No One Here but the Fighters

So, confession time, we are definitely stealing a line from the great David Mamet movie, “Red Belt,” which if you haven’t seen, we highly recommend. It’s a story about the struggles of a traditional martial artist to survive in the world which devalues tradition but who ultimately comes to prevail in the same way he teaches his students to prevail.

There’s a great scene in which the instructor is working with a woman who had been raped, teaching her how to successfully turn the knife on her attacker.  He says to her, to affirm her status as a fighter not a victim, “It’s alright. There’s no one here but the fighters.”

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This is Matt Johnson, the teacher at the Ving Tsun Self Defense Academy. He first started studying a martial art at a very young age as a solution to intense bullying he experienced at school.

When he found ving tsun, finally, he felt all his questions had been answered in looking for an art that was complete and comprehensive. He discovered what all serious traditional martial artists eventually do, that the art would refine not only one’s ability to prevail physically against external threats but also refine the inner person to be gentler, calmer, more patient, disciplined and determined. He learned we can prevail against the inner and outer enemies.

The practice or path of ving tsun is a Way, in which the whole person comes to be cultivated, following a code of conduct and martial ethics which guides all aspects of behavior. The idea is to be a better person in the world. Be of service. Do no harm.

Many people think training in a martial art is first of all about the fist. And yes of course, there are very practical applications for all that self defense training but more important is the inner work. The fist is the way in, the beginning, not the final destination.

All students who walk through the door here are fighting a variety of battles in their every day lives. It’s part of who we are as human beings. Everyone has stuff going on; struggles of all kinds professionally, personally, spiritually.

Here at the VTSDA Sifu Matt works hard to teach ving tsun in a way that helps each student learn to prevail not only physically but in all these other areas of life too; to be able to deal with whatever comes along the way with more grace, grit, determination and resilience.

So here too, it’s alright. There’s no one here but the fighters.

We will introducing you to more of the students from the school in this series, we call, “No One Here but the Fighters.”

We hope you enjoyed reading this. If you did, please feel free to share. You can follow the school here and receive our blogs each time we publish, as well as on Facebook and Instagram.

 

When the Way is Open, Charge Ahead

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We are very excited to have our YouTube channel up and running again.

Here’s a short video to start things off.

 

THIS WEEK IN VING TSUN

Lots pf great training at the school last week. Here are a few snap shots of what folks were up to. Notice, the notebook! Taking notes is a really good idea.

 

Also note the long pole, which is very advanced practice.

 

Photos by Hillary Johnson

October Ving Tsun Challenge

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We are launching a new series of intensive training programming for our students in 2019; a series of seasonal, intensive weekend long training camps to take your ving tsun to a whole new deeper place.

Each camp will be unique and will have a specific focus including not only the physical aspects of Ving Tsun but also the ethics and morals, the Mo Duk as well as the place of meditation in your kung fu practice and much more. The first full weekend camp will be in February 2019.

As a lead up to all this, we are offering our students a mini-version in December which includes the following challenge.

The idea is to take the challenge for the months of October and November, then come to the training camp with your discoveries and questions. And I guarantee you will make discoveries AND have questions.

At the camp we can all discuss and learn and take our knowledge to the next level.

So, here is the challenge for October:

Train your Siu Nim Tau each and every day.

Only once, but EVERY DAY.

Each hand in the first section for one minute.

That’s it! Do it every day and see where it takes you.

Like I said, I guarantee you will be amazed at what you learn.

Take notes, write things down In your notebooks and bring it in December to the training camp.

Want to get to the next level in your Ving Tsun practice? Here is the way.

Take the challenge!

At the first of the month in November I will let you know what the challenge will be for next month.

Keep the fire burning.

Why to Start Your Kung Fu Training Now

A Few Questions for you.

Did you make New Years resolutions that included fitness this year?

Would you like to be in better physical condition than you are right now?

Do you think that it would be good to be able to defend yourself or your loved ones, just in case, you ever had to?

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Benefits of Ving Tsun Kung Fu Training

  1. Improves cardio vascular fitness and over all health
  2. Improves whole body physical condition
  3. Teaches you to effectively use Ving Tsun for self defense purposes
  4. Helps calm your heart and mind to reduce stress

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Getting started is just as easy as getting started. If you can just begin, you are already on your way to a healthier, more fit and confident you.

Which means you are already on your way to making big changes, step by step, because in a gradual healthy way, when you attend your first class, you are making those resolutions real.

It’s that simple!

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Call Sifu Matt and schedule your trial class. Start feeling great right now.

Because you have strength and beauty inside you.

Call 773-301-6257.

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Chi Sau Seminar Success and Events!

We really want to thank all of you who came from near and far for our January Chi Sau Seminar. It was a great way to kick off 2016. A lot of Aaron Heath’s students came from our Champaign school which was super cool.

We had a lot of fun and everyone learned a lot. So stay tuned because there’s much more to come!

We’re thinking the next seminar may be a combination of Wooden Dummy material, Mo Duk (proper code of conduct for martial arts practitioners) and kung fu culture.

And as always, we appreciate you sharing our news, events, Intro classes and so on. Don’t forget to tell your friends that they can come in and visit us anytime. Just call Sifu Matt Johnson at  773-301-6257 and we’ll get you set up.

You can follow us on Facebook too! This is a great way to hear about our monthly events like pot luck suppers, movie outings, (we went to see Ip Man 3)

or this Saturday’s celebration of Chinese New Year. (Year of the monkey!)

Or our Jan. 29th Haiku Writing Workshop
 led by William Seiyo Sheehan and reading by Gerry Stribling author of Buddhism for Dudes. (and please note, you don’t actually have to be a dude to totally love this book.)

The school is located in the heart of the Chicago Arts District at:
1839 S Halsted St. Chicago, IL 60608
Phone us at: 773/301-6257
Please note the CTA bus Route 8 stops right in front of the building.
There’s also plenty of free street parking all within short walking distance.

 

Matt Johnson Ving Tsun Kung Fu is Growing!

Just had to share how psyched we are to welcome two more brand new folks to our Intro class on Saturdays and two new sign ups for our regular open classes!

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We love to see new people coming through the door and see the look on the faces when they get started learning and getting to know their fellow students and feeling how different this place really is.

So thank you for joining us and please help spread the word! Don’t forget our Intro classes on Saturday! There’s still plenty of time to sign up for a whole month of kung fu for just $50!

The school is located in the heart of the Chicago Arts District at:
1839 S Halsted St. Chicago, IL 60608
Phone us at: 773/301-6257
Please note the CTA bus Route 8 stops right in front of the building.
There’s also plenty of free street parking all within short walking distance.