My Headquarters Visit 2011, Part 5

TGV Train à Grande Vitesse

All aboard le TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse). On y va!

Continued from Part 4.

Despite it’s name, the high-speed train still took 7 hours! But it was a scenic and informative ride to Bordeaux. I enjoyed a wide-ranging conversation with Sifu. We spoke about strategies of healthy longevity, brainstormed plans for the 10th IAW Anniversary in 2013 and parsed his next article word by exact German word.

Indeed, you heard about it here first! The piece is entitled “The 8 Most Dangerous Mistakes in ‘Wing Chun“. I’m sure you will find it both educational and provocative. Sifu identifies the common liabilities of many styles — such as low arms, rapid punches, sticking, yielding — and their possible origin.

The conclusion, in which he upholds the role of willpower and self-determination, was particularly enlightening. This really resonated with my convictions of living with greater sovereignty rather being ruled by preemptive excuses. When I finish the challenging German-English translation to proper fidelity, I will post it here for your reading pleasure. Subscribe to my blog to get it hot off the press!

I gained greater insight into the author by hearing him expound his craft. The pen of Sifu is as mighty as his sword. The latter is truly literal, although the former is merely digital in the form of a MacBook. Yet he wields it formidably! Anything in the capable hands of a warrior mind is a potential weapon. To slay ignorance and stay enemies alike.

Through my own writings, and your honest feedback, I hope to hone my words and thoughts so they can better help you. I value your value. Since I know you are busy, it means a lot that you clicked to read this and other articles of mine. Merci beaucoup!

Continue on to Part 6.

What training mistakes are you struggling with? Let me know below and I’ll give you suggestions to resolve them:

Gare de Bordeaux Saint Jean

Sifu relaxing at the Gare de Bordeaux Saint Jean train station.

8 thoughts on “My Headquarters Visit 2011, Part 5

  1. Sometimes I find my chi sau it’s really not so good. In an attempt to create a strong stance I pull my torso up but then that makes me a wobbly on my feet. And this sometimes leads to me tipping back slightly. And also in the roll itself I find my right bong sau creeping over to the left, leaving the elbow out of position. I try to self-evaluate my wingchun, but sometimes it’s easy to get caught off guard and get a friendly clip round the ear from a senior technician student. All part of finding my flow I guess 🙂

    • Chi Sao (Adhering Arm) is a structure and power building exercise from our Fifth Student Level. It integrates our legs, body and arms, especially against impulses in the frontal plane. Don’t pull up your torso without engagement from your lower limbs. Tension in the abdominal muscles and spinal erectors must coordinate with contraction of the calves and quadriceps. Slight wobbling and tipping is ok but will diminish with practice.

      As for Bong Sao (Winging Arm), a crucial point is to correctly fix the elbow in the preparation (Pre-Bong) phase and keep it stable in the action (Bong) phase. You are correct, the right Bong Sao humerus should not move medial to the shoulder (glenohumeral joint) joint.

    • Hi Greg,

      Thanks for your question. Gwan Kuen (Rotating Punch) is unique to the IAW. There are two versions, Internal (Noi Gwan Kuen), IGK, and External (Ngoi Gwan Kuen), EGK, which we train in the Fourth Section of our First Form.

      We first apply IGK in the Second Program and EGK in the Third Program. Their main function is to displace an opponent’s arm while attacking it from a diagonal (contralateral) or parallel (ipsilateral) orientation, respectively. Importantly, they are launched from the Man Sao (Inquiring Arm) distance and not the Wu Sao (Protecting Arm) distance. The reason is because they need space to rotate back and forth, hence its name. In other words, they can follow a technique which ends in a relatively extended arm position, such as Tsong Kuen (Thrusting Punch), Zam Sao (Sinking Arm) or Bong Sao (Winging Arm).

      This is a basic description. I understand words cannot fully depict physical action. Hope this helps a bit. I’d suggest you ask your teacher for a demonstration in person.

      Best regards to the IAW-UK,
      Sihing Paul

  2. Thanks for your explaination Sihing Paul, very helpful. I have one other subject to which I feel I lack knowledge in and perhaps one which could be a future blog? Multiple Attackers.

    Thanks Again,

  3. Hi Sihing Paul, Sorry for my late responce. I have trained the 10th student program (be it not recently) but was just wondering if there is any deeper insight that goes with multiple attackers. I only ask this because there are many theories. Perhaps I am thinking there is more to it than there actually is?


    • Greg, the Tenth Student Level imparts strategic footwork patterns to safely maneuver among multiple attackers, while attacking them with effective armwork. We examine this in close quarters and far distances with three or more assailants. There is a lot of ground to cover! Thanks for commenting.

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