Teaching Women Self-Defense Reduces Rape 50%


Check out this article from the Globe and Mail about studies which shows that when women learn self defense it reduces successful sexual assaults.

And please God, let’s keep in mind that this in no way places the onus on women alone for preventing rape. But it just makes sense to be prepared to prevail if need be.


Interested in learning? Check it out.

Thanks for stopping by. We hope to see you in the school soon.

Sifu Matt


Introduction to Ving Tsun Kung Fu

We are super excited to announce a new class at the Academy.


Introduction to kung fu!

This is a four-class series beginning on the FIRST Tuesday or FIRST Saturday of each month. You will be introduced to basic elements of ving tsun kung fu (stance, hand techniques), theory (principles of ving tsun), meditation, and kung fu philosophy (Mo Duk). Elements of the kung fu are explained in easy to understand pieces — with emphasis on developing correct fundamentals, posture, and mindful execution of techniques. If you have any physical limitations, special conditions, or injuries, please advise us, so that we can help you learn to practice effectively and safely. This series is appropriate for those who have never been to a martial arts or kung fu class before, those who have completed the series and would like to continue their education, or those who desire a refresher on the fundamentals.

The tuition cost for the Intro class is $50 per month. Select either a Tuesday series 6pm-7pm, or a Saturday series  12pm-1pm

Sign up for the Tuesday series

Sign up for the Saturday series


Contacting Us Via Email


Good morning kung fu brothers and sisters,

It has come to our attention that there’s been some kind of issue with the capacity of the WordPress site when you all use a contact form to let us know you’re interested in coming for a visit. That’s a real bummer and we’re sorry.

Please know we are working on getting it fixed. We think that all the forms now include a mandatory email entry box. But please, do us and yourself a favor. When you use the form add your email inside the text box at the end where you can tell us about yourself a little, your interest in ving tsun kung fu or martial arts generally. That way, no mater what, we will be able to respond to your kind inquiry.

Thanks so much and train on!


Kung Fu skill takes daily training and living the “Kung fu Life”

Yes the title says it all. Kung Fu means what? “Hard Work”. Thats right. Hard work. If you let other things take your attention away from training, attending class, taking your lessons, etc. then don’t expect to have very good skill and understanding. It takes two things to have good Kung Fu..sweat and time. If you dont sweat, you won’t have good Kung Fu. If you don’t put in the time, you won’t have good Kung Fu. Plain and simple. The formula is easy. Getting the most out of Kung Fu training takes effort. Then the Kung Fu will work it’s way into your bones. Then you will truly know what it means to live the Kung Fu life. See you in the Kwoon.

Sifu Matt

Never Miss an Opportunity to Learn From Your Sifu


No matter what style or family of kung fu training you follow, the path can be a long and hard one. In our school, we’re on a  ving tsun (wing chun) kung fu path. As the days go by and our training continues, injuries and setbacks, possibly arising from training or from conditions outside of school, are inevitable. However, they don’t need to keep you from learning from your Sifu. I always tell my students, even if you’re injured or sore, or just tired, you should still attend class. 

Why? Sitting, listening and watching we can still learn a great deal.


A lot of what we learn from our teacher in kung fu, has nothing to do with martial art technique. Students need to learn to live the kung fu life; to learn about kung fu culture; to learn to apply the art of Ving Tsun in daily life. Students need to learn how to live according to the Ving Tsun Jo Fen, or the rules laid down by our ancestors in the Ving Tsun system. These rules show us that kung fu is mostly about how to live a good life and use kung fu to make ourselves better people and for the benefit of society; Not to create more trouble.

These ideas involve subtlety and detail, which can only be passed on in close relationship with your Sifu. Spending a lot of time around him or her, is essential to your learning and absorbing these ideas. Of course, there’s all the physical techniques a student needs to learn as well. 


You’d be surprised what you pick up by just sitting by and watching the way your Sifu teaches. You can pick up subtle things that maybe you overlooked before, or forgot about or maybe didn’t catch the first time it was taught to you.

There have been several times in my years traveling to Hong Kong that I was injured or sore from the long hours spent training, or maybe I was just plain too tired from jet lag or whatever. ( it seems every time I go it gets harder and harder to get over the jet lag and time difference.) At these times, I always still go to my Sifu’s classes at the Ving Tsun Athletic Association. I’d just sit and talk with my other kung fu brothers, or I would talk with Sifu Ip Ching at his desk. Many times the conversation would not be about kung fu at all. We talk as friends about life in general. Sometimes he would tell a story about Ip Man, or something from his years spent closely with him. I would ask about Simo. He would inquire about my wife and life back in the United States, how my school was going etc. he’d offer tips on teaching gleaned from his own years of experience.


Sometimes we’d talk about kung fu. If he got up to teach or show something, I’d be close by to watch the way he’d teach. I’d Listen closely to his explanations. Every time this deepened my own understanding, or spark a question for me to ask him when we sat back down.

Times like these are invaluable. I’m always glad I went to those classes because of the things I learned.

Whenever I’m in Hong Kong I spend as much time around Sifu as possible. Sometimes going for dim sum after training in the morning. Sometimes going to his home to sit and have tea and talk. And when we traveled to Fatsan to visit the Ip Man Tong and other places, we had three meals a day together. Plus spending all the rest of the time together for two or three days. It was good times and I wouldn’t change any of it.

I know that I’m a better teacher because of the time spent closely with him.


So to get down to the real Kung fu and Kung fu life you must learn to cultivate your relationship with your Sifu. Try to attend class at every opportunity. Try to be around your Sifu whenever you have the chance. You never know when he  or she will  come out with a bit of wisdom that changes everything for you.

This way you learn that to be good at Kung fu means the training and learning never stops. Even after you’ve learned all the forms of the system, etc. that’s just the start; you’ve just begun to walk the path. There is so much more to learn from your Sifu, not to mention all the hard work you will be doing to master what you’ve been taught. It’s a never ending journey. Your Sifu is your guide in that journey, and building a close relationship with him is very important. This is why year after year, even though I’ve learned the entire ving Tsun system, I still go back to Hong Kong to be with my Sifu.

So next time your sore or tired or not feeling like going to class, remember these words. Go spend time with your Sifu. You never know what you’ll learn.


Kung Fu in Winter

Yes, yes, polar vortex. Whatever. We know. In Chicago, it’s wicked cold. That’s winter for you!

But here at the Ving Tsun Self Defense Academy, the training goes on, no matter what. Class is still under way right now and despite the freezing temperatures outside, the wing chun kung fu training is going on like crazy!

We thought you might like a few photos of class. We’re extra excited because we have a number of brand new people in the school today as well as many veteran students. The senior students help the new ones learn the basics which is part of how we create such a supportive, friendly, family-like atmosphere.

So, here’s the pics. Enjoy!

IMG_7713 IMG_7714 IMG_7716 IMG_7717 IMG_7718 IMG_7719 IMG_7720 IMG_7721 IMG_7722 IMG_7723 IMG_7724 IMG_7725 IMG_7726 IMG_7727 IMG_7728 IMG_7729 IMG_7730 IMG_7731 IMG_7732

Stuff Sifu Says

“You must practice more!”

(Truth be told, Sifu Matt first heard this in Hong Kong from his good friend and older Ving Tsun brother, his “Sihing,” Sifu Albert Chan.)

And it’s true. The solution to nearly any problem in kung fu is more practice. When you come visit the school, you’re sure to hear that a lot!