The Best Way to Get Fit to Fight…

Nearly 17 years ago I remember chatting to my Si-Hing, my older Kung Fu brother and telling him I wanted to get fitter.

That I was going to start running.

He replied “Why?  So you can run away?!”

So I started running and 17 years later I still run, turns out he was right and wrong.

Why He Was Wrong

He was wrong because when there are SO many lazy fookers in the Wing Chun world who like the idea of learning a martial art, bragging about their possession of all-mighty fighting skills and spending their time commenting on YouTube…

… they definitely needed a kick up the ass in the training department!

So with a little bit of running to my training repertoire I quickly had the stamina and fitness to out punch, out spar and out train many of my class mates.

Why He Was Right

Looking back now, he was also right.

Because at the time I was going out for long, slow runs which is the complete opposite of a fight.  Sure it helped me grind through longer training sessions but when it comes to short bursts and being explosive — with hindsight — long, slow runs weren’t the best use of my time.

In recent years I’ve replaced longer, slower paced runs with fast bursts and sprint training.

Mixing my running with interval training — running fast for a short distance and adding press-ups, burpees, tuck jumps and other explosive exercises on the end.

And from time to time, I run a 5 mile route but make sure it’s an all out effort and make it as fast as possible.

You Fight How You Train, So Train How You Fight

Of course it all comes back to what are you training for.

If you’re training to fight, if you want to be more explosive then that’s how you have to train.  You fight how you train so you must train how you fight.  Mix technical work (where you focus on good form) with higher intensity, more realistic training and you’ll be a whole lot better equipped to deal with a fight scenario or evening sparring your partners in class.

Final thoughts, an even better is to get fit by doing.

The ultimate specific kind of training is punching, is kicking and doing all your combat orientated training at full power and speed.  On the bags, on the pads, on the dummy, in the air and — where safety permits — on a partner.

The supplement it with your sprints, your weights and your high intensity training.

It’s time to ramp up the training and start training SMART!

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Who’d Win in a Fight? Wing Chun versus Muay Thai Boxing

It’s that age old question…

Who’d win in a fight?

From a sporting perspective, that’s largely been answered in the ring, the cage and the octagon.  Modern day MMA clearly shows which style is best under sporting conditions as close to a real street fight as you could possible get.

Ultimately they’ve proven two things:

  1. Only a few styles can hold their own in the octagon (Muay Thai, BJJ, Wresting, Boxing, Sambo and a few others)
  2. The better trained and higher skilled fighter usually wins

I say usually wins because the reality of fighting is that anyone has a punchers chance.  It only takes a split second where a better opponent walks onto a punch and it’s game over.

In our quest to find out the ultimate street fighting style, we still have this mad, bad thing in our Wing Chun brains about provening ourselves to be the best art for a real ruck on the street.

With no referee, no rules and no one to jump in and help.

If I’m honest I don’t know why we care?  We should just do our art, enjoy our art and make it better.

Here’s a short clip with the Wing Chun man coming up on tops against a Muay Thai student.

Unfortunately it still proves nothing, because you can’t replicate a real street fight and if you look… the Muay Thai guy is more concerned with his elbow (and if it’s cut) after he hits it on the mirror than the actual confrontation.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T to both the Wing Chun student and the Muay Thai kickboxer for their efforts and standing up to prove themselves.  Unfortunately, it still leaves the unanswerable question, unanswered!

Leave a comment below.  If they look anything like the crap on YouTube they’ll be deleted.

Keep it clean, keep smart and keep it logical.

Like our art!



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How to Get Good at Wing Chun FAST!

I wish I’d thought about this when I was younger.

Instead of simply “turning up” for training… with a little extra time and focus I know you can accelerate your learning and get good at Wing Chun much, much quicker.

Here’s three things you can do to speed up the learning curve and get ahead FASTER:

Step #1: Pick a Kung Fu School with bigger drive & ambition
The other day I was listening to advice from a personal trainer who said “Pick a trainer who looks the way you’d like to look!”  So if you want to be lean and ripped then go pick a personal trainer who’s lean and ripped.

Want to get massive, then go pick a personal trainer who’s massive.

Bottom line is, if you want to know where you’re going look at the people who are already ahead of you.  So if you’re looking to become a Wing Chun Master and you’ve got a fat, out of shape instructor lacking in skill, then it’s highly unlikely they’re going to take you much further than they got — being fat and out of shape.

Of course there are exceptions.  I’d never expect Emmanuel Steward to be better than the heavy weight boxers he coaches, at the end of the day his job is to make them better but he has a track record of success.  Pick an instructor who’s either been there, done that or at least has a track record of producing skilled martial artists and instructors.

Make sure you invest your time in finding a school that’s not afraid to sacrifice a few sacred cows, changes things up and ensure that everything is progressive and for the benefit of the student improvement.

Step #2: Make sure you are surrounded by QUALITY training partners

You can have the best instructor in the world but if you don’t have the training partners to crank up the hours with… it’s going to be tricky.  Imagine being a novice, brand spanking new and walking into a room full of senior students and Black Belts.

Training hard and pushing the limits.  Intimidating, right?

Now think past the awkwardness and focus on how good those training partners are going to make you?  You’ll never be allowed to get lazy!  The people around you, their attitude towards training and ability to push you to your limits will get your progress faster than a speeding bullet.

Look around the training room and look at the people you’re going to be training with.  Can they push you to your limits and get the very best out of you?

Step #3: Split your training: Drilling, Sparring and Conditioning

It’s very easy to turn every training session into a Chi Sau session or end up in a sparring session that looks like nothing other than a brawl.  Or two cats in a bag — fighting.


Split your training sessions.  The time spent drilling should be spent drilling.  Don’t let it escalate into a brawl or fight.  If you want to spar or fight — do that during the allocated session for sparring and fighting!  Drilling time is drilling time.  It’s where you repeat movements (and the movements in between movements) over and over again.

Only by drilling these techniques will you ever be able to apply them for real.

Then — when it’s time to spar — don’t always go 110% at it.  Sometimes you have to play and take it easy.  If you’re scared to get hit then you’re scared to try new stuff and so you’ll never be able to do anything than chain punch.


Spar light, try new stuff and don’t be afraid to lose.  Leave the ego at the door and when you leave the training room you don’t talk about how you managed to do this, that or the other to Cannon Fodder Colin, because maybe… just maybe he was trying make a new technique work and it didn’t.  So he kept trying and trying because eventually it will.

Final Thoughts on Getting Good at Wing Chun FAST

It’s all about training.

Reading about, watching YouTube videos, thinking and talking about Wing Chun won’t get you better faster.

It’s about training and banging out the hours.  Hours or drilling, hours of training your forms and your footwork and hours of practising with ever increasing amounts of pressure.

Matt Thornton wrote an amazing article on live training years ago.  It’s still valid today and IMHO it’s the number 1 reason Wing Chun gets such a bad rep.  Yes we have free training and chi sau competitions but we don’t do enough.

Which means we do it badly and then whack it on YouTube for the world to take the piss out of.

I’ve posted a video of Matt Thornton talking about ALive Training versus Dead Patterns.

If you like this article, I’d appreciate you help sharing it.  More visitors means more content means more good shit 🙂


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