Thinking about CMA



Hello all, I guess I'm one of those dojo/dojang/etc. hoppers out there. I think it's becauce I'm not finding what I am looking for. I have practiced TKD, Judo, and Shotokan. I enjoy Shotokan ...and will continue to practice it.

A few of my friends know that I was looking for a style that is more "realistic" and suggested that I look into Wing Chun. It so happens that there is a "school" about 2 blocks from my house. The guy runs it out of his back yard a few nights a week. Is this normal is CMA?

PS ...He did mention that this school teaches the "soft" form of Wing Chun ...what does that mean?
Soft Wing Chun? First time I've ever heard of that.

Yes some WC can be "soft" it depends on the instructor. Some schools actually teach using more force than others. A good example is the Bong Sau. In many schools they use it similar to the upper block used in other styles while, in my school it's is used much more passively and used to dissipate force. Do you know what lineage he comes from? how long has he been studying? You should really go over and observe a class and even participate if he gives a free first lesson.
I found them at ...under Bay Area ...then San Jose.

Family: Leung Sheung

Instructors: Sifu Ben Der and Steve Wong

608 North 3rd Street
San Jose, CA
Major cross streets nearby are Taylor and First Street.
Sifu Ben Der is highly regarded in the Leung Sheung lineage. He is a fairly small guy, yet he can toss around linebackers LOL

If nothing else, go to check him out.

Give it a shot. Understand that it takes alot of dedication to get to his level, however.
Little_Shoto - Wing Chun is a soft fist. Deflection, redirection and sticking techniques are based on the concept of being soft. IMO soft lends itself to "borrowing" your opponents energy rather than trying to engage in the "bigger, stronger, faster" approach.
If you're in the Bay area check out as many schols as you can and use your best judgement on choosing your school. It seems there's a lot of WC in the area for you to see. Good luck in your search.
Wing Chun does use soft energy in the way that desertwingchun described. Catching force, redirecting it, and entering in through the created space is considered soft. There's not much WC (none as far as I know) that advocates force on force blocks or typically hard principles and techniques.

Little Shoto - Where are you located? The first thing you should do is educate yourself on his lineage. And then watch a class. There is a lot of WC out there and different teachers and styles interpret the principles of WC is many different ways.
There is nothing wrong with someone teaching out of thier backyard or house. If you like the mans approach and you feel you could learn something from him go for it. I have come to believe that some people are just better martial artists than the average and it has little to do with thier style. What matters more is how well they teach you and how much info they pass on. Although i too bounced around a little bit and prefer wing chun, and cmas in general, I never payed too much mind to lineage because its no guarantee of anything. Bottom line find a teacher you believe in and train with them as long as possible.
I never payed too much mind to lineage ...

I have to admit, I've paid too much attention in the past to lineage. It really doesn't guarantee anything. I've learned though that it does predict at least somewhat what you should be getting. There's a guy in Sacramento, CA where I'm from who advertised WC at his school (United Martial Arts College). When I went to check it out, I found the small print in his ad said "Taekwondo is Wing Chun, Aikido, Karate, Judo, etc.....". Sure enough his WC was taekwondo. Lineage check would avoid that sort of trouble.
My sifu teaches at a local park when the weather's nice. When it's not (usu. just in the winter or when it's raining), we'll practice in his garage. Don't be skeptical of someone just because they teach out of their backyard. If there's less overhead each month (rent - like there would be for some opulent dojo/kwoon/shrine/etc.), the less likely it is that he will be one of those hacks who are just out there to take your money.

Also, my sifu teaches that wing chun is always soft - until there is a "guaranteed" opening (i.e. one that leads to a strike that you WILL land). Then you explode into them, often repeatedly (depending on the particulars of the situation, of course).

Just last week, my sifu made an example (not in the rude sense of the saying) of my oldest sihing while he was training in chi sao. To illustrate to my sihing right above me (chronologically) how he needed to loosen up and be "softer" (because my oldest sihing kept handing him his a$$ on a platter!), my sifu started chi sao with my oldest sihing. After just the third or fourth contact, my sifu pulled my sihing into him (by giving a slight tug on his comparatively stiff arm) and gave him a mock elbow with his free arm. Game over!

Hope any of this helped,