Why We Hit the Dummy Like We Do

ABOUT THIS VIDEO: Although other styles use the wooden dummy, it is most closely associated with Wing Chun. Recently I was practicing the form on it when a thought occurred to me: in the form, the head-height strikes are either palm strikes or chops. The only punches we deliver are directed at the body.

Well, I had to ask myself: “Why is that?” The wooden dummy was created who knows how long ago, but is it possible that the practitioners knew something even back then about the dangers of striking to the head? It’s a thought worth exploring, which is exactly what I do in this video!

~~~Steve Grogan

Posted in analysis, kung fu, martial arts, martial arts training, punches, training, wing chun, wooden dummy, wooden dummy form | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

WING CHUN TRAINING QUESTION: Does Weightlifting Keep You From Being Relaxed During Chi Sao?

ABOUT THIS VIDEO: Many years ago, I was attending my Wing Chun class when Sifu asked how I’d been lately. I told him I was happy because I got back into working out, and I was determined to stick with it, to get into better shape and get the six-pack abs I always wanted.

Instead of congratulating me on making the commitment to being healthy, he gave me a funny look. Then Sifu said, “You need to be careful with that, Steve. Otherwise you’ll wind up being too tense all the time. You won’t be able to do Chi Sao properly.”

If you think that sounds odd…well, it did to me too. However, he is not alone in this opinion. Not only have I heard it from other people I know, but I even read it in a book called WING CHUN COMPENDIUM VOLUME 2.

Well, it just didn’t seem right to me. However, I found myself (1) unable to put it in the proper words, and (2) unable to find anyone who took me seriously since, after all, I’m not the most muscular guy in the world.

Then I met Jay Primarolo, a guy who CLEARLY knows how to get fit. I ran this belief past him, and he said (as he does in the video), “That’s asinine.” I asked him if he would be willing to be recorded and say that on record. As you can see, his answer was “yes.”

Therefore, without further ado, I present you with the answer I always knew but couldn’t properly express, coming from a guy whose physique shows he walks the walk.

~~~Steve Grogan

Posted in advice, analysis, chi sao, exercise, fitness, health, high intensity training, kung fu, martial arts, martial arts training, training, wing chun | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How Do YOU Deliver a Body Shot?

ABOUT THIS VIDEO: Body shots are an incredible way to either end a fight OR to bring the end around faster. However, since the target is lower, your punch can’t be delivered in the same way as a punch to the head.

Therefore, there is a question as to how you deliver the shot. Do you drop your entire stance so your body can be lined up the same way it is for a head shot? Or do you angle your punch downward, turning the knuckles horizontal like a karate punch?

I explore both deliver methods, as well as the one I prefer.

~~~Steve Grogan

Posted in body mechanics, kung fu, martial arts, martial arts training, punches, training, wing chun | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chi Sao WITHOUT Constant Contact

ABOUT THIS VIDEO: Sometimes during Chi Sao, I would find myself practicing with someone who didn’t always “stick” with me; they would break contact between our arms so they could take a “cheap shot” at my stomach. I would get pissed and find a way out of practicing Chi Sao wit that person. Wouldn’t you? I mean, after all, they weren’t doing Chi Sao “right.” You’re supposed to maintain constant contact!

Well, now that I think about it…who says so? Where is there a law written that you CAN’T break contact like that? I can tell you: it’s not written anywhere!

With that in mind, I propose a different approach to Chi Sao, namely one where you break that contact on purpose. This will be something you wouldn’t want to try until you’ve got a little more experience under your belt. However, it is definitely something to check out.

Also, let’s not forget the fact that in a real fight, you won’t always have contact with your adversary. Therefore, this variation on Chi Sao can help add that extra element of realism.

~~~Steve Grogan

Posted in chi sao, kung fu, martial arts, martial arts training, training, wing chun | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Fightin’ Words #37 :The Straight Blast is NOT Wing Chun’s “Go To” Weapon!

ABOUT THIS VIDEO: I am not sure where this rumor got started, but for some time now the technique known as the straight blast has been inextricably tied to Wing Chun.

I don’t know how, where, or why, but it is something that most people who don’t do Wing Chun believe about those who do. It is also a fact that many people misinterpret what the straight blast even is or how it’s done, and it’s also a fact that many people believe the straight blast is the first thing every Wing Chun practitioner does.

Guess what? It’s not. No one should ever fire off a string of punches blindly. In fact, it should not be employed until you know you have the edge in the fight.

In this video, I discuss the straight blast and hopefully shed some light on this technique.

~~~Steve Grogan

Posted in analysis, kung fu, martial arts, martial arts training, training, wing chun | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Don’t Underestimate the SLAP!!!

ABOUT THIS VIDEO: Yes, the slap. It’s not something one man should do to another, is it? After all, Charlie Murphy said so in that “Rick James” sketch. He said the only time it was acceptable was in the old days in France, where one man would slap another and challenge him to a duel. However, that was okay because after that there was a gunfight, and somebody had to GO.

As humorous as that bit and Charlie Murphy (RIP) was, it leads us directly to my point: the fact that it isn’t deemed “appropriate” for a man to use a slap is the exact reason why we SHOULD. Nothing beats getting the drop on your assailant.

Now don’t get me wrong: I am not trying to reclaim the slap from women and say THEY can’t use it too. No, ladies and gentlemen, I am approaching this in a gender-blind manner. There is no reason why men AND women shouldn’t use this attack.

However, as you will hear, there are many reasons why we SHOULD.

~~~Steve Grogan

Posted in advice, analysis, kung fu, martial arts, martial arts training, self-defense, wing chun | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Addressing the Critique of Wing Chun Hand Positioning

ABOUT THIS VIDEO: One of the most common criticism people have of Wing Chun would be how we place our hands during a fight. (See the thumbnail of this video for an idea.)

They talk about how this position leaves our chin open, but if you look at Ip Man, can’t you see something obvious? No? Okay, then I’ll tell you: his hands ARE NOT FAR FROM HIS CHIN. Therefore, that criticism is a dead issue.

Oh but the fun doesn’t stop there, folks. You see, I am the type of person who, when I wish to counter someone’s criticism, I don’t just counter it with one rebuttal; I come back with an ARMY of rebuttals to completely demolish the foundation of their argument.

Come along and join me for this ride.

~~~Steve Grogan

Posted in analysis, body mechanics, kung fu, martial arts, martial arts training, training, wing chun | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment