Archive for July, 2012

Forgetting The Words Of Our Elders – Wong Shun Leung

Posted in Martial Arts and Training, Quotes and Articles on July 31, 2012 by ctkwingchun

“As long as it stays logical, it doesn’t matter what you call it or what you’re actually doing. If it is logical, if it works, use it! Make the art your slave, and never allow the art to be your master; Wing Chun theory is flawless if you can execute it perfect. But a theory is just a theory, it means nothing if you can’t put it to work. You might have a better fighting theory behind your system, but if your skill level is lower than your opponent’s skill you’ll be easily defeated, all the theory in the world can’t save you from losing.”

Wong Shun Leung

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Cardinal Rules of Knife Fighting

Posted in Martial Arts and Training, Strategy and Psychology on July 31, 2012 by His Dark Side

1) Examine your knife and decide whether it is designed for stab, slash or combination.

2) Firm grip. “Lose it and he’ll use it.”

3) Use sleight of hand to get opponent to fixate on your non-knife hand and cut him.

4) Go in hard, fast and get out quick.

5) If the opponent offers a limb, cut it.

6) In boxing you are encouraged to use your reach, in knife it is critical to use it. Extend your arm, turn your shoulder, turn your hip and lean.

7) A stationery fighter is a dead fighter. Be mobile.

8) Speed kills. Be fast.

9) Use the element of suprise. By using ambush, you are more likely to be able to catch your opponent off guard.

10) Practice using training blades. Watch clips on real life attacks to look for common strategies employed by attackers.

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Drive; Christian Grey

Posted in Quotes and Articles on July 31, 2012 by His Dark Side

“I don’t have a philosophy as such.

Maybe a guiding principle – Carnegie’s: ‘A man who acquires the ability to take full possession of his own mind may take possession of anything else to which he is justly entitled.’

I’m very singular, driven. I like control – of myself and those around me.”

Christian Grey

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The Poison Tree; William Blake

Posted in Quotes and Articles with tags , on July 31, 2012 by His Dark Side

I was angry with my friend:
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe;
I told it not, my wrath did grow.
And I water’d it in fears,
Night & morning with my tears;
And I sunned it with my smiles
And with soft deceitful wiles.

And it grew both day and night,
Till it bore an apple bright;
And my foe beheld it shine,
And he knew that it was mine,

And into my garden stole
When the night had veil’d the pole:
In the morning glad I see
My foe outstretch’d beneath the tree.”

William Blake

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Demons Sermon

Posted in Martial Arts and Training with tags , on July 31, 2012 by His Dark Side

“The swordsman was then aware that among the rest there was a large demon whose nose was not so very long and whose wings were not so apparent. His robes and headdress were arranged properly and he sat elevated above the others. This demon said, “What each of you has argued is not without principle. In the past, martial artists were serious, their resolution was absolutely sincere, they worked soundly on technique, and were neither daunted nor lazy. Such men believed what their instructors passed on to them, made great efforts day and night, tested their techniques, spoke with their friends about their doubts, mastered what they studied, and awakened themselves to principles. For this reason, what they acquired penetrated deeply within them. At first their instructors would teach them techniques, but say nothing of the principles that were hidden within them. They only waited for their students to uncover those principles for themselves. This is called ‘drawing the bow, but not releasing the arrow.’ And its not that they spoke grudgingly. They simply wanted the students to use their minds, and to master what they were studying in the interval.”

excerpt from The Demons Sermon on Martial Arts by Chozanshi

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Control; Christian Grey

Posted in Quotes and Articles on July 29, 2012 by His Dark Side

“Besides, immense power is acquired by assuring yourself in your secret reveries that you were born to control things.”

Christian Grey

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Gung Fu Hands

Posted in Martial Arts and Training on July 29, 2012 by His Dark Side

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I’d help Sifu into my car, easing him in by supporting him from his arm. He was elderly, but far from frail. It was an honour to drive him back to his flat after my Wing Chun lesson, which he taught from his daughters garden in London, England. The conversation in my car was always muted, his understanding of English limited and my skill in Mandarin, non-existent.

Any language barrier resolved itself after several years under his tutelage. As I progressed in Gung Fu I learnt to read his subtle gestures, facial expressions and body language. I became so adept that he often asked me to convey what he was attempting to communicate to newer students.

I studied my Sifu’s movements. It allowed me to pick up on the subtler aspects of his Gung Fu; the flicks of the hand, the way he held his fingers, the tension of muscles in his forearms.

During the drive from Tottenham, through Bruce Grove I would play some music at low volume to kill the monotony. We’d stop at various traffic lights, pass by parks and sit patiently waiting for traffic to subside. All the while I would watch Sifu from the corner of my eye as he sat quietly.

Sifu was never truly at rest, even when we were trapped motionless in a car. I’d observe him as he brought the gnarled tips of his fingers to his hairline, deep in thought. He would press his hand into his head attempting to recall a particular fighting move like a violent version of Rodin’s thinker. His eyelids would lower and his eyes squint as he thought back to his own training as a younger man.

Sometimes whilst sitting, his hands would dart from one position to another, tracing movements from Gung Fu. I would recognize patterns from mantis, eagle claw, tiger and dragon. His hand would jerk and he would shadow box with varying hand shapes such as the fist, palm, fingers and ridge. Sifu died 8 years ago, yet I still remember those journeys with fondness.

Yesterday I arrived home late. I was still dressed in a shirt and tie as I subconsciously darted my hands out for several minutes. It made me realize how similar to my Sifu I have become, tracing his hand movements as I practiced. By observing amd mimicking him over so many years, his dynamics have become interwoven in the fabric of my body.

Two decades ago I was a naive and wholly incompetent student. But I persevered. As the teaching unfolded I slowly became competent but only to the extent that I had to consciously think about what I was doing. As soon as I stopped thinking deliberately, I would fumble. Nowadays I am like Sifu, struggling not so much to remember the moves but instead to recall the steps that it took for the patterns to become subconscious.

Each day I find myself tightening the seams on my muscles and stitching new neural pathways. And as time slips further away from me I become more like him, journeying ever closer to being a natural Gung Fu man, with each flick of my hand.

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