Sunday, January 31, 2010

Week 1: 1000 Chain Punch Challenge Kicks Off!

Today is the day we kick off the 1000 Chain Punch Challenge! Now this works in conjunction with my Journey To Sexy Six Pack Abs, so be sure to check in for week 1 of that program!

The chain punch challenge will consist of exercises to be performed each week. I'll be posting exercises for each week and all you have to do is follow along on here.

As always, feel free to leave me comments or questions!

Ok, so Week 1 of the my Sexy Six Pack Abs program is posted. The 1000 chain punch challenge exercise can be done either after HIIT training or after resistance training.

Here's what's in store for week 1:

Standing in IRAS (Internal rotation adduction stance/neutral/YJKYMA/pre-fighting stance):
  • Bursts of 100 chain punches
  • Repeat for a total of 10 bursts
  • Rest in between bursts for 20-25 seconds
To help with counting of chain punches, pick a side (left or right fist) and just count that one. For example, counting the right fist for 50 punches = 100 punches performed in total.

Again, I'll stress, that this is not to be performed alone but is to be performed in conjunction with my abs program. In particular, after you're exhausted...not when you're fresh and full of energy.



NOTE: Before starting any exercise program, be sure to check with your doctor!

Until then.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

What Is Chi-Sao?

What is Chi-Sao? Commonly translated as "sticky-hands", chi-sao is a two partnered activity, in which contact is always maintained and from that, partner A tries to hit partner B and vice versa. It's pretty much the soul of wing chun and, of its many benefits, the primary one would be the development of tactile reflexes.

I'm sure most of you know this. So let me tell you what chi-sao isn't:
  • It isn't fighting
  • It isn't a measure of one's fighting skill
  • It isn't required (to be a good fighter)
Many wing chun'ers get caught up in chi-sao and focus their entire time practicing it. Easily, the other variables such as bridging distance, endurance, no-contact and peripheral vision are left on the back burner.

I always find it interesting that when someone with wing chun experience wants to check out another school, for some reason, they do a 'pseudo-chi-sao challenge fight." Why don't they just fight instead? I don't understand that.

Sure, maybe the other guy is not so good at chi-sao, but if he can tackle the chi-sao expert...hey, you tell me who's got good kung fu?

Take this video, for example. It's called "Superior Blocking"..which i think should be revised to "Superior Waste of Time". There's nothing behind the hits...just 'Tapping"..maybe they're just being nice. But, you can still be nice and controlled but really have a good, nicely placed fist that's ready to hit. It's just tap-tap-tap and it really looks like even if the hits get to its targeted, it really has no effect.

What's the point of tapping? if you had the choice to have one knock out right punch or a plethora of tactile reflexes for superior blocking and different angles of attack..which would you have? I'd opt for the knock out punch.

So what is chi-sao to you?

Until then.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Hack Away The Unessentials

I'm sure you've read the quote "hack away the unessentials"..or something like that.. made famous by the great Bruce Lee!

To this, are you familiar with Pareto principle? Also known as the Law of the Few or the 80/20 rule..it roughly states that 80% of the outcome is determined by 20% of the causes

Or it can be stated that 20% of what you put into something contributes to 80% of the progress.

It's a common rule in business - 80% of your income comes from 20% of your clients.

Now in the context of Wing Tsun, how does this apply?

the Pareto rules applies to us this way:

What is the 20% that contributes to the 80% of your wing tsun skill?

Perhaps your chain punch is lacking in power - so focus more time on the chain punches ONLY..nothing else, no chi-sao, no stance training, no partner exercises (haha, I wonder how Si-Fu feels about this concept...)

Perhaps your stance/structure is weak - so focus all efforts on stance training, and nothing else, no chain punches, no pushups, no forms training.

For some, training 20 hours per week is not easy to fit into their schedules. Beyond class, maybe you can only devote an extra hour per week. And when it comes to wing chun, there's just too much to work on: forms training, chi-sao, stance, partner drills, variations of drills, variations of chi-sao sections, physical conditioning, etc etc.

But if you only have 1 hour a week, or maybe 30 minutes, twice a week, why waste it on SNT if you already know it? Why waste it on lat sao if you're already comfortable with it? why do any of that when you know your chain punches are incredibly weak? or that you can't coordinate step and punch? or that you can't even keep all your weight on the back leg??

Find out what exactly is that 20% that you need to focus on and hammer away at that for that one hour...and according to Pareto, you'll get the most value out of it!

Until then.


*NOTE: IF YOU ARE FOLLOWING MY 1000 CHAIN PUNCH CHALLENGE, PLEASE VISIT www.mightygrasshopper.com AND SUBSCRIBE! Click on the "TRAIN WITH ME" TAB for all posts related to the program! I've been updating that quite regularly and a new post is up!

Friday, January 15, 2010

1000 Chain Punch Challenge! Update

For those of you who are jumping on the 1000 chain punch challenge: I will be posting a workout and cardiovascular routine weekly. It is VERY IMPORTANT that you know how to get the latest information.

1) If you haven't already, bookmark www.mightygrasshopper.com. Here you will find my weekly workout routines, reps, exercises, etc. under the tab "Train With Me"

2) Subscribe to the blog by submitting your email address. I will not be sharing this with anyone!

3) Find me on Facebook! Find me on Twitter! I will tweet every time I have a new post up. So you're in the know in REAL TIME.

The 1000 chain punch challenge will be based on the abs program I'm doing, but the HIIT portions will be changed to incorporate the wing tsun training. These will be updated here on Grasshopper 2.0.

Only a few more weeks until we kick it come Feb 1st!

For information on the start date and equipment, click here.

For information on the cardiovascular training, click here.

For information on the abs program, click here.

Until then.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Disappointed Experience

So I was forwarded some feedback regarding the experience someone had of the Wing Tsun school that I train at. And to sum it up, the guy did not really like the school all that much.

Now before I show you what he said, I want you to know that I'm all for criticism and people's own opinions. There are many that find that wing tsun is not for them, or the teaching methods of the school is not good or whatever. But, in this case, the story below was stretched SOOO far from the truth that I have no choice but to respond.

I've responded on my own merit, not under anyone's influence. In other words, my Si-Fu has not asked me to post this (nor does he know what topics I write about until it's posted).

Here's what he had to say about his open house experience (free trial classes we offer every month):

I just had a very scary and disappointed experience in the Wing Chun studio in 6564 Victoria Drive. I had Wing Chun experience before, but didn't seem to understand their teaching process. One of the assistance instructor was doing Chi Sau with me. He told me many times to relaxed, but himself appeared to be angry.
I was relaxed and I didn't know what I do wrong, but this guy suddenly got freaked out and hit me and strangle me. I was scared. Isn't Wing Chun suppoed to be relaxed? I was relaxed and calm, I don't know why he got mad so easily? How come the assistance instructor couldn't even relaxed himself and tried to hurt me?
I was lucky that I didn't get killed by that guy while he was strangling me so hard. Overall it was a very scary and disappointed experience. I would not come back again and I will not recommend my friends to go there.
And I'm alerting your studio that if in the future my body condition has anything wrong, I would consider to deal with you guys by law.

Although I had the "pleasure" of training with him, he's not referring to me in this incident. But I do remember watching the two of them working together, and watching the entire ordeal unfold.

With my time with him, I can tell you he was not relaxed. In fact, I was working with him for about 35 minutes on basic one handed chi-sao (dan-chi) just to work on relaxing his arms. When he tensed up, I would gently push or pull, in which he would fall forward or backward. This happened a few times, but only as a way to signal him that his arms tense up.

He says, asks, that isn't wing chun supposed to be relaxed? Well, I repeat, he was not relaxed. To answer - yes, wing chun is supposed to be relaxed, but not weak. I mean, you got to hit the opponent right? One can be relaxed, but the structure must be strong. He is confusing the two.

With regards to the whole strangling issue - there was no choke hold, no sleeper hold that you'd see in MMA. Far from it. It's hard to describe on here, but what the "assistant instructor" did was what we call "soft control" methods. Kind of like how cops are trained not to hit, but control the body of the assailant. It controls the axis of the opponent in a way that he can't hurt you and in a way where you don't HIT him either.

Skill-wise, this "assistant instructor" could hit anyone if we wanted to. Knowing him, he's the nicest guy you'd ever meet! Always smiling, always joking around. He's worked with new students and older students, helps run class, etc. He is no bully. Bullies are not welcomed in our school, nor would they have the character/discipline to get through the curriculum. What we did was a natural reaction against a tense assailant. And when it comes to chi-sao, especially a new-comer who feels they have something to prove, they always get tense and try to do things to get the hit. As such, the "assistant instructor" did not hit back, instead resorted to soft control methods.

Unfortunately, it was interpreted as a strangle. I will tell you right now, any judoka, bjj practitioner, wrestler would laugh at this guy for claiming to be strangled. Don't insult the grappler or skill martial artist - that was not a strangle.

To add, - although he was really tense, he was also really weak. When I would give him a light "fist-touch", he would say I'm hurting him. When I poked his ribs (which I resorted to, because he didn't want me to use the fist) to show him he's exposed, he said I was hurting him and that I would break something.

If you sign up for self-defense class, for kung fu class...wouldn't you think that some physical contact be involved? The expression "glass jaw" comes to mind..but he's not even at "glass jaw" level..maybe more like "wet tissue".

As for not being able to "understand the teaching process": during the entire class, the guy was barely paying attention. His eyes were fixated on everything else but the lesson. He didn't want to train with the new guys and showed complete disrespect of the class structure and to my Si-Fu and just did whatever he wanted. He didn't want to do what the beginners were doing and opted, on his own, to train with the senior guys..

So yes, I know some of you are reading this and thinking that I'm making all this up to protect the school when, really, our school is some badass bully wing chun wannabe club.

Well, let me provide you exhibit A: Here's what a typical class is like. Note the diverse group of people in our class, various ages, fitness levels, height, weight, gender, etc. If we are as bad-ass as he says he is, why would these people even sign up for it?? How could the school even last this long? There is no strangling involved, no wild and uncontrolled hitting. In fact, there complete newbies in this clip and you can see how everyone is taking the time to learn the drill, co-operatively.

Thank you, person-that-provided-this-review. I want to say you've provided me with some great blogging material.

If you like what you see below, please check out the website here.


video

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Name 3 Things Wrong Here!

Do you remember those picture books where you compare two pictures that look, for the most part, the same but you are asked to find the 10 things wrong or different between them?

I want you to take a look at this video clip. I apologize, the intros take a long time before the action gets going.

Anyway, here you have former Traditional Wing Chunner Sifu Joe Sayah fighting in a K-1 Tournament. He's fighting against a full contact karate fighter.

I'm not here to pick on Traditional Wing Chun. I just want you to look at this fight and think, "what went wrong?"

What did he do right? Sifu Joe fought with continuous attacks. Much like the ideas of wing chun. But that's where it ended.

It seems like there was nothing in those hits. Nothing behind the punch, the kicks nor even the kneeing! I'm sure he can hit fairly hard..and i'm sure his students can attest to his punching power, but you can really see that it did very little.

Is this a product of (generally speaking) the wing chun chi-sao? the training? to rely on short inch power, to always be relaxed? or is this none of that and just a more of bad training altogether? there's no structure..it seems to me..no weight into the hits.

Is this a product of a co-operative partner? a partner not used to be being hit? so many variables, but variables that I think we all vulnerable to.

What are your thoughts?

Again, this is not to pick on Sifu Joe nor Traditional Wing Chun. I want to know what we can learn from this experience.

Until then.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Join Me: WT 1000 Punches Challenge and Abs Program

I was reading my Si-Fu's blog on his 14 hour chi-sao marathon, and there was something he mentioned that couldn't be more timely (much like his punching come to think of it!)...

"Funny enough someone, who I don’t know, sent me an e-mail: “Fitness doesn't play an important role in the process of learning wing chun.” Hmmh ... Yes, fitness can also be a relative factor. I have seen very fit people collapse within moments under the pressure of a stressful fight exercise. My point has always been to do your strength and fitness training alongside your martial arts training, not one after the other. Why? Life is too short. It’s that simple."

Life is too short and it's 2010! And fittingly, I'm challenging you to do my "1000 Punches and Abs Program!" So are you game? The program will consist of:
  • Cardiovascular training
  • Resistance training
  • Supportive Diet
Now, all you have to do is follow my blog posts on www.mightygrasshopper.com and I will lay out the exercises (reps, sets, rest time, etc) all there for you. There will also be additional information on why we're doing resistance training, what to eat and why, and how to work in cardiovascular training in a fun and more effective way than jogging for 45 minutes.

Where does Wing Tsun fit into all this? Well, I will be modifying the cardiovascular portion of the program so that it will consist of Wing Tsun drills and exercises - instead of jogging, you'll be chain punching; instead of the bike, you'll be shadow boxing; instead of the elliptical, you'll be doing intensive stepping and attacking drills.

And, the point of all this - to see if you're up to throwing a 1000 FULL BLAST chain punches! I'm not talking wimpy, rabbit punches...I'm talking ball and canon chain punching to-rip-the-heart-out-of-your-opponent-and-the-guy's-behind-him-kind-of-punching.

Please check my post that kicked it all off and my post on the start date and equipment required.

So there you have it - within a few months, you'll be blasting punches no problem. And the side effect? A slimmer you with a six pack!

Please pass this on to your wing tsun/chun brothers and sisters!

For my Si-Fu's blog on the 14 hour chi-sao marathon, click here.

Until then.

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