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Wing Chun Academy of Thailand

CHALLENGE

Around June of 2010, I was discussing with Sifu Nelson Chan and Sisook Lester Lau about the validity of the story of Yim Wing Chun overpowering the warlord who was trying to force her into marriage. New "researches" are stating that there wasn't even a person such as Yim Wing Chun or Ng Mui, and that a woman was never involved in the development of the art. However, the new researches are hearsay just as the one about Yim Wing Chun. There are no written records to substantiate either researches.

However, based on our understand of the art itself, we've concluded that Wing Chun had to have been born by a woman or womenfolk. and that the story of Yim Wing Chun overpowering the warlord is likely true.

The other question that came up was, how long did Yim Wing Chun train for the fight?

My estimation was 6 months; whereas, Sisook Lau's was 3.

Whether the story was true or not, the question that comes to mind is how short a time can an experienced martial-arts master train a novice to become proficient enough to overpower a fighter with some experience?

Isn't Wing Chun suppose to be the ultimate fighting art? If so, shouldn't someone with proper training not be able to overpower someone of another system, or someone in the same system with improper training, in a shorter training period?

Yim Wing Chun must have trained 6 to 8 hours on a daily basis, for 3 to 6 months, for the fight. She may have had more than Abbess Ng Mui to train her, as she was in the Daliang Mountain region, where matriarchal societies existed, and where a women's fighting system may already have existed. Based on 6 hours a day, she would have put in 540 hours of training in 90 days; more than modern martial artists put in a year (6-hrs/week times 52-weeks equals 312-hrs). So based on the sophistication of the art, and the number of hours of training, it doesn't appear to be unfeasible for Yim Wing Chun or a serious novice to train daily for 3 months to overpower a marital artist with 3, 5, or even 10 years of poor training or system.

The opportunity came for me to test out this theory when someone had the time and desire to train under me for 3 months on a daily basis, and I also had the time and desire to train him.

The student was Michael Charles. His home is in Trinidad. He had graduated from Computer Science in the U.S. He has been teaching English in Xian, China, for the past 3 years. He had done some Karate training in the U.S.

I decided to take this challenge (upon myself) to my Lijiang home and school (in Yunnan Province of China), where the environment is befitting. Not only did I have the clean air, space, and tranquility, but to some of us, the birth of the Wing Chun system.

To our misfortune, I had only 2 months time to train my student. To our good fortune, I got another student who made the commitment to train daily for the 2 months. We also got one of my online students, Eddie, come to train for 2 weeks. He is a Belgian of Romanian origin. He had learned Wing Chun for 3 years in Belgium, and 2 years in Beijing. Although we don't want to use him as the opponent of the challenge, he would be a good person to gauge and judge the progress and results of the crash-course challenge.

Michael started on August 9, 2010; Libing started on August 19; and Eddie joined us from August 30 to September 9.

For your interest, the whole day-to-day 2-month training sessions are available in the pay-to-view video-lesson section of this website http://wcats.com/Videos/.

At the end of this document, is the link to a test conducted by myself and a local sifu who has done 25 years of martial arts.

Below, are initial reaction from readers, and my responses concerning the challenge. (Also read reactions after a 45 days training after the initial reaction.)

Rafael Avella from Spain:

"Just to give a personal opinion to the Wcats members about the "Challenge".

I am sure that everyone is quite nervous to check the result of this 2,5 months training period.

I would say that besides the final result, it is very interesting to view the training methods that Sifu is going to use to teach the new students.

This kind of information will give us the great opportunity to grow a little more and to advance with our WC development.

For me, the final result from Sifu's new students overpowering a M.A. with more than 5-10 years experience, it is not the most important matter.

I don't even think about if that is possible or not; but my main priority is to learn from how Sifu is guiding this guys to become a good martial artists in a very short period of time.

Big Hug to Sifu and my Brothers"

Bash from UK:

"I must say well said, i cant see why all the controversy, really! there must be narrow minded people if they take everything literally, as a newbie myself im paying close attention to how your students are progressing, and if im not wrong i can see that they are doing SLT at a satisfactory level, and from the way you have taught me i can appreciate the importance of having a good understanding the fist form. I can see their movements flowing quite smooth and accurately which i guess will help them start to understand the power of soft vs hard movements, which im still learning my self. i wish you and your students all the best with the training, keep up the good work guys."

Gregorious Jonker from Australia:

"Just wanted to wish you goodluck and admire the students whom taken on this task. I know by my own experience that there are methods of training and teaching WC, that will excel the progress of oneself or your students.

Wish I could be there and support you. It'll be Fun."

Rogelio Rodriguez from US:

"I had been training VT for no more than 3 months, and had up to lop sao no changes, so basically all I knew how to do was pak sao, pak dar, lop sao and 1st part of SNT.

A friend invited me over to her home town, and while we were there she asked me if I'd like to visit her martial arts school that she had attended for some time and maybe train with them. Since I am a martial arts enthusiast I accepted and went over to pay a visit to the school.

There was a black belt at the school that seemed to be the higher rank and was shouting orders to the rest, in a military fashion, he was pretty cocky about it. He saw me and when I told him I had done some kung fu he said that he wanted to spar with me, so the whole class put on their sparring gear protections and got in pairs while he faced off with me.

His fighting style had a side jumping stance, like some taekwondo or karate styles, and his way of fighting included high kicks and feint punches to the air.

Long story short, I had to work really hard at being respectful and not laugh out loud as I saw him fall repeatedly to the ground when his high kicks were run over by my chain punch and he fell to the ground, or when his feint punches where not reaching me as I watched him and then turned on my chain punch blasting through everything he had.

I sparred with everyone on that school, and no one had anything to do against my three months of VT.

When we left for home and no egos were to be hurt I couldn't stop laughing when my friend told me that a chubby 10 year old looking japanese kid was asking her what he could do to learn what I was doing."

Rafael Cruz from US:

(1) "Not so "out there," when you consider what it is that you are attempting. That is, to experiment with a method to test if an individual could be taught in a shorter period of time. While many things may not be probable- everything is possible. Indeed, what the mind can perceive the body will certainly follow, given the right method and circumstance.

I believe that you make a good point in asking the question as to defining proficiency in the scope of time- after all, who has determined that time and made it law? We do see the mixed martial arts practitioners excel in their craft in short periods of time.

So, physically- yes, at least they will be better off than they were. Mentally, I think it has to take time (but how much time?) - I suppose that will be a consideration of your venture.

Actually, I am over here biting my nails anticipating the result of your experiment. The application can be valuable to all Ving Tsun practitioners, regardless of their respective time and level. For, if a "newbie" can achieve a level of proficiency in a short period of time, how much more can an individual with a more "seasoned" mind.

I wish you well- I hope you succeed :-)

P.S. An after thought...I remember reading in the book, "There Are No Secrets," where Chen Man Ching stated that sometimes he would get a student who "got it" after a few months of dedicated training- yet, typically most people required many years. I had always been curious about that statement."

(2) "I just spent some time on the WCATS (Sifu Danny Xuan's site). Well, the man has it! Great teacher as well as martial artist. And very funny (hilarious), down to earth person. Sifu Xuan, I truly enjoy your videos- will most likely subscribe. So, the Sifu criterion is definitely there from what I can tell. Still, even if the student criterion is filled, can the neuromuscular conditioning be achieved in three months? How about the mind and the heart? This is very exciting, I will follow this one closely. Wish you well..."

(3) "Hmmm, I suppose if a student were trained round-the-clock (excluding time to eat, sleep, move bowels, micturate and hygiene), he might be able to attain a significant level of skill. That is, assuming that the student is talented, reasonable and devoid of sufficient ego to learn, and the Sifu is not only knowledgeable("master" level) but also able to verbalize (teach). However, as I understand Ving Tsun, there are attributes that must be developed which require neuro-conditioning. I do not believe that the process of neuroplastic development ever needs to end- thus, a serious ten year practitioner reasonably would have developed attributes which should theoretically be more sophisticated in comparison to one who has trained hard for three months. It is very difficult to break through the level were strength yields to skill( sensitivity, relaxation, coordination, timing and balance). It takes faith to muster the courage to let go of the perceived security of physical strength thus giving in to the development of these necessary attributes. Mentally, achieving that level of faith does probably take some time. Indeed, a stronger individual or one that has previously learned a "harder " method would probably be impeded by his strength or knowledge. So that given individual would need more time to unlearn what he had prior to the development of what is required to achieve a truly sophisticated level of Gung Fu. What Sifu Pajil describes as "stop and go," or the development of the skill to be able to tense and relax fluidly seems to me necessitates quite a bit of time as well. How much time? I certainly do not know. The practitioner that has achieved that level of skill would most certainly destroy another who presents simply with strength and aggression... Indeed, the method of the mind as well as the method of the heart are intangible factors which would be required as well- these appear to me to take quite a bit of introspection, experience, and time. Lastly, how is the so called, "ten year practitioner" to be chosen? The comparative result can be manipulated based on the person chosen, I would assume." Angelo B from US:

"I am interested in becoming a member to glance at videos and to watch any kind upcoming attractions as Sibak Lester's challenge to you. I think it is possible for a quickening of a students skills, rather than waiting years and years. Especially if a concentrated and interested effort is given by both student and teacher. knowledge made comprehensive to the student can encourage interest. I am very interested in this as I was in a school where I stagnated for 8 years and it is because of no passed knowledge and progression in those places. I was aware early on about this but I stayed just to keep a hand in the art and did not know of any other places to turn to. This was during the mix everything together stage of martial hell and it took its toll, but I am still here and like what you have shown here. I would like to wish you luck with the challenge."

Aldo Cataldo from Italy:

"Grazie Sifu per aver risposto. Ma non si offenda se le dico che non ho capito molto da questa risposta. D'accordo, non c'è lotta ma un "test". Ma le chiedo: " In cosa consisterà questo test? Come si testano due allievi con tempi di formazione diversa per vedere se hanno la stessa abilità?". Due che si sfidano su qualcosa sapranno pure in cosa consisterà la prova!; altrimenti come fa ad accettare una sfida. Poi, l'allievo in 2,5 mesi dovrà raggiungere il livello di competenza o il livello di conoscenza di un praticante di 10 anni di pratica?. Si suppone che un praticante di 10 anni abbia già terminato il sistema (a meno che non te lo insegni Leun Ting....in tal caso te ne vai in pensione con i coltelli!). Allora, poiché in 2,5 mesi gli allievi vedranno tutte le tessere del puzzle, anche se non composto completamente, significa che vedranno anche rudimenti di palo, uomo di legno e coltelli? E se no, questo significa che le forme non a mani nude non sono poi così indispensabili? So già che lei ha già in mente tutto il programma che intende svolgere, per cui ha già la risposta. Sicuramente non sa come risponderanno gli allievi per questo l'obiettivo finale rimane incerto. Comunque se ha difficoltà a rispondere, non si preoccupi. Non intendo insistere più di tanto. Era solo una mia curiosità. Saluti e buon lavoro.

P.S. Se non l'avesse capito ... faccio il tifo per lei!"

"Ma ... questa sfida ... contro chi deve essere fatta? Dove deve essere fatta? Con che modalità si svolgerà? Ci sarà un "ring"? Insomma, visto che veniamo continuamente informati dell'evento, ci può dare qualche informazione più concreta a riguardo?"

My response regarding to queries on the "challenge."

(1) "I want to clarify a few things regarding the "Challenge," which WCATS and Moy-Yat VingTsun Clan have been querying about.

There is no upcoming "Fight."

The Challenge is not between my student and any particular 10-year veteran VingTsun or other style martial artist. The Challenge is for me to enable my students to reach a level of 5 to 10 year level of another training program within 3 months. The Challenge came from Sifu Lester Lau, and I accepted it.

The Challenge came about when we discussed how much training time Yim Ving Tsun may have received from Abbess Ng Mui to enable her to overpower the warlord who was trying to force her into marriage. My estimation was 6 to 12 months; whereas, Sifu Lester Lau's was 3 months. It certainly wouldn't have gone past 12 months, as no one would wait so long for a fight or marriage.

It doesn't really matter if the fight between Yim Ving Tsun and the warlord was a folklore or had really occurred. The question is, how quickly can a student be trained to become proficient in Ving Tsun. I've been doing Ving Tsun for 39 years. I've gone through the ropes, and have learned from mistakes. With all the information I have, can I condense it, and pass on the vital data to a student to bring him up to a level where he's able to overpower an average martial artist of 5 to 10 year practice?

Martial arts training program has always been for the teacher to give the student pieces of information like a jigsaw puzzle, whereby, the most faithful and enduring student is given the last piece. The pieces are taken out of a bag and given one at a time without the student ever seeing the finished picture (as in a jigsaw puzzle box). Now, what if a student is shown the picture first, and given the jigsaw pieces. Wouldn't he have a better chance of completing the puzzle in a shorter time than one who hasn't seen the picture?

Although 3 months is too short of a time for me to train a student to become proficient enough to overpower a martial artist of 10 years, I've accepted the challenge as a challenge to myself (rather than my student against another martial artist).

I actually have only 2.5 months with my students in Lijiang. However, I will do what I can to make them as good as a 5-year VingTsun practitioner, or maybe more.

Of course, I need to test the result of my training program. I will try to find a martial artist of 5 to 10 year experience for them to spar with; someone who's not out for blood. However, it will not be an easy task, as who will want to be in his shoes. If he wins, everyone will say, "Of course, he had 7 years over the 3-month practitioner." However, if he loses, he loses BIG TIME!

I know someone in Lijiang with 20 or more years of experience in martial arts. I will approach him, and see if he is willing to participate in this test.

In the mean time, don't wait for a big fight event. I'm recording my students' progress. At the end of the training session, you can judge for yourself if they're at a level where they're able to fight practitioners of 5 to 10 years of training.

(2) "Obviously, it is an unusual task and challenge that I've taken, which is causing much controversy.

What we're trying to understand is how Yim Wing Chun was able to overpower a male martial artist. Sifu Nelson Chan, Sifu Lester Lau and I have discussed this. We believe that it was within 3 to 6 months ... PLUS ... more than Abbess Ng Mui helping her. In order for her to overpower a male martial artist in such a short time frame, she had to have been given different perspectives of martial arts. Books and movies come from imaginations. However, some derive from reality, and some become reality (like science fictions).

For example, in the movie, Prodigal Son, Leung Jan was trained by Leung Yeetai and his brother to overpower a much more experienced martial artist in a short time. This theme is retold over and over in Chinese (and now Hollywood) movies.

We believe that a women fighting system existed before Abbess Ng Mui and Yim Wing Chun formulated the Wing Chun System. They both were in the Daliang Mountains of Sichuan and Yunnan where matriarchal society existed. The last of the matriarchal society still exists today in the Yunnan region.

We believe that the matriarchal women were involved in the training of Yim Wing Chun; not just Abbess Ng Mui. Don't ask me for proof. This is just our pathological deduction.

We believe that the matriarchal women who taught Abbess Ng Mui and Yim Wing Chun had a fighting method that was not systemized yet. It was Yim Wing Chun and her lineage who later formulated the system. Like all things in life, a practical method begins before a system is born. In the ancient days, there were no medical, business, or science courses or degrees. People conducted their practice from experience and verbal pass-down of their knowledge. Courses and schools were later formulated. Similarly, there were no forms or a system when Yim Wing Chun was taught to fend for her life. The forms and overall picture was designed later. Thus, in a way, it is not necessary for me to teach all the forms to my students in this special program. However, since we DO have forms now to give us an overall picture of Wing Chun, it would only speed up the process of their learning. The forms are the working manuals of Wing Chun that the fore-parents of Wing Chun left us with.

Although the Dummy, 6.5 and Dummy forms are the closing pieces of the Wing Chun puzzle, it will not be necessary to teach them the form themselves; they're just training tools. The important aspect of these forms, just as with the open forms, are the messages within, and what formulates the Wing Chun concept.

Two reasons that I won't be teaching these tangible forms. First, we don't have the time to cramp all the forms. Second, it won't be fair for me to teach my newbies the whole system when I have not done so with my long-term students.

My Newbies will receive intensive training. Michael is putting in no less than 6 hours a day of training; out of which 3 hours are instructional, and the other hours towards drills. Libing is doing 3 hours per day.

Everyone is getting wrapped and hyped up over the "test," when they should be more interested in the overall progression of these students. Look at how Libing is performing SLT in 5 days, and how Michael is doing overall in just 2 weeks. One must consider how they themselves were doing in 5 or 14 days of Wing Chun schooling.

One 10-year-veteran WC or other style martial artist will obviously differ from another with same amount of training time. So, the test is really irrelevant. I've seen and met many 10-year-veteran WC practitioners who have no substance. In fact ... you and I know that there are well-known sifus out there with no substance.

What I'm trying to achieve is bring the level of my Newbies to a level whereby they can overpower a practitioner who has spent 5 to 10 years in a system that has little or no content, or perhaps match someone of 3 years training in a good system.

As I said, the challenge and test are upon myself, not my students, to see if I can condense my knowledge and formulate a training method that can speed up the learning and application process.

The variables of a test is far too wide to consider it seriously. The result of this concentrated training will only surface later when my students one day exchange hands with another martial artist or fighter at a given time of its own.

Although readers are interested and concern themselves over the final test ... I am not. I will recognize their ability at the end of the training session, and so will other sifus with keen eyes.

"

Rod Sands from Australia:

"I've always found that the issue is not physical rather its the mind's ability to absorb and process the (new) information. ie found that I've learnt more upon reflection than instruction. Interesting experiemt nethertheless."

Sifu Tom Chi from US:

"This is of course, absurd.

The very nature of Ving Tsun interaction is one which precludes sport due to how dangerous the applications are. Therefore we courteously desist after exposing a weakness of our opponent rather than to literally kill them (with ease). It is difficult to test under real circumstances and we use caution in how we apply it.

If a student wastes ten years of training then a talented newbie with a great coach could prevail. However, a real student with ten years training would absolutely destroy a new student no matter who the coach is.

I have seen people who believed they were Ving Tsun practitioners who used aggressive chung chi and kept punching on the centerline who succeeded against other martial artists. They clearly had very little training and a lot of natural horseshitting ability.

So, the challenge is hype from my perspective and what I would normally see from those who not been to the mountain but could see the foothills and imagined what the mountain must be like.

On the other hand it's nice to see people have enthusiasm even if delusional and self-aggrandizing at that."

My response to Sifu Tom Chi:

My response to Sifu Tom Chi:

"Dear Sifu Tom Chi:

Although I have not met you, I have high regards for you from the videos I've seen of you on your website.

Below is the mail I had sent out to members of my website. I had sent another saying that my goal was to train my new students to enable them to overpower martial artists of 5 to 10 years experience. I did not specifically mention VingTsun practitioners or 10 years experience. Considering that there are so many crappy Wing Chun and other martial artists out there, I don't think that it is an impossible task. I took the challenge as an experiment.

Why should martial art be so difficult to learn? It will, of course, take exceptional teacher and student to accomplish a task such as one I've taken. Abbess Ng Mui and Yim Wing Chun did it. GGM Yip Man and Bruce Lee did it. Why shouldn't I or anyone else not accomplish the same.

There are 6 to 10 year old musicians, with only a few years of experience, who play the piano or violin better than adults with 10 to 20 years of practice; so, why couldn't a martial artist do the same.

Although Bruce Lee had done more than 3 months training, he had considerably less training than many Wing Chun practitioners, and had accomplished a lot more than most veteran martial artists in his youthful age and in the time he had spent learning martial arts.

I'm not preparing my students to just box their way out, but to give them a complete understanding of Wing Chun in 3 months. This is not to say that they will be able to perform as they understand, but will allow them to continue developing themselves. With a clear overall picture of Wing Chun, they will have a better chance than those who have been practicing for years with blinders on.

Best regards,

Daniel Xuan

Begin forwarded message:

From: Danny Xuan
Date: August 23, 2010 7:52:46 AM GMT+08:00
To: WCATS
Subject: Challenge
Members:

I accepted a challenge from Sifu Lester Lau to enable myself to teach a student to overpower another martial artist of experience within 3 months of training. I will be in Lijiang for less than 2.5 months, so that's all the time I have.

Michael Charles is from Trinidad. He started class with me on August 9. Libing is a Chinese from Nanking and Kunming, but living in Lijiang for the last 3 years. He started on August 19.

I'm uploading the videos of my class for you to see how I'm compacting the Wing Chun program to enable them to have certain amount of efficiency within the 2.5 months of training.

If Yim Wing Chun learned to fight and overpower a man within 3 to 6 months training, it should not be impossible to do the same with my students. The training program will be based on the Mother Theory that Sifu Lester Lau had revealed in his seminar in Toronto.

Jay Pawaskar from India:

I have been reading everybody's views on you being able to teach Wing Chun to a student in 3 months to overpower another student who has practised for a longer duration.

Well... I do not think it is impossible. I think you can definitely do it, because of the following reasons:

1. I know you are a fantastic teacher, a great warehouse of Wing Chun knowledge and a great orator, these being the only things that are needed for a successful teaching practice.

2. I know that your teachings are a literal transformation of the fact that 'One's ability to generate power is directly proportional to One's ability to relax.'

3. There is no third point. Everything I understand about you is summarized in the above two points.

Wish you all the best, and looking forward to news on your succesful deployment of a compact Wing Chun fighter.

***********************
FOURTY FIVE DAYS LATER

Dear WCATS Members and Moy-Yat Clan:

I'm sorry to announce that the Challenge experiment would be put on hold as of today.

I've uploaded the last videos 20100921 A and B for your viewing.

Michael Charles, the subject of the experiment, has run out of funds. He has some commitments which has come up sooner than expected. Also, he's finding the need for a break to digest all the information given to him in the past month and half.

Libing went to Kunming for a few days to spend time with his family.

As you know, I took the Challenge on myself, to see if Wing Chun could be taught in a much shorter time than usual. It is not an easy task for either the teacher or the student to continuously teach and train daily, 4 hours per day, for 3 months. Yim Wing Chun did it because she had a good reason and incentive to do it. We're in the 21st Century where we have a lot more commitments than Yim Wing Chun would have had during her time. That doesn't mean that someone couldn't do it today; however, we have a living to do. I have expenses to maintain myself and family in Lijiang, and Michael has expenses for maintaining himself and future plans.

I've provided the videos for you to monitor the course and progress of the students. I did not plan a fight between Michael and another martial artist to prove anything or provide a circus for an audience.

Michael does not need to prove anything either. He is not under any pressure to complete the course or prepare for a fight. If he wishes to stop, it is his prerogative.

I'm satisfied and happy with the result of the experiment so far. Both Michael and Libing have done exceptionally well; with Michael training for 1.5 months, and Libing for just a month. They understand Wing Chun well, and are starting to make their bodies work accordingly. Although not included in the Challenge videos series, they have learned Biu Jee as well.

One thing I've learned is that there is no need to create any special courses for the intensive program but to follow the regular Wing Chun curriculum. It is still the best course for long or short-term learning.

Anyway, we won't be quitting completely. Michael and Libing will still train together, and I will be there to monitor their progress wherever I can. I will still put out some videos, but not everyday. I'm going to take some time off from teaching to do some research on Wing Chun's origin in this region.

Regards,

Sifu Xuan

RESPONSE FROM VIEWERS AND FOLLOWERS OF THE CHALLENGE

"Dear Sifu,

I hope your time in Lijiang is as awesome as it possibly can be. I have heard that it is hard to find a good teacher, but harder still to find a good student. Although I have never met Michael and Libing, I'm are they are extraordinary people with extreme dedication and passion to the art. They are hard to come by these days, thought that seems to be a common theme for people who gravitates toward WC. Please send them my regards and hopefully I will have a chance to train with them some day.

Best of everything, Champ"

"Sifu, per me l'esperimento è pienamente riuscito. Non c'è motivo di completare il tempo prefissato. Si è visto chiaramente che gli allievi in pochissimo tempo si sono mossi discretamente e ciò per la loro dedizione e per la vostra bravura. Ringrazio tutti voi per quello che ci avete trasmesso in tutto questo tempo. Godetevi un po' di vacanza. Aldo"

"Danny: Thanks again for the intense VingTsun teaching. As an experiment, it provided great insight into Vingtsun training. As for the student, it was an answer to their ability to how much information they can absorb. VingTsun is a life long learning and teaching science. Have more fun next time. Thank you, Lester Moy2 (10G VT) 9-22-2010"

"Dear Sifu:

Thank you very much indeed to led us the great oportunity to take a look at the Challenge Course with your two brand new Wing Chun students.

It is obvious the great improvement they had gane in a period of just 1.5 months.

Of course, we have been considering from the beginning that your new students were not in the same dangerous situation that Yim Wing Chun was involved....she had to learn how to fight for her life and freedom...that should be enough motivation for anyone to train as hard as possible.

I feel quite sad now that the challenge has arrived to an end but I must thank you very much for letting us be inside your kwoon and viewing your trainning lessons.....you know that as soon as I have the time, I will travel next to my wife for some trainning period under your guide wherever you are.

Best of Wishes Rafael"

"Hi Sifu:

I just want to say thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience of WC with us in this past month. It has been very interesting watching some of the videos that you have produced and from my experience i have know doubt that your students have now reached a very good level of understanding WC and with continuous practice will improve their kung fu dramatically. I can appreciate that this intensive experiment must of been a challenge for both you and your students and i want to congratulate you all for taking time to do this. Well done everybody.

This has really inspired me to want to train with u again and i am contemplating bringing you over here to England to train me the same way for a few months (hopefully if i can afford it that is.) please tell me if would you would be able to come to england for about 3 months to train me for 4-6 hrs per day, and what would it cost me, i will pay for flight and accommodation.

Kind regards

Bash"

***********************
SIXTY DAYS LATER

Initially, I had decided to leave Lijiang, and return to Bangkok, where I have students waiting for me. As Michael wasn't able to pay for the course anymore, I didn't have any reason to stay here. Libing was brought in as his training partner, so I hadn't asked him for any tuition fee. Besides, he was already a friend of mine for 3 years, so was kind of out of line to ask for it. However, Libing over-compensated the tuition fee with gifts and other givings; true to the Chinese tradition.

Later, I decided to stay and continue teaching for free, so I can complete the 2-month experiment. On October 10, I invited a local gongfu master, Sifu Wu, to view, test, and access the abilities of Michael and Libing. Michael completed exactly 2 months training a day before. Libing was short of 10 days to make 2 months.

Sifu Wu is from Chongqing, Sichuan, and had moved and settled in Lijiang 9 years ago, when he was hired by local businessmen to teach gongfu and be employed as a bodyguard. He currently teaches gongfu to children in a primary school that has over 1000 students. He also has a school of his own in the Ancient Town of Lijiang, where he was adult and young students.

Sifu Wu has been involved in martial arts for 25 years. He has trained under several famous gongfu masters in China. Currently, he teaches mixed martial arts, geared specially for Sanda (free-style fighting competition). However, his specialty is in a rare style and branch of Southern Shaolin Gongfu which is only practiced in Sichuan now.

He was open to showing and discussing the form and style to me, and allowing me to video and show in my website at http://wcats.com/Misc/ Videos/.

There are some similiarities between the Southern Shaolin Gongfu and Wing Chun, in that the moves are small, and mostly concentrated in upper-limb techniques and actions. The legs are used for grounding and kicking low.

Libing and Michael perform the 3 VingTsun open forms, and Sifu Wu was very impressed by their performance; stating that they were relaxed and able to explode their Qi when required.

Libing and Michael performed the VingTsun drills and Chisau exercises, and Sifu Wu was also impressed. He showed some of the drills and exercises from the Southern Shaolin Gongfu.

Then, I had Libing and Michael spar gently. Later, I sparred with Michael, and Sifu Wu sparred with Libing.

Sifu Wu rated Libing's performance at 2 to 2.5-year standard-training level, and Michael at 1 to 1.5-year level of standard-training. You can view their test performances at http://wcats.com/Misc/Videos/, and judge for yourself.

With Michael gone, Libing has 10 more days of training with me (before I leave for Bangkok) to complete his 2-month Challenge course. I plan to give him special training on Chisao, legwork, and Dummy form.

If the chance arrives, I will have another gongfu sifu or martial artist assess and test his performance. If not, you can judge his overall performance from the video I will post on October 23.

RESPONSE FROM VIEWERS OF THE TEST Certified Sifu from WSL Lineage, Rafael Riera in Barcelona:

Dear Sifu and Family:

I viewed the last Challenge videos.

I see that Libing is doing very well, playing some soft sparring to the other Sifu.

Anyhow, Libbing still not using the best component WC has.."The Close Range Fighting"...although he is new on that,.. everytime he had the chance to keep himself closer to his opponent, he stood back and place himself ones again too far from the other Sifu.

By the way...Libbing got so many straight hands in the other Sifu's gates while the opponent use two movements: one to defend and one to attack, not simultaneously like in WC.

Although the other Sifu is doing great with MA form and I am sure he was not going full speed on Libbing, I can perfectly see and count how many times Libbing did break through the opponents gates, just using Tan, Lap, Fok,Pack-sao...the other Sifu was struggleling quite alot!!!...he seems not used to that direct attacks.

Also I see that Libbing still jumping around like in other Martial Arts. Well, I am sure that after some Mook Yang Chong and some more legs trainning, he is going to be able to perfom even better.

I really enjoyed the First Challenge test although still another video test to upload, isn't it???...

Tell, Libing that we are happy to have him as a good example of a constant person willing to learn from you.

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