Sunday 29 August 2010

Week 20

From the wrestlers pummel.

Repping the arm drag as it is important to get the timing correct as well as the correct control of him and you after the arm drag. Martin reminded us again that we are primarily strikers and are leaning basic grappling skills so we know how to understand their main positions and not be caught unaware if ever found in these positions. We need to know how to work against them.

We then looked at repping the head snap against the wrestler who leans too much into you. Similar underhook needed but the other hand snaps the head to the side and then push down on the back of the head, he is then set up nicely for a barrage of knees.

The final technique we looked at was the fake hip clasp, when he drops his hips as a counter to your low shoot attempt, slip back up for head control and throw k-bombs.

Attacking the lead arm.

If he has a street guard, you need to change your guard hands, engage the legs and have them ready to explode, become compact, focus the eyes and be just outside of punching range. It is a fine balance of distance and must be practised. Explode forward with pak and punch, leave the left arm extended as it will protect the head from a follow up attack. Follow up with punches to finish the job.

Sparring and ended with a very tiring pyramid to 7.

Friday 27 August 2010

Week 19

Action-reaction. For people who are tense and resistant this is a good way of getting them moving by using their energy against them. This is a concept that we used to use in BJJ and Systema, it was talked about all the time in tai chi chuan but I never felt it was taught well or that I managed to begin to understand it. In BJJ I used to use it to get triangle chocks and bow and arrow chokes. In Systema is was constantly used to create movement in the opponent, perhaps what I need to do in my wing chun is to become less thinking and just try to flow more. I found in this lesson the more I think then that is when I make mistakes and loose flow.

Martin showed us the beginnings of this action-reaction drill from the lap/punch out of the 3 drill. When the punch is blocked, give energy by lifting the arm up and across his centreline at a 45 degree angle, when he feels this forward motion he will want to push against it. Let him and simply lap the arm and punch. We looked at various attacks from here; hitting through the centre, arm drag, kau sau, x-arm lock trap. To my memory, this was about creating gaps, feeling them and maximising your use of them.

Pak/lap drill: Working more reps – punching on every lap, then punching on every pak then inside gate lap. A final combo was working the inside gate on a cycle rather than selectively – pak, inside gate pak, lap and punch and repeat the roll. The partner is simply feeding punches forward. Don’t be shy about working it slowly and building it up.

Pad training. Started off with chain punching, as always Martin goes out of his way to emphasis that chain punches with fights. The pattern was start in pre fight stance, throw first shot hard by employing explosive footwork to compliment the hit, then follow up with several seconds of punches. For me, for the first time since I started back with Martin did my initial punch feel like anything reasonable on the pads. I felt like i had good feet and body structure. However I did notice that towards the end of each chain punch series my rear foot was lifting. So I need to make sure that i sit down and drive through every single punch.
Progressed to looking at the use of the lead elbow by again driving with explosive and balanced footwork. The drill was L punch, R punch lead elbow, then L punch, L punch, lead elbow. Got lots of practise with our weaker arm. Ended the session with a pyramid set to 7.

Tuesday 24 August 2010

Week 18

Attack from 3 drill (the lop and chop).

Instead of flowing into the regular lop and chop , mini lop the front hand and seek the rear hand and lop that as you chop through to the neck with the left hand. This helps to develop broken rhythm in attack, especially as the 3 drill has a certain rhythmic feel to it. When in deep you can go for kau sau and hit.
The defence for kau sau is to push and pull. The arm that is being clasped in kau sau pull the elbow down and back to the ribs as the other hand pushes forwards ending in a combat ready position.
From the kau sau we looked at applying a chicken wing control. In training we practised applying slowly as it really wrenches the shoulder, if you have tight shoulders it can be very painful, so work it slowly. Word of warning, this must not be tried on someone bigger and stronger, won’t work. I mean that in a realistic combat sense. I was working this against Nathan, I am 5 8 and 75kg wet through, he must be scratching 6 foot and 110kgsFor a good tight chicken wing, keep the arm close to yours, hold his bicep with your hand.
We then played with inserting the uppercut which as always is a very nasty technique to employ. From this as the head goes back

Wrestling pummel:

Worked the basic pummel in order that if we are ever in this close position, we can use it to our advantage. As stated elsewhere, we are not grapplers, we learn elements of grappling to better understand it and work it to our advantage to enable us to strike, which is our bread and butter. Make sure as you swim, you have the same hand and foot forward, hips are far enough away so partner can’t clasp his hands together and that the shoulder going forward, is going forward. It should be as if you are each bouncing off each other as you contact with the shoulders. Most importantly, keep it soft and relaxed, only use power and speed at the right moment.

Firstly we looked at taking an arm as he goes for his underhook, get wrist control and pull it to your side, work slow to begin with and get the right timing, this can be quite tricky when picking up this technique. Essentially this is an arm drag followed by wrist control. Then you can insert a number of techniques, we looked at; rising face elbow followed by other elbow horizontal to the face. This is a nice and compact as well as devastating move. Then we looked at applying a key lock or Americana after the arm drag and wrist control, as soon as you feel as if he is trying to escape, do not fight for the control, let it go and follow in with chain punches.
Chain (pad) punching
As Martin stated this is our bread and butter as this is what wins fights. This is also something i need to devote myself to in my own training at home. I spend all of my training time at the moment doing Power Yoga. Need to put more time into my wing chun practise, I won’t get good by thinking about it...
l r l – head hook l – l r l
l r – body palm – r- r l r
l r – body punch – r r l r


Focussed on what I need to do to improve rather than trying to be aimless and just fight, so, I made sure I had tighter feet, hands and composure and measured approach
Panther had to run the gauntlet, it was his birthday, but what intense training for 2 minutes when he was attacked from all directions. He did real well.

Friday 6 August 2010

Week 17

Chain punching against the pads.

This drill was used to practise having high quality punches with locked elbows as this will ensure you are punching through the target and not on to the surface of it. Another attribute it trains is tight and precise footwork. These are two things that will maximise the success and quality of our hits, this drill also highlights the corrections that need to be made with punching and footwork.
The drill then can be developed in several ways, the holder breaks the rhythm of your punches by standing firm when they choose, by moving back at different speeds. This simulates either your punches missing the target, your target moving back quicker than you are forward and them just digging in and eating punches. If they dig in then use a hook palm to the skull which will move them and give you another line to continue the punching attack. Martin said this was one of the problems with the rigidity of traditional wing chun and the lack of heavy contact training they do. When hits stop or miss, you need another option, one of them is to change the angle of them with you in a dominant position. The hook palm to the head will do this for you. Secondly if they move back quickly, it is vital that you keep punching to close the distance. It feels naff but has a marked psychological impact on your opponent. In order to maintain punching over distance, use flying change step to cover the distance quickly. The punches will be out of beat count with the feet, hands moving faster.

Arm drag series

Working the reps quickly to keep up the temperature of the class.
1. Regular arm drag when arm on shoulder, as hitting move the grabbed elbow towards the opposite hip, this will increase the negation of the free hand to hit. The punch has the elbow aligned with the fits, hit into the jaw line and soft tissue of the neck.
2. Uppercut attack – sink the spine as arm dragging to get under his arm. Make sure the back of the fist faces his chest.
3. Swing back and hit early. This is nice a sit really messes with their spatial orientation and before they can centre themselves, they are being hit,

In fighting sparring techniques:

Here we were investigating the concept of action-reaction and Martin was showing us some of his favourite techniques to use in sparring. He said that he always uses simple and non-complicated techniques. All of the following looked seamless and simple yet as usual not as easy as Martin made them look. That is the true sign of quality movement, be it martial arts, football, tennis etc. is that if it looks easy and effortless then it clearly is at a level that we should aspire to perform.
Partner is holding the back of your neck in half can opener position (his right hand), you have got strong wrist control on his left arm with your right hand, your left hand is pushing against the crook of the arm on your neck. The techniques below need to keep a good strong wrist control. It is important for his brain to receive a consistent message as well as the add ons of action reaction you are feeding him.
Push hard against the arm and this will produce a reaction by him to push off, use this energy and come off and around and hit with an uppercut to the jaw. Make sure there is a slight bend in the legs as this will give more power to the hit.
Same push as above but this time he is aware that when you release you will hit so his elbow starts to flap up and down to defend the hit. Now you need to employ the twitch hit. Push hard and hit your own ribs with your elbow (left) then come over the top of the elbow crease for the hit to the jaw. Ensure the twitch is fast to evoke a sound
From a slightly different position (right wrist control, left chop intercepted, forward energy) you are trying to use kau sau to get in and hit to the body. Martin likened it to a spazzy flapping elbow. Essentially the left elbow goes up, down, up. By doing this quickly and erratically the elbow enters and controls his elbow and just ends up in the right place to kau sau with the left. Nothing fancy, quite the opposite, messy but simply effective.


Perhaps this is the part of training I enjoy the most yet find the hardest. I had lost of great experiences this session – working for the double underhook lock up as few people look for this, I find it very very tiring but look to use the stamina challenge to focus technique and working under pressure when very tired. This was something I used to enjoy in BJJ. I would try to out work my partner and give them a good hard fight as I never would give up from a cardio perspective. I am trying to do this in wing chun sparring, never give up no matter how knackered I become. Growth through hardship. Things that I need to work on are
1. Footwork: I have the awful habit of having a very wide lateral stance, I need to focus and tighten it up by having more consistent ‘tightness’ to my stance.
2. Body alignment inefficiency: Martin pointed out that I lean side to side when looking to enter and apply techniques. I need to keep my spine vertical and more disciplined. Compact motion and movement.
3. The three ranges: Martin said that we need to work on making the transition between the 3 ranges (Entry range, in fighting range and grappling range). He said the transition between them are not smooth and thus too easy to read. When sparring with Kam this was most apparent to me (in retrospect) he stuffed my double underhook attempts with ease, kindly lumping my forehead and blackening my left eye in the process.