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Is the style or system you are going to learn in IWC authentic?
Sifu Chow is the direct lineage of Yip Man's (Bruce Lee's sifu) genealogy and lifetime member of VTAA in Hong Kong. For more information, via Sifu Chow's videos on YouTube.
Who will teach the class? Sifu himself or his students?
Sifu Chow teaches all the classes, all the time himself.
How many years of experience does Sifu Chow have?
Sifu Chow has 40 years experience in teaching Wing Chun.
Does IWC training cover all fighting ranges and situations?
Sifu Chow will teach you how to extend Sticky Hand to all ranges and realistic situations. Read a real self-defense story.
Is there a long term contract to sign?
No long or short contracts to sign, just initiation fee and monthly payment. So you can start anytime. See locations, schedule, and fees.
SIFU CHOW ON WING CHUN Methodology
Why did you develop different fighting ranges for Wing Chun, is it necessary?
Sifu Chow: It is absolutely necessary. Traditional Wing Chun is a stand-up fighting style. Sticky Hands is only good for the hand range. Master William Chueng could fight a lot better when his opponents took him down to the ground. There was no hand range fighting but only ground range fighting. That's why I've advocated all of Wing Chun to do more ground range training.
What is the different between Bruce Lee's Jeet Kune Do and your Integrative Wing Chun (IWC)?
Sifu Chow: Bruce Lee's Jeet Kune Do was originally evolved from Wing Chun. His idea was to integrate Wing Chun and other martial arts. However, he never had the chance to complete his work. His vision was continued by his student Sifu Dan Inosanto, who brought different martial arts into his Academy in different times. Students have to learn many different styles in order to complete all fighting ranges, in general they are long range, close range, takedown range, ground range. It could be a problem for some of them. For example: One learns Kali and Wing Chun, his missing gap is ground grappling. One learns Mauy Thai and Brazilian JJ, his missing gaps are close range and takedown range. In order to cover all fighting ranges, one have to learn at least 3-4 different styles from different instructors in different schedules, not to mention more expenses. Then it is still not an easy task for a student to smooth out the transitions from one range to others or from one style to others. Integrative Wing Chun, which is different from JKD, is a complete system which does not have any gap or transition problem between ranges or techniques.
What do you think about cage-fighting like the UFC, Pride, etc.? How do they influence your IWC?
Sifu Chow: I try to watch as many Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) tournaments as I can. Such competitions reflect the closest of martial arts can be. In early 1990s, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu had dominated. It was good to see some strikers came back. Then, came the wrestlers. From time to time, we are learning from each others. We try to map out the pros and cons of different styles. Today, MMA is the key to winning. A striker needs to train ground grappling in order to escape or avoid a take down, While a ground grappler needs to train striking in order to avoid being knocked out.
How do you train your student to cover all of the fighting ranges?
Sifu Chow: After a year of Sticky Hands training, I will teach them how to execute long range entry moves with bigger footwork and the use of distractions. Entry moves bring them to close range. In close range, I teach them how to use Sticky Hands but also how to go in deeper to their opponent for a takedown. My IWC takedown is executed in a control manner, so they can mount their opponents on the ground. After the mounting, joint locks, chokes or strikes would be used in order to make a submission.
What are the training tasks in IWC?
Sifu Chow: IWC is divided into 3 major training tasks which come in the following order: Structure, Coordination, and Sensitivity. Correct body structure gives you proper leverage to generate power. Second is coordination, it allows the use of the whole structure (body, footwork, and hands) to execute simultaneous techniques. Lastly, sensitivity enables you to feel your opponent and allow you to execute the techniques in better timing.
I am a beginner in Wing Chun, I'm aware that Sil-Lim-Tau is the most important form in Wing Chun. How do I correctly train the Sil-Lim-Tau form?
Sifu Chow: First, Sil-Lim-Tau means small idea. It is a structural training of the basic body mechanics which lets you sense the energy within you, both physical and mental. Energy flow in Wing Chun is about building energy and releasing energy. Sil-Lim-Tau form has 3 sections. The first section should be soft and slow, in order to build up the Chi (circulation). The second section is about releasing the energy that you just built in the first section. The third section deals with building more energy so that you can release even more energy. Proper energy flow can speed up the grasp of your basic techniques.
In your Chum-Kiu Video tape, you introduce a 45 degree shifting. I've tried this shifting and can tell an improvement in balance, are there any other benefits for making this change?
Sifu Chow: Well, less angle takes less time and that's the main concept. Even the Legend Wong Shon Leung recommended 45 degree of shifting angle in his Chum-Kiu. Another benefit is if your opponent took a side step in order to cut you from the side he can only step 45 degree or less at a time. Your subtle 45 degree shift is enough. Now, you can also have a video on Siu Lim Tau in 45 degree shifting. (Please click VideoSale for more details)
In your Wing Chun 8 Theories poster, can you explain a little more about the "SILENT IS GOLDEN"
Sifu Chow: It is a strategy that links into how you execute techniques. In any fighting situation, a fighter must cut down the telegraphic[c4] signs both physically and mentally. Physically is to smooth out the techniques. Mentally is to keep cool and concentrate.
What's your weight distribution in Wing Chun Stance?
Sifu Chow: Well, Sil-Lim-Tau tells us the best weight distribution is 50/50. This allows you to recognize your centerline and to fight equally with both sides of your body. From the mutual position 50/50, therefore, you can go to different weight distributions easily. Example: 70 back/30 front, 70 right/30 left and 70 left/30 right. Just remember never use 70 front/30 back in Wing Chun, as you front leg will become a heavy target.
How do you describe your Wing Chun footwork?
Sifu Chow: Footwork should be as easy as walking. First take the Sil-Lim-Tau's Kim Yeung Ma, but make the base wider than the width of your shoulders. Then, take one step up about half of the width of the base. This way you are standing on the diagonal line of your feet, now you base out left and right as well as front and back. That means you are on a square base. Your weight distribution is 50/50 left and right, 50/50 front and back. That means your gravity remains in the center. When you step up you should feel comfortable in either advancing or retreating.
You had mentioned before that you designed some new training methods which allow training at a faster rate, can you give some examples?
Sifu Chow: IÕve designed a free-flow single sticky hand sparring which allows a practitioner to focus on sticky hand sparring on the same side or the cross side. This training improves your sensitivity before you work on double sticky hand. Another example is about your body structure and footwork. IÕve also designed the identical-hand sticky hand training. You are only allowed to use same techniques on both hands. You will need to concentrate on your balance and footwork rather than getting too greedy on striking. One more example is in double sticky hands. You can divide your opponent's arm into 3 parts[c5] (part 1 is the wrist, part 2 the elbow, part 3 the shoulder). Now you have a better perspective of what you need to work on.
What about the Wooden Dummy training? What is the right measurement of a Wooden Dummy?
Sifu Chow: Originally, Wooden Dummies were set in the middle of the courtyard. It was made to be usable 360 degrees around. When Yip Man introduced the Wooden Dummy to Hong Kong, Sifu Koo Sun made him one that could only be mounted against the wall in an apartment. Ideally, the size of Wooden Dummy should be customized to an individual. A critical part is the dummyÕs arms height should be the same height as your shoulders. Traditionally, the Wooden DummyÕs arms were too short, they should also be made a bit longer. If the dummy is stable, it should be planted in the center of the floor or ground. This way you can practice 360 degree around the Wooden Dummy.
What is your take on Wing Chun weapons?
Sifu Chow: Lok Dim Boon Kwun (6 and a half technique pole) was a pole that the opera performers used for paddling the Red Boats. They used them in the fight between boats. The 8 to 9 foot pole is not very practical on land. The long pole can be side-trapped easily and it is too heavy to handle. That's why today a lot of Wing Chun practitioners practice on something shorter and lighter. But, the original Lok Dim Kwun does give you a good workout. Bart Cham Dao (8 chopping butterfly swords) is my favorite weapon. It is like an extension of my hands. The application and coordination are very much like the hand techniques, except they are more powerful and deadly.
How do you integrate Wing Chun Sticky Hand to a Take Down?
Sifu Chow: First I train my students to work on phase 1 (wrist), then, phase 2 (elbow). After that, phase 3 (shoulder/neck) comes natural. In phase 3, they are able to execute take downs. They even go to phase 4 (behind) with rear neck choke.
After take down, how do you get into ground fighting?
Sifu Chow: If your opponent is a ground fighter who might trick you and then take you down, clearly he is going to take care of his business on the ground. That's why you need to follow through the takedown to control your opponent by mounting him. In this position you need to find a position to strike him out either with fists or elbows. If he alreday on the way to take you down you would sprawl in order to avoid the takedown. If you are already been taken down, then ground submission skills would take over.
Most people have problems doing high kicks, do you use it in your IWC?
Sifu Chow: Yes, I do. I mainly use low kicks for entry. The high kick is not always effective but it is a good technique to surprise your opponent. To me it works both 2 ways, distraction and knock out. First t could open your opponent's guard and distract him. Or use it when you want to dominate your opponent. Over use is not recommended.