A Range Training Exercise
Within my classes I will always let it be known that I do not promote violence, nor do I try to justify, but if it comes along, you should know how to handle it, and ideally before it comes into the need for gaining a contact.
A student may walk through my door, wanting to learn how to defend a strike which has just been thrown, but as a teacher, I try to get that student to a level where that strike is not thrown in the first place, by teaching them how to spot when a situation is developing and therefore defuse or avoid it (or strike first should there be no choice), and with the proper training, you should be able to start doing this fairly quickly.
My Sifu (GM Ip Chun), once said to me:
“Do not train your Wing Chun purely to fight,
If so you may train for ten or twenty years for a fight that could last just a few seconds,
Or it may be that you practice all of your life for a fight that never happens!
But then you may train for just a matter of months and it ‘could’ save your life”
Having said all that, what if you have no choice, obviously the ability to defend yourself using your Wing Chun needs to be addressed.
Taking this into consideration it may also be safe to say that you are probably not the most confident of fighters, especially in the early days.
This is something which is often shown to be so, when asking a beginner to throw a strike toward you (should you be the Instructor that is), or, perhaps even if you are the one requested to throw the strike at the Instructor, and what happens, it falls WAY short of its target.
Why is this?
Because you either do not have the confidence (or wish) to hit someone,
Or, because you have no idea of range.
Understanding range is crucial in you being able to train properly, either as the attacker or as the defender.
If punches thrown in class are not in range, then as the attacker, should you need to strike for real, why on earth do you think you will be successful in hitting your target (you never were in class!)?
And as the defender, all you will develop is a false sense of security, causing you major panic when in reality, your opponent is nose to nose with you, a distance you are not familiar with and/or have never experienced..
So how can we build this confidence?
By taking away the thinking of this being a strike,
And turn it into something else, a game.
The video below is something I like my new students to play on occasion in order to gain an understanding of reach/range without them even knowing that they are doing so.
After some time, take away the tissue & close the hand to a fist and Hey Presto! you’re now punching, and, in range.
Perhaps you may wish to try this in your own class, or, if you are wanting to practice your skills with a friend or family member (but do not wish to get hit), just ask them to try and grab the tissue from you.
If you are spending a long time with someone, why not leave the tissue tucked in your collar and ask them to try take it at any time, this way focussing on developing that constant state of awareness.
Hope you enjoy the clip.
Thank you for watching.