Three Things About Movie Martial Arts Which Aren’t True in Real Life

It’s not unreasonable to say that martial arts movies have been one of the driving forces behind the arrival and spread of martial arts and kung fu in the United States. On one hand this has been great because it’s helped introduce generations of new people to many wonderful martial arts styles and families of kung fu.

On the downside, some movie martial arts may sometimes give some people misconceptions and misunderstandings about the realities of kung fu. This is problematic because when people are looking to study a martial art, all they may know is based on what they’ve seen in the movies.

Here’s three things people believe with enough frequency, that they walk into martial arts schools and ask about them:

1. You can fight 10 guys (or more) at once and win. Admittedly, this scene from the Ip Man movie is spectacular to watch but as the saying goes, “don’t try this at home.”ip-man-movie-poster-2008-1020698460

2. Flashy moves and fancy techniques are effective in a fight. Everyone loves Bruce Lee movies. They’ve started more than one martial arts career, mine included but they’re a veritable catalog of flashy and fancy.Bruce-Lee

3. You are unbeatable. The Matrix is an awesome movie. Love it. But Neo, sorry, no one is unbeatable.

neo

This leads to unrealistic expectations on numerous levels. There are better ways to approach figuring out what style might be right for you and then for finding a qualified school with a teacher and atmosphere that feels right for you too. But no matter the style you choose, three things will always be true:

1. No one will ever fight ten guys at the same time and win. We should all try to be smart and avoid situations that could lead to something like that. One thing any real martial art, any genuine Sifu should teach you is humility and good sense. Humble sensible folks don’t go around starting fights and avoid places where they’re likely to erupt.

2. Simple, direct, straightforward techniques will get the job done. Ving tsun (pronounced wing chun) kung fu is famous for it’s center line theory. While the other guy gets fancy you can just hit him. Or in life, find simple direct solutions for every day challenges.

3. No one is unbeatable. There’s always someone bigger or tougher; or someone who’s just trained more. Or someone who got more sleep that day. And anyway, the real winner is the person who avoids the fight in the first place. Being a peaceful person, now that’s really unbeatable.

If you’re looking for a martial art to learn, we’re happy to talk to you about what we do here. And we promise, nothing flashy, just real, traditional kung fu in a friendly, informal environment. Call us. We’re happy to answer your questions. 1-773-301-6257 Thanks so much for stopping by.

Meditation, Qigong and Kung Fu

Sifu Matt believes that to just train external Kung Fu is only half of the training. The other half is meditation and Chi Gung practice. At the academy we don’t just train Kung Fu, we also train the mind with meditation and the internal state of the body with the practice of Chi Gung or energy/breath work. Sifu Matt teaches sitting meditation help to relieve stress and helps us to live in mindfulness everyday. We must learn to keep our mind  balanced and calm. Not only is this important for Kung Fu practice, it is important for everyday life outside of the academy.

Chi Gung is the practice of gentle movement combined with breathing in order to exercise our internal energy, or “Chi”. It seeks to work the internal, whereas Kung Fu Training works the external. There are many different kinds of Chi Gung exercise, some are slower, more like Tai Chi Chuan, some are faster and use more power to strenghten the muscles and tendons. Contact the academy to learn more about learning these two practices.

DSCF0733_2_2

Two Reasons to Keep Training Your Martial Arts

The Martial Arts Trap

Anyone can get to that place where we feel like we know it all. I know all my forms. I got my certificates. I’m a certified bad-ass. This however is a trap leading to mediocrity in our kung fu or martial arts training. Even worse, this belief can lead to so-so performance in other areas of life. The way we do one thing is the way we do everything. Think about it.
IMG_7533
Pursuit of Mastery is Ongoing

It’s important that current kung fu students are always coming in on a regular basis to train and continue learning. Critical that even “advanced” students come in to train and work with younger, less experienced students. This is a central part of martial arts schools everywhere. There are several reasons.

1. Investigate, Try, Apply, Repeat

Here’s part of the answer: Because, “advanced” students who have completed learning a set number of forms etc. have not really completed their martial arts study; they’ve only finished a segment of their training. The certificate which says you’ve learned a kung fu form means that you know all the moves and have a basic understanding of what they all mean. To fully investigate how they might be applied in a self defense situation, requires more training, more chi sau, more conversations and questions with your Sifu.

374044_3318364472933_1493433337_n

2. Martial Arts is a Way of Life

This is yet another beginning. This is where the next level of understanding of practice begins which informs not only the body but the mind and the spirit. This is where we begin to crack open the doors to understanding how kung fu is a way of living and not just a solution to being in a rough spot if someone threatens you with their fist. Ving Tsun kung fu is how we approach life every day. Focused. Relaxed yet Determined. Pure of intent. Like the Chinese coin; strong in the center, round on the outside. Doing all we can to make the world a better place.
S0115504

Women’s Kung Fu Self Defense Classes

The Ving Tsun Self Defense Academy is excited to announce a new ving tsun (wing chun) kung fu self defense class just for women! Learning kung fu not only builds self defense skills but also develops fitness, strength, patience, determination. (It’s also a great stress reliever!)
IMG_7498

We know it can be intimidating to walk into a martial arts school. That’s why we’re now offering a class just for ladies. You’ll get the same excellent instruction as in our open classes but being in an all female self defense class makes getting started fun and easy.

The VSTDA is dedicated to helping anyone who wants to learn ving tsun (wing chun) kung fu self defense, to be able to  learn it. It’s important to get access to classes where you can feel comfortable and really able to learn. That’s our goal at the Ving Tsun Self Defense Academy.

IMG_7533

Whether you’re brand new to kung fu or have trained in a martial art before, you’re welcome here. This class will emphasize solid fundamental wing chun kung fu skills and practical self defense applications. Questions are highly encouraged. Our school atmosphere is friendly, non-competitive and familial. We want you to understand exactly what you’re learning and how to apply it. As you learn the basics in this simple, highly effective self defense system, you’ll gain confidence and skills that will prepare you to step out more safely.

Classes meet Saturdays, 11am – noon starting in December so you can get a jump start on your 2015 resolutions! Tuition is just $80/month. You can also try out a drop in class for $25.
Drop Sifu Matt an email or call the school to learn more and sign up. And bring a buddy! It’s always more fun to train with a friend.
IMG_7551

Ving Tsun Meets Shakespeare

Sifu Matt and some of the guys went to see Rok Teasley, a student at the academy, perform in MacSith. After the show, Sifu and the students did a little demo for the cast.

IMG_5315

It was a great night. The play was wonderful and sharing martial arts info with true enthusiasts was a lot of fun.

IMG_5316

We talked about the origins of ving tsun – myths and likely realities.

IMG_5320

 

Red Boat Opera and how ving tsun if applied to MacSith would have made the play way too short by making the fight scenes happen too darn quick!

We also shot a little video, 8 short clips, which you can catch on YouTube.

Thanks so much to Orion Couling, director of MacSith and Rok Teasley for inviting us in. Break a leg you guys!

 

Training Fundamentals = Strong Ving Tsun

IMG_5185 IMG_5186 IMG_5187 IMG_5188 IMG_5189 IMG_5190 IMG_5191 IMG_5192 IMG_5193

Why I study with Sifu Matt @ the VTSDA

Why I study with Sifu Matt @ the VTSDA

Jeff T has been with the school since December of 2012. He’d been wanting to study ving tsun for a pretty long time, so he was quite happy to find Sifu Matt and the Ving Tsun Defense Academy. We’ll let him tell you why.