Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wing Chun Kung Fu Forms

Sifu Garry's Blog
Wing Chun Kung Fu forms
My lineage is from Leung Bik/Yip Man system of wing chun.
In wing chun circles in China, the Leung Bik/Yip Man system of wing chin is referred to as the
“true attack/fighting” system of wing chun kung fu.
The Leung Bik/Yip Man system of forms are very unique, due to the forms being extremely different to the main stream wing chun of today.
The Leung Bik/Yip Man system incorporates high kicks, with knees and elbow strikes, as well as dim mak attacking. Leung Bik was a rebellious teenager who incorporated many of his peers techniques into his wing chun while developing his system of wing chun.
There are generally 6 wing chun kung fu forms, being, sil lim tao, chum kiu, biu gee empty hand forms and 2 weapons forms, dragon pole and butterfly swords.
In the early history of wing chun, there was only one continuous form, which incorporated the concepts of the 3 forms – slt, chum kiu and biu gee.
The red boat member, Wong Wah Bo, was purported to have created the 3 empty hand forms, and his student Leung Jan developed the forms to what we know today.
Another red boat member, Leung Yi Tai was said to have kept the tradition of San Sik. This is a set of fist techniques put together to practise and develop continuous movements in set form
This was a system of practise prior to wing chun forms being developed.
San Sik or Sup Yi Lo is still practised today, mainly stemming from the Kulo village wing chun system.
The Jee Shin wing chun Sil Lim Tao develops short range attacks, introduces one to Biu Gee (dim mak concepts) and side neutral stance. Apart from the afore mentioned, sil lim tao also develops balance, coordination, simultaneous arm movements, forward intention, center line and central line theory, techniques positioning, range and most importantly, chi power.
Through natural Tan Tien breathing we cultivate our energy or chi via our Kidneys and store the enrgy in the tan tien.
When we train the second form “advanced sil lim tao” we then utilize reverse tan tien breathing, which helps to develop potential energy in the arms and enhances our intention.
Sil Lim Tao is like the “alphabet” of the system.
If we have good alphabet we have good English or good numeracy for good mathematics.
Therefore, if we have good sil lim tao we will have good structure with our wing chun kung fu skills.
Chum Kiu form teaches us the concept of bridging the gap and then, seeking the bridge.
This naturally relates to moving in on your opponent, to a practical range where we can strike.
In the Leung Bik/Yip Man system of wing chun, there are 5 ranges of combat.
Non contact – contact – exchange – pursuit and retreat.
In most other wing chun systems, there is no concept of retreat.
Chum Kiu is classified as a foot work form, commonly using side neutral stance and bridging the gap with Bon Sao.
I find this quite contradictory, to have no retreat technique. In wing chun we always assume our opponent is larger and stronger, therefore, we cannot use force against force, as the stronger person will always win.
Therefore, without a retreat step, it would be extremely difficult to avoid the intentions of a larger, angry perpetrator.
Biu Gee develops the concept of pursuit and retreat. It also introduces us to pressure point striking, using the fingers as a deadly weapon.
There is also a reference to the Baqua in the biu gee form, which represents the 8 directions of the Universe. This also covers the directions of potential attack.
Fut sao is the technique used in Biu Gee to demonstrate the concept of pursuit and retreat.
In Jee Shin’s wing chun biu gee form the close range concept for elbow and knee strikes are introduced.
Biu Gee is the pinnacle of wing chun culminating in the deadly art of thrusting fingers, striking soft targets and pressure points to manipulate and control your opponent.
In some wing chun circles, Biu Gee is the “secret” of wing chun kung fu. Some Master regard biu gee as too deadly to teach to the public, so it is very difficult to see biu gee in action.
There are also 2 weapons form in wing chun. In the Leung Bik/Yip Man system we actually learn the 61/2 point dragon pole (luk dim boon gwun) and the 8 slash butterfly swords (bart jarm dao).
In some systems of wing chun they teach the long dragon pole (31/2 point pole). This pole is at least 9 ft long. The 61/2 pt pole is only about 6ft, so it is much easier to manoeuvre. The 9ft pole is used more for structure and strength training.
Even though there are many variations with wing chun forms all over the world, they all teach the practitioner to become more proficient, fluent and skill full with the art of wing chun kung fu.
Abbot Jee Shin introduced the dragon pole to the Red Boats, namely Wong Wah Bo.
The Butterfly Swords was a conventional weapon used from the outset of wing chun kung fu.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Why I started Martial Arts - Sifu Garry Baniecki

Sifu Garry's Blog
Why I started Martial Arts
I used to hang around Regent on weekends with a group of school friends. We were always mucking around and challenging each other with various sports, including 8 ball and sparring.
At the end of Frankston St, there was a boxing gym, so I was always hanging around there, as well.
I had my first challenge at the age of 12 years old. Believe it or not, I had to fight this guy in our group with one hand tied behind my back.
I am not sure why I was only allowed to use one hand, he was bigger than me.
I think he was jealous because everyone turned to me for things to do.
We did fight and I did beat him, but, I kept it friendly, so nobody got hurt.
I realized that day that I had untapped skills in that area of sport, so I decided to train in some form of martial arts.
In the early sixties, there was not much to select from.
I started training Ju-jitsu and Korean karate at a Regent Hall, near regent railway station, in the early sixties, which lasted for 3 years, on a weekly basis.
As I grew a bit older, I realized that having a European back ground was a vast disadvantage when it came down to racial discrimination in schools. There was a lot of bullying around at school, but not too many people picked on me.
On my first week at my new high school I had a confrontation with the “school bully” and taught him a lesson about respect and courtesy.
My martial arts experience certainly helped me out during the sixties.
In the late sixties and early seventies, The Bruce Lee phenomenon was taking place, so I indulged myself in that hysteria with books and movies about Bruce Lee.
During the seventies, there was no Wing Chun (bruce lee kung fu), so I practised several different martial arts, being, Goju Kai, JKA, Escrima and some Taekwondo. I also got involved with the underground bare knuckles fighting scene, which saw me undefeated during the seventies.
I also got into trouble with the local Constabulary for fighting and more fighting.
At the start of the 1980’s, I started the first motorcycle courier business in Victoria, so work was a priority at this stage of my life.
 In the eighties, the environment was very dynamic. Everyone had jobs and money. I spent 3 months overseas and on my return I decided that I wanted to find a wing chun school and train.
I realized that I had an untapped martial skill just waiting to be cultivated.
In 1985 I found a wing chun school in China Town, owned by William Cheung and run by his brother David.
The school had a martial arts supplies retail shop, which I went to check out. While there, I spoke to David and asked him several questions about the school and himself.
David’s replies were very short and terse, but he left an impression which was the catalyst behind me starting there.
After some deliberation and the passing of Xmas, I commenced the next stage of my life by training wing chun kung fu several nights per week.
In 1989, I found my training was lacking something, but I wasn’t sure what it was, so I decided to embark on a trip to China.
It was my fate not to go as I could not leave the country due to the Tiananmen Sq massacre.
By 1990, I had immersed myself completely in wing chun kung fu, training full time. I would leave work at 11.30am and return at 6pm.
When you own and operate a business you must be there to oversee and take charge. I wasn’t, so I became my own worst enemy.
In 1991, I started teaching morning classes for William Cheung at his Flinders St school, which was opposite Flinders St Railway Station.
I decided to sell my courier business, and by early 1991 I had succeeded.
In 1993, a Qigong Master walked into our school from China and stayed for the next 10 years. During that time, I studied with him for 9 years, learning all the principles and concepts of martial arts that were missing in my early training.
Now, was the time to devout my entire life to wing chun kung fu and become a professional Instructor.
I studied wing chun kung fu and qigong fulltime and by end of 1995 I graduated to status of Wing Chun Instructor. In January 1996 I opened a full time wing chun kung fu school in Greensborough.
In 1996, my wife and I opened up a second school in the CBD of Melbourne.
My wife and I have been teaching wing chun and qigong 6 days per week at two schools since then.
In 2005, the Federal and State Governments regulated the martial arts industry. This meant that after all the years of training in your particular martial arts, Instructors now required to become qualified under the Nationally recognised training system and gain certificates in Martial Arts Sports Coaching. At 56 years of age, I acquired my Diploma in Martial Arts sports coaching and sports development.

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