Wing Chun private lessons in Swanage UK

If you live near Swanage, Purbeck or anywhere within easy travel distance and want to learn Wing Chun Kung Fu for self defence purposes, you’ve come to the right place.

I offer private lessons in Wing Chun for Self Defence from my home near Swanage in Purbeck.

Also suitable for residents of Bournemouth and Poole if you don’t mind spending an hour on the bus each way, since the Purbeck Breezer buses have some great deals on, it’s currently only £2 each way from Bournemouth to Swanage. The number 40 will take you the long way around Poole Harbour, through Wareham. The number 50 bus will take you on a shortcut as it boards the Sandbanks Ferry.

My Wing Chun lessons are suitable for anyone from complete beginners through to expert level.

BEGINNER LEVEL

If you’ve never done Wing Chun before, you may be surprised how quickly you progress. You’ll probably be perfectly blocking random combinations (of certain types) with your eyes shut before the end of your Free first lesson. The beauty of Wing Chun is it focuses on the most important aspects of 1-on-1 empty-handed combat, while having a gem of an exercise called Sticky Hands which enables you to pick up the core of the system almost instantly with perfect natural fluency.

Aside from 2 handed sticking (which most beginners are comfortable diving straight into), there are various simple drills worth practising, to gain extra familiarity with certain moves. One of the best drills for beginners to train is the Bong-Wu Lap-Da drill. Among other things, this drill gets you very comfortable with Bong Sau which is often seen by outsiders as the weirdest move in Wing Chun (although it’s also often seen in professional boxing, as an isolated move due to the size of gloves).

There are also plenty of good one-step drills, for practising how to block a punch from a fully disengaged distance (something Sticky Hands doesn’t help so much with). This way, we can train all kinds of defences against all kinds of attacks from a non contact position. The best one to begin with is Pak Da against a straight or narrowly hooked punch like a jab or cross, since that’s generally the most efficient & effective block & counter of a straight-ish shot from distance, providing you’ve got enough space & time to do it. Note that there is footage online of a young Bruce Lee training variations of this drill from a one-handed-sticking (crossing hands) position. It’s also well worth training Biu Da and Gaang Da, to get comfortable with blocking & countering high & low wide hooks. These are all basic classical Wing Chun techniques but their importance does not diminish with experience, they’ll always be key moves, well worth training.

EXPERT LEVEL

If you already consider yourself a Master of Wing Chun and are interested in discovering new angles, new ways of looking at the art, and learning additional advanced techniques and theory, let’s see what we can do. Novel things I can introduce you to include:

— Faan Sau patterns

I teach a great Faan Sau pattern that begins with defending from a Boxing style Jab & Cross and builds up to the Seung Laap Sau (double-handed arm drag) and knockout punch from the Biu Jee form which can be done horizontally (Ip Chun style) or diagonally (Ip Ching style) or circularly (as in the Tai Chi Ball technique).

This is not a random combination by any means. What makes this pattern so special is, it flows so naturally, and yet there is a clear progressive order to it. The aggressor begins on the front foot, and with each step in the sequence, more control is gained by the defender – it gets gradually harder for the initial aggressor to defend & counter until they themselves are fully on the back foot, then knocked down. I learnt the basis of this combination via Yip Man lineage about 15 years ago and have refined it myself with input from corresponding techniques in Boxing & Tai Chi. I’m not a fan of long solo forms myself, but I absolutely love this short pairwork pattern.

— Huen Sau based Poon Sau & Chi Sau

The Huen Sau based Poon Sau drill, and Huen Sau centric freestyle Chi Sau, is mainly seen in Ip Ching lineage today. But it closely resembles pre Ip Man era Poon Sau, and an identical exercise is also found in Tai Chi.

The idea is, to try getting both hands on top, to gain a significant advantage from where you should be able to finish them. So whichever hand is underneath, you circle it out and over. If the opponent doesn’t keep up, you punish him when you have both hands on top. If he matches your movement, you continue circling up, one hand at a time.

This is not so much a goal-less exercise as the popular Pendulum style Poon Sau – there is a more progressive path to victory here.

A nice tactic that can often be employed to baffle your training partner and finish them cleanly, is to sharply increase tempo at the right moment, to create a particular kind of tension in the opponent’s arms – this is an application of Poon Jong (盤樁) from section 3 of the wooden dummy form, and it naturally flows into either of the Huen Da combinations that close each section of the dummy form. The first bit of tension you find, you use to create an opening to strike through, then depending how they attempt to block (generally one of two ways), you fold them up in the matching way – textbook fashion, but quite intuitive after practising the dummy form enough. So long as the opponent is focused on keeping up with your circling (to avoid being punished when you have both hands on top) your sharp increase in tempo tends to create the desired effect, and if they neglect to keep up with your circling, you should get both hands on top and punish them as standard. Of course, all the same principles apply as in normal chi sau – you still need to cover the mutual centreline and be ready for all manner of simple & fancy attacks. The only difference here is, the emphasis on the micro-goal of having both hands on top, which is a great way to build towards the macro-goal of a clinical finishing move.

— Wu Xing concepts

How the Five Elements theory can apply to natural Wing Chun combinations, to indicate what would be the ideal kind of follow up or counter from any position. More specifically, what kind of move naturally follows, what kind of move naturally precedes, what kind of move dominantly counters, what kind of move passively counters, and what kind of move evenly clashes.

For example, if someone throws a very straight & piercing punch (like the linear thrust of a pole or spear) that would be a ‘masculine wooden’ technique, which can be dominantly received & countered by Jam, Gaang, Fak (as you would do with butterfly knives against a pole) – this is ‘metal’ energy (metal splits & chops wood). This would be naturally followed by a takedown using Water energy, such as a neck drag into a sweeping clothesline (eg Aikido TenShi NaGe, 天地投げ), because Metal (and other forms of crystal) will attract, collect and feed you with Water (and it will feed that water with minerals & structure).

This is an example of how the ‘feeding’ or ‘generative’ cycle of the 5 elements indicates how our combinations should naturally flow from one move into the next. But it doesn’t stop there. The beauty of Wu Xing theory goes up another level when we see how the feeding cycle we flow through is optimised for continuous countering of every move in the flow of the opponent when they are also attempting the dominant move to counter us and we’re one step ahead. In other words, each move we do in our natural combination, is conveniently also the dominant counter to the opponent’s potential dominant counter of the move we’ve just done.

I am not a complete master of this method – I’m not sure if anyone is – but I am unusually qualified to introduce and comment on it, since those with strong practical Wing Chun acumen & instinct tend not to explore Wu Xing theory in such depth, and those who are so familiar with Wu Xing theory tend not to be masters of Wing Chun fundamentals – they mostly exist in Xing Yi Quan and its derivative systems which have some interesting moves but tend not to cover the same ground as Wing Chun so effectively. Thus it’s kind of a forgotten art that I’m working on bringing back to life.

— Resemblances between Wing Chun and other martial arts

Classical Wing Chun techniques & structures can be found in various other great martial arts systems.

In boxing: the Jab follows the same path as a Fak Sau, the tight hook occupies the same structure as the Lan Sau, the Uppercut follows the same path as the Jam Sau, etc. Top boxers can also be seen doing classical Wing Chun moves on the big stage, for example I’ve seen Lomachenko doing Lap Da, Jeen Ma, Wu Sau, etc… Manny Pacquiao doing Pak Da… Tyson Fury doing Bong Sau… Anthony Yarde doing Lan Sau…

Many Judo and Aikido throws are executed using classic Wing Chun structures. Judo even teaches the same ‘three points of contact’ principle, and has many variations of footsweep that look & behave much like a Wing Chun oblique kick (especially Hiza Guruma, the knee wheel).

— Bruce Lee’s adaptations

Which common Hong Kong Wing Chun techniques were most disliked by Bruce Lee, and what he preferred to do instead, and why.

Even though Bruce continued training with top level Wing Chun teachers throughout his life, we know his JKD philosophy was to absorb what he found useful, disregard the rest, and add what was uniquely his own. He was always fond of Wing Chun in general, but had a distaste for some aspects of it and there is textual, photographic & videographic evidence to show some of his favourite adaptations. I feel the same way about Wing Chun, I love the system generally but I have a distaste for some common ways of doing certain moves because they don’t feel balanced to me, so I developed my own alternatives and coincidentally they often turned out to be similar to Bruce’s, while often also being found in other respectable martial arts.

— Yiu Ma (腰馬) vs Sau Tai Sun (手提身)

These two opposing concepts, like Yin & Yang, should both be respected in every move you make. Yiu Ma means Hip Stance, which means putting your hip (and whole body) into every move you make, for stability and power. Sau Tai Sun means Hand Moves Body, which means lead the way with your hands and let the body follow. Most people do too much of one, neglecting the other, especially when rehearsing or drilling classical moves. Wing Chun beginners and Tai Chi experts tend to neglect Yiu Ma, while Wing Chun experts and Tai Chi beginners tend to neglect Sau Tai Sun. Very rarely does anyone balance them in practically every move they make, but Bruce Lee did. I can help you understand & balance them too, if you want to.