I’m far enough along in Teacher’s Mook Jong set to avoid being lumped with the newbies. In fact, I’m also far enough in that we’ve already covered certain basic Wing Chun blocks within the form. Last night Teacher took several of us aside and had us work these Wing Chun blocks on the dummy — both within the context of his personal “form”, and also with each other. Here is what we covered:
After practicing as much as we knew of the dummy form, we practiced these specific blocks on each other. Yes, yes, I know that a WC purist might not describe these technically as “blocks.” However, I have to communicate somehow to the non-WC crowd who read this post!
Our two-person drills focused on two things:
A nifty two-person drill that incorporated blocks and punches
Using blocks to “deflect” kicks
Which sucked worse for me? Not sure! I think I was a tad better at the two-person block/punch drill thanks to my time in Praying Mantis. Here’s a video that captures the “spirit” of what we did? Please note that we did not do this exact sequence.
(Pay particular attention to the first few seconds of the video — this is similar to our drill.)
With kicks I had Taekwondo on the brain! As you can see in this video, WC generally tries to deflect and redirect kicks. It also checks them with legs and stop kicks or just evades them altogether. In Taekwondo we often blocked kicks in a very “hard” fashion. That or we’d just get out of the way. So I found myself struggling with the notion of redirecting or deflecting the kick. Based on my lackluster career in TKD tournament sparring, Mr. Patterson tends to evade first and hard block second!
Anyhow, this may have been my favorite lesson so far! Yes, the ground stuff I’m learning at this school is filling a gap in my knowledge. However, I have to say that I like a lot about Wing Chun. We are not learning classical Wing Chun but some day, just maybe, I’ll be in area that gives me a chance to try classical Wing Chun! There’s just a lot about it’s philosophy that fits with my personality and physiology.
Some random notes about Teacher:
No longer practices his karate or Chinese Kempo forms
Still teaches certain techniques from Shotokan Karate and Kempo
Was in Wing Chun long enough to make it to the dummy set
Still practices (infrequently) with a local Penjak Silat group (the only one in the area)
Pissed off members of the Columbus Wing Chun school for not being traditional
Is in his late 50s and is trying to learn BJJ!
Was a pretty good Army boxer and coached several students to local and regional wins
Still coaches boxing and admits that this is his first love
Is not happy with boxing’s decline
It pays to network. I would have not considered this school where in not for a friend of friend. After Tornado (aka Taekwondo pal) heard I was looking for a new school, he put me in touch with his pal who is taking BJJ lessons from this current school.
When I am in my late 50′s I plan to be that proverbial “empty cup” that Teacher emulates.
(This article was originally posted on Sept 16, 2010 at http://strikingthoughts.wordpress.com)