1. As a quick intro, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your school? When, where, how and why did you start practicing?
My school is Attributive Martial Arts, Inc. in Canton, Michigan. My practice started with Karate. It expanded when my wife and I started attending Guro / Sifu Dan Inosanto seminars.
He introduced us to Jun Fan Wing Chun (amongst other arts) as taught to him from Sigung Bruce Lee. Through the years, Guro / Sifu Inosanto introduced us to Sifu Francis Fong.
Sifu Fong’s great in-depth knowledge and experience in Wing Chun is just phenomenal. He has the ability to show how the principles of Wing Chun can be used in other arts. He also points out how the mind is a key element in our outcome. 2. What are the most common mistakes, or assumptions, you’ve encountered during your years of teaching?
That Wing Chun is just about trapping hands and would not work in a real street fight. Wing Chun has no footwork. Both untrue.
It appears people just watch You Tube and have not had the extended training in the art of Wing Chun.
3. Movies such as “Yip Man”, “The Grandmaster” and such are probably one of the reasons many people start to practice at some point. Since reality is mostly not matching most of these movie scenes, what are some key aspects a beginning martial artist should focus on?
A beginning martial artist should be patient in learning Wing Chun. Everything shown in the forms and drills have a purpose.
Once a person learns proper structure, and mechanics, then speed and power will soon follow. Like the energy released from igniting fuel, that explosive energy needs to be guided in order to have a constructive outcome.
Such as a rocket escaping the earth’s gravitational pull. That exploded fuel has been guided by the well designed and constructed structure. Otherwise you just end up with a destructive explosion.
4. How can Wing Chun be used in an educational, non martial arts setting?
Wing Chun teaches us to use your mind in a positive manner. This way our mind interacts with your body to produce positive results.
Your mind is very powerful. A positive mindset greatly affects your attitude and activity in your life. This in-turn, gives you positive results. If the results are not what you wanted or expected, never give up.
5. The internet has completely changed our lives over the past 10-15 years. We now have access to lots of information (both good & bad) and connections like never before. How do you feel about this evolution and it’s impact on Wing Chun?
I feel the internet is great for the exposure of Wing Chun (as with other arts). You can pick up ideas from watching (or reading) about Wing Chun.
However, the hands on experience of an instructor is missing. You cannot get sensitivity exposure from an on-line video or chat.
So whatever you find on the internet, you need to work with an instructor to see if it is functional for you.
6. What direction do you see Wing Chun or martial arts, as a whole, heading in?
What is interesting is that the martial arts have greatly expanded. There are very many choices of martial arts available to choose from.
So whether you want to fight in a ring, work on self defense, developing skill & poise, or just attain good health and well being, there is something there for everyone regardless of size, age, or handicap.
I see martial arts will continue to move in a direction to supplement people’s lives for the better.
7. To end this interview in style, what is the best Wing Chun or martial arts advice you have personally ever received and what is the best advice you would give to our readers?
The best advice I received in Wing Chun are as follows:
– Be open minded to absorb what you are learning.
-Your mind is very powerful.
– Centerline theory is worth studying. It can be be applied to all martial arts.
I would recommend that people do constant research. Not just in martial arts, but anything to enhance your person development.
The martial arts can guide you, but it is “you” that makes the arts work.
There is at least one of many personal development ideas that I learned about goals, and I want to pass on: What type of person you become is the “major” reason for setting goals.
Achieving a goal is secondary. Life is a becoming. A very famous person, Jim Rohn, during a personal development training session, asked a thought provoking question. “If you can do better, should you?”
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