Wing Chun Bio
-Began martial art training during the 1980's in Korean "Tang Soo Do" Karate and Modern Wushu
-Started training Mui's Juen Ma (Turning style) Wing Chun in 1989 at the WC Kung Fu Academy
-Spent five years training Augustine Fong's version of Yip Man WC under Randy Williams
-Traveled to Madrid, Spain and Los Angeles, CA. to assist in WC video series
-Spent 2.5 years training Henry Leung's Fut Sao WC under Santo Barbalace
-Traveled to London, England to teach a seminar at the UK Futshan WC Association
-Continued training Mui's Juen Ma WC under Julio Veliz
-Traveled to Los Angeles, CA to learn Sae Sup Dim WC under Robert Chu
-Co-founder of the Expand Your Horizons seminar series with Guru Jason Silverman
-Accepted by ceremony in the traditional Koo Lo village Pin Sun WC of Dr. Leung Jan under Mui Wai Hun as taught by the Fung family
-Articles published in Inside Kung Fu, Martial Arts of China Journal, Martial Arts Illustrated and WC Today
-Founder of the Leung Jan Research Institute with members in the USA, United Kingdom, Holland and Australia
-Instructor at Mui's Martial Art Academy
*Currently practicing/learning Yi Chuan/Chang Su Kung for internal health and "only" preserves the Koo Lo village Pin Sun Wing Chun art of Dr. Leung Jan!
Articles by Jim Roselando
Leung Jan's Har Sun
(Leung Jan's Lower Body)
By: Jim Roselando
The Yee Jee Kim Yeung Ma (Character "=" Yang Clamping Horse) has become one of the most often misunderstood structures in the martial art world today. One can go many places and you will usually hear the same distorted rumors but by far the most common mistake lies in this statement; It's a training stance and not a fighting stance! The fact of the matter is the Yee Jee Kim Yeung Ma is the only stance, or all stances, in Wing Chun and the way you train is the way you fight.
Compact in design, the horse is built around certain laws. Opening of the horse differs from lineage to lineage but practitioners of Leung Jan's Pin Sun Wing Chun will start with the feet together, knees bent and the heels slide outward first. Then the toe's slide to parallel and lastly the heels slide outward again slightly past the toes to form the horse. When in the horse you should be no less than shoulder width or slightly past. Your knees are to be never more than one fist distance apart!
By keeping the compact nature of this horse one can protect the lower line without having to make adjustments. During a recent sparring session my partner tried to kick me in the groin. His leg was automatically trapped by the design of the horse then I shifted and stepped into him, which caused him to fall on the ground. If I was not in the fist distance I can only say I would have been seeing stars! Another important fact is when we normally stand our feet are about shoulder width or shorter. If an aggressive situation should happen only a minor adjustment can be made and you would be in your horse. One more application of the horse would be if someone attacks your knee with a kick your other knee may help out by supporting the limb being attacked.
Many people wonder if the horse has sufficient stability to power the art? This is a reasonable concern and the most common reason why people tend to adopt the hand skills of our art but alter or blend it with the bottom half of another art. Without a doubt the most difficult thing to do in Wing Chun is develop a strong stable stance but Kung Fu means hard work! Nobody said it was supposed to be easy! Once developed the horse must be able to absorb, change, spring or adjust depending on the situation. It is not a dead animal wanting to hold excess power, or a weak frame that will crumble when touched, but a living creature that can react in the moment.
Training the horse is very simple. You must spend tremendous time in it! Sinking your body and breath will cause your stance to become heavy and strengthen your legs and stability. Placing a phone book on your chest and allowing your partner to strike it will show if your body is properly aligned. If your body bounces backwards, or is badly shocked, you will know something out of place! I find that this is the one of the most important ways to train your horse as it shows how incoming force must be able to be absorbed by your frame. Utilizing cut pieces of two by four wood is another way to train your horse. The practitioner will stand on these objects while their partners will launch punches at them seeing if they can receive force while standing on objects that are not stable. The other benefit of the wood training is that it teaches relaxation. If your bridge is too tense then the shock of the in coming blow will cause a rebounding effect causing you to be knocked off the wood
In the opening paragraph of the article I mentioned Yee Jee Kim Yeung Ma is all stances in Wing Chun. How is this so you may ask? If both feet are slightly pointing inward when in the Yee Jee Kim Yeung Ma and you shift into Pin Sun Ma (Side Body Horse), they should both turn the "exact same amount" when shifting. By doing this you will form the Ding Jee Ma (T-Shaped Horse). What is the Ding Jee Ma? Ding Jee Ma is a shifted version of the Yee Jee Kim Yeung Ma and one of the most neglected areas of the art. One might even say Ding Jee Ma has become almost extinct yet they are one and the same. It's all Yee Jee Kim Yeung Ma! It's our only horse.
When shifting your horse it should be mentioned that your balls of the feet should not swing like a windshield wiper but rather the heel's swing. If the balls of your feet swing then the weight is on the rear and you will lack forward drive among other benefits.
Movement is the next topic. Looking at our footwork patterns you can see many variations. We can Biu (Dart), Gwaii (Circle), Kau (Hook), etc. You must understand that these are transitional movements and carry our frame. The beginning product and the end product are still the Yee Jee Kim Yeung Ma or Ding Jee Ma. Footwork or movement helps us find safety through proper positions. It helps us keep our opponent off balance. It helps us neutralize attacks and a variety of things.
Training of the footwork can be done many ways. In Pin Sun Wing Chun we start with introducing the footwork individually or coupled with a point. The practitioner learns a pattern of movement and then does it carrying bags of sand. The extra weight of the sand will add resistance to the movement and further develop the legs as did the training of the different training of the Yee Jee Kim Yeung Ma. Doing partner practice will also help train the moving horses since you must be able to apply your methods on a living object. You must train your skill stationary and moving. You must train them solo and with a partner. For example if you only train Biu Choi in Yee Jee Kim Yeung Ma then when you go to utilize it in a fight with Dong Ma (Swinging Horse) or Tang Ma you will not be comfortable or prepared to do these motions with these patterns.
One of the beauties of the Yee Jee Kim Yeung Ma is its ability to move in any direction. Utilizing the neutral positioning of the horse we give "no flank". We can hold, shift, move left, move right, move in or a combination of the above. Some Wing Chun practitioners choose to place a foot forward when fighting. Although it is possible to fight from a lead leg stance, or any stance, Leung Jan's Pin Sun Wing Chun prefers to adopt the neutral positioning of the Yee Jee Kim Yeung Ma to ensure a safer range of movement.
In the end everything will come together. The average street person will not have the stability of the trained martial artist but they will have street aggression on their side. Never under estimate the street fighter so you must train your Wing Chun to be explosive yet relaxed and fluid. When you work on your horse and movements you should make sure everything moves as a unit and when the body turns the horse it should turn equally. If your horse turns equally you will automatically be using the Yee Jee Kim Yeung Ma the way it was designed!
® Roselando 2001
Leung Jan's Lop Sao
By: Jim Roselando
As we continue to learn about our fighting system one must take a look and experience other methods, approaches, concepts and applications. During a recent sparring session I discovered how much of an emphasis that many lineages place on heavy grabbing. Is this the only way to control your opponent? If you eliminated the heavy Lop (grasping) action would you still be able to fight or would you be in a world of trouble? With this in mind I would like to discuss some of the concepts of the Grasping Hand of Leung Jan's Pin Sun Wing Chun teaching and some of the most common applications I have felt and witnessed.
When the Pin Sun Wing Chun pupil learns any skill they are taught specific partner sets to develop the skill learned. After sufficient time is spent developing the skills they are then taught how to free them in Chi Sao/Jao Sao. In any lineage it is not un-usual, during sticking hands, many beginners prefer to reply solely on Pak Sao (slapping hand), Chung Choi (thrusting fist), Bong Sao (wing hand) and of course the ever popular Lop Sao (grasping hand). As sensitivity develops many of the other methods start to appear. The programmed reactions begin to become natural responses.
If one does not explore and develop the many skills of their Wing Chun we can assume that the Wing Chun may not ever develop past a portion of Siu Lin Tau level application. No matter what system of Wing Chun you preserve you have to break down your actions found within the forms and learn to apply them on your opponent. This would be offensively and defensively but in the end the two become one. Initially we learn the defensive application. You must have someone attack you and feel how to apply your skill. Secondly, you must feel when the time is right to utilize that same skill trained to initiate the application. Without going thru this process you will never have full usage of your methods found within your forms but in the end it will all be offensive.
From people visiting our club, and from viewing countless tapes, I can see that the heavy "Death Grip" Lop Sao is by far the most overly utilized skill. The most common problem is found within the holding on. There are times when Lop Sao must be applied otherwise we would not have it in our arsenal but the holding on is where the big mistake is located. After you perform the Lop Sao do you maintain a grip or just use a light touch control as the Lop is already been completed? When you hold someone, or are nervous to let go, because you only have a limited amount of development with your other skills you do not help advance your Wing Chun. Almost all of the sensitivity training in Wing Chun focuses on the Kiu (bridge). Extending your hands out and holding with you palms just isn't how to control your opponent. Performing a Lop Sao and then squeezing or holding it down is not controlling your opponent. In the teaching of Dr. Leung Jan we believe that grabbing is only for a "split" second. Everything is touch and go! Dr. Leung Jan taught that in a fight grabbing is not going to happen for more than a moment. Do not think you can hold a person in a street fight as this is not realistic!
One way to enhance your feeling hand skills is to train your chi sao "without" grabbing. Yes, without grabbing! You will be pleasantly surprised to the fact that much more skill will come out. Also, you can produce the same results without all the grabbing. Other controlling hands such as Lim Sao (sickle hand), Kau Sao (hooking hand), Tan Sao (spreading hand), Gum Sao (pinning hand), Tok Sao (lifting hand), Got Sao (cutting hand), etc. are designed to produce specific controlling results and need not grasp or hold for safety.
If you eliminate the Death Grip from your Chi Sao/Jao Sao you may feel a bit uncomfortable in the beginning. You may even end up being hit more than usual! Is it better to be hit in class rather than on the street? Also, by eliminating the excessive grabbing you will reduce the opportunity your partner has to kick you. Many superb results can happen from this training but one has to be willing to look in the mirror, take an honest look at their boxing and decide if there could be some truth to what is being said in this article or are they happy with the amount of Wing Chun being used in their fighting! With all the above information being said I would like to leave you with this one final thought. If the art of Wing Chun was truly developed by a "woman", do you think a woman would try and grab/hold you down in a fight?
Leung Jan's Yau Ging
By: Jim Roselando
To the un-trained eye one may think that the Pin Sun Wing Chun lacks noticeable power but when felt there is no doubt as to the what energy can be generated through its graceful and compact actions. Hopefully, after reading this article, one will understand some of the key elements utilized to developing the explosive power of Leung Jan's art.
As one begins their training they are initially taught how to open the posture and align the body. Our fundamental horse, Yee Jee Kim Yeung Ma (character "=" yang clamping horse), opens in three parts and finishes about shoulder width apart with the heels slightly out, toes gripped, knees clamped to no more than a fist distance, anus lifted and pelvis tucked. As we work further up the body you straighten the spin, slightly tuck the chin, clinch the teeth and last but not least you employ three of the major elements found in all old style Wing Chun which is Lok Bot (drop shoulders), Chum Jarn (sink elbows) and Sow Hung (hollow chest). After learning, and while learning, these key body links you are now about to begin the silent boxing of Pin Sun Wing Chun.
Pin Sun Wing Chun uses a quiet body. Its power comes from the connection of body, positioning of skills, relaxation, root, internal power, distance, timing, speed and other important elements. The training of boxing skills begins in the Yee Jee Kim Yeung Ma and one is not allowed to move until sufficient time is spent in the horse. By not moving any areas of the body, but the hand skills being trained, one is beginning to develop Yau Ging (subtle power). Many other arts utilize big body swinging actions to power their hands but in Pin Sun Wing Chun we do not do this. It is not the goal of a Wing Chun practitioner to have noticeable power. This would be telegraphing ones intent. If one can see where the power is generated from they can also neutralize it and while this may be good for a beginner to see how power is generated it will cause long term damage for a traditional Wing Chun artist as it will not only stunt their Yau Ging but also their future Duen Ging (short power). One Wing Chun proverb states: The skills depart from where they originate. This tells us that we do not telegraph or pump to generate power! In future training one will use their footwork to add more body power to the boxing methods but make no mistake, the body will still be silent when in motion.
Power comes from the earth, manifests in the body and is expressed in the limbs! This is key to understanding the way any Kung Fu practitioner looks at expressing power. When you are connected to the earth, and have good stability/balance, you will now be able to issue power. One example is trying to hit with power while one is off balance on a slippery surface and or trying to hit while stable on concrete. Another is to build a pyramid upside down. This is not to say we must be like a mountain and not moveable but you must have a strong stable stance that is mobile. So, although our horse is narrow it must be strong, lively and agile.
The body is where the power develops. Through our connected frame we each have a certain amount of mass/weight. When moving we all add the amount of body weight to our actions. The turning, stepping, etc. all carry our mass and generate the added force to the skills. Of course you have to be properly aligned otherwise this would not be effective. This is stage two for power in fighting.
Last but not least are the limbs. These are the tools we mainly use to cause damage to our opponent. I say "mainly" since we do utilize the body to strike when needed but for this article we will focus on the limbs. Within the design of our actions the founders made sure that muscular strength would not be what made the effectiveness of our fighting but relaxed structural power would be. As a matter of fact, contraction of muscle is frowned on in Pin Sun Wing Chun. With the proper positioning, distance, timing and speed combined with the two above discussed elements of these Three Keys we can now see how it connects to each other. Mass plus velocity equals power! The earth, body and speed are the basics to this formula!
Lets begin with a quote from Leung Jan: Lik Yiu Noi Kung (your power must be internal). This quote should not be taken the wrong way! It does not have any relations to Chi or any other spiritual power. Too much dreamy, or wishful, thoughts gets into some Kung Fu practitioners minds as all those old Kung Fu movies we all watched sometimes cloud rational thought. Noi Kung in Pin Sun Wing Chun refers to the inside power developed from your solo, partner, dummy and weaponry training. Of course you must realize that without the proper body alignment and positioning this wouldn't matter! This is just a part of the total Pin Sun Wing Chun arsenal of issuing and receiving force. It should be known that the teaching of Wong Wah Bo made no use of Hay Kung methods!
Remember the first time we all did a hand drill with a good amount of repetition, and our shoulders started burning, but after a few months we were able to do this for a long time and there was no burning? How about if we were to take an average person and ask them to sit in our horse for five minutes and its highly unlikely that they could do it properly without shaking or having to stand up and re-adjust yet for someone who has trained for a number of years this would be no problem. We have developed a stylistic Ging!
From the outside we look normal but inside we have technical Ging that can be felt but not seen. Weight lifters have a noticeable muscular power but this is not the case for a Wing Chun practitioner. The hours we spend practicing our actions and positions. The hours we spend doing partner exercises. The hours we spend on the Jong (dummy). All these things build Wing Chun power. It is totally relaxed but yet it is abnormally strong. Knowing the importance of this power, Leung Jan developed different partner sets to go along with his personal arts progression, which would aid in the development of the Noi Kung as well the boxing itself! Mui Sifu always tells us that the average person takes about two years to have a fair amount of Pin Sun Wing Chun Noi Kung.
Mai Jee Hong Choi (closed finger empty fist) is the formation taught by Leung Jan in Koo Lo village. This still employs the Yat Jee Chung Choi (sun character thrust fist) alignment but the fist does not clinch or contract on impact. The middle of the fist, between fingers and palm, has space so it is totally relaxed but due to the bone alignment, positioning and impact area there is no tensing. As this is one of the earliest boxing tools taught in the art it makes the pupil away from day one that intellectual design and subtle power is what the art is based upon!
Through these basic training platforms, and concepts, we can see how the root training is by far the most important for developing into a good Pin Sun Wing Chun martial artist. Compared to some of the other more flashy arts our training is, or can be, a bit boring and tedious for a new practitioner but the results are wonderful. There are many more aspects to Leung Jan's Koo Lo village Pin Sun Wing Chun teaching that develop the practitioner but these root training methods are some of the most vital areas that cannot be lacked, compromised or altered otherwise you will end up with a weak system. It should always be known that you must be simple, subtle and natural. Your goal should be refinement and not gross Kung Fu. Any lack of power in your boxing can nine times out of ten be located in you stance, body and positioning.