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Monthly Archives: March 2012

I came across a blog about kicking in Wing Chun today that started out really promisingly by exploring Ip Man’s kicking ability and suggesting that it was a supporting argument for a rear weighted stance. Unfortunately it then went downhill rapidly by suggesting that Wing Chun kicking is difficult to do and even more difficult to apply. Having studied plenty of other kicking arts I’d have to say that the  Wing chun kicks are no more difficult than those of any other art to perform. They have to be learnt and are not as natural as for example a football kick but equally they are far easier to learn than hook kicks, back kicks etc. As for application,  the Wing Chun kicks are amongst the easiest to apply of any martial art. The fact that they are applied low level makes them instantly effective, that they are delivered close range makes them more suitable to real situations, and the striking surface being the heel makes damage to the foot unlikely. Add in to the mix the fact that Wing Chun kicks offer defensive cover as well as offensive power and you have a decidedly applicable set of kicking skills. Unfortunately the kicks in Wing Chun don’t look as attractive as the hands and training them can often be a painful experience (if your the one on the end of the kick) so as a result they are all too often neglected.

wing chun wall bag

end of the road

After many years of dutiful service my wall bag has finally given up! Having avoided the usual pitfalls of the eyelets ripping by buying one with sturdy D rings, or the back fraying away by hanging carpet on the wall behind it, or even the zip bursting by checking the zip quality, my trusty wall bag finally gave up this morning and ripped through on the front surface having worn away from repeated striking to the same spot. It’s a sad day as the wall bag comes down for the last time. On the up side, a new one is already on order and should be here within days, shiny and new and without the blood stains of its predecessor. Obviously I’ve got lots of other things to hit, so for the next few days the maize bag and the Bob will take some extra abuse. I am considering patching the bag with artificial leather, which should create a smoother striking surface and could extend the life of this trusty bit of kit by making it a class resource. Not sure my sewing skills will let me do a particularly good job though so I might have to rope in some help.

Classes this week have been great fun. I know everyone really enjoyed chi sau today and from the feedback, pressure testing the bong lap on thursday put a new perspective on things for a few students. Putting the head guards on lends a whole new dimension to the training even if they do restrict peripheral vision (and get very sweaty) and I know for a lot of folks it was a new experience knowing that the person in front of them was genuinely trying to hit them and take their head off. The chi sau is starting to come along nicely (even if some of it is a bit unorthodox!) and its great to see everyone making progress.

 

resistance bands for wing chun

all the gear.....

After I posted the other day a few people have been asking questions about the resistance bands. The questions have ranged from how to use them to how do they attach to the door etc.I thought I’d answer a few of them so I took a quick photo on my phone. The weird things on the right that clip onto the bands are like a strap with a high density foam ring on the end. The strap goes under your door and the foam ring stays the other side and hey presto they are secured to your door. Of course it only works if the door in question opens away from the space that you are training in unless you have some very stout locks!The thing that looks like a handle on the left of the picture is in fact ….. a handle, so when I’m punching I place it in the palm of my hand and have the band running down the outside of my arm. The circular piece in the middle is an alternative to the handle and is a strap with strong velcro fixings. I use it for fastening around my ankles to train kicks.As for what I do with them – I punch and kick into the air and into the wall bag, I also punch the maize bag and Bob thing whilst using the bands. I’m still experimenting with them at the moment and am sure that I’ll find loads of ways to improve my elbow energy through dynamic and static resistance training. The important thing obviously is to make sure that you are applying force in the right direction and not lifting or pushing down which is why its cool to be able to connect them at the floor and line them up with the back of the arm. Of course my biggest challenge at the moment is finding time to train as much as I want to. Between forms training, bag work, the bands, the dummy and footwork drilling I could spend all day every day training if I wasn’t trying to earn a living as well. Here’s to winning the lottery……

Following a conversation with another Wing Chun sifu I recently brought myself some rubber exercise bands to see if they would be any help with developing my punching speed and power (always looking for new things to try!). Obviously for anything to work you have to make time to use them and time is in short supply at the moment so I can’t report huge improvements yet, but from the few times that I have used them I love them. Unlike weights that put the resistance in the wrong direction the bands are great. If you anchor the bands to the base of a door and walk forward until the angle is correct for punching, you can punch with resistance along the line of the punch and all the way through the motion. Be warned if you’re thinking of getting some though as they aren’t cheap and will seriously damage your ego! You can move less than you might think through the full range of motion. Of course the beauty of the bands is that you can simply practice part of the range if you want to  as well so you can focus on developing power in the first inch or so of movement  and because they’re elastic you can be as explosive as you like. They seem to work really well in the same way for front kick but you have to be more careful about lining the angle up correctly as you don’t have your forearm to guide you. Now all I need to do is find time to fit in all the training I want to do!