Sunday Siu Nim Tau

cropped-dsf4070-1.jpg

Sunday Siu Nim Tau

In Ving Tsun we have Siu Nim Tau, the first form, which can be translated to Little Idea or Little Beginning. It’s from this first form, this little idea, that everything else in the system comes.

Every week Sifu Matt offers these blogs, these little ideas, as reflections from his practice to help support yours.

Thanks for reading

 

Sunday, February 17, 2019

 

I’ve taken up photography.

My wife is a wonderful photographer and she’s showing me the ropes.

I’m not good at it just yet but I do my best and I’m having fun. And the fun? That feels like the most important part right now. I have this great Fuji X100 and I admit, I feel like a guy who’s got  great car, a Ferrari, but doesn’t quite know how to drive it yet.

There’s f/stops, shutter speeds, “film” speeds. I do a lot of experimenting.

Then there’s this whole business of looking, of seeing.

It’s interesting learning what takes my eye, what makes me want to take a photo of something. To learn that and to learn about photography in general, feels a lot like the learning process of kung fu training. You must have what’s known as beginner’s mind, a concept from Zen practice. Beginner’s mind  is a state of keeping the mind in a fresh, learning, open state. It’s  about forgetting or putting down what you thought you knew about something.

This kind of mind can be applied to anything and everything.

With beginner’s mind, you cast away assumptions, prejudices, any preconceived ideas.You’re always in a place to take in new information. In Zen practice, it’s always a process of going back to beginner’s mind.

Beginner’s mind.

Students hear me say all the time that in order to be good at kung fu you must always go back.

Back to the start.

Back to the fundamentals.

You must also go back on the inside.

Do the inner work on yourself, on your ego. On all the mental things that will keep you from getting any better. You may have fear, anger, lack of confidence, a fragile sense of yourself or an overblown sense of yourself.

If you can’t go back into yourself to do this deep inner work, you will never get better at the physical techniques.  

Unexamined internal life holds us back.

Our ego holds us back.

These character issues? Ditto.

Because that’s the process. Train the physical skill long enough to get good, then go back: back to the beginning or the basics, and back into yourself.

Going back is key. Those that do the inner work find themselves not only better at the techniques, but becoming a better people as well.  And THAT is what martial arts training does best. It makes us better people. Better physically and mentally. Better members of society.

And now, I’m going back again. This time to learn photography. And I’m fine with that because I trust this process. I’m very curious and don’t know where photography will take me. Maybe I’ll be able to show my pictures some day. But that’s down the road. Right now, I’m enjoying the journey.

I’ve always enjoyed the process of going back. I’ve seen the results in my Ving Tsun and in my life. Ving Tsun teaches me something new every day. And it will teach you too if you’re listening and looking.

 

Advertisements

New Videos on You Tube

Are you looking for real self defense classes?

Do you wonder if you have what it takes to really be able to protect yourself if you had to?

Every week we add new short videos from class, showing students of all skill levels training. They also give you a pretty good idea of what the school is like.

Give them a watch and give us a call to arrange for a visit to the school.

Only action will lead you forward.

We are the only school in Chicago offering authentic, no boloney ving tsun in the lineage directly from Ip Ching in Hong Kong.

Being able to defend yourself takes practice and a complete, integrated system of martial art. That is what we offer here, all in an environment that is inclusive and supportive.

Come see for yourself.

DSCF1983

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.”

l1120093photo by Hillary Johnson Photography

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.

 

Training Fundamentals = Strong Ving Tsun

IMG_5185 IMG_5186 IMG_5187 IMG_5188 IMG_5189 IMG_5190 IMG_5191 IMG_5192 IMG_5193

Sifu Matt Featured in 2City News

Sifu Matt Johnson and the Ving Tsun Self Defense Academy is in the news!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recently, the local news group 2City News conducted a three-part interview with Sifu Matt Johnson. Here is part one, in which Sifu gives the audience a basic grounding in what ving tsun is and why it’s so effective for self defense.

The article focuses as well on the problem of understaffed, under-served urban areas in which residents often feel they must fend for themselves:

Check out the rest of the article and the first video segment. And of course, stay tuned for part two, tomorrow!
Thanks to Zack Isaacs and the whole 2City crew for focusing on the academy and such an urgent set of security and self defense issues. As one of the very few U.S. schools with direct links to the Ip Man lineage of Ving Tsun/Wing Chun, we are dedicated to teaching ving tsun in it’s purest form to those who wish to defend themselves and their loved ones. We extend an invitation to anyone who may be interested to come in for an interview, watch a class and if interested, attend up to a week of classes free of charge, to make sure the school is a good fit for you and your self defense goals.

Sifu Matt Johnson Brings Ving Tsun to Texas!

Sifu Matt is bringing Ving Tsun training to the Rio Grande Valley starting tomorrow.

Sifu Matt and Tim Santos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He’ll be doing seminars and private lessons in McAllen (at Tim Santos’ new school).

he’ll also be visiting Mission, where Moses Flores teaches.

And last stop? Laredo, at Morales Martial Arts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’ll post news of the trip as it unfolds.

Get ready Texas!

2nd Saturdays intro class

The next intro to Ving Tsun class at the VTSDA will be held May 12th. We only accept four students for this class and there are only two places left for this class. If you are interested please fill out the form and contact us before all the spots are taken. This class is an excellent way to see what the system is all about, as well as see the academy and meet some of the other students. The cost is $25. If you like it and join the academy, the $25 will be taken off your first months tuition. Contact us today and come check out Chicago’s premier academy teaching the authentic art of Ving Tsun Kung Fu, with a fully certified, Hong Kong trained instructor.