You Scared? Go Home.

“He hit me. I stop him. Who is fast? He drive from his home to my home. I already waiting in front of the door for him. Why can he faster than me? Impossible! So he hit me. I hurt him first. Because I waiting for him.”
Gary Lam

“You want to win? You have to bet. You scared? Go home.”
Gary Lam

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Gary Lam Taking Postion Against Blur

Bone to Bone

“In Wing Chun, first thing, you tough your bone. They call Wing Chun bone to bone.”
Hawkins Cheung

Sisuk Hawkins Cheung means the bone of your fist to the bone of your opponent’s head.

This is why you must condition your hands, with knuckle pushups if you have to, but this is a blunt instrument.

Much better to follow the slow method.

Or use the palm, the next best thing, which doesn’t require conditioning, but forces you to forgo more safety and get in even closer.

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Hawkins Cheung and Bruce Lee in 50s Hong Kong

Rules of the Game

In college, I took a course on the Meyers Briggs Type Indicator, which is a Personality Assessment test.

Its supposed to help you understand yourself and others and this class was about applying that information to a workplace environment. It sounds impressive, but it was actually a pretty lame class.

But there was one experiment we did which was very interesting.

The class was broken up into groups of 4 and each group was given a set of rules for playing a card game. No one was allowed to speak. If you needed to communicate, you could only draw, but no words. You could gesture.

After everyone has learned the rules, the teacher took away the rule sheets.

A little later, the teacher moved people around into new groups.

Trouble started to brew. People got very angry. Each person was sure that they remembered the “correct” rules and that the others were playing the game “wrong.”

One guy stormed out of the class. It was pretty heated.

It turned out that each group was given slightly different rules.

This reminds me of the political strain of the different Wing Chun lineages. We learn from our teacher and we respect them and appreciate what they have given us.

When we encounter other people doing it “wrong,” we can easily get pretty self-righteous and condescending.  And we often close our minds.

Of course, back in the old days, these questions would have been settled with a round of Beimo. He who wins is correct.

But that isn’t really an effective test.

We are all so different, with different natural attributes and different skills brought out or put in by training, its hard to say that a person’s training is obviously superior because they win the fight.

There are many many factors that go into who wins and who loses. Psychology, fitness, temperament, etc.

We should evaluate our Wing Chun “rules” according to whether it seems to work or not for us in practice.

All the drills, including Chi Sao, are developmental games which have “rules” designed to enhance certain attributes.

Different students will have different capacities to follow the rules.

But you will find the rules are slightly different between the various lineages. The best way to learn is to be open to the ideas from other systems and see if there is anything there that resonates for you.

We all have to experiment and see what works best for us. Ultimately, Wing Chun is not a team sport. Its a fighting technology.

Results are what counts, and by results I mean the capability of hitting an opponent with power from a temporarily safe position and to change as needed to maintain the attack.

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The Art of Hitting IV

“The counter attack is an advanced phase of offense….Action must be instantaneous, and where there is a wide choice of action, instant action is difficult if not impossible unless the right action has been previously conditioned. Conditioning then becomes the keystone of the counter attack.  Conditioning is a process whereby a specific stimulus will cause a specific reaction, A repeated stimulus eventually creates an action pattern in the nervous system. Once this pattern is established the mere presence of the stimulus will cause a specific action….Such action should be practiced slowly, for hours, days,and weeks, always in response to certain leads. Finally, the lead itself will automatically bring the right counter.  Boxing should be done with the head, not with the hands. Boxing will never reach the stage of a true art unless performance of skill is made automatic and the cortex freed to think and to associate, to make plans and to judge. The higher nerve centers always retain control and will act when necessary, It is like pressing a button to start or stop a machine.”
Boxing, Edwin Haislet

This is how it is with all fighting.

The advanced fighter has put in the hours to create these reflexes which can defend and attack without thought.

This frees the fighter, if there is time, to strategize about how to win (as in a boxing match) or how to get away or finish them quickly  (in a street fight).

Hours, day, weeks, months, and lets face it, years.  This is how you build these essential reflexes.

But hey, in order to stay healthy, you need to move regularly, to tax your body, and all evidence shows you want an activity which involves some random variation.  Training to be a fighter is perfect.  To excel, you need strength, cardio, coordination, and eye hand coordination, as well as balance and every other characteristic that you need in regular life.

Plus you get the bonus of developing the ability to stay calm in the face of danger.

Rocky Marciano

Rocky Marciano