Trigger Switch


No build up


This is a subject I raise many times with my students when it comes to the reality of having to use your Wing Chun, and actually being ready.


It is so common when playing Chi Sau, especially when partnering with a person you’ve not rolled with before, to start off easy, to feel each other out a little, trying to see what their game may be, trying to discover their good and bad sides, their strengths and weaknesses let’s say.


This is also the way when sparring, certainly when changing partner in class this can be a good thing, for safety reasons I mean, for instance if two people have been going steady with their sparring and then without knowing it, change partner with a couple of guys who’ve been going ‘Hell for leather’ with each other, then the lighter two are going to be in for a shock.


But isn’t that the point?


Even in a boxing match the first round usually begins with a few lighter jabs to get things going, to get an idea of range etc, rarely do we see the first strike in a boxing match, a massive over hand haymaker punch!


In the street however this is very different, there is no build up, ok there may be some big talk and even a possible push, but if this is the case then there is still room to defuse the situation.

But when the cards are laid down and the fight is on, their first punch is intended to be their last punch.


Therefore, in my opinion it is important to give yourself a trigger mechanism, a point when you tell yourself, this is no longer a joke, now we mean business, if that person steps in, there WILL be a strike, if not from you, from me.


AND, if the attacker does strike and I do block, know this, there WILL be a counter, immediately, if not from you then from your attacker, so get it in first, and do not stop.


Class training is controlled, and so it should be, but it can also be dangerous to teach yourself to always wait for that first strike to be thrown, you certainly wouldn’t do that if this person was in your house at 3.00am, carrying a screwdriver and wearing a balaclava!

But if you do not throw the first strike and they do, then of course you must block, but to block and stop there would be crazy, as I just mentioned, there WILL always be a counter, immediately, if not from you then from your attacker, but yet again, in class it is so easy to be content with this singular defence and just stop there.




In the street you must counter and counter again, I DO NOT mean you to kick the S**T out of someone, but enough for you to be safe from any further potential harm.

Blocking something and then giving one counterattack is not going to be enough, and NEVER expect a knock-out, if you get one, great, just never expect it.


If your attacker is drunk or on drugs, your punch may just make them even more aggressive, so hit hard, hit fast and hit lots.




Now, I do not promote violence, nor do I try to justify it, but if it comes along you should know how to handle it, so be prepared, give yourself permission to change your character when needed and to do what you have to do, it could be the difference between life and death.


Sometimes having this readiness can be a subconscious sign to an aggressor, something they may pick up on and even make them rethink and possibly back off.


Remember this, muggers are opportunists, they do not plan an attack, they simply look for someone who looks vulnerable and there you go, having this trigger switch, something to make them feel that ‘straight from the get-go’, you NOW look like you’ve, full intention of ruining their day (and possibly their face) can often make them decide there’s easier prey out there, this is basic animal instinct.


Think of this trigger switch as a training tool, an important one and one I hope you’ll never need, so do not think that you have to live in fear and that the world is out to get you, think of it as simply a little extra insurance should you ever need it.


Stay safe everyone and happy training.


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