The Function of Form

WingChunManWuI’m going to discuss a method of WingChun training which we call Form. There are four Forms in our system, each with its own range and quality of movement. The first Form, Siu Nim Tau, focuses your intention and power into a single technique. The second Form, Tsum Kiu, coordinates all four limbs into asymmetrical combinations. The third Form, Biu Jee, teaches torso dynamics. The fourth Form, Mok Yan Jang, increases the synergy of your whole body. These are generalities but give you an idea of our Form objectives. Continue reading

To Attack or Not to Attack

Be the attacker or attacked?

Please do not watch the following clip of a home invasion if you cannot bear witness to real violence, which is consequentially different from that dramatized in action movies, video games and combat sports. However, if you are willing to examine this appalling incident as an informing opportunity, let us assume the violent act captured below was unexpected and unavoidable — as are most such confrontations.

Most humans are reasonably socialized since youth to not hit or hurt others, yet there are dangerous exceptions who deliberately flaunt this golden rule to great effect. Unfortunately, they often cannot be stopped by other than raw physical means, the very ones they employ and we abhor. The regrettable fact is that criminals can and do attack members of their own species. Our primary, albeit tenuous, comfort is their relative rarity. Though this behavior is the norm among animals, our anthropocentric bias likes to project us as above the natural fray. The immediacy of unprovoked violence precludes psychosocial analysis of the predator, who is better evaluated after his incapacitation. Conversely, success behooves the imminent victim to flip off that inner switch controlling our thoughts, words and deeds of rationalizing civility, for these are irrelevant if not detrimental to survival. Continue reading

Your Best Martial Art

There are many martial arts you can train. But I categorize them into five types.

Before we discuss those, let me ask, what are you looking for? Why do you want to train a martial art? Is it to get physically active? Is it for a sense of personal progress? Is it for connection to a community? Is it because you are concerned about safety? Or is it simply to try something fun and new?

See if you can clearly identify your objective. I even suggest crafting a “Martial Statement”. Be concise and specific. Maybe you’re a bit out of shape: I will train to lose 20 pounds by July 1. Perhaps you work long hours: I will train to feel more confident walking home each night. Setting your intention will help you choose a relevant martial art. Continue reading

Learn to Defend Herself


Applying Tsong Kuen (Thrusting Punch) and Dap Bo (Striding Step) to attack as defense.

In light of the recent Cleveland triple kidnap and rape case, it concerns and motivates me even more to empower women with real skills and strategies. You just have to make the decision and take the action to show up.

I must reiterate that not all martial arts are for functional Self-Defense. Archaic, aesthetic or acrobatic styles, however engaging or enjoyable, will not stop an intent attacker nor will a purely defensive one. Continue reading

Five WingChun Warrior Virtues

“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”

— Aristotle

Throughout history, warrior cultures worldwide — be they the Vikings or Samurai, the Spartans or Masai, the Celts or Mongols, the Knights or Aztecs, the Kshatriya or Apache — upheld behavioral codes that fortified the characters of their members. Their intent practice helped them openly confront the varied contingencies of uncertain life and possible death.

Similarly, students of the International Academy of WingChun (IAW) cultivate Five Virtues culled by our Grandmaster, Sifu Klaus Brand, from his extensive experience to guide your progress. He unveiled them at the IAW-US Instructor Seminar on October 14, 2012 in Berkeley, California. Mapped onto the inner circles of our emblem, they were transmitted as follows: Continue reading