Leg techniques which is also known as kicking attacks or kicking techniques, is our Chinese martial arts’ expression of the skills of the lower limbs in the art of self defense. In my early days of learning under my teacher, the late Grandmaster Yip Man, he repeatedly mentioned that since I am short in stature and size, I should emphasize the training of the lower body (the training of the lower body covers the stances, waist usage, footwork and kicking techniques). There is a saying that is ‘in order to succeed, you have to be diligent enough and also able to endure hardship’.
By Sifu Donald Mak
What is Chi Sao? Key Concepts and the Importance of Bridging
Many Wing Chun practitioners will have heard that the purpose of Chi Sao is to improve your sensitivity.
While sensitivity training is an important element, Chi Sao also has another key function, i.e., what we call “bridging.” By this we mean Chi Sao serves as a bridge between the empty hand forms (the three sets) and real life fighting. In other words, without a bridge, we cannot do real fighting or utilize our empty hand forms.
It’s also important to recognize that Chi Sao is a form of fixed, routine training, and should not be confused with real fighting.
Neither is Gor Sao real fighting, as it is just a more advanced form of Chi Sao. The only way to simulate real fighting in our training is to use protective gear in order to execute full contact and full force punching and kicking.
1) Can you tell us how you got started in Wing Chun and why you choose Wing Chun over all the other Kung Fu Systems in Hong Kong ?
DM: I was interested in kung fu when I was a kid. However, in the late 60's and early 70' s, kung fu people gave a bad impression to the general public that they were mafia. So, even though I was interested in kung fu, I did not start learning any kung fu not until I was 17. When I was 15, I watched a Wing Chun movie called “The Warriors Two”. I was so impressed by the actions and techniques shown in the movie. It was that movie that made me determine to find a Wing Chun teacher. Lucky enough, one of my classmate's brother's classmate called Leung Ping Sang was Chow sifu's student. So, I was brought to Chow sifu's school by this indirect relationship in 1979.
An old poem on the use of softness in the martial arts likened the idea of softness to that of borrowing strength akin a willow tree yielding and bending in the face of strong winds during a violent storm rather than resisting the powerful onslaught of the stronger wind. By not resisting, the willow tree can still prevail and live another day whereas trees that refused to yield may not survive intact and may even be broken and/or blown over.
The whole world applauds enthusiastically all the films with the participation of the Hollywood actor Robert Downey Jr: «Iron man» and «Iron man 2», «Sherlock Holmes» and «Sherlock Holmes: the Game of shadows».
And just the other day his new blockbuster «the Avengers» is going to be released.
But, surprisingly, besides his career, there is another interesting thing in his life.
“As one may say, Wing Chun became my religion in 2003 when I quitted drugs” says the actor,
Wing Chun Magazine: "The Legs of Wing Chun - The Importance of Wing Chun Footwork"
By Simone Sebastiani
Martial Arts Magazine: "SiFu Donald Mak: Willow in the Wind"