combat, any mistake can lead to defeat unless we have an effective means of recovery. This is the purpose of the Muk Yan Jong form, to show us what the most typical mistakes are and then go about programming our neural systems with the best possible solutions and skills to deal with those mistakes. Along the way, the form also reinforces and trains skills and concepts that are found within the three basic forms (Siu Nim Tau, Cham Kiu and Biu Ji), as well as improving distance, timing, footwork, power generation, positioning and co-ordination, to name just a few of the attributes it can develop and enhance. Much of what is contained in the first half of the form (approximately 60 movements in) emphasise Siu Nim Tau and Cham Kiu principles and tools. As we progress through to the second half of the form, we are introduced to more unusual or specialised ideas which in many instances, are more along the lines of what is contained within the Biu Ji form, though not exclusively so. The Muk Yan Jong form contains several variations of the basic kicking techniques of Wing Chun (only two basic kicks are introduced prior to this: Dang Geuk

(Ascending Heel Kick) and Waang Geuk (Horizontal/Side Kick), in the Cham Kiu form), thus expanding both the repertoire and the adaptability of the Wing Chun student with regard to the use of the legs for attack and defence. Interestingly, of these kicking actions, all but one are considered to actually be geuk or kicks with just one action referred to as tui or legthis is because the four geuk actions are for attack, while the tui is considered an emergency recovery action, not one that would normally be considered as a primary weapon of attack. With regard to numbers, there has been much debate over the years as to how many techniques make up the form. Some insist that it is 108, others say 116, while for others even more. Each camp offers up reasons for their assumption, most of it mere speculation or hearsay. Basically, the number of techniques is NOT really a matter for concern. As Wong Sifu was known to say many times, we should be concerned with learning combat skills, not mathematics. Hence, not only is the number not of any real consequence (if one actually counts every single movement as one action, the number is somewhere around 180!), ultimately even the order of the sequences is not really that important, so long as you try not to leave anything out of the form. In addition, subtle variations within the sequences or in the actual actions themselves are really not of any great concern, so long as the basic concepts of the system, as well as logic and reality, are always adhered to.

Ensuring that he trains to deflect/re-direct rather than meet force head-on, David performs the Kwan Sau action past the central mass of the Muk Yan Jong.

practitioner has to move around the Jong when, in reality, the opponent is able to move at will. Thus, when playing the form, many of the actions and the direction or angle of movement, or the actual position of the hands will NOT be the way in which these actions may end up being applied in actual combat. It is therefore very important that one has an active imagination and uses it during practice, visualising things that are not actually happening, such as arms moving or not being present, or one arm representing two arms, and a host of other possibilities. In this way, the Muk Yan Jong truly comes alive as a training tool that goes way beyond its very simple construction.


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Looks can be deceivingDavid demonstrates the Bong Sau action on what represents the outside, rather than the inside arm of the opponent.

natural and effective absorption into our neural system, such that the body has no problem finding the right tool for the job under the pressure of actual combat, without the need to stop and think about itthat is a luxury that real combat does not allow. Over the years, I have seen what can only be described as suicidal interpretations of the movements in the Muk Yan Jong form, where various masters try desperately to find a scenario that would permit the sequences to apply as per the order in the form. These interpretations of the form are tantamount to teaching their students to die in the street; such is the impracticality and unrealistic nature of what is being demonstrated. If nothing else, these attempts to justify their combat thinking only serves to prove that they have never been in a real fight in their lives! Instead, Wing Chun practitioners should look at the sequences as a means of learning to flow naturally from technique to technique, learning to adapt and open their minds to the prospect that anything can and will happen on the Pavement Arena. In closing, I would encourage all Wing Chun devotees, regardless of lineage or style, to take a step back and re-think what they are getting from training on the Muk Yan Jong and to see if they can change their approach such that they start to see the infinite number of advantages that this form and equipment can provide for them. Dont just hit the Jong like a robot, or with unrealistic expectations, or with a plan to apply each sequence verbatim in a scenario that will never occur. Instead, open your mind to the fact that the form is a doorway that can take you way beyond what you first perceived Wing Chun to be, and that the Muk Yan Jong is no Dummyit is one of the best allround training devices ever invented. Dont be a Wing Chun Dummy, use what it has to offer you to make your opponent wish that you were one!

Dont be a Wing Chun Dummy, use what it has to offer you to make your opponent wish that you were one!
A key to getting the very most out of using this equipment is to make sure that one slows down, giving every movement equal importance and attention, checking every angle and technique for accuracy, and learning to apply the very best possible body structure so as to ensure the development of flexible, explosive power that can be applied without the need to over-exert the body. One needs to feel every movement and make sure that they develop a fluid and natural means of moving from start to finish. There is absolutely NOTHING to be gained by trying to complete the form as quickly as possible, or to try to bash the hell out of the Jong there is only one dummy in such an exchange, and its NOT the equipment! Just as in the practice of the basic forms, the emphasis should be on the things that really matter: accuracy of movement, structure, balance, angle, distance, and so on. The whole idea is to upload the best possible information into the neural system in order for the very best possible application of the concepts and tools contained in the form. If you want to work on speed or power, there are far better ways to do so, and more appropriate equipment to do it on. Yet another essential fact to accept is that the various sections of the Muk Yan Jong form are NOT set sequences that must be applied exactly as they appear in the form. Quite the opposite is the truththey are simply a very clever arrangement of concepts, strategies and techniques that can be utilised in ANY combination that a particular situation dictates. Like a toolbox containing all the very best tools to deal with ANY situation that we may ever come across, the sequences of this form (just like the sequences/sections of all the forms in Wing Chun) are there so as to allow for


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in focus


It took place over a delicious Dim Sum lunch at the famous Wing Yip building in North West London. And like the food, the Wing Chun banter was free flowing with Victor Kan assuring us that his Wing Chun school was the last genuinely traditional school, and that he is the most senior in the Wing Chun community. During the photography session, Victor Kan wore his silver silken Mandarin jacket and a lengthy fashion shoot ensued. Mr. Kan was encouraged through his various poses and facial expressions. Eventually, WCI staff writer Dr. Matthew Mills offered to act as a stooge and was instructed by Victor to be sure to place himself in such a way that Mr. Kans face was not obscured.



the man who would be king



victor kan wah chit

I think Wing Chun is going downhill all the time. I said this 20 years ago. Now Wing Chun is even more popular, and the quality is much less.
Can you give me a short summary of your background in Wing Chun?

I became a student of the late Grandmaster Ip Man in Hong Kong, 1954, when I was 13 years old. I devoted three to four hours a day, seven days a week, learning and practising Wing Chun under Ip Mans instruction for seven years. In the late 1950s, I practised advanced Chi Sau with over 20 students for two sessions per day, and each session lasted over two hours without stopping. I was not being touched even once. They nicknamed me the Untouchable and the King of Chi Sau. Then I became his Assistant Chief Instructor until I left Hong Kong. I came to Europe to study in 1961, then to the UK in 1975. I started teaching fairly

soon after that. I was a pioneer. Im the only student of GM Ip Man teaching in Europe and have branches in Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg and Hong Kong. I keep the highest standards of authenticity and insist on teaching Classical Ving Tsun in the traditional way just as GM Ip Man taught me.
GM Ip Man was a legendary Wing Chun coach. Can you say something about your time with him? For instance, what was the training like in his class and what was he like as a coach?

The first time I met GM Ip Man he looked at me and said, You are rather big and well-built for your age. I will call you Big Boy. Everybody laughed at his remarks. I later found out that Ip Man always



All photos in this article by Haide Augusta

in focus

You might think that Im being arrogant, but it is the truth. Every generation loses some percentage of quality from their Master. That is why the generation game is so important for the Chinese.

liked to address his students by their nicknames. He was very observant, a gentleman. He would show you a new technique when he thought you were ready, and then he would observe how you developed it. He was very traditional and disliked people rushing. In his view, you were learning his technique as a studentnot buying them as a client! Nowadays, people always want to rush. In the old days, it would have been seen as insulting to your teachers intelligence, if you asked for the next technique. Bruce Lee came to Ip Man once saying, What do you think of my Jeet Kune Do? In Chinese, we have a saying for this: A son trying to teach his father how to make a baby. He even offered to buy GM Ip Man a flat in exchange for teaching him the Muk Yan Jong, but Ip Man was offended and told him to go away.
Would you say that there was much difference between the students and training methods in Hong Kong and the UK?

Hong Kong is the fastest city in the world; everyone is rushing all the time. The only thing they have got an interest in is to make a few dollars more. Like learning Wing Chun, they think they can buy the skillthey just want speed but not quality while also forgetting that it takes time to digest what they have learned. This suits instructors of Modified Wing Chun just fine. In Europe, students tend to be more serious and dedicated, take it as a hobby and have more time to learn and digest. They seem to better understand that learning Wing Chun takes time Rome wasnt built in one day.
How do you perceive the differences between yourself and the other surviving first generation Ip Man students? Can you say anything specific about these other people?

You have to make the distinction between student and disciple. There are many different levels and categories. Most of GM Ip Mans good disciples like Lok Yiu and Wong Shun Leung have passed away;

the few left are too old to teach. There are a few of his private students still out there. They can tell what the real traditional Ving Tsun looks like. Ip Mans oldest son just looks like his father but does not have the skills. He is my Sidai (Junior) in the Wing Chun family but not by age. He has to make a living by trading on his parentage. I am the only one left qualified to talk about Classical Ving Tsun and to criticise the others. You might think that Im being arrogant, but it is the truth. Every generation loses some percentage of quality from their Master. That is why the generation game is so important for the Chinese. One particular Sifu tried very hard to lie about being a student of GM Ip Man. Eventually, the truth came out. Financially I am well off, so I dont have to surrender to my students monetary demands. I can afford to teach Classical Ving Tsun in its proper traditional form, without any modification. Preservation of Traditional Ving Tsun is my life duty now. I am

For more information about Victor Kan Wah Chit and Classical Ving Tsun, you can visit his website at:


victor kan wah chit

now the founder of the Traditional Ving Tsun Association, recognised by the Hong Kong Government. All serious Wing Chun, Ving Tsun practitioners or schools are welcome to join.
For a man of 69 years of age, you seem in very good shape. Do you place a great emphasis on strength and conditioning in your coaching?

How would you define centreline theory?

Its the shortest distance between two points. It also helps us to divide the body into the four gates.
What about the idea of structure and how this is used in Wing Chun?

I practise Ving Tsun at least one hour a day all year around. I like all sports: golf, skiing, particularly tennis and horse riding. I do them all the time, which is why I have stayed so strong, fit and healthy.

Its all in the forms Siu Nim Tau and Cham Kiu the longer you train Siu Nim Tau, the better and the more that you understand the ideas of structure.
How much emphasis do you put on Chi Sau in your coaching?

The more popular Wing Chun becomes, the lower its quality becomes. Its like fast food. You cant afford to cook good quality roast beef every night these days.
I dont do much in the way of weights. I dont think it is essential to lift weights and do other training for Wing Chun. Perhaps some ancillary training with weights, but nothing specific. I had a student who was a champion bodybuilder, but there comes a point where youre so big you cant make the Wing Chun shapes properly because your muscles get in the way!
Do you consider Wing Chun to be an internal art? If so, what does this mean and how does it affect training?

Wing Chun does have an internal part. This is what Siu Nim Tau is for. I tell my students to keep practising Siu Nim Tau. At least half an hour a day. There is no upper limit to how long you should practise Siu Nim Tau forthe longer the better. When I do this, I develop strength and my Qi. During Siu Nim Tau, I visualise building and moving my Qi around my body. I will write more about this in my forthcoming book, which I intend to write sometime.
What would you consider to be the core essentials of Wing Chun?

There is a lot of emphasis on Chi Sau in Classical Ving Tsun it is the cream, the best, the most unique part. It contains everything needed for fighting. It teaches you to control your power. I can strike with full force and stop just short. The important thing is to touch arms (Chi Sau) with a true Master. You can only learn from the way they feel and move. The student will learn through this feeling and develop like the Master. You cant learn this by watching, because youre only copying the shapes and movements, not learning the feeling and skill.
What are your thoughts on Chi Sau?

You can train everything in Chi Sau : sensibility, power, control, but it must be done with a Master. Unfortunately, there are not many left now who know how.
Can you explain whats meant by relaxing in Chi Sau and how to achieve this?

People change things, but the core is still Classical Ving Tsun : centreline, being scientific with your thinking, elbow position. It is all in Siu Nim Tau. Ving Tsun is simple to learn and yet very difficult to master.

This is about learning more skill. Developing power is difficult; learning how to control it, is even harder. It is hardest to become the Master of the power.
Do you think that the current trend in martial arts toward MMA and cross-training has benefitted Wing Chun at all?



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Can you say something about the current progression or evolution of Wing Chun?

Everything needed is already in Classical Ving Tsun. The danger is that the quality will reduce as it becomes more popular. I think Wing Chun is going downhill all the time. I said this 20 years ago. Now Wing Chun is even more popular, and the quality is much less. Im always constantly trying to improve this situation, and make my teaching of Wing Chun more and more pure.
What do you feel about the different brands of Wing Chun?

Ninety per cent of them are their Sifus own modified version to please their students. Its for the show and also for the dolls. Others are copying different DVDs and books, and then invent their own version of Wing Chun. See it for yourself on What a BIG MESS!
Years ago, any Wing Chun Master would have undoubtedly been Oriental in origin. Nowadays, it is not uncommon to see large successful groups run by Western coaches. How do you feel about this?

No, everything is already in Classical Ving Tsun. Its just that these days people want to have everything quickly. They want to buy techniques, not learn them. Like I said earlier, Wing Chun is easy to learn, but hard to master. It takes a long time. The more popular Wing Chun becomes, the lower its quality becomes. Its like fast food. You cant afford to cook good quality roast beef every night these days. These people are like cowboy builders and their Wing Chun is like eating McDonalds. More people come in to teach, they change things, and the quality drops.
How do you view the Wing Chun weapons? I have a personal interest in the way that the pole and knives integrate with the Wing Chun fist-fighting system.

There is no limitation in nationality; if you are good enough and have the correct knowledge, then you can teach good quality Wing Chun. Like my Italian branch in Genova. It is run by Sifu Sandro who has over 70 regular students.
Martial arts are meant to make us better, more humble people. Why then do we see so much in-fighting in the general Wing Chun community?

It is a dog-eat-dog world out there, and everyone wants a piece of the cake, so they all argue and claim to be the best. At the end of the day, it is all about money. The market is there and everybody wants someand the cowboys want a piece of the action too.
Finally, how do you see your own personal legacy in Wing Chun?

They are from a time when people needed to know how to use weapons. Most people nowadays do it only to complete the system. They are not so relevant nowyou cant use them practically. A knife will kill, but a gun is quicker and possibly cheaper to obtain. I get very worried about this subject. You see Masters showing how to disarm a gunman or take a knife from someone. This is very dangerous nonsense, and these teachers are potentially murderers!

My goal is the preservation of Classical Ving Tsun. Mine is the only school worldwide teaching traditional Wing Chun 100 per cent as Ip Man taught it. I teach exactly the same as he did. I have worked hard to build up our schools and work with some good instructors. They will be able to pass on skill. They are not as good as me, of course. It is not possible to be the same as a Masteryou cant simply copy them. If you watch a classical piano recital of, say Chopin, do you really think it is the same as the original?


chi sim shaolin weng chun

Saam Pai Fat Weng Chuns Secret Bodywork

BY ANDREAS HOFFMANN Here, in between all those different shops, we find the Weng Chun Mecca Dai Duk Lan, where so many famous Grandmasters have trained and done challenge fights. In one of the stores, two honourable old men are doing Kiu Sao. It looks similar to Wing Chuns Chi Sao but these masters are doing it in a very different manner. They are using their whole body in every movement they do, even if it is a little one. This makes their movements very pliable and powerful. Everything looks so round and my Wing Chun-trained brain doubts this can be effective in any way. Is it fast enough? Isnt a straight punch the shortest distance between my opponent and me? It was amazing how effortlessly these old masters combined punching, kicking, throwing and locking. After GM Wai Yan welcomed us, he introduced us to his student GM Lau Chi Long and invited me to a sparring fight between friends. I agreed and thought with my juvenile pride: If he knew how good I am but I will be a little bit careful with him because hes so old.
Andreas Hoffmann and GM Wai Yan standing in front of the first original wooden dummy in Weng Chun Mecca Dai Duk Lan.


Oh boy, was I in for a surprise! Whatever I did, GM Wai Yan used my own power against me and used his whole body as lever force by doing some strange bow movements just to throw me, to lock me, or even when punching to have better angles than me. My straight attacks always went into emptiness and for GM Wai Yan it was obviously a pleasure to chain me.



chi sim shaolin weng chun

This was the first time I felt the power and application of Saam Pai Fat (Three Bows to Buddha). After this meeting, I became a personal student of GM Wai Yan.


For us Buddhist Chan (Zen) practitioners, Saam Pai Fat is our basic daily Buddhist exercise to bow for Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. Buddha, as the symbol of the development of our potential, Dharma, the teachings to get there, and Sangha, all the people who are on the same way. The daily bowing exercise changes your body into a power machine and it purifies and focuses your mind. All paths of Shaolin wisdom came together in this one form, and so they gave it their most important name: Saam Pai Fat. Saam =three times, Pai =bowing, Fat =Buddha.

The daily bowing exercise changes your body into a power machine and it purifies and focuses your mind.


Weng Chun hero Fung Siu Ching gave the Saam Pai Fat only to his special students, the Lo brothers. After Fung Siu Ching got a serious illness and was healed by the Lo family, he chose them to be his successors. According to the Lo family, Saam Pai Fat is the advanced Weng Chun set of Sun Gam (Dai Fa Min Gam) of the Red Boat Opera. Sun Gam only gave the Saam Pai Fat to chosen students. The rest of the students had to be satisfied with the other forms and concepts. The Lo family and GM Wai Yan made it possible that the other Weng Chun/Wing Chun lineages got access to the Saam Pai Fat in the famous Dai Duk Lan Weng Chun Academy in Hong Kong.

Photo: Henrik Nilsson


It is interesting that some Wing Chun lineages call a section near the start of Siu Lim Tao, Saam Pai Fat. Furthermore, a lot of moves of Weng Chuns Saam Pai Fat can be found in Wing Chun forms in a simplified version. Clearly, this is evidence of the close connection between Weng Chun and Wing Chun.

Andreas Hoffmann showing Saam Pai Fat in front of the Head Gung Fu teacher monk of Southern Shaolin.


chi sim shaolin weng chun

Saam Pai Fat became the most important form in Weng Chun, because its concepts became the heart and signature of all other movements and forms.
Andreas Hoffmann taking lessons from GM Wai Yan.


Saam Pai Fat teaches the advanced Weng Chun practitioner special body movements with whose aid the practitioner revolutionises his/her previous Weng Chun. With the understanding of the mechanics of the body and with the development of Qi, it is possible to develop enormous power and speed, almost effortlessly. The previous step work is expanded by new step work concepts in all eight directions. This allows the practitioner to rob the energy even from an experienced opponent or even to prevent it from arising at all. The characteristic feature of this level is the rolling and swinging movement (Wan Wun Yiu Tiet Ban Kiu) of the body, reminiscent of someone bowing. Saam Pai Fat teaches to orientate on Heaven, Man and Earth, which expresses space, gravity and energy in Shaolin Chan and martial arts. The space between two combatants is divided into three distances and three

heights: Heaven (Tien), Man (Dei) and Earth (Yan). Awareness and sensitivity are the basic skills to feel all directions, and all dimensions to control the centreline (Balance) of the attacker and to apply a variety of tools to render him incapable of combat (Fok). Heaven from a range perspective represents hand and foot strikes, and in combat the situation without contact. From the height Heaven there are actions to the upper body. The Heaven reference point is taught by the Weng Chun technique Kung Meiattack the eyebrowsand is the upper Dan Tien. Man from a range perspective represents elbow and knee strikes, and in combat the situation in which one has contact with the opponent. From the height Man there are actions to the middle body. The Man reference point is the triangle, which the throat builds with the two nipples. In more detail, the acupuncture point Ren 17 builds the door to the middle Dan Tien. Earth from a range perspective represents head, shoulder and hip strikes, and in

combat the situation in which one has contact with the trunk of the opponent. From the height Earth there are actions to the lower body. The Earth reference point is the acupuncture point Qi Hai (under navel), which builds the door to the lower Dan Tien.


Grandmaster Wai Yan taught me Saam Pai Fat together with the underlying concepts while telling me his vision as to how he saw the future of Weng Chun. He told me: We can make Weng Chun very famous by showing the beauty and effectiveness of the use of the third line through bowing/waving. Today (it was the beginning of the 1990s) there are a large number of martial artists who can use the first line (hands/feet) and the second line (elbow/knees), but less people are using the third line. According to GM Wai Yans oral tradition from the Lo family, Saam Pai Fat became the most important form in Weng Chun, because its concepts became the heart and signature of all other movements and forms.



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What is your fighting style and background?

Well, my first style was Wushu and Tai Chi, when I trained under my mother, who is a Gung Fu teacher in Boston, Mass., and her name is Bow Sim Mark. Then, when I was a teenager, and I think kind of against her wishes(!), I went out to study all different arts, like boxing, Karate everything! Bruce Lee was my idol, and I knew he hadnt just studied one style, so I wanted to learn everything I could. And I still do!
How did you prepare mentally and physically to play the role of Ip Man?

Mentally, I read everything I could on Ip Man, I met his oldest son, Ip Chun, and asked a lot of questions. I trained in Wing Chun with various teachers, including Ip Chun, and we had a wooden dummy at the film company offices that I could train on. For this role, I wanted to lose weight, because Ip Man was such a slender figure, not as muscular as my usual kind of roles. DONNIE YEN HAS A DEDICATED FOLLOWING IN ASIA FOR HIS IMPRESSIVE MARTIAL ARTS SKILLS, AND HAS ACHIEVED INTERNATIONAL CULT STATUS FOR ROLES IN ACTION MOVIES SUCH AS LEGEND OF THE FIST: THE RETURN OF CHEN ZHEN, PAINTED SKIN, FLASH POINT, SEVEN SWORDS, SPL, SHANGHAI KNIGHTS, HERO AND BLADE II. With the recent box-office success of the Wilson Yip helmed movies Ip Man and Ip Man 2, Yen has become one of Chinas hottest actors and is now being offered roles outside of the action genre.
Did your investment in Wing Chun, for the role of Ip Man, cause you to re-examine any of the other styles that you had already learned?

Not really. I just looked at it in the context of the character and the film. It certainly gave me a new appreciation of Wing Chun ! I have used Wing Chun movements in some earlier films, but this was the first time I studied it so intensely, the dummy and the different forms.
What was the most interesting thing you learned about Wing Chun?

I really began to appreciate the way it brings a scientific approach to close range fighting. Of In connection with Cine-Asias UK DVD release of course, today we have MMA and all these different Ip Man 2, we were able to chat with Yen about aspects of combat, but, when Wing Chun was bringing GM Ip Man to life on the big screen and developed and became famous, when you compare ask him probably the #1 question on fans minds: it with the styles of that era, like Hung Gar or Will he reprise the role of Ip Man in a third movie? Choy Li Fut, it really was revolutionary for its time.




What was the most interesting thing you learned about Ip Man?

I felt like we really hadnt seen a Gung Fu hero like this before.

Well, it was all interesting to me, because, before this film, all I really knew about Ip Man was that he was the Grandmaster of Wing Chun and that he taught Bruce Lee. Then, from reading the script, from my own research, and from talking to his oldest son, you get the impression of this really skilled martial artist who is also a scholar, a family man I felt like we really hadnt seen a Gung Fu hero like this before.
Unlike the first film, Ip Man 2 includes more wirework. How do you feel about both doing and watching wirework in movies?

in China, so, again, it was the degree of success that surprised me.
Wing Chun is an art not normally considered as flamboyant enough for Gung Fu movies how did you get around this with the Ip Man films?

Hmm. Actually I think the wirework was about the same in both films! Maybe we just had some more spectacular movements in Ip Man 2, so you noticed it more. I think its just another tool for the action director, just like CGI. If you notice it too much, its probably not a good thing.
Whats your most memorable moment(s) working on the Ip Man movies?

I remember a scene in the first film, where a whole truckload of Japanese soldiers drives by, and Ip Man sees them and he realises his Gung Fu is powerless against this kind of force. I thought that scene was very effective, unlike the kind of action At 59, Sammo Hung is still active and directing fights, and also stepping in front of the camera? Do you see hero Ive played in the past.
that somewhere in your own future? What was the toughest thing for you about working on the Ip Man films?

I was lucky, because that was basically [action director] Sammos problem! Of course, he has made several great movies in the past where he used Wing Chun, so we were pretty confident he could make it look good on screen. And he did!

To be honest, of course, it was physically demanding, to perform the fight sequences, but everyone worked together so well, and the character seemed to suit me, so it was a real pleasure to come to work each day. In terms of the action, the hardest thing in the first film was the last fight, with the Japanese general, because the actor wasnt a martial artist, which is always a challenge. He worked very hard, though. On the second, it was the challenge matches on the table, just because it was a lot of action shot at the same time, and in a very confined space.
Were you surprised at the phenomenal success of the Ip Man films?

You mean still being active at 59? I hope so! I mean, whether Ill still be starring in films, I dont know, but I think Ill be active in the industry. I dont know what else Id do!
For films do you prefer fighting with weapons or fists?

I dont mind, I just want to find a style that suits the character. For Flashpoint it was MMA. For the Ip Man films Wing Chun. I did a film called The Lost Bladesman about the Three Kingdoms character Kwan Kung, who has a very distinctive weapon, so we had to make that work on film. It all comes from the story and the character.
Madame Tussauds Hong Kong now has a Donnie Yen/ Ip Man waxworkwhat was it like to meet yourself?

After the first one, I knew wed made a good film, but you never know how its going to be received. I had a feeling it would do well, but quite how well it did was a surprise. With the sequel, you feel theres probably an audience, but, I dont know if you know this, but Ip Man 2 was a huge success

Well, firstly its a great honour. I should point out that its actually a statue of Donnie Yen as Ip Man. I dont dress that way the rest of the time! Its an interesting process, the way they take measure ments, and it is pretty lifelike. Im thinking of sending the dummy out on my next press tour, see if anyone notices!


donnie yen

You come from a musically talented family and play the piano yourself. Are you ever worried about damaging your fingers when practising martial arts?

piano, but I could get by without it. So far, so good, though!

Would you say that the musical score in the Ip Man films portrays an important part of the story?

Hmmm. Now you mention it, I suddenly am! Actually, piano has always been a hobby for me, but I make my living from action movies, so Id be more worried about an injury that might prevent me from doing action scenes. Id miss playing the

Oh, absolutely. For years, Ive been saying that we need bigger orchestral scores for Hong Kong movies, and I can say that one of the first films I was involved with where the score really worked was Kawai Kenjis one for Seven Swords, and so we worked with him again on (my film) Dragon Tiger Gate and then on the Ip Man films. The music adds so much, and Kawai San did a great job every time.
You have stated that martial arts are a form of expression, and of course acting is toocan you say something about your romantic and poignant portrayal of Ip Man (apart from the fighting)?

I think this role came at a time in my life when I was ready to play it. Ip Man is someone whos obviously a Gung Fu expert, but hes also a good husband and father. In earlier projects I think I was sometimes portrayed pretty much as this fighting machine and, at that stage, maybe I couldnt have appreciated every aspect of Ip Man the way I can now.
You have said that after Ip Man 2, you would never ever touch any films related to Ip Man. Why? Fans would clearly love to see you reprise the role of Ip Man.

Did I say that? Well, maybe we can do Ip Man 3, but first we have to wait for all the other Ip Man films to come and go, and then we can seriously consider it.
You have collaborated with director Wilson Yip on several films. What is it about his work that keeps you working together?

In earlier projects I think I was sometimes portrayed pretty much as this fighting machine and, at that stage, maybe I couldnt have appreciated every aspect of Ip Man the way I can now.

Its hard to say. From our first film, SPL, there was a definite sense that we were on the same page. Hes very low key, you hardly ever see him out at any events, unless its his own premiere or something. Wilson just has a very quiet focus, doesnt say too much and yet still he manages to make great movies. Hes a good man and a good director.
Whats next for you?

Im shooting Havoc in Heaven now, and Id like to take a break afterwards, but it looks like I have other things lined up. I dont want to talk about them too soon, but I think Ill be pretty busy.



the inner circle

Leung Jans Kulo Wing Chun

The Foundation of Pin Sun Boxing
Kulo Village Entrance near Master Leung Jans home.

Sam was the Dai Sihing of the final group, and gained access to the Gung Fu King via family relations. Wong Wah Sam was Master Leung Jans sisters son! Master Wong Wah Sam taught his uncles boxing to eight disciples over 50 years. Of the eight, there are two still living in Kulo as of 2011. Master Fung Chun, who is 91 years young, and Master Fung Chuns older brother, Master Fung Men, who is 97! The teaching of Master Leung during this time period was his own refined fusion of his lifes knowledge of Wing Chuns Fist, Dummy and Pole skills. The empty hand was taught via the Sup Yi Kuen (Twelve Fists), which is also applied on the Dummy and Pole skills via the Som Dim Boon Gwun (Three & One Half Point Pole). According to Master Fung Chun, the art of Pin Sun Wing Chun boxing is largely rooted in the teaching of the Yim family (pre-Red Boat Wing Chun), and Master Leung Jans Futshan teaching is largely rooted in Wong Wah Bohs teaching. The primary difference being the strict adoption of White Cranes Square Frontal Facing to the Wing Chun empty-hand boxing by Wong Wah Boh. This method was passed on by Master Leung Jan in his Futshan Gwoon. Master Leung Jan said this about the difference between schools: The hands differ very little and both come from the same source!

According to the Kulo tradition, the art of Wing Chun was originally a soft, empty-hand internal boxing system that later made its way to the Red Boat. It was during this time on the Red Boat that the Wing Chun art had an exchange with other southern fist boxing arts. The art of Wing Chun thus adopted the Dummy, Long Pole, Knives and had its first

evolution within the empty-hand boxing sets and theory. This is the reason for the different sects of Wing Chun boxing. The art of Kulo village Pin Sun Wing Chun boxing was developed by Dr. Leung Jan. It is known that when Master Leung retired back to his home village of Kulo, he took on four final pupils. Wong Wah

Pin Sun Wing Chuns most basic but



the inner circle

truly essential training is the turning Kim Yeung Ma. This turning is also known as Pin Sun Ma (Side Body Horse) and Ding Jee Ma (T-shape Horse). In our art, we typically start and finish every workout session with the turning practice and without a doubt this will be the first training you are taught in Pin Sun Wing Chun. Mui Wai Hun Sifu says this about the Kim Yeung Ma practice: Left, Centre, Right! Those are the basics. Most people are always looking to practice more advanced training but you must train your horse or the later training will not be useful. The horse is the foundation! Why is turning so important? It is essential for the conditioning of the body. As the body twist left and right, the hips, shoulders and the spine begin to loosen up so the practitioners develop a greater range of elasticity and relaxation to their

Grandmaster Fung Chun demostrates Pak & Jin Choi with Jim Roselando Jr. for Kulo and Boston students.

Grandmaster Fung Chun checks Boston students Pin Sun Ma (Side Body Horse).

Each of the Twelve Fists are extremely core but rich with training and knowledge.
body. It is said, that Pin Sun Wing Chun uses a Yau Yun (Soft Waist). This is the result of years of conditioning and not just leaving your hips loose. The turning horse practice works the basic dynamics of the art by training the force vectors (up/down/left/right/forward/backward) and for combat, the basic turning practice enhances ones offensive and defensive tactics. Fung Sang Sifu said this about the Kim Yeung Ma : When practising in strict Kim Yeung Ma, you sink the waist and drop the shoulders. The buttocks pulls in


the inner circle

Master Leung Jans Kulo village Pin Sun Wing Chun boxing is an extremely simple, yet profound method of cultivation and application.

Grandmaster Fung Chun demonstrates proper Pin Sun Ma and Bai Jong as his wife and Kulo student watch.

and knees are a fist distance apart. The bones of the spine must be straight and posture erect. Always maintain the proper three points on a line. This is the correct horse stance!


The signature set of all Wing Chun boxing is Siu Lin Tau (Small First Training) and it would make sense that Master Leung Jans Kulo teaching also begins with the same root. The first two sets of the Twelve Fists are Siu Lin Tau and Dai Lin Tau (Small and Big First Training). What is not commonly known is the second set is actually a nickname and the proper term is Dai Siu Lin Tau. So the first two skills of development in Pin Sun boxing are the Siu Lin Tau and then more Siu Lin Tau skills. Why did Master Leung Jan choose these skills as the foundation of his art? He felt they were the most important aspects of his entire classical set. Some of the actions found within these two simple

sets, and its partner exercises, are: Pak (Slap), Tan (Spread), Got (Cut), Jut (Choke), Fook (Subdue), Huen (Circle), Chuen (Thread), Sau (Cover), Wu (Guard), Jing Jeung (Straight Palm), Wahng Jeung (Side Palm), and Som Bai Fut (Three Prayers To Buddha). Each of the Twelve Fists are extremely core but rich with training and knowledge. Take a look at the list of skills and you will see one common fact: Master Leung Jans first two sets focus on Wing Chuns open hand basics. Mui Wai Hun Sifu says this about the Small & Big sets: They are the ABCs of our art and protect all the important parts of our body upper and middle gates. What we must understand is that the key to success in developing deep understanding, deep coordination, and deep strength with any activity, comes from daily practise and, of course, repetition, repetition, repetition. Master Leung Jan realised this and made sure

the Siu Lin Tau and Dai Siu Lin Tau would be the right stuff needed for his final group to build a proper foundation.

Master Leung Jans Kulo village Pin Sun Wing Chun boxing is an extremely simple, yet profound method of cultivation and application. The basics of the art hit the body in such a powerful way that it is often said that Master Leungs teaching will develop the practitioner at a rapid pace. A famous Kulo quote states: Siu Lin Tau & Dai Lin Tau, Practise Often They Will Change You! What the quote is talking about is the conditioning of the muscles, tendons, sinews and joints with your solo practice. The human body can only move in so many ways and with a solid foundation in the practice of the Master Leungs basic skills (Kim Yeung Ma, Siu Lin Tau and Dai Lin Tau) there is no doubt the art will strengthen and unite the entire body, which is the essential root of Wing Chun as taught by the Gung Fu King.



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BY SUKI GOSAL MY SIFU LEUNG KWOK-KEUNG DIED ALONE IN A HOSPITAL ROOM IN of carrying heavy cargos as well as hundreds of NORTH LONDON, ENGLAND, ON A BITTERLY COLD WINTERS MORNING travellers. An apprenticeship with the opera required sacrifice. The acting lessons were set IN 2004. I HAD TRAVELLED 5000 MILES TO SPEND THE FINAL EVENING against vigorous Gung Fu practice, with exercise AT HIS BEDSIDE. WE HELD HANDS AS I FOUGHT BACK TEARS. regimes designed to push the prospective actors to physical and psychological limits. Between the gruelling daily practice, there was little time for any diversions. Leung became a product of this extreme upbringing, existing in a world where Gung Fu and performance were the activities by which the performers forged their identities. Perhaps this explained his stoic demeanour as he watched me fumble my way through Gung Fu as a novice student decades later. During his time with the opera, Leung studied numerous Gung Fu styles including Hop Gar, Hung Gar, Choy Li Fut, Dragon, Bagua and Tai Chi. However, it was obvious that Hei Ban Wing Chun Kuen (Xi Ban Yongchunquan) translated as Opera Wing Chun Kuen held a special place in his arsenal of styles. Some of the fondest memories I have are of watching Leung Sifu darting around his back garden, practising movements from countless styles, drawing on his encyclopaedic knowledge of Gung Fu. I have had a number of years to reflect upon his passing, his life and the unique line of Wing Chun he brought to the West. I remember how I once stood in awe as a teenager in the presence of this great Gung Fu man who reluctantly accepted me as a student of the Opera Wing Chun fighting system. This is his untold story.


It was said that at the beginning of the Qing Dynasty (circa 1644 AD) an unknown Wing Chun practitioner from Guangzhou joined one of the opera houses. His exceptional skill impressed many, giving rise to the popularity of this new style aboard the Junks. The name of Opera Wing Chun gradually became associated with this unique system, which continued to evolve onboard the Junks. Leung had two Opera Wing Chun instructors: Wang Fu Huang and Liang Fu Dou. Being one of the more physically imposing members of the troupe, Leung found himself putting his skills to use by fending off gangsters wanting to extort the opera. The fight agreement would require that if Leung beat the strongest fighter the extortionists had to offer, then the racket would not be able to collect a levy from the troupe.

Leung Kwok-Keung (Liang Guo-Qiang) was born in 1926, during war-torn times in Guangzhou, China. He started his Gung Fu training at the tender age of eight. In order to overcome the hardships of life and financial constraints, the young Leung was sent to work as an apprentice at the Guangdong province opera troupe. The opera troupes would travel on large mastbased ships known as Junks, which were capable




Leung was guarded about such encounters, commenting that he did not enjoy fighting and promoting the idea that it should be avoided wherever possible. Additional tales recounted by Leungs associates have been of sworn blood oaths and the movement of secret cargo across China. Leung Sifu retired from the opera in 1983, but continued teaching people in a training hall in the west of Canton, often teaching street urchins and vagabonds for free. In the early 1990s, he moved to England to be close to his family.

According to Leung, all practitioners of Opera Wing Chun commenced their basic training with separate calisthenic-type hand and leg movements to warm up. These movements encouraged the development of fast strikes and good balance. While the system drew metaphorical inspiration from the Dragon and Crane styles of Gung Fu, it also contained movements from Chow Gar (Mantis) and made heavy use of the Gow Choi (Phoenix Eye) striking method. Footwork was a key element in Opera Wing Chun. There were a variety of stepping movements, often coupled with hip turns for power. Weight distribution was generally equally balanced between the lead and rear leg, a notable exception being the Ding Po Mah (Cat Stance) where weight was oriented in the rear leg. Siu Nim Tau (Little Idea) introduced the main hand movements of Wing Chun. This version of the set contained 18 classical hand techniques and one kicking section. This kicking section was designed to teach stepping forwards and backwards on an angle. Chum Kiu (Searching for the Bridge) combined footwork with hand and leg attack and contained 14 steps. Biu Tze (Finger Attacks) built on the foundation created by the first two sets. Traditionally, some Gung Fu instructors had a saying: Bui Tze was not allowed to leave the room. This had two implicit meanings: firstly, that the techniques, which aimed at the opponents eyes and throat, were designed to maim and should only be used in exceptional circumstances and, secondly, that the set was not openly taught to students. Mook Yan Jong (Wooden Man) was a tool used to remedy any defects in a students structure. The set was trained with a view to precision.

The two weapons of Opera Wing Chun were introduced upon completion of the empty handsets. The weapons consisted of the wooden long pole: Mang Loong Goh Gong (Only the Fiercest Dragon crosses the Bridge), and the swords: Moi Fah Wu Dip Dao (Plum Blossom Butterfly Swords). Chi Sao (sticking hands) was a platform upon which the attack and redirection movements of Opera Wing Chun could be practised. The drill consisted of two practitioners starting from an attached forearm position and training their ability to sense movement through touch. The drill advanced through a number of stages, which included Seung Huen Sau Chi Sao (Double Circling Arm Sticking). Leung Sifu was sceptical of esoterica in Chinese martial arts, instead focusing on the development of power through an understanding of body mechanics. Even during his twilight years he maintained his strict training regime of exercising several hours a day.

Following his death, the enduring images I am left with are drawn from a decade of studying Opera Wing Chun. Leung Sifu was an elegant man who not only practised and taught Gung Fu, but whose very essence was defined by Gung Fu. Leung Sifu was one of the last of his kind and I firmly believe that the Wing Chun world is a poorer place, not only because of its loss, but also because of its failure to have recognised his presence during his lifetime. Perhaps it was intentional, after all the greatest martial artists also tend to be the best kept secrets.

Leung Sifu was sceptical of esoterica in Chinese martial arts, instead focusing on the development of power through an understanding of body mechanics.


the intercepting fist

The Wing Chun/JKD Stance Connection

Yi Ji Kim Yeung Ma foot position.

In Jun Fan Gung Fu, we use this position to train several skills, including what is referred to as rotation striking. While many Jun Fan and Jeet Kune Do practitioners realise the importance of this, they do not realise just how important Yi Ji Kim Yeung Ma is to the actual development of the Bai Jong position. Proper training in Yi Ji Kim Yeung Ma strengthens the Bai Jong position, especially the legs, hips and trunk of the practitioner. The first form in Wing Chun is Sil Lim Tao. This is also an important part of the Jun Fan Gung Fu curriculum. As we all know, the first part of the Sil Lim Tao form involves opening the stance. In order to do this, starting with the feet together, you first pivot on you heels,

Jun Fan Bai Jong foot position.

JKD Bai Jong foot position.

In a series of articles for Wing Chun Illustrated, I will not only show the significance of Wing Chun in the Jeet Kune Do structure, but I will also prove beyond doubt that what I am saying is true! There are many factors that most Jeet Kune Do practitioners do not know about, one being the relationship between Yi Ji

Kim Yeung Ma and the Jun Fan Gung Fu/JKD Bai Jong (on guard) positions. In Hardcore Jeet Kune Do, which is my approach to teaching and training in Bruce Lees original methods, we refer to Yi Ji Kim Yeung Ma as the neutral stance. The reason for this being that neither foot leads, therefore you can develop both sides equally from this position.

pointing the feet outward. Next you pivot on the balls of both feet, so that the feet point slightly inward. Once you achieve the position, the feet remain this way throughout the entire form. Next, the knees are slightly bent and turned inward, and the hips shovel forward. Your thighs should feel very



the intercepting fist

solid. The upper body is erect, with the spine straight. Now, from this position, if you leave your left foot right where it is and pivot clockwise on the ball of the right foot until it points in the same direction as your left foot, you will find your feet in the exact position of the Jun Fan Bai Jong stance. Using this method to move into the Bai Jong stance, the distance between your feet will be perfect for the Jun Fan Bai Jong, also often referred to as the closed Bai Jong. The weight distribution will be anywhere from 60/40 to 80/20, with more weight on the rear foot. When lining up on an opponent, the centreline will pass directly through the middle of the rear foot, and the toe of the front foot will be right on the line. This means that the centreline is closed (hence the closed Bai Jong stance). This stance is most often used for in-fighting purposes. Next, starting once again from Yi Ji Kim Yeung Ma, leave your left foot in place and pivot clockwise on the heel of the right foot until it points in the same direction as your left foot. Raise your left heel slightly and you will find your feet in the JKD Bai Jong position. The width between the feet should be perfect for the JKD Bai Jong, also often referred to as the open Bai Jong. The weight distribution between the feet will be approximately 50/50. When lining up on an opponent in a right lead, the rear (left) foot will be just to the left of the centreline, with the heel barely off the line and slightly raised, and the lead (right) foot will be just to the right of the centreline, pointed into the line with the toe almost touching the line. This means that the centreline is slightly open (hence the open Bai Jong stance). This stance is highly mobile, and is used for offensive, defensive and evasive manoeuvres. In Wing Chun, the common guard position for the hands is for the rear hand to be right in front of the solar

plexus, open and pointed upward, and the lead hand to be held slightly higher and extended more, open and in line with the forearm. Both hands are right on the centreline. The elbow of the lead arm is approximately the same distance from the body as the rear hand, with the elbow being about a fists distance from the lead side ribs. This is the same guard position used in the Jun Fan Bai Jong stance. Just another thing that Bruce Lee took from Wing Chun ! In the JKD Bai Jong position, the rear hand is carried high, just below the chin

and inside the lead shoulder. It is the primary guard hand. The lead hand is extended further and carried slightly lower. It is the primary attack hand. Both hands are right on the centreline. If you look at the hands in the JKD Bai Jong, you notice that there are some similarities to the Wing Chun guard, only reversed (rear hand carried high rather than low, lead hand carried lower rather than high). These are just a few things that connect Jeet Kune Do to its Wing Chun roots. And this is just the beginning! More to come in the next issue.

Jun Fan Gung Fu Bai Jong position.

JKD Bai Jong position.




BY JOHN SMITH THE LATE GREAT WONG SHUN LEUNG WAS A PERSON WHO TESTED HIS COMBAT SKILLS IN NUMEROUS REAL-LIFE ENCOUNTERS. HE WAS REPORTED TO HAVE NEVER LOST A FIGHT IN OVER SIXTY SUCH RECORDED EVENTS. WONG SIFU PROVED THE VALUE OF HIS COMBAT SKILLS TO NOT ONLY HIS SIFU IP MAN, BUT ULTIMATELY TO HIMSELF, WHICH EVENTUALLY LED HIM TO DEVELOP HIS OWN VING TSUN KUEN HOK, THE SCIENCE OF VING TSUN PUGILISM. One skill that Wong Sifu attributed to his success was the concept of Lat Sau Jik Chung. He used to commence many of his seminars with the topic of Lat Sau Jik Chung, which roughly translates as lost hand thrust forward. The engine behind this concept is the elbow. This is where a constant forward pressure is applied to the adversarys mid-sagittal plane, which in laymans terms is the core of the person. The whole concept of Lat Sau Jik Chung is to trigger a spontaneous response to attack any gap that our enemy might give us. In this way, the errors of our enemy will hopefully ensure our attacking victory. Lat Sau Jik Chung is initially learnt in the Daan Chi Sau (Single Sticking-hand) phase, where the beginner can separate each hand at a time, and then later drilled over and over again within Poon Sau (Rolling Hands), where both hands are loaded and act under their own free will, to press forward and find an opening that will enable a non-conscious thought-action for our hands to instantly spring forward. Finally, within the Gwoh Sau (Crossing Hands) stage where Chi Sau is developed and more free-flowing footwork can then be added to reinforce this concept when movement occurs within an exchange. Once perfected within the Chi Sau drill environment, a free-flow of exchange is exhibited to such an extent that a blindfold can be used to further highlight the fact that such a concept is in constant need. Without Lat Sau Jik Chung, the blindfolded Ving Tsun practitioner will only introduce a freefor-all-hand-flurry movement instead of getting an explosive set of movements to find gaps through our opponent. Lat Sau Jik Chung gives a skilled practitioner the ability to develop Chi Sau. Initially, the novice finds it difficult to detect where the intended force is generated from as most tighten up the forearm and, if used in this way, the sensation of the feeling of relevant force is negated. The elbow force that is required is unique but with constant practice can become an essential tool. Lat Sau Jik Chung takes out the thought-action of the Ving Tsun fighter and when the forward force is emanated via the elbows, it then transfers




I teach my students that it should be light and relaxed, but when released should enable a strong, penetrating strike.
into a strike with the hands. It assists greatly with Ving Tsuns autopilot drill Chi Sau. In fact, it is the core concept that assists and promotes the success of this drill! A question sometime arises as to how much forward pressure is needed. Too much and it will lead you to overreact and overcompensate, leading to misaligned strikes or even worse setting

yourself up to be counter hit. Too little and any opening, or weakness, will not be felt and flinching can result. I teach my students that it should be light and relaxed, but when released should enable a strong, penetrating strike. I liken it to a motorcycle rider at the traffic lights where he wants to almost red line his rev meter to initiate a speedy take off, instead of waiting for the lights to go green and then cruising forward. In real-life fighting, Wong Sifu felt that any fighter had a potential weakness upon the withdrawal of the extended arm in order to re-chamber for the other arm to hithe would detect this gap and follow through in perfect timing to hit his opponent. However, if there is no collision between your arms and that of your adversarys, then no Lat Sau Jik Chung is needed but instead a steady flow of penetrating strikes to necessitate a speedy victory. When used successfully, Lat Sau Jik Chung is the light at the other end of the tunnel so to speak. It is what guides your hand towards the intended target, and as a result it promotes the concept of Joi Ying (chasing or following the opponent) instead of the erroneous ideas of Joi Sau (chasing or following of the opponents hands) that is so common in many other martial art systems. In essence, we are not so much concerned as a course of action of what the opponent shows the Ving Tsun fighter, but for the Ving Tsun fighter to play the game the other way and be content with just to hit the enemy! This concept contradicts many other mainstream martial arts, where they want to control the adversarys arms. This does not mean for you to be content with throwing a blind volley of punches, but to feel your way through the opponents bridge arms and to finish the fight as quickly as possible. Wong Sifu was quoted many times with regards to such questions as to how much pressure with respect to Chi Sau. His comments were to use deflection and to be relaxed, but in attack to always be penetrating. Coupled with the Lat Sau Jik Chung concept, it gives an all-round picture as to how he believed Ving Tsun to be used. To summarise, using Lat Sau Jik Chung is a concept and when used successfully it provides less risk to a Ving Tsun fighter and will, in my opinion, ensure a far quicker and speedier victory within any intended confrontation.



BY MARK PAGE Hoffmann is the current Grandmaster of Chi Sim Weng Chun and has the distinction of being the only foreign student accepted to the Weng Chun research academy Dai Duk Lan in Hong Kong. The book starts off with a comprehensive account of the tradition and history of Chi Sim Weng Chun. In fact, the opening chapter (How the Dragon Arose) gives one of the best accounts of the development of Wing Chun I have ever heard. It starts with the arrival of Bodhidharma at the Chinese Shaolin monastery in the 6th century and describes the practices of these temples. The chapter then describes the destruction of the Southern Shaolin temple around the 18th century. At this point, the book picks up the story of the last abbot, Chi Sin Sim Si, and describes how Chi Sim Weng Chun was born out of the need for a close-range fighting method with the emphasis on speed, impulse and borrowed power. The author then traces the system through to the Hong Kong post-war period and finally the setting up of The International Weng Chun Kung Fu Association. The book goes on to describe the principles and concepts of the system. This section covers the principle of Ging (gentle force or internal power); simplicity through principles; understanding real combat through the concepts of Heaven, Man and Earth; developing the powerful spirit (Shen); and the five stages of learning Kung Fu. Hoffmann describes the system in incredible detail and leaves the reader with no questions unanswered or room for misinterpretation. Perhaps the most interesting information in this section is that the author views the Chi Sim Weng Chun system as an internal Chinese martial art. Few other Wing Chun systems state this and are interpreted as hard, external Chinese fighting systems. Hoffmann continues by providing photographs and explanations for the sets and partner exercises of the system. This section will provide most interest to a Chi Sim Weng Chun practitioner, but for the reader being exposed to the art for the first time, it is of limited value. Static photographs are not a good way to learn a martial art! The book concludes with a section about traditional Chinese medicine and its relationship to the fighting system, and a series of Picture Stories showing Hoffmann training with various Gung Fu practitioners. Again, the quality and detail of the content is first-class. So does the author achieve what he set out to do in this book? Definitely, yes. This book is beautifully presented and the level of detail throughout shows that Andreas Hoffmann has put his heart and soul into it. The only negative is that a lot of the reference material (sets and partner exercises) may not be of interest to all readers. However, for the enthusiast interested in the history and evolution of Wing Chun, Weng Chun Kung Fu: Eternal Spring Fist of Shaolin is a worthy addition to their library.

 ENG CHUN KUNG FU: W ETERNAL SPRING FIST OF SHAOLIN Author: Andreas Hoffmann Publisher: Verlag fr Chinesische Knste ISBN-10: 3-8334-6855-6 ISBN-13: 978-3-8334-6855-1

Wing Chun books and articles are mostly based on interpretations of the Ip Man lineage, so it is refreshing to read a book describing a lesser-known Wing Chun lineage. The objective of Weng Chun Kung Fu: Eternal Spring Fist of Shaolin is to provide the martial arts novice with a sound first impression of the system, and act as a reference manual for existing Weng Chun practitioners. The author certainly has the credentials to deliver this objective. German Andreas




Although I always try and steer clear of questioning the authors interpretation of the Wing Chun system (after all, everybodys Wing Chun is different), a real negative point for me is Belonohas statement: Training to trap the hands will also train to trap and stop a knife. A knife in the hands of an unskilled individual is equal to a three-year martial artist, and a photographic explanation of how to defend against a knife attack using Bong Sau. I would urge the author to either provide a lot more detail to justify this belief and technique, or remove references to Wing Chun being appropriate for defence against a knife (or any other weapon for that matter). The final section of The Wing Chun Compendium: Volume 1 gives us a deeper insight into the knowledge of the author by describing Pressure Point targets and ways of improving the practitioners health and fitness to benefit their Wing Chun. I must confess the detail in the Pressure Points chapter regarding traditional Chinese medicine meridians and how these relate to Pressure Point targets went a little over my head. However, this should not be seen as a negative aspect, but instead shows the authors passion for Wing Chun and his belief that Pressure Point targets may be a lot to keep in mind during a battle but with practice, as like anything else, it will become natural. The chapters covering health and fitness are a real bonus. The author looks at all aspects that could enhance your Wing Chun including diet, strength training, aerobic exercise and flexibility. These activities are often seen as supplementary to Wing Chun, so it is great to find a book that gives them the due attention they deserve. Overall, this is a great Wing Chun text. Wayne Belonohas writing style is easy to follow and he delivers his knowledge with passion. And if thats not enough, theres Wing Chun Compendium: Volume 2 as well! More about that another time

THE WING CHUN COMPENDIUM: VOL 1 Author: Wayne Belonoha Publisher: Blue Snake Books ISBN-10: 978-158394-129-4 ISBN-13: 978-1-5839-4129-4

Wayne Belonoha has been studying Wing Chun for nearly 20 years in Canada under the tutelage of Grandmaster Sunny Tang (Ip Man lineage), and is the Founder and Head Instructor of the Canadian Wing Chun Academy. The first thing that strikes you about The Wing Chun Compendium: Volume 1 is the sheer magnitude of the book: over 500 pages! The books size reflects the authors aim of going beyond describing Wing Chun as merely an effective fighting system, by giving the reader an understanding of the philosophical and cultural aspects of Wing Chun. Belonoha begins by describing Wing Chun theory. While this section describes common Wing Chun theories such as the centreline, he also gives his views on

Gung Fu life and the philosophical aspects of Wing Chun. These views provide a fascinating insight into the heart and soul of the author. As well as solid practical training advice, Belonoha is an inspirational writer: my favourite line is Do not worry about the recognition of others; worry about your own lack of ability. A sentiment well worth remembering. The middle section of the book covers the bread and butter of Wing Chun : techniques, drills, Chi Sau and forms. Belonoha describes his interpretation of the Wing Chun fighting system in this section (almost 300 pages!) using sequences of photographs with supporting text to describe the technique or drill, and also, critically, why these techniques and drills are important to the Wing Chun system. (For example, he tells us that drills should serve a specific purpose and not be over complicated or lengthy.) As a Wing Chun practitioner myself, I really appreciate this, as it provides context for why we train drills/ forms/ Chi Sau etc.something often omitted from Wing Chun texts. Thank you, Wayne.



BY JAI HARMAN The choreography is extremely crisp and the training sequences are impressive and quite informative throughout. Possibly the only Gung Fu film from which you are likely to actually learn true techniques not that I would suggest anyone to use the movie as a training manual. However, anyone who has learnt Wing Chun can clearly pick out and identify with each technique by name and structure. Considered to be Sammo Hungs greatest work, we can see why modern Gung Fu films look to The Prodigal Son for inspiration. We should also not overlook the fact that besides Yuen Biao, Sammo Hung and Lam Ching Ying, there is another great reason to watch this film: the incredible Frankie Chan! Chan makes for a formidable villain although hes not quite the bad guy that one would expect. He has respect for his opponents, showing the audience a trueto-life account of how old school challenge battles went down, conducted with the utmost respect for the opponent regardless of class or stature. This makes him a


very cool antagonist, fuelled not by anger but a quest for knowledge. Any good Gung Fu film requires a very skilled villain otherwise the hero wouldnt be able to showcase their skill. The Prodigal Son gives us plenty of chances to see their skill on display and culminates in a final all-out battle using techniques they have learned throughout the story. The digitally re-mastered DVD is available in two audio languages, Mandarin and Cantonese, providing a very authentic feel. Subtitles are available if you wish to read your way through the action scenes, instead of actually watching the magic as it unfolds. Subtitle languages include: Traditional and Simplified Chinese, and English. Although the English dubbing at times is not quite accurate to the scripted dialogue, it is enriched with good comedy. The Prodigal Son is a quintessential bigbudget epic from the Golden Age of Hong Kong cinema that should be in any aspiring martial artists film collection.

THE PRODIGAL SON Language: Cantonese, Mandarin Subtitles: English, Chinese Format: NTSC Region: 3 Running Time: 104 min.

NO FRILLS, no green screens, no wires, no fancy editing, just some of the best handto-hand martial arts that youre ever likely to see on film. Absolutely no wire-fu here! Sammo Hungs 1981 classic The Prodigal Son is based on the historical Wing Chun figures Leung Jan (Yuen Biao), Leung Yee-tai (Lam Ching Ying) and Wong Wah-bo (Sammo Hung). In this film, we can see a clear timeline as to when, where, and how these historical figures met as they pay tribute to their Peking Opera heritage with awesome recounts of how the Red Boat Opera Company operated while on their travels. The film has a plot thats leaps and bounds above most Gung Fu films, encompassing a brilliant blend of Gung Fu fighting prowess and slapstick humour.

LEGEND OF THE FIST: THE RETURN OF CHEN ZHEN Language: Cantonese, Mandarin Subtitles: English, Chinese Format: NTSC Region: 3 Running Time: 106 min.

ANOTHER BIG-BUDGET martial arts extravaganza courtesy of director Andrew Lau. Chen Zhen (Donnie Yen) arrives back to Shanghai after fighting in WWI to a brutal and growing suppression under Japanese occupation. Eventually he is angered into an uprising against the bad guys, adopting an alter-ego and taking to the night to wreak vengeance, pitting himself against a blood-thirsty Japanese general, whose father Chen




REIGN OF ASSASSINS IS A humorous Gung Fu romance-thriller about a band of cunning and skilled assassins hell-bent on possessing the mystical powers of a longdead Buddhist warrior monks remains. Writer/director Su Chao-Bins film boasts a top-notch cast of well-developed rivalrous characters, a fabulous script and plenty of breathtaking swordplay action that perfectly captures the classic essence of Wu Xia cinematography. Shot in China and set during the Ming Dynasty, this film follows Zeng Jing (Michelle Yeoh), an assassin trying to retire from the world of martial arts. She begins a quest to return an enlightened monks remains back to their rightful resting place, and in doing so, puts herself in mortal danger from The Dark Stone Gangforcing her to go into hiding and have her appearance surgically altered. During this quest, Zeng Jing falls in love with Ah-Sheng (Jung Woo-sung) who is blissfully unaware of who she used to be, making for some very humorous scenes. Theres quite a text-heavy preamble told

via some fancy faux-traditional drawings that informs us of the existence of an ancient monks body that was divided into two upon his death. The intro concludes with some flashy freeze frames, introducing the audience to a nefarious assassin group who seem like they jumped right out of a comic book with little emphasis on realism. On the flip side, each assassin has their own very distinct weapon skill making for some very interesting stand-offs, notably the Drizzels water-shedding sword technique that cuts down every fighter she faces. Touted as Michelle Yeohs best lead role since Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), it doesnt seem to capture that little something that we were expecting from Yeohs step back into the martial arts limelight. Is this due to its lack of visual poetry or jaw-dropping scenery? Perhaps, but what it lacks in those areas is more than made up for with some wonderfully choreographed swordplay. The film provides some good Wu Xia nostalgia for those who miss epics such as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) and House of Flying Daggers (2004).

REIGN OF ASSASSINS Language: Cantonese, Mandarin Subtitles: English, Chinese Format: NTSC Region: 3 Running Time: 120 min.

Zhen previously killed in order to avenge his master. Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen in many ways is the Chinese attempt to craft a Batman meets Rambo -style franchise. Chen Zhen even dons the iconic Kato costume worn by Bruce Lee in The Green Hornet (TV series 1966-67), which couldnt have been more appropriate as Lee also played Chen Zhen in the timeless classic Fist of Fury (later remade into a TV series starring Donnie Yen and the inspiration behind Jet Lis role as Chen Zhen in Fist of Legend from 1994). Laus movie incorporates a very eclectic blend of genres: war film, spy film, superhero myth, buddy film and, of course, the Bruce Leeesque Gung Fu fighting film. Theres corruption, deceit, beautiful

dames who are nothing but trouble, internal fighting between generals who lead opposing factions of the Chinese army and Japanese bad guys hell bent on winning. Theres also a love story and some political intrigue thrown in for those who require more than straight-up Donnie Yen tearing bad guys a new one. Despite a few problems with the story, the writing is actually quite good. Theres a lot more substance and clever dialogue than you would expect from your average martial arts film and its definitely traditional HK filmmaking at its best. From a martial artists perspective, the fight scenes and choreography are tip-top. All choreography was assigned to Donnie Yen and he added many aspects of Jeet Kune Do into the scenes to stay true to

Bruce Lees partthe thumb to the nose with the incorporation of the Nunchaku almost brings Bruce back to life. There are also elements of MMA and of course the utilisation of Wing Chun, which are all clearly visible in the final scene with Chen Zhen and the general Chikaraishi Takeshi (Kohata Ryu), where Yen pulls off a very one-man-army Kendo-sticks-cantharm-me performance which has all the hallmarks of Bruces iconic fighting stances, screams and stare-downs. Donnie Yen does a superb job showing off his martial arts skills while displaying his on-screen prowess that can be understood in any language and after rocketing down the comeback path with SPL, Flash Point, Ip Man 1 & 2, Yen has definitely immortalised himself as THE Gung Fu star of a new generation.






Weng Chun is the internal art of Southern Shaolin and is a concept-based fighting system based on the 18 Kiu Sau strategies. Andreas Hoffman trained under Grandmaster Wai Yan until 1996, when he accepted the inheritance passed on to him and today represents Chi Sim Weng Chun worldwide. My first impressions of Weng Chun Kung Fu are very good. The production values and camerawork are professional and the audio is clear and precise. During the first ten minutes, we are shown demonstrations of some of the Weng Chun fighting strategies, with Hoffman and his student going through some pre-arranged fighting sequences. We are also treated to a brief history of the Weng Chun system and how Hoffman came to learn it. Although this is interesting viewing, I feel that on a 50-minute DVD, the action and tuition sections need to come a lot sooner. Hoffman continues with a demonstration on how the Weng Chun practitioner uses the concepts of Heaven (long range), Man (forearm distance) and Earth (fighting on the inside) to close down their

opponents range, deal with their attack and then launch an attack of their own. Hoffman then shows us how this relates to Chi Sau. Again, I am left a bit confused, as there is no explanation of how this is actually achievedjust a demonstration of how good Hoffman and his student are at this complex martial art (which incidentally is very good). The viewer is then taken through the 18 Kiu Sau strategies one by one in numerical sequence. Although this section is informative, we are not really shown how to execute all the actions correctly; it is just a performance of the concepts shown. This would be fine if the aim of Hoffman is to showcase the Weng Chun system but as an instructional DVD, we need more explanation of what we should be doing and why.
18 KIU SAO OF WENG CHUN Language: English, French, Spanish, German and Italian Running Time: Approx. 50 min. Format: PAL Region: 0 Number of Discs: 1

So in conclusion, Weng Chun Kung Fu is a fantastic showcase of the Weng Chun system, but falls short as far as instruction is concerned. Having said that, if you were already training in Chi Sim Weng Chun, I believe this DVD would be a valuable asset to your learning.




Grandmaster Jim Fung should need no introduction to the Wing Chun enthusiast. He is renowned worldwide as having been one of the most skilled and knowledgeable practitioners of Wing Chun Gung Fu. Grandmaster Fung was a top student of Chu Shong Tin and, until he passed away in March 2007, the Principal Instructor of the International Wing Chun Academy in Australia. During the bulk of this film we are shown the Sil Lim Tao form, broken down into sections with applications to each movement given first in slow motion, then in real time. This is standard fair for most instructional DVDs, but a highlight was the short scenarios after each section where we see Grandmaster Fung performing some set pieces with his students.
WING CHUN: GRANDMASTER JIM FUNG Language: English Running Time: Approx. 57 min. Format: NTSC Region: 0 Number of Discs: 1

Chum Kiu, Bil Jee, Wooden Dummy and weapons forms. The only problem I found (apart from some of the suspect applications) was the loud oriental music, which runs throughout the whole programme. This music becomes annoying when you are trying to concentrate on what you are being taught. Why does it need to be so loud? At the end of the film, we are given some hints and tips from Grandmaster Fung himself, which is a nice touch, but does leave me questioning why Fung didnt do the narration himself, which would have made for a more authentic feel. All in all this is a good DVD for the beginner, but if you are searching some new insights into the system or you are already well versed in Wing Chun, then there will be nothing new here.

The rest of this 57-minute title is taken up with a very brief overview of the

Alan Orr is a renowned teacher who has been involved in Health, Fitness and Martial Arts since 1985 and is the European and Australasian Head of the Chu Sau Lei Wing Chun Association. Orr has trained with many of the leaders in their own fields, including Eddy Millis from the Shark Tank in Los Angeles. And Alan doesnt just talk the talk, he goes out with his Iron Wolves Fight Team and walks it. From the stomping drums that accompany the sparring sequences at the start, to the focus of Alan and his student once the learning process begins, you know you are delving into something serious with this DVD. The DVD takes us through all the main concepts of Chi Sau, starting with the stance and then covering more advanced

subjects such as power lines, correct rolling position, kinetic linking and rooting. The sheer amount of theory and Wing Chun fighting skills supplied on this DVD is overwhelming. It forces you to sit up and take notice and you will find yourself coming back again and again to extract even more information. My only criticism would be the poor balance in sound levels between the incidental music and Alans voice track. I found myself turning up the volume when he was speaking, only to be blown away by the tribal drums in each interval. Alan Orrs knowledge of his system is unsurpassed and he delivers it to us with precision and passion. If you are serious about using your Wing Chun for real fighting, then this DVD is a must have.

NHB WING CHUN DVD 3: BODY STRUCTURE EXTREME CHI SAO I Language: English Running Time: Approx. 67 min. Format: NTSC Region: 0 Number of Discs: 1



Head Instructor(s): David Peterson Lineage: Wong Shun Leung Address:  E.X. Martial Arts Academy, 56A, SS2/61, 47300 Petaling Jaya (right above SS2 McDonalds) Telephone: +60 12699 2094 E-mail: Website: About us: Classes conducted by David Peterson (direct student of the late Sifu Wong Shun Leung), an instructor for over 35 years, prolific writer on WSLVT and author of Look Beyond the Pointing Finger: The Combat Philosophy of Wong Shun Leung.

Head Instructor(s): Frode Strm Lineage: Ip Man > Ip Ching > Garry McKenzie Address:  P.O. Box 302, 3301 Hokksund, Norway Telephone: +47 909 42 428 E-mail: Website: About us: We give seminars and private tuition in the Nordic countries. Ip Man style of Wing Chun through the lineage of Ip Ching, and the complete system is taught. Wing Chun geared towards real combat.

Head Instructor(s):  Mark Page & James Woodcock Lineage: Wong Shun Leung Address:  Havant Leisure Centre, Civic Centre Rd, Havant, Hants Telephone: +44 (0) 7920 077600 E-mail: Website: About us: Havant Wing Chun was set up in 2009 by coaches Mark Page and Jim Woodcock. The club teaches the Wong Shun Leung method of Wing Chun with an emphasis on personal protection for real-life fight situations.

Head Instructor(s): Jim Roselando Lineage: Leung Jan (1st Gen.) > Wong Wah Sam (2nd Gen.) > Fung Min/Fung Chun (3rd Gen.) > Fung Chiu (4th Gen.) > Henry Mui (5th Gen.) > Jim Roselando (6th Gen.) Address: Boston, USA E-mail: Website: About us: Our club is dedicated to the practice and preservation of the Chinese Internal Arts. We privately preserve the art of Kulo village Pin Sun Wing Chun boxing and offer personal and group classes in Natural Qigong.



Head Instructor(s): Andreas Hoffmann Lineage: Southern Shaolin Chi Sim > Wong Wah Bo > San Gam > Fung Siu Ching > Lo family > Wai Yan > Andreas Hoffmann Address:  Memmelsdorfer Strasse 82R, D-96052 Bamberg, Germany Telephone: +49 0 951 37 379 E-mail: Website: About us: Established 1986, the Weng Chun HQ is the home of Grandmaster Andreas Hoffmann and is specialised in Weng Chun Kung Fu as well as self-defence training, Sanda, MMA, BJJ, Fu Tai Chi and Shaolin Qigong.

Head Instructor(s):  Jason Gowan & Scot Dearling Lineage: Wong Shun Leung Address:  Classes in Tooting, Stratford and London Victoria Telephone: +44 (0) 7970 022298 E-mail: Website: About us: We are a new WSL Ving Tsun school in London looking to teach the system in its purest form as taught to us by David Peterson and Kevin Bell. We will be teaching the full system as taught to David Peterson by Wong Shun Leung.

Head Instructor(s): Ish Shah Lineage: Ip Man / Ip Chun Address:  Sparkbrook Family Centre, Farm Road, Birmingham B11 1LT Telephone: +44 0 787 412 1492 E-mail: Website: About us: The School Of Wing Chun Kuen is a small traditional Wing Chun Kuen school based in Birmingham. The school runs on a traditional closed-door private basis therefore visits are strictly by appointment only.

Head Instructor(s): Derek M. Rozanski Lineage: Siu Lam Weng Chun Address: Please refer to the website E-mail: Website: About us: Siu Lam Weng Chun by seminars and private lessons. The best and most trustful source of information about the art.


Head Instructor(s): Jan Metten Lineage: Ip Man Address:  Bredabaan 31, 2930 Brasschaat  Liersesteenweg 314 2640 Mortsel, Belgium Telephone: +32 471 107 522 E-mail: Website: About us: Wing Chun Kung Fu School for adults and teenagers (+14 yrs). We teach traditional Wing Chun for men and women with respect for the old masters and the origin but with modern attitude and training.

Head Instructor(s): Alan Gibson Lineage: Wong Shun Leung Address:  2 Priory Rd, St Denys, Southampton, Hants, UK Telephone: +44 (0) 778 660 7776 E-mail: Website: About us: Alan Gibson founded The Wing Chun Federation with the express purpose of concerning himself with the development and promotion of Wong Shun Leung Ving Tsun and creating an effective and focused training atmosphere for his students.

Head Instructor(s): Lamar M. Davis II Lineage: Bruce Lee > Jerry Poteet, Steve Golden, Leo Fong, Patrick Strong, Joseph Cowles > Lamar M. Davis II Address:  324 1st Avenue East, Suite #06, Oneonta, Alabama 35121, USA Telephone:  Office +1 (205) 467-9039, Cell: +1 (205) 577-3929 E-mail: Website: About us: Wing Chun Gung Fu, Jun Fan Gung Fu and Jeet Kune Do. We are original Jeet Kune Do because we only do what Bruce Lee developed, practised and taught. We are all about real world self-defence.

Head Instructor(s): Greg LeBlanc Lineage: Gary Lam Wing Chun Address: Oakland, California, USA Telephone: +1 (510) 593-0165 E-mail: Website: About us: We offer Wing Chun Kung Fu as taught by Sifu Gary Lam.

Head Instructor(s): Morten Ibsen Lineage: Wong Shun Leung Address:  Tolderlundsvej 3E, DK-5000 Odense C, Denmark Telephone: +45 2046 5299 E-mail: Website: About us: The objective of DVTF is to teach Wong Shun Leung Ving Tsun in a relaxed and accessible manner, where emphasis is placed on good technique and personal development.

Head Instructor(s): Neil Sydenham Lineage: Ip Man Address:  South Furzton Meeting Place, 1 Blackmoor Gate, Furzton, Milton Keynes Telephone: +44 (0) 779 667 8632 E-mail: Website: About us: Wing Chun Kung Fu including Forms, Chi Sau, techniques and traditional hand and foot drills as you might expect. We also include within our training, pressure testing, free sparring and group dynamic training (training against multiple opponents).

Head Instructor(s): Andy DiGuiseppi Lineage: Ip Man > Leung Sheung > Ng Wah Sum > Chung Kwok Chow > Kevin Becker > Andy DiGuiseppi Address:  Waterbury School: 847 Hamiton Ave. Waterbury, CT 06706.  Danbury School: 33 Crosby Street. Danbury, CT 06810 Telephone: +1 (203) 470-4623 E-mail: Website: About us: Entire system of Wing Chun. No belts. No testing fees. No special uniforms. No children, Age 14+. Chain Punching Drills. Trapping Drills. Chi Sao. Chi Gerk. Weaponry, Form Applications. KhamNa. Sweeps & TakeDowns. Earth Boxing. Also offer Kun Tao Silat & Kali.

Head Instructor(s): Kelly Knight Lineage: Ip Man > Various > Dana Wong > Kelly Knight Address:  4 00 East King Street, Malvern, PA 19355, USA Telephone: +1 (610) 640-9232 E-mail: Website: About us: Wing Chun training in a relaxed, fun environment. Located in the heart of historic Malvern, Pennsylvania since 2003. Try a week for free, no obligation. We are the one and only US school associated with Sifu Dana Wong.

Head Instructor(s): Aaron Moy 10 Tung Vyvial (11g VT) Lineage: Moy Yat / Moy Tung Address:  2105 Justin Lane, Suite 111. Austin, TX 78757 Telephone: +1 (512) 680-4535 E-mail: Website: About us: Real Kung Fu and self-defence for real people, taught by an 11th Generation Ving Tsun Disciple. Teaching the only unmodified Ving Tsun in Austin. Training is available at San Antonio and Houston. No contracts or long-term agreements.



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