July Update

Welcome to the 5th update for 2011

In this update:

  • Re-cap of the first half year at Ving Tsun Combat Science
  • Outline of next 6 months training
  • 12 Weeks to Border Incident II

Re-cap of the year so far

Mannie De Matos ran a seminar on his knife defence system at the club earlier in the year. He returned to Melbourne In June and invited members of our club to attend another seminar held in Ferntree Gully.  Both sessions were great experiences, providing participants an opportunity to meet with practitioners of other styles and to see the way that they deal with edged weapons.

Three articles written by myself and David were published in consecutive issues of Blitz Magazine. I also wrote an article for a special collector’s edition “Blitz Instructors’ Special 2011”  “Instructors Fighting Techniques” which went on sale in late June. Apparently its hard to get a copy; I’ll keep a copy at the club for a while for anyone that’s interested in taking a look.

Joint training on Saturdays
This year saw the commencement of regular Joint training sessions with Enzo Verratti and some of his students. On the first Saturday of each month Enzo and some of his guys visit the club for joint training sessions. This provides everyone involved with the opportunity to train with someone different and make new friends in the WSL Ving Tsun way.  This has been a very rewarding and positive experience for all involved.

WSL Ving Tsun demonstration at MSAC on Saturday May 28th
Peter, Brenton, Mike, Regan, Sara and I performed a 5 minute demonstration as part of an Australian Kung Fu Wushu Federation (AKWF) event: “Kung Fu Wushu Spectacular” at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre in Albert Park.  During the evening there were a number of demonstrations performed by the Chinese National Wushu team. Our demonstration was one of only two demonstrations performed by an Australian school.  It’s no exaggeration to say that it was a considerable honour to be the only non Wushu/tai chi organisation invited to perform. It was the first time that we have been asked to participate in an event of this type. Our demonstration was well received; a great effort by everyone involved on the night and behind the scenes in helping with the preparations. Thank you to everyone involved. If you want to see how it looked I have a recording of it that I will bring to the club over the next couple of weeks.

The training plan for the first half of the year can be summed up in one word; “Relaxation”. This has involved working on a number of aspects of training to give you as many ways as possible to feel the difference that being relaxed makes to your speed, power and mobility. The emphasis has been on the use of stance and mobility to reduce the effort and tension in the upper body and arm actions. It has been both challenging and rewarding. Many of you have had some difficulty along the way in making the change but there has been some great progress in this aspect of training. The ability to generate relaxed power through the dropping-palm drills have exposed everyone to just how much power can be generated with the right kind of relaxation.

In May the emphasis shifted to Chi Sau skills. Throughout May and June we focused on a lighter and faster expression of Chi Sau.  It has been great to see the change in everyone’s skill, everyone who has been able to make it to training consistently has made significant progress in this aspect of their training. There is more emphasis on light hands with relaxed, springy energy and using the structures to “take the line” rather than using strength or tense muscle actions. This has laid the foundation for the development of excellent Chi Sau skills as you progress further in your Ving Tsun training. Ving Tsun’s forms are the source of everything we do and a great way to practise your skills when you don’t have a training partner. The forms are also inextricably linked to your chi sau skills and are key markers in your progress through the system. Therefore I spent some time in June taking a number of you through your forms practise and introducing you to the next form in the system. The first two forms in the system are two of Ving Tsun’s most important building blocks:

  • Siu Nim Tau (SNT) introduces you to the most important concepts within the system and all the tools for single hand chi sau,
  • Chum Kiu shows you how to apply those concepts to movement and how to apply them in two handed chi sau.

The first half of the Wooden Dummy form brings it all together; it is very important for you to practise these forms accurately and frequently. The forms will embed the correct reflexes into your muscle memory and inform your actions in chi sau and the other skills drills we will work on during the second half of 2011.

Training Agenda for the Second half of 2011

  • Pressure Training
  • Chi sau
  • Forms

Pressure Training commences every July and this year will be no exception, however, this year the structure will be slightly different. Starting classes at 7:00pm means that I can fit more into these sessions: we will continue to work on Chi Sau skills to ensure that the skills you have acquired in the last two months continue to improve. We will also spend time correcting forms and relating the forms to chi sau and pressure training.  The pressure training itself will be a graduated progression through a number of aspects of applying your skills in various situations.

The goals for the rest of 2011 are to:

  • Improve your understanding of the forms and how they relate to Ving Tsun skills.
  • Progress you onto the next form in the syllabus in order to continue your progress through the system.
  • Increase the level of your chi sau skills
  • Improve your ability to apply your skills in “out of contact” situations

Border Incident II

Only a little over 12 weeks to go until Border Incident II; it’s time to ramp up your preparation. This event promises to be the biggest event WSL Ving Tsun in Australia has ever seen; If you train 3 times each week until then you have 38 training sessions until that massive weekend in October. That’s not really a great deal of time; many of you have been asking about the event and have expressed a desire to have your Ving Tsun at a standard that enables you to participate well in the training and absorb what is covered by each presenter (not to mention that some of you have stated that you want to provide a real challenge to the training partners you’ll meet).  Making the most of the available time between now and October is an important part of your preparation. The training agenda for the second half of the year will prepare you well for various possible seminar topics. I encourage you to make your way to the club for a good session and prepare yourself for what’s to come at the Border Incident II.