Group photo from the workshop.
On Friday September 29th and Saturday September 30th, Sifu Benny Meng, Curator of the Ving Tsun Museum in Dayton, OH conducted a workshop on Wing Chun Chi Sau and Applications in Akron, OH hosted by his student Sifu Wayne Schulz. In attendance were members of the Benny Meng Wing Chun family though the Yip Man/Moy Yat family and the Eddie Chong family through the Yip Man/Leung Shun/Ken Chung and Pan Nam lineages.
On Friday night, Sifu Meng covered the political and social history of China during the transition from the Ming Dynasty to the Qing Dynasty. According to VTM research, this transition served as the main reason for the eventual development of the Wing Chun system. Between the years of 1664 and 1683, the Qing government waged war against revolutionaries throughout China, focusing on the south in later years. It was during the latter half of the 17th century that Wing Chun was created. This artform was a synthesis of Ming military thinking with Shaolin martial and philosophical skills. Friday night's lecture was followed by dinner at a local restaurant.
Saturday's workshop was of a more technical nature. With a discussion of Chi Sau and Chi Sau progressions, Sifu Meng discussed training methodologies used in the Yip Man system. The basic progression used in the Yip Man lineage begins with paak sau or slapping hands. This first exercise established centerline and teaches the student how the hands function and remain on the centerline. The next exercise is lap sau or grabbing hands. This exercise builds on the first and adds more complexity to the motions. The third exercise is daan chi sau or single sticking hand. This exercise develops the student's awareness of centerline in several directions while learning to control center by sticking. It is at this point that sticking is first introduced to the student. Following the progression of these three exercises, the Yip Man lineage focuses on a progression of skills based on luk sau or rolling hands. Luk sau deals with two hands, one inside and one outside, rolling in relation to the centerline. It serves as the most fundamental level to chi sau (sticking hands) skill.
Following the progression of chi sau development, Sifu Meng introduced workshop participants to the Time and Space concept of Hung Fa Yi Wing Chun. This discussion was accompanied by exercises relating to foot placement and kicking. By understanding foot placement relative to oneself and one's opponent, one can maintain harmony with Time and Space to react in combat according to the human body.
In addition to the workshop and lecture, time was allowed for workshop participants to discuss with each other on their own. Everyone enjoyed the interaction and look forward to future activities together.