The Art of Wing Chun

25 May

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Martial arts is very popular not only in the East, but across the globe as well. Although it has mainly originated from China, it is currently being adapted by many other cultures as a form of self-defense, exercise and meditation.

One of the many forms of martial arts is Wing Chun which is also known as Ving Tsun or Wing Tsun. What sets this form or martial arts from others is the emphasis on striking and grappling which is suited for close-range combat.

Wing Chun can be traced back to as early as the late 1800s during the Red Boat Opera period. Tracing it accurately back to its actual source is difficult because there are many legends on how it came about. However, there is one particular common legend about Yim Wing-chun who used this new system of martial arts that she learned from a nun to defeat a warlord. The new form of martial arts was said to have been developed from an observation between a confrontation between a snake and a crane.

The Practical Use of Wing Chun in Everyday Life

Usage of Wing Chun is not only limited to self-defense and man-to-man combat. It has a wide range of practical and beneficial uses in everyday life as well.

  1. Improved balance, structure and stance

 

Wing Chun focus on having a correct stance which can be likened to the bamboo – firm and rooted but flexible and yielding at the same time. This posture and stance is not only useful in fights but it is also highly useful for people who are undergoing therapy.

 

People who get injured will have to go through intensive physical therapies in order to recuperate. Although it may be a lengthy process, Wing Chun can help them bring back or even improve their posture and balance.

 

  1. Relaxation and meditation

 

It is common enough for martial arts to induce people into a state of relaxation and meditation while at the same time doing something that requires a lot of physical effort. This is because Wing Chun requires a person to focus on one’s center to fully perfect the art. It is not a mindless combat of power but on agility and skill which can be likened to a dance or gymnastics.

 

  1. Strength build-up

Basically, Wing Chun is mainly used for self-defense so it actually follows that body strength and impact is increased. Most of the body’s muscles is exercised particularly the arm and legs since there is a lot of punching and kicking in Wing Chun. This is best applied for people who need to gain strength in their arms and legs.

 

Wing Chun may be one of the most physical forms of martial arts since it specializes on close-range combat, but it remains true to the grace and fluidity of martial arts. Because of this, teaching Wing Chun is not for people who want to learn how to fight for defense, but also for those who also wish to find their strength as well.

donnieyenwingchun1In martial arts movies Donnie Yen is pretty much the poster child for Wing Chun you can see him doing much justice to the style in Ip man parts one and two- if you haven’t seen them already you should because they are definitely to be described as some of the top martial arts films.

This is one of the movies that really made his career and truely set him apart from all of the other martial artists out there. In this movie he plays the part of Master Yip which is the guy who trained the legendary Bruce Lee! If that doesn’t say it all then I don’t know what will, in fact check out the video above to know what I am talking about…

History of Vale Tudo

12 Mar

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I didn’t realize that a number of martial arts originated from Brazil until I’ve discovered Vale Tudo. It is a full-contact type of martial arts wherein weapons or tools are not allowed. Mixed martial arts could be associated with Vale Tudo since they both possess a lot of similarities. The rules are very limited, making the sport a popular hit during the 20th century.

History

1920s (Early Beginning)

During 1920s, proofs that Brazilian circuses began to exhibit fighting sideshows were proven by the Japanese-American Courier, specifically on October 4, 1928. As stated from São Paulo, Jiu Jitsu was totally a famous form of martial arts back then when the game was won by a miniscule Japanese wrestler over a gigantic Bahian expert. As the Bahian tried to dodge the opponent’s attack while kicking, the Japanese suddenly took him down the ground to finish the battle. The loser was a master in Capoeira, a type of martial arts which uses continuous movement back and forth, and the winner was a Japanese expert in Jiu Jitsu, who took advantage of his smaller body mass to manoeuvre the game and gain the championship.

1960s

The circus term remained unknown to many after many years until 1960, when a television show in Rio called Heróis do Ringue (Heroes of the Ring) aired a violent show with the same concept as the fighting sideshows. The Gracie family, founder of Jiu Jitsu, also took part in the show after accepting the invite from the organizers. The participants were all experts in the field of Jiu Jitsu as well. One night during the airing of Heroes of the Ring, a Jiu Jitsu master João Alberto Barreto managed to take over the fight when he caught the opponent trapped in an armbar. The opponent refused to submit or surrender and still fought until Barreto finished the match by breaking the man’s arm. In this regard, the show was suspended to air in national television before it was replaced by Telecatch, a professional wrestling show.

Since 1960, the combat sport Vale Tudo stayed as an underground sport as the scheduled matches took place from time to time in secret dojos or isolated gymnasiums. Though the martial arts originated in Rio de Janeiro, majority of the fights happened in the southern and northern regions of Brazil including Bahia, where the place was dominated by people practicing Capoeira. This change happened due to the big competition between the practitioners of Luta Livre and Jiu Jitsu. Aside from that, regional battles were more focused on dealing with experts in more diverse field of martial arts.

1970-1990s

Ten years later, a family member from the founders of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Rorion Gracie, decided to migrate to the United States where the combat was further propagated. There, he also taught the basics and mechanics of Vale Tudo, which later on led to the foundation of the currently famous wrestling competition in 1993 called Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Other popular revisions during that time include Desafio Universal Vale Tudo Fighting together with Brazilian Vale Tudo Fighting. Also, Japan’s famous and significant Vale Tudo Japan was included in the revision. The most outstanding during this decade were the International Vale Tudo Championship (IVC) and the World Vale Tudo Championship (WVC), both well-known in national television, including the pay per view option.

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2000 to Present

After being aired in the Brazilian television networks for many years, many of the Mixed Martial Arts experts finally began to be famous along with the popularity of the shows like WVC and IVC. The fame began to decline drastically after the state of São Paulo banned Vale Tudo from being an authorized sport. The promotions were ignored through the years until now. The show didn’t get the chance to come back since the last show in 2002.

The traditional fighting rules and combat were abandoned in 2000s as Bitetti Combat and Jungle Fight modified the rules for a safer form of martial arts. Some promotions though still continued the patronage of the traditional rules like Rio Heroes and Meca World Vale Tudo.

In the present time, Vale Tudo still exists in the underground fighting grounds of Brazil. Sports critics advised this sport to adapt the safer forms of mixed martial arts, instead of the violent and bloody original combats.

 

As a martial arts practitioner, I agree with the safety measures insisted by the critics. This idea could make Vale Tudo exist longer to pass from century to century and to avoid being forgotten in the martial arts industry.

Martial art- Good workout for your kids

11 Jan

savior-martial-arts-photosWith the rise of Obesity in children and the allure of video games the youth of today are facing an epidemic. Coupled with poor diets and lack of exercise not only children but adults are just getting bigger and bigger. Not to mention the lack of discipline these days with kids. In my day I would not have gotten away with even half of the stuff the the current generation does.

So what is the solution?

Well I happen to have a rather elegant solution- martial arts. yep that’s right, teach the brats to fight. Why do I suggest such a ridiculous answer?

 

Well simple, martial arts is an excellent workout. Punching and kicking really gets the heart rate up and  all the strength training involved promotes muscle growth which is an excellent fat burner, not to mention the increase in flexibility.

The instructor will also instill a sense of discipline in your child and he or she will notice a boost in confidence from learning martial arts. And lets not forget your son or daughter will also be able to defend himself or herself from bullies or worse.

Instead of parking your kid in front of the tv. purchase him a membership at your local self defense institution. Martial artists are usually fit and healthy people both physically and mentally, so what are you waiting for? go and get your kids signed up today!!