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Introduction

WingChun Wing Chun

From Evolution to Revolution

linguistic reply to the question What is WingChun? is at


best an approximation. However, enough insight may be
articulated to motivate the reader towards engaged action,
which is the real answer.
Over the last few years, Sifu Klaus Brand and I myself via my
blog SihingPaul.com has defined and refined the primary
attributes of the IAW system through specific writings that
supplement live teachings.
This helps training members to more fully apprehend what
they learn. And it prompts practitioners of other styles to
assess their own practice relative to our distinctive approach.

Sifu Klaus Brand


Commentary by Sihing Paul Wang

Thus, I collected these essential expositions of Sifu Brand into


one publication. As the IAW Founder and WingChun
Grandmaster, both his conceptual logic and physical
movements are the premier standard of our methodology.
Ive taken the liberty to append a few comments from my own
experience as his long-time private student and literary
translator. Hopefully, the value of my words enhances his.
Train Well,
Sihing Paul Wang

2012 IAW-US

International Academy of
WingChun

am pleased for this opportunity to


present to you the International
Academy of WingChun (IAW).
Approximately 25 years ago, the combat
art "wing chun" came for the first time
from China to Europe. Soon thereafter,
the first wing chun schools opened in
Germany. However, this "new" martial
art had its difficulties establishing itself
against the different kinds of martial arts
that had long existed for years in the
West. Perhaps this was simply because
of its opposition to popular concepts.
Up to this time, a scientific combat
method dependent upon neither strength
nor athleticism, and leaving nothing to
chance, was completely unknown.
To this day, the attitude exists that you
must be strong and in top physical
conditioning to pursue a martial art. We
are so influenced in such a manner by
these portrayals, that we have total
2012 IAW-US

belief in what the media suggests. It even goes as far to seem that men and women
consider themselves ailing if they do not match up to this "norm". Unfortunately, the fact
is that this attitude manifests itself more and more. The differences between advertising,
movies and reality become increasingly difficult for society to recognize. We should
finally wake up and accept that we are as we are: large or small, brawny or gracile,
masculine or feminine. We can anyway change nothing in these facts, because these are
our individual characteristics. Every one of us is unique. And it is not only the imposing,
huge and muscular man, who is, coincidentally, the ultimate martial artist. I never
actually experienced this in my 33-year martial arts career. The truth of life teaches us
otherwise. We should stop fighting against the future. Not with the ever-newer anti-aging
ideas, which everyday become more paradoxical. Nor with a trivial group stuck exactly in
the other direction of things, having decided upon resignation to the excuse: "I am too
old". Most interestingly, I hear this excuse for the most part from young people who
haven't even reached their 50th year.
It has taken years to establish WingChun as a martial art. One reason probably lay in
the fact that there are no tournaments with WingChun. The concern here is that as a
combat art developed for emergencies, to set up rules would estrange it from its purpose.
It must be mentioned here that WingChun is not only an effective Self-Defense art, but by
the development of one's abilities and improvement of coordination, it confidently
strengthens the entire human body in a healthy and natural way. Already for hundreds of
years the forms of WingChun have been used for therapeutic purposes.
In an actual defense scenario there can be neither fixed attacks, nor sporting techniques.
In such a situation, the singular concern is surviving as soon as possible in order to
minimize risk. WingChun is conceived in such a way that a defense situation takes only
seconds. "Fighting" is not the training priority, but instead a technical reaction and a
rapid victory. Fights have nothing to do, therefore, with the true sense of triumph or not.
Anyone can fight! Since my youth, I was surprised by the fact that in the martial arts there
2

were so many fighters, but at the


tournaments only one winner. Also to
those who had lost a sporting fight, one
said, "You fought well, however". And by
the end all had fought.
Why then must one (our Ego) measure
oneself against others? Are such
comparisons at all possible? In my
opinion, they are a fantasy. If two
fighters wanted to really measure up
against each other, there would be no
distraction of spectators or judges, and
obviously no time limits or regulations at
all. Moreover, one may not separate
according to weight class nor gender,
nor according to constitution, which
would hold as little consideration as
your age or the physical methods which
you employ. Such a fight would look
totally different than that which we
commonly expect. Which human would
want to voluntarily fight (for their life)
under these conditions?
Imagine, how it would have been if
Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso
encountered each other in a contest.
How should one assess who the "winner"
2012 IAW-US

is and who the "loser" is? How should one compare, for example, Surrealism and
Dadaism with one another? Would you count the colors? Maybe by which one finishes
first? Do you recognize the senselessness of such contesting?
With WingChun instruction we do not fight against each other, but practice for the
situation of defense, in which we do not fight, but want to unconditionally win. The
training program is prepared in such a way that the student learns a fascinating
movement art, which is effective, enjoyable and healthy at the same time.

The sum of
realizations that
the Way offers us
is the only one
that has true
worth in our life.

The study of WingChun is not to be


compared with a course that can be
completed in a short time. With WingChun
one remains a student, always constantly
searching forward to discover new
developments and possibilities. Such
learning is like swimming up a river. So as
long as we live, we do not stop learning.
And this is precisely the attraction of our
extraordinary Self-Defense art.

The Way is (already) the Goal. The sum of realizations that the Way offers us is the only
one that has true worth in our life. From mistakes we can truly learn and develop. These
newly attained insights form our character and further our intellect. The past has made
us what we are today. The future is a fiction, which solely delivers us an abstract picture
of the path in front of us. We all create our future through our thoughts and the acts that
result from them in this exact instant. Each of us is responsible for his or her own future.
Welcome the uniqueness of each instant, the consciousness of eternity with every new
breath. Welcome life.
3

After 17 years delving into WingChun, I created the "International Academy of


WingChun". We are presently represented in Germany and the United States. My desire
is to produce professional instructors, enthusiasts who continue their education and
teach with love. The quality of instruction has the highest priority.
In our Academies you decide to learn as much as you would like. The goal of the IAW is
to pass on the principles of the art in order to safe-keep a uniform and complete system.
The IAW is mindful of teaching WingChun in its traditional way.
You have the possibility to learn the complete and unique WingChun. Even after one
year you acquire a strengthened self-confidence and new abilities. When you train
diligently, you can conclude the Student Levels in three to five years, and therefore strive
for the first stage of teaching. With the 1st Technician Grade you are able to lead your
own Academy. For this, the International Academy of WingChun assigns worldwide
licenses. Maybe you are a future IAW instructor?
In this this link you will find our Graduation System. For the WingChun student we have
11 graduation stages. After the "11th Student Level" one trains to reach the "Pre-Primary
Level". After concluding this stage, there are four graduation stages, the 1st to 4th
Technician Grades. The last graduation of our WingChun system is the 5th Master
Degree. With this graduation one learns the complete art of the WingChun system with
all its movements, forms and applications.

Sifu Klaus Brand

2012 IAW-US

ifu chose to designate his unique


approach WingChun, written as a
single word of eight letters with the W
and C capitalized. The abbreviation we
use is simply W, as in IAW. When we
write wing chun, it indicates the
generic art in all its stylistic variations.
Since the writing of this article, in
addition to Germany and the United
States, the IAW has now spread to the
United Kingdom, France and Malaysia.
Locations within those countries have
also expanded. Our growth has been
gradual, while adhering to the priority
of quality.
What I love about learning and teaching
WingChun, besides the technical
sophistication of the system and raw
physicality of the movements, is the
authentic passion of the people. Our
international community is a diverse
family of multicultural individuals.
For years, I thought WingChun was
appropriate for anyone. But this has
unfortunately proven somewhat false.
Its true that physical attributes are
inconsequential. However, by travelling
4

and meeting many members worldwide, there appears to be a particular IAW type.
Despite a breadth of personal backgrounds, our shared attitude is pragmatic and
diligent, our collective disposition is amiable and welcoming. Evidently, cerebral
fantasists and lazy complainers dont seem to stay around very long! Were left with
happy, hard-working folk.
Im so grateful for that.

Sihing Paul Wang

2012 IAW-US

Questions and Answers

often answer the same questions regarding WingChun via email. Therefore, I have
decided to answer the six most common questions in a few words:

Question 1: Do you teach WT?


Answer: No, in fact the opposite.
Question 2: Do you have chain punches?
Answer: No, we do not.
Question 3: Do you teach passivity in your school?
Answer: No, absolutely not.
Question 4: Do you have rules such as stick?
Answer: No, definitely not.
Question 5: Is there a rule such as get rid of your own power?
Answer: No, of course not.
Question 6: Do you teach about a centerline in your school?
Answer: No, what for?

2012 IAW-US

A Self-Defense art must provide the


individual with a clear overview and a
good amount of safety. Rules such as
more is better, borrow power, seek
contact (perhaps, paradoxically, with the
arms of the opponent), do not apply
your own power or stick to a specific
line while attacking or defending not
only impose limitations, but also make
an abstruse game out of a combat art.
And these rules work, of course, only
when the opponent (partner) plays along.
In such a case, the Self-Defense art
would produce more questions than
answers.
An art such as that of Self-Defense must
be clearly structured and provide
answers and it must do this from the
very first day!

Sifu Klaus Brand

imilar emails appear in my inbox. Another forum where I get to directly hear from
and interact with the curious, critical and sometimes antagonistic is via our
YouTube videos. As I stated in the Introduction, its difficult to accurately, let alone
fully, present a living art in print or digital media.
In this brief piece, Sifu opts for conciseness. It is effective by blunt retort and abrupt
negation quite like applied WingChun in action. This may not be what the listener
hopes to hear, but can provoke a curiosity to train that protracted conversations often
dull.

We offer neither mystical secrets nor


ultimate techniques, neither fanciful
theories nor futile doctrines. From
outset to outcome, straightforward and
sound Self-Defense is foremost and
utmost. Regrettably or otherwise, that
keen objective frequently renders wing
chun the inverse of WingChun.

Sihing Paul Wang

2012 IAW-US

The number of both masters and interpretations rose. The two


Chinese characters and were commonly transliterated into

Statement of Styles

ue to the fact that there are wing chun styles nearly or


completely indistinguishable in name from my spelling
WingChun, I feel obligated to record a few words on the
matter.
The martial art wing chun was developed in
China around 360 years ago, after (and
due to) the fall of the Ming Dynasty. From
then on, each master reformed and shaped
the art in accordance with his abilities,
experience and philosophical upbringing,
as well as his personal characteristics and
traits.

In the end, what


connects us is
unfortunately
nothing more
than a common
root name.

Up until around 30 years ago, one could


hardly speak of any wide proliferation of this
art. Despite this fact, we may assume that in earlier times there
likely were a handful of exemplary masters who taught wing
chun according to their own understanding in various parts of
the world.

It was in the 1970s that the first Europeans and Americans


began to pay attention to this effective art of combat. From then
on, one could observe an enormous propagation worldwide.
2012 IAW-US

English as wing and chun, respectively. With the spread of


the art in the seventies came variations of the spelling based on
different dialects and pronunciations. In a real sense, the way of
its writing is insignificant. The actual difference lies in the art
itself.
I have heard that in the meantime, some of
the existing styles of wing chun have been
reduced to such a level that one can learn
them completely in 3-5 years and may then
even call oneself a Sifu or Master. This
reflects how meager the offerings there must
be. Others call themselves original
because the instructors go once or twice a
year to a training course with an authentic
grandmaster. However, even after many
years, these instructors remain totally
unknown to him. Is that not rather original?

Furthermore, graduations are doled out by a representative, also


admirable from a distance, once or twice a year at a training
course. Then there are those styles in which testing is based not
on ability, but rather on the length of time one has been in an
organization. It is thus evident how a once perfect art has
degenerated into dream styles. I was informed that there is an
even further, but less serious, fringe group out there: they meet
in so-called chat rooms, where they swap their virtual wing chun
8

fantasies. I never thought the time would ever come for such a
dilemma.
The differences in styles are thus so great that there is often
hardly a discernable trace of similarity between them. In the end,
what connects us is unfortunately nothing more than a common
root name. I therefore entreat you to choose your style only
according to your personal aspirations. Although I cannot give
recommendations here, it is certain that with a portion of
persistence, you can find a good WingChun teacher.
For these stated reasons, I necessarily cannot take into
consideration levels from the grading systems of other wing chun
styles. There would have to be similarities in this regard which
regrettably is all too often not the case.

Sifu Klaus Brand

llow me to share one of my favorite Daoist quotes that is


germane to the discussion:

A trap is for fish. When you've got the fish, you can forget
the trap.
A snare is for rabbits. When you've got the rabbit, you can
forget the snare.
2012 IAW-US

Words are for meaning. When you've got the meaning, you
can forget the words.
Where can I find someone who's forgotten words so I can
have a word with him?
Zhuangzi, Chapter 26
The prime point is meaningful Self-Defense in movement,
rather than its variable label in language. Even catchy
monikers or mere cosmetic tweaks cant ultimately ameliorate
dysfunctional strategies or obsolete methods.
Just because someone is named Brian Smyth doesnt imply his
behavior or goals are anything like those of Bryan Smith. Nor
will abbreviating his name as BS fundamentally alter his values
or personality.
Sifu began radically reformulating WingChun in the 90s. We
share a joint ancestry with wing chun no later than 2003, when
the IAW was founded. Thus, I consider myself a firstgeneration student in this newfound lineage.
Evolutionists assert a common ancestor among extant
contemporary primate species. But a lot can happen in several
million years hence! The pace of technological advancements is
even faster, rendering current gadgets obsolete in a matter of
months.

In our profession, you cant avoid two names. One is Bruce Lee,
the other is Yip Man. From age 13, Bruce Lee was an occasional
pupil under Yip Man during 1954-1959, over half a century ago.
They died just one year apart, Lee in 1972 and Yip in 1973.
Nearly four decades have elapsed! With all due respect to the
worthy lessons and renown personages of bygone generations,
we live in the present moment.
I respect them for popularizing a past, older version of wing
chun in the 70s. Alas, they are long deceased. I respect Martin
Cooper for popularizing the first (barely) handheld cellular
phone in 1973. Looking backwards although I prefer
examining further into the Paleolithic era is informative and
inspiring, but the IAW concentrates on people here and
relationships now.
I respect Steve Jobs for creating the sleek, trendsetting iPhone
in 2007. I respect Sifu Klaus Brand for creating this modern,
revolutionary WingChun in 2003. Luckily, they are still alive.
Moving ahead with updated upgrades and radical innovation is
as profound as, and can be more relevant than, mere invention.
WingChun is a rose by any other name. And Id claim its a
novel genus at that!

Sihing Paul Wang

2012 IAW-US

10

The Part and the Whole

Every movement in the Sections imparts security, control and


offense. Chi Sao Sections are the basis of WingChun and run
through all stages and phases, up to that of Master.

very so often, at seminars, I come across fascinating


approaches to WingChun. Only recently, I stood before a
puzzle:

And now comes the punch line. These young men claimed, in all
seriousness, that the Sections had
actually been abolished in their style, and
that they concentrate solely on simple
things and efficacy.

There is only the


right technique at
the right instant,
free from interfering
thoughts and
emotions.

During the break at one of my seminars I


had a discussion with representatives of
another style of wing chun. At first the
questions that the young men posed were
actually quite interesting. And since
answering questions has meanwhile
become one of my favorite activities, we
came to a point where it just should not
go any further. It was about the logical
construction of a system, which I like to
explain on the basis of the meaning and
purpose of each specific Program and Chi Sao Section.

Chi Sao Sections are practice series that are only trainable with a
partner. The object is to control the attack of the opponent so
that one may land an attack oneself, and vice versa. Sections
have an exact flow and sequence whereby it is ensured that no
single movement is lost. As such, nothing is left to coincidence,
since we rehearse both favored and unfavored techniques to
completely exclude partiality and valuations.
2012 IAW-US

At this point, I was almost speechless.


Now, it took hundreds of years to create
a training methodology that picks up
from the point where the so-called simple
things cease to work. (Are the simple
things not those with which one is
familiar and the difficult ones not those
with which one is not?) And it is precisely
that which constitutes an advanced WingChun practitioner, who
is as a matter of course trained to go the simplest of all
ways, yet always knows the next course of action in case the
intended way is obstructed. To not let anything be left to chance
requires that everything be practiced thoroughly, without any
holes or gaps.
There are no preferred techniques. There is only the right
technique at the right instant, free from interfering thoughts and
emotions.
11

Now I asked the young men how well they could perform the
Sections which they had gotten rid of and found myself staring
into surprised faces. I said that they could only do away with that
which they possess, and then added:

My regards to all of my colleagues!

Sifu Klaus Brand


I cannot, after all, assert that I have gotten rid of my Ferrari
because it was too slow for me, and then later it is revealed that
in fact I never had one in the first place.

I am of the opinion that if one is to do away with something, one


has to have mastered it. Only in such a circumstance could I
conceivably accept this statement.

odern life imbues us with enough complication as it is.


To reduce overwhelming burdens, Im entirely for
simplification with a caveat:

I am now waiting for the day when someone tells me that he has
decided to do away with the Forms. Forms constitute the
foundation of the system. They expound the movement
mechanics of each individual technique, which, in the Sections,
we later piece together into various constellations based on
tactile stimuli. In order to handle such a statement I would surely
need to grant myself a few days of vacation.
The bottom line seems simple to me. A few people cannot do
anything other than smash and clobber, and they now so easily
assert that they have done away with that which they do not
know nor comprehend. What remains is the question: For what
reason does one still call such a style wing chun or something
similar? Couldnt they just please do away with this name? That
would at least be honest and more pleasing to all professional
teachers of the various branches of the Self-Defense art of
WingChun.

It can scarcely be denied that the supreme goal of all


theory is to make the irreducible basic elements as simple
and as few as possible without having to surrender the
adequate representation of a single datum of experience.

2012 IAW-US

Albert Einstein, On the Method of Theoretical Physics


In other words, optimally simple is good, overly simplistic is
not. A cognitive blunder is mistaking the part for the whole. Or
it is fatally resecting a vital component essential to the
functioning whole. Like a body trying to live without its brain.
WingChun without Chi Sao is dead. I must state that IAW Chi
Sao has a purpose which is the exact opposite of most wing
chun. The latter tries to stick with an opponent, whereas we
train to rid ourselves of him. Better to leave sticky situations!
12

Our Chi Sao is about impact, freedom and sovereignty, not


contact, restriction and dependency.
Over the years, Ive encountered a recurring kind of visitor to
my classes. Former devotees of other wing chun styles often
search for a clone of what they left behind. Due to this
impossible expectation, they doom themselves to eternal
discontent like a deserted dog pining for its previous master.
Why not find a better one? Unwilling to open their body to
WingChun, they close their mind to wing chun.
And then theres the superficial obsession over my lineage and
the late, great grandmaster so and so, preferably and
presumably Chinese. By the way, I usually just reply, IAW. If I
proudly proclaimed my father was a Yale graduate does that
mean I automatically inherit his higher education? Will I
become a president if he was one too? Superior academic
pedigree, elite familial connection or authentic traditional
lineage is at most nominally pertinent.
The quality of my direct relationships with the dynamic art
through its living artists is paramount. To assess that involves
suspending mental projections and emotional hesitations long
enough to attempt physical participation. I recommend novices
to WingChun invest this effort for at least one month. That is
not a guarantee of skill but a sufficient interval of interaction to
inform an initial opinion.

Sihing Paul Wang


2012 IAW-US

13

WingChun

the beloved cultural and economic glory days of China. The


time of the Ming is considered the Renaissance of China. The

Self-Defense has a Name.

existing kung fu styles could not meet the demanding


requirements of the resistance movement because they
contained only partially combative aspects. Something
innovative and functional had to develop. Therefore I regard the
style, WingChun, not as a style of kung fu, because the primary
idea is applicability, which is not the main concern with kung fu.
At the time, the name wing chun meant eternal springtime and
referred to the period of cultural flourishing in China, which they
tried to conquer back in vain.

he development of WingChun marked the creation of a


unique Self-Defense art. Since 2003 we have offered this
highly developed system through the International Academy of
WingChun (IAW). Self-Defense is our primary concern.
The origin of the WingChun was the result of extensive and
complex research and began with my experience of one of the
more inventive styles of wing chun. Incidentally, when I write
wing chun, I mean those styles which have developed away from
the original 17th century combat art. To this day, there are
indeed several styles which have developed and have affiliated
themselves to the same root words (wing chun), with various
spellings, but the similar sounding name is actually the only
connection between these martial arts.
Choosing a different name actually denotes an autonomous and
distinctive style. The grandmaster of each style is responsible for
its character and development. In a book I will deal with the
historical developments in much detail. Here I would like to offer
an edited version, in order to bring a little clarity into the world
of wing chun.
After the fall of the Ming dynasty (1644), resistance fighters
developed a new style with the ultimate purpose of winning back
2012 IAW-US

At the beginning of the 80's, a widespread interest in wing chun


developed in Germany. Suitably for that decade, came an
abstruse development of this style. Many of us were drawn to this
new martial art for various reasons. You must know that in the
80's many Asian martial arts films captured the world of the
cinema, which contributed to an extremely naive view of the
Chinese combat arts. Film and reality merged into a fanciful
perception. Many of us dreamed about the ultimate style with
which one learns to fight without effort, just like the actors in the
films, with yielding and soft movements. And this clich was
pursued until the bitter end.
An incompletely taught and, in my judgment, degenerate wing
chun was subjected to a destructive renovation. After they had
changed the name (to just two consonants), a rather vague
history of a combat nun (in China?) was invented. They called
her simply Ng Mui , which translated means five
14

classifications and actually refers to the development of the style;


i.e. the five masters who created it. For the purposes of
advertising, even more interesting histories continued to develop
around the whole subject. One absurd fairytale was that the style
was developed by a woman. They gave her, quite simply, the
name of the style, with the addition of the Chinese character
yim (for strict) which served as a reference to the verbal way
in which wing chun was taught, person to person, with nothing
written down. At the time nobody knew
any better and therefore they could
completely and freely create things. From
this starting point they began to refer to it
as a soft style. So the basis for a quite
inventive concept was created.

childish principles. The idea of waiting until physical contact


before reacting with a tactile response was a crowning nonsense.
The king of senses, vision, to a large extent they did without. This
led to fundamentally late reactions, but nobody cared about this
at the time. They even published books with pseudoscientific
explanations on the market, in which the art of Self-Defense was
almost turned on its head.

I took WingChun on
a journey through
time to arrive once
again in the 21st
century and, above
all, reality.

Now it rapidly progressed. As crazy as it


sounds, they taught passivity in
movement. Drawing back to prepare a
strike and long, dynamic movements as
well as the use of muscular force were
smirked at and scorned. They invented a
wedge principle contrary to any physical logic and thought that
with this principle they could use their arms to displace attacks
from the outside. The only straight line that they thought existed
was in front of one's own body and only on this line were they
allowed to move. Anything else simply could not be. They even
believed that an opponents energy can be used. A martial arts
version of the geocentric model (from the Middle Ages) of the
world was created. Eventually, they produced a game with
2012 IAW-US

Yes, you read correctly. Exactly the


opposite of that which functions in
defense was taught and in addition a
suitable history was invented. Naturally,
we suspected that we could not defend
ourselves with these principles, but the
dream was too beautiful. By the time we
admitted this to ourselves, years had
passed. This dreamy sort of a martial art
continued up to the mid-90's.

Then a few of us gradually returned to


reason. The way back was certainly not
easy. After some years of trials and hopes, we needed even
more years to finally give them up. Astonishingly, this selfdependent style still exists to this very day. Meanwhile, there are
numerous derivatives, with their only act of creativity being a new
name. In the end, they offered the same castle in the sky with the
same legend of the woman and the nun. To this very day, many
thousands still try to defend themselves with softness, passivity
and relaxation. The statement, you have to become softer,
15

which would lead a genuine fighter into depression, is regarded


as praise in these circles.
Today I can look back with a smile because I witnessed it myself,
and therefore I know what I am talking about. Many times I have
asked myself how I put up with it at that time, but on the other
hand it's probable that today's WingChun could only have
resulted from this journey. I have rediscovered the actuality
through the bizarre; a realism which had to play the leading role
in the emergence of the art, because there was only one goal at
that time effectiveness. So, I set myself to this task and through
painstaking and considerable work crafted a completely original
system, making use of my detailed research and a 40-year
experience in martial arts. I took WingChun on a journey
through time to arrive once again in the 21st century and, above
all, reality.
Thus, WingChun developed. The enhancement of precise
coordination is an important element of our system.
Strengthening the musculature, the ligaments and even the
bones are an indispensable result of the training concept.
Powerful and strong defense and attack movements distinguish
WingChun. To be successful in a Self-Defense situation one
needs first and foremost a sophisticated technical ability put into
action by functional power. In Self-Defense it is the same
whether you are a woman or a man, large or small, heavy or
light. There are neither differences nor pros and cons. Everyone
learns and trains the same educational programs and achieves
the same goal in the end.

2012 IAW-US

I hope with my remarks I can bring some light into the world of
the Self-Defense arts. As the leader of the International Academy
of WingChun, this clearing up is my obligation, particularly
regarding wing chun. Again and again I receive emails with
many questions concerning the styles of wing chun.
Unfortunately, marketing ploys are very often accepted as fact.
Therefore my personal hint: Go and look at as much as you can,
take time before you decide and above all ask questions.
Only you can decide which martial art and which teacher you
place your confidence in.
If you are interested in the Self-Defense system WingChun, you
can directly contact the Academy or Group Leader (found in the
Academies and Groups) in your area. Our WingChun instructors
look forward to meeting you and will take time to plan your
goals with you. Whether you would like to learn or teach SelfDefense, regardless of if you possess previous knowledge from
other styles or not, you are welcome at any time.
Vivere militare est!

Sifu Klaus Brand

WingChun
Learn to Defend Yourself.

16

ost of us enjoy a good story, even if it has no fidelity to


history. Such narratives are fine for entertainment.
However, when applied to Self-Defense, a quandary arises. The
way you think affects the way you train.

But is comparing apples to oranges, wing chun to WingChun,


martial art to Self-Defense possible? Perhaps contrasting is
more apt.

Arbitrary premises can get you killed! Expecting the opponent


to attack you in a predictable way is foolish. Confusing physical
softness with mental flexibility is dangerous. Substituting
dogmatic conventions for natural biomechanics is awkward.
Ignoring reality is hopeful ignorance.

Sihing Paul Wang

Yes, in the IAW, we deliberately make assumptions too. We


believe an attacker attacks in whatever way he will. We believe
WingChun is for actual Self-Defense. We believe anyone can
develop technique, power and speed.
I realized a crucial communication strategy. It saves time and
preempts debate. You cant tell if any martial art or wing chun
style is better or worse as a universal assertion. But you may
evaluate it relative to a given parameter.
For instance, are you looking for what is most fun, healthy,
traditional, spiritual, cheap or popular? Or maybe the one with
the coolest uniforms, closest location, nicest facility, most
women or cutest teacher? Who knows what you want but you!
My insight is that some wing chun practitioners dont give pure
precedence to Self-Defense. To them, it is more about theory or
money, orthodoxy or culture. That is absolutely acceptable.
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17

WingChun Principles and Mottoes

WingChun Principles
1. WingChun has two types of attack: the attack to the body of
the opponent (primary objective) or, first of all, to his arm
position.
2. Defense is an attack against the attacking arms or legs of the
opponent.
3. In combat there is always an Attacker and a Defender. The
Defender must first repel the attack. A trained WingChun
practitioner determines whether he can attack directly or must
defend first and then attack. Directly responding to an attack (to
the body) with a counterattack (to the body) can be described as
combative disaster.
4. Engage in Self-Defense without hesitation as soon as the
Main Distance is reached. If the opponent initiates the attack you
must first attack his attack (to defend) and then his body (to
attack).
5. Attack from the outside or at an angle if possible and avoid
attacking straight from your body midline because this is too
easy to defend. Attacks from the outside cannot be ignored or
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displaced and can only be stopped with trained skill. You can
attack straight only when the opponent displays no credible
threat.
6. Never maintain contact with the arms of your opponent.
Maintaining contact in combat is equivalent to stopping and is
due to a technical misunderstanding.
7. Always use all of your available power to defend and to
attack.
8. Never defend and attack at the same time. The defense and
attack each require your full attention. If you are attacked you
must put your energy into the defense and only when this
succeeds can you start the attack.
WingChun Mottoes
1. If you think you are too weak, you are.
2. Learn to believe in yourself and trust your teacher.
3. Always improve your technical knowledge and therefore your
physical and mental flexibility.
4. Work on the power of your technique because only technical
power is usable power and is decisive in combat.

18

5. Work on your speed without sacrificing power. Technique, power and speed are the
cornerstones of WingChun.
6. Work on toughening your arms with steady and dynamic training.
7. Never let yourself be influenced by the movements of your opponent and never yield.
8. The exchange between defense and attack, as well as an understanding of the two
combat distances of WingChun, is the basis of Self-Defense and all of our training
programs.
9. To fight you must have continual tension. Relaxed muscles are useless in combat.
10. Combat is not harmony. Do not fight if you do not have to. If you have to defend
yourself, harmony returns only after the quick and successful end of combat.
11. The purpose of Self-Defense is to protect yourself, so do not spare your attacker
while defending yourself.
12. Learn to defend yourself, to protect yourself from attacks that could endanger your
health.

Sifu Klaus Brand

2012 IAW-US

n one of his biannual visits, I


recall picking up Sifu at the San
Francisco airport. During the drive to
our customary first stop, Caf Gratitude
in San Francisco, he was eager to tell
me what he had been working on en
route. It was a rough sketch of the very
Principles and Mottoes you see
finalized above.
Most styles of martial art have their
own prescriptive schema. The
WingChun system founded by Sifu
Klaus Brand and transmitted by the
IAW bears certain concepts based on
our own research into functional SelfDefense.
These guidelines coordinate the
performance and optimize the efficacy
of our technical movements. Many of
them are in stark contrast to, and even
conflict with, the ideas of more
conventional lineages. Yet we are not
seeming iconoclasts for mere sake of
uniqueness. The evolution, or perhaps
revolution, of IAW WingChun is
towards a theory and practice of Self19

Defense unlimited by past doctrine and delimited by present applicability alone. To


paraphrase an old adage:
Theory without practice is fake art,
Practice without theory is dumb art,
Theory with practice is true art.

Obviously, each of these short


statements is the condensation of
extensive experience. They must be
analyzed in the live context of actual
application. Hence, I encourage IAW
students to ask their instructor for
clarifying explanations and illustrative
examples.

Sihing Paul Wang

The practice (Forms and Applications) and theory (Principles and Mottoes) of IAW
WingChun are mutually consistent and collectively integrate a simple and expedient
mode of Self-Defense that is accessible to all via our natural teaching methodology and
clear learning curriculum. The intention of Sifu Klaus Brand in defining our WingChun
Principles and Mottoes is to succinctly identify the core attributes of our unique
approach.

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20

Sapere Aude

or the last 13 years I have been


offering a unique and newly
designed WingChun system. In 2003, I
established the International Academy of
WingChun (IAW) in order to offer this
style internationally along with my first
professional WingChun teachers.
To date, no other style can remotely be
compared with ours. We, the IAW, are
the only ones that practice an extremely
powerful, strengthening and, at the
same time, flexible style of WingChun. It
is our wish to teach our WingChun
students the ability to defend themselves.
This is why the Basic Level Programs (1st
4th Student Level) contain some of the
most important techniques of the entire
system. Of course old, time-honored
values should not be lost. The
responsibility lies with every grandmaster
to create a style which, as originally
intended, is suitable for an emergency.

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Fantasies have no place in a martial art like WingChun. It is necessary to understand


what a system was created for, so that it may grow and progress healthily.
At present it must be quite distressing for a professional teacher who has, for the last 20
years, had to bear the derailed world of wing chun. The direction of most styles have
never left the dream world and since the 80s have been bombarding us with trite poetic
slogans like defend yourself without power, learn to fight without fighting or even
use your opponent's strength" and other mindless statements. I still remember very
clearly when it was advertised that one could defend oneself passively (just try to
imagine that). Even now, in the 21st century, those sayings from the 80s still grow in an
esoteric world in which catchphrases can make things look a lot better than they are.
So it comes as no surprise that some Self-Defense styles have been established that have
forgotten how an ordinary attack works and instead one spends time on how to touch
and bend the other's arms. In those clubs, these compliant distortions are quite aptly
called sensitivity training and are occasionally demonstrated, to emphasize entire
mental stultification regarding Self-Defense, with blindfolded eyes. Even a child
understands that you cannot defend yourself if you are unable to see anything. SelfDefense is already difficult enough with both eyes wide open. What kind of dupe would
put his trust in his tactile sense as an attack escalates? Some styles foolishly call this
touchy training chi sao, whereby the original Chi Sao had nothing to do with sensitivity,
but initially focused on the assimilation of collisions (with real hits and attacks).
The focus of Chi Sao is reducing reaction speed with the indispensible training of seeing
or fast recognition. WingChun Chi Sao, an exercise to toughen bones and strengthen
muscles and ligaments and thus the entire body was, in many styles, degraded to a form
of feeling training in which mostly adults meet one other to stroke and bend arms.
Nothing more is involved, which can be verified on the internet at any time.

21

Sadly, a little bit of shoving and patting is then supposed to indicate a dangerous
counterattack.
Check out chi sao on the internet and have a look at the result of these mistakes. Have
a friend or your parents interpret what they see there. This could get very interesting, as a
participant may not be able to consider the whole thing objectively and only sees what
he or she wants to see. The observer does not need to have any knowledge of martial
arts. Most of those portrayed in these little video clips do not have a clue either. That this
has absolutely nothing to do with Self-Defense is clear, even for an amateur without any
basic knowledge. The internet is full of these funny video clips by comedy specialists.
My favorites include one of an old man in a
black bathrobe showing a very strange
cuddly defense or four students standing in
a circle senselessly groping at each other.
One can barely believe one's eyes. Take a
look. The bad thing is that the uninformed
in search of Self-Defense training give
credibility to those calling themselves experts.
And you cannot blame anyone for this error.

After all, it's all


about the precise
combination of
technique, power
and speed.

I would love to show you some of the best examples of this mass suggestion. But you
should find your own personal favorites. You will find indescribable wing chun styles
where you first contact and then paw at each other. This is as far away from Self-Defense
as a hawk from the moon. I have no idea what the followers of this abnormal art once
looked for. Was it really Self-Defense?

other attacks the non-attacking attacker


with a sort of speed petting as if there
are no principles in a fight. It's so
comical that you should definitely take a
look. The main points (facts) of SelfDefense, like collision, stability and
powerful movements don't seem to
interest anyone anymore. On the
contrary, everyone seems to be
delighted although nobody seems to
know why. You need to have seen it: not
a single strong attack, audacious SelfDefense games, fidgety movements. And
even though it's complete nonsense,
there are content and applauding
students in the background.
This might be unthinkable, but this mass
suggestion resulted in these followers
believing they could feel an attack. This
insult to human intellect is currently
making its rounds through many systems.
In the 90s when this dreamy touch art
reached its peak, it was copied but
seldom questioned.

Try to recognize which movement is supposed to simulate the attack. In most cases you
will see two people. One pretends to be the attacker, but does not really attack. The
2012 IAW-US

22

Of course, it is a challenge to practice realistic Self-Defense without hurting the partner


and to have fun while doing some serious training. Brutality, on the other hand, has no
place in WingChun. After all, it's all about the precise combination of technique, power
and speed. However, dealing with a collision, namely the first contact, remains the most
important aspect of Self-Defense. The counterattack can only begin when the defender is
able to cope with the powerful impact of attack and defense. The ability to resist a strong
attack is critical to build up self-confidence. This is why practicing a stable defense is the
most important experience in the initial training days. Never lose sight of the essence.
Without using eyes, Self-Defense is not possible. Lastly, it is necessary to commit
earnestly to maintaining the realism of the art of combat.
The 8 WingChun principles are there as your tutor on your path through the art of SelfDefense. They will quickly help you to recognize what is right and wrong.

Sifu Klaus Brand

here are widespread and persistent myths about wing chun, which are
meaningful and compelling to their advocates. Never mind that they are typically
more fictional than factual, although we cannot dismiss their persuasive effect.
Every myth is psychologically symbolic. Its narratives and images are to be read,
therefore, not literally, but as metaphors.
Joseph Campbell, The Inner Reaches of Outer Space

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We cannot live without paradigms,


frameworks and constructs. They are
mental tools. Yet we have it in our
agency to select the most suitable ones.
That may oblige us to let go of what we
knew well, invested in and cherished
deeply. A conscious warrior cultivates
courage to give up the old and pick up
the new when appropriate.
Waking up from a cozy delusion to the
unsettling nightmare of truth takes guts.
If the shock is too great, we prefer to
quickly pull the covers over our eyes,
even if this is only a false sense of
security. Dare to be wise! It is alright to
press the snooze button and awaken
incrementally. That can mean heeding
Sifus advice to check out a few videos
online and survey whats out there.
A caterpillar can indefinitely suspend
itself in the protective cocoon of
unimaginable potential and die having
never wandered the infinite skies. Or,
the freedom and beauty of its true
butterfly nature can be actualized.
Metamorphosis is terrifying and painful
but essential for maturation and
transformation. Change is chance!
23

WingChun is a challenging path leading you towards your sovereign self the same
one we cultivate in Self-Defense.

2012 IAW-US

Sihing Paul Wang

24

Lets Collide
The Way to Become Skilled

functional Self-Defense art strengthens the ligaments, the


bones and, of course, the musculature of the whole body. It
is a fact that one has to toughen and harden specific parts of the
body to resist the initial collision of a real attack. There is no
doubt that if you do not fortify your arms adequately you will
never be able to defend yourself. Because we use our arms for
both attacking and defending, the forearm bones (ulna and
radius) and surrounding musculature should be especially
conditioned. A few bruises in the beginning are entirely normal.
This is no different if you are a man or a woman. Everyone has
to go through it. True ability is the reward.
For IAW non-members I should, at this point, explain that we
do not teach "wing chun" but WingChun. Our WingChun is the
opposite of wing chun. I myself learned the complete wing
chun system as a second generation student of Yip Man from
his Master student. Thereafter, it became clear that wing chun
was an illogical, non-functional and un-structured method by
which no-one can defend themselves with, so I could no longer
teach it. I came to realize that it was all just a mixture of rubbish
and fantasies. At that time there were no alternatives and only I
had doubts about this style.

2012 IAW-US

Now I am grateful that I began that way for only in doing so


would I realize how senseless it was. The further I progressed,
the more grotesque that wing chun became. With every new
technique came ever more discord. As a traditionalist, the
developments of that time became unbearable for me. There
was no other option for me but to immediately begin creating a
system which worked with the fundamental concepts of the
combat arts. I searched for the original intentions in the
development of this martial art. For more than 10 years, I
worked tirelessly to complete my WingChun system. Today, I
offer an alternative to those people who are looking for real
Self-Defense with traditional values. Our style is called
"WingChun".
I have explained my standpoint regarding the degeneration of
wing chun in previous articles. This atrophy has resulted in
students becoming weak and compliant. For Self-Defense these
are fatal conditions. Weakness and compliance are the
precursors to failure and mark the end of any possible progress.
Back to WingChun. Most of our students need several months to
strengthen themselves and acclimatise their forearm bones to
collisions. Whoever perseveres with this and, perhaps after
approximately one year, reaches the 4th Student Level (SL) is
already successful. With the beginning of Chi Sao (Adhering
Arms) training (in the 5 SL) that follows this core Self-Defense
training, the next step of conditioning begins.

25

Sections contain a vast array of strong collisions. The First


Section, besides teaching you superior technical functionality, is
for integrating the entire body with the goal of using it as the
basis of a coordinated unit. The forearm bones have to sustain
many powerful impacts. Thus, they become extremely stable and
desensitized. As a result, after a solid defense, you are capable
of performing a decisive counterattack.
With the completion of the First Section,
students reach the Upper Level (9-11 SL).
Their awareness of a collision is now utterly
distinct. Their body is more resilient, with
forearm bones that can withstand forces
which could never have been imagined at
the outset. During this phase, the students
repeat strikes hundreds of times and become steadily stronger,
harder and, ultimately, faster. It is at this stage that they begin to
miss such training if they do not attend classes regularly.

I and my Academy Leaders tire of hearing about sensitivity,


yielding and softness in connection with Self-Defense training.
This is simply absurd. If you do not want to train seriously, it
would be better to look for a new hobby rather than ignore the
logic and tradition of combat whilst pretending you are learning
Self-Defense.
To my students, an important piece of advice:
Dont let anyone who plays martial art
games in certain clubs tell you how SelfDefense works because you are too well
trained. After a few months of the education
described above, it should not be a problem
to distinguish between fantasy and reality.
Remember the bruises on your arms in the
early stages and recall the effort it took to acquire every single
technique. Not everyone can achieve that. You can be proud.

You can never


fool your
subconscious.

Strengthening and conditioning is enjoyable and changes the


experience of your physical totality. Authentic Self-Defense
competence is a very particular perception. Speed, power and
advanced technical ability combine to give a sense of real
freedom and confidence. The student begins to become one
with every muscle in their body and feels capable and liberated.
You can never fool your subconscious. A combat art has to be
trained correctly. Only in that way can you develop the correct
attitude and a natural conviction of security and confidence.

2012 IAW-US

Fighting is a conflict or war (and not a sport) that has nothing to


do with yielding and softness. Even the effort to master adversity
in life can be called fighting. Therefore fighting is part of living,
of being human.
Living means fighting. Those who live, fight those who fight,
live.

Sifu Klaus Brand

26

In Self-Defense, situations are simulated in which running away is untenable. Selfdistraction is not an option, you must focus. Avoidance is impossible, you need to act.
Men wanted for hazardous journey.
Small wages, bitter cold, long months
of complete darkness, constant
danger, safe return doubtful. Honour
and recognition in case of success.

Peering directly into the unblinking gaze of reality is paralyzing, especially if it is about
to hit you in the face! Occasionally, you can escape into your headspace allayed by
thoughts of safety and hope for the best. But sometimes hiding out is riskier than
stepping up. So WingChun empowers you with embodied skills, but only when you are
finally willing to proceed despite fear.

Ernest Shackleton

As a warrior, go forth and slay your demons. Hunt those that haunt the abyss of your
subconscious and convince them of your supremacy. Doubts evaporate with the heat
of action. Unlike fickle mental chatter, the solid body does not lie. Thus, train in a highimpact way to physically prove yourself via each and every musculoskeletal collision.
Dont cease until all your questions are answered.

ingChun confronts truth. Its


core value is moving to directly
address, rather than persistently ignore,
problems. We can use our conscious
mind to rationalize putting things off
because we dont feel good, smart, rich,
sexy or ready enough. This results in
the procrastination of a perfectionist or
the passivity of a sloth.

2012 IAW-US

This voyage of Student to Technician to Master as led by Sifu Klaus Brand is a grand
adventure, one of the toughest and finest in my life.

Sihing Paul Wang

27

The 8 Most Dangerous Mistakes


of Wing Chun Systems

1. The Arms (Man/Wu) too low


Every able and intelligent attacker would initiate a fight by
attacking an opponents upper body. He would use his arms to
strike and never give up the flexibility provided by his stance for
a kick. The skill and knowledge of an experienced fighter would
indeed never permit such a vulnerable attack. One who uses his
leg to attack hopes for a sporty defense and has thus long bid
farewell to Self-Defense capability.
For the protection position, which is actually the preparation
position, the wrists should start at the same height as the upper
sternum bone. A reasonable defense from a lower position is just
as impossible as an attack from such a height. Good positioning
saves time. And time is truly one of the most significant factors in
the art of war. Anyone who wants to achieve his objective should
utilize, and not conceal, his arms (weapons) at the outset while
using his legs for standing and stepping. I will not assert that one
cannot also deploy his legs for fighting. However, to instigate a
fight as such is a farce.

2012 IAW-US

2. Stance (Zi Ng Ma)


The weight must never be shifted to the back leg in a combat
stance. When the body is not tensed and pushed anteriorly,
there is no potential to advance quickly. One who stands
completely on the rear leg pushes his body upwards physically
and therefore cannot defend himself from the front because his
own power, or that of his opponent, would throw him backwards.
This tension and urge to go forward are fundamental not only
for the physical, but even for the mental preparation. The stance
is a preparation to step. One who knows which step leads to
which stance and which stance follows which step has
recognized the function of his legs. One who comprehends what
stance fits a suitable step in combination with a proper arm
technique has understood the meaning of stances.
3. Waiting for contact
The greatest flaw in the evolution of the art of war is the heresy
that one could respond appropriately after contact with the
opponents arms during an attack. Evolution will ensure that this
absurd thesis will soon perish. This error defies all logic and is
typical of the myriad of dreamers and fantasists of the scene.
Anyone ensnared in that faith cannot possibly know what an
attack or a defense situation looks like and especially not how it
feels. It is imperative to survive the first collision. The start is the
most violent moment of confrontation.

28

4. Too many punches (Tsong Kuen)


In a Self-Defense situation, you can only execute one powerful punch in one second.
There can only be one useful punch per second. If your first punch hits you do not need
a second. One who needs two punches in Self-Defense should practice until he masters
the first and no longer needs a second. A functional punch is the basis and target of
every martial art. One should be careful in training to perform a maximum of no more
than one single punch in one second and never seek to hit again in the same second as
the first strike. The highest priority has to be given to this in Self-Defense instruction. One
who trains exercises with two punches per
second is interested in quantity and
therefore guaranteed incompetence in SelfDefense. With two punches a second one
can certainly not scare or stop someone.
A Self-Defense instructor who teaches drills
with more than one punch per second
cannot be taken seriously. More is not
necessarily better. One who does more than
two punches per second cannot possibly be
interested in Self-Defense and would rather
be an asset to any massage studio.

If you want to
learn to defend
yourself, you
should be
prepared to delve
deeply into the
art of war.

5. Hitting from the center of the body


Since the esoteric cuddly-wave of the 80s, hitting from the middle of the body has been
touted as a universal solution. And since that time, there has been no sensible
justification for it. Strikes from the center of the body are the weakest of all and

2012 IAW-US

applicable only in a few situations. Of


course, they must also be trained, even
if their applications are extremely rare. It
was simply forgotten or ignored that
outside strikes are not only the strongest
but also very easily displace strikes which
come from the center of the body.
Outside strikes cannot be displaced and
require an extremely strong defense.
Thus, in Self-Defense, avoid striking
from the center of the body as much as
possible. One of the most important
aspects of our system is learning to repel
straight and curved strikes from the
outside. Therefore, not even one Section
contains a punch from the center.
As far as I can remember, hitting from
the middle of the body came from the
same jesters who tried to defend
themselves by training blindfolded (see
my essay Sapere Aude above). For this
group it is okay. They can stay nice and
soft so that nothing happens in order to
maintain their comradely feel-good
sessions.

29

6. Maintaining contact
A worse mistake is to maintain contact
with the opponents arms after an attack
or defense. This error is caused by
incompetence in the implementation of
techniques, but can be quickly corrected
with even the simplest of exercises and
some dedication. Our first 5 Programs
of the Basic Levels already contain the
most important applications of all the
Forms, including the Wooden Dummy
(Mok Yan Jang). We therefore like to call
these Basic Level Programs The Best
Of. They are a cross-section of the
most essential and connectable
techniques in the system. One who
masters understanding of the Basic
Levels has committed to the path.

an effective exercise for a passive touch art. Of course, this saves one from the tough
and realistic version of training. But in order to spare yourself you could also stay at
home. The effect would be the same.
You should never confuse flexibility with yielding. One who yields definitely gives up his
flexibility because he only allows for one option. Yielding is a synonym for resignation
and capitulation and is the opposite of flexibility. Flexibility is the freedom to remain
open to all possibilities.
8. Not using power
Not using your full power in a dangerous situation is not only reckless but also rather
idiotic. Via the release of adrenaline in a stressful situation (in the first phase) heart rate
and breathing are stimulated. Adrenaline, among other things, releases glucose from
energy stores in the muscles. Even if one trains for years to not use this energy, the
training will never work. Anyone who does not develop his muscles to exert their full
power cannot defend themselves against strong opponents. One needs to strengthen
oneself. Good Self-Defense training not only fortifies the muscles, ligaments and bones
but also, ultimately, the technique and spirit. Anyone who feels strong, feels well and
healthy.

7. Yielding
An adept combatant never gives up.
Due to physical or technical weakness,
the inexperienced tend to destroy their
positions by yielding. Yielding results in
the loss of control. In fact, many of these
people advocate voluntary loss of
control and have subsequently invented
2012 IAW-US

To be weak, soft and passive is not the goal. That was in the beginning when we drank
milk from a feeding bottle and our mother wiped our posteriors.
Conclusion
The mistakes described above might confuse a stranger to the scene. My essays serve as
general elucidation and to help people avoid worthless training offers. In my time from
instructor to master to grandmaster, I met many teachers of other styles who began with
30

these very errors and finished in a deadend of helplessness. Some of them


commenced under my direction straight
away, others unfortunately resigned after
numerous years of training in the wrong
direction. Actually, resignation in
other words, yielding was precisely
what they had learned. In our scene,
almost everyone in his younger years
failed because of the misconception that
he could defend himself without power.
In retrospect Im not quite sure why it
happened, but we searched for softness,
yielding and other nonsense that the
world did not need. Today I can heartily
laugh about those years. Nothing works
without power. Power is the foundation
of our existence. But these silly sins of
ones youth are forgiven. The healthy
human mind sees very quickly if
something is incorrect, but sometimes
does not allow us to admit it. Especially
when one has devoted oneself to a
cause for many years, it is hard to throw
ones convictions overboard immediately
even if the specified (specious) target is
absolutely unattainable. Such a mistake
costs us our most valuable years.

2012 IAW-US

However, those who realize it do not lose these years.


If you want to learn to defend yourself, you should be prepared to delve deeply into the
art of war. You must be ready to discern all facets of combat and study their consequent
risks. In order to master others, you have to master yourself. You will need to acquire
particular and even extraordinary skills, then learn to apply them in the right moment. To
accomplish this requires a strong will. A qualified instructor leads you step by step on
your path through the Programs of our system.
Will, attitude, technique, power and speed are the foundation of success in the art of
Self-Defense. All you need to bring is will. Will is the ability of self-determination, the
responsibility for ones own actions and the conscious decision to want something. It is
the engine that propels you.

Sifu Klaus Brand

e were on the TGV from Strasbourg to Bordeaux for Sifus first IAW seminar in
France. I took advantage of the seven hours en route to start translating this
article. Sifu identifies common traits of many wing chun styles and explains why they
are liabilities. Due to progressive research on Self-Defense efficacy, our WingChun
system has adopted an adapted approach. Actually, it is a return to our origins in
primal corporeal combat. This makes us different in many ways to status quo wing
chun interpretations that have strayed into excessive rationalization and idealistic
fancy.

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In short, WingChun serves Self-Defense, and not vice versa.


If youve read my YouTube video commentary, youve noticed the often emotional, and
occasionally adverse, response to our presentation. Consequently, our ratings are
rather mediocre! Our technical expression of power and violation of occupation on the
centerline is scrutinized and likened to boxing or karate. In their view, the strength of
WingChun is far from the softness of wing chun. Such cognitive incongruence and
rose-colored bias is more than understandable and prompted me to produce the
document before you. Stepping outside of the orthodox box, however fragile or
limiting it is, exposes us to the snap judgment or uncouth ridicule of conformists.
When a foolish man hears of the Dao, he laughs out loud.
If he didnt laugh, it wouldnt be the Dao.
Daode Jing, Chapter 41
The eight points above differentiate our unconventional perhaps heretical or even
renegade application of WingChun from wing chun. Inevitably, words and images
are inadequate conduits of reality. If you arent already an actively training member of
the IAW, Id encourage you to maintain an open mind while reading and rereading.

2012 IAW-US

Better yet, if you have the opportunity,


I heartily invite you to attend one of our
classes or events.
Furthermore, our certified instructors
are personally available to groups
worldwide for seminars in your area.
Please feel free to contact us for details,
especially if youve been intrigued or
even a bit upset by this book. Long
evolution is punctuated by sudden
revolution. You may find the resolution
to join ours.
I do look forward to hearing from you
soon!

Sihing Paul Wang

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Contact Information

International Headquarters
Sifu Klaus Brand
www.IAW-HQ.com
United States Headquarters
Sihing Paul Wang
www.IAW-US.com
United Kingdom Headquarters
Sihing Greg Willis, Sihing Julian Weston,
Sihing Steve Rose, Sihing Steve Robinson
www.IAW-GB.com

WingChun
Learn to Defend Yourself.

France
Vincent Mercier
www.IAW-Bordeaux.com
Malaysia
Nathan Heissler
www.IAW-Malaysia.com

2012 IAW-US

Second Edition, Revised 3/3/13

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