Traditional Kung Fu ( 功夫 )

Most people know I’m following a specific style of Kung Fu ( 功夫 ), called Wing Tsjun ( 詠春 ). But this doesn’t mean I’m not interested in other styles of Kung Fu ( or other martial arts in general ).
I’m always on a look out for new techniques and there is no better way to scout for them then the use of the internet !!

That’s why I’m currently following several martial arts blogs, all of them describe a wide range of different styles and almost each week I encounter something worth noticing ! Very useful indeed…
One of my current favourites is the blog from the Dojo Rat ! He analyzes several arts and tries to point out the good things about them and how to apply this.

Well some few weeks back the Dojo Rat had posted some YouTube clips that got my special attention ! The clips where all about one teacher called Mike Martello, he has a Wing Chun background, but now teaches several styles all more traditional and actually has stopped with Wing Chun. So this actually doesn’t interest me per definition… but these clips on the Dojo Rat just caught my eye, because of the magnificent application of Chin Na ( æ“’æ‹¿ ) techniques.

In our current Wing Tsjun lessons, we do have some Chin Na stuff, but they are all static… what Mike Martello shows in these clips are examples of using it during a real work out and keeping control during drills and flows !! Something I would love to be able to do so too !
So when Dojo Rat posted a new article about Mike telling us that he left USA after a seminar to go back to his teaching center, I was just blow away by the fact that this was actually in Belgium !!! Not to mention it’s in Antwerp, only a drive of 15 to 20 minutes from where I live.

So it’s not a surprise that I got in touch with Mike to be able to get to know his teachings… and last week I’ve been to one of his training sessions. Just let me say one thing; Mike Martello can generate great strength through use of his inner energy, by being totally relaxed !! In other words no brute force at all. Very amazing when you get the chance to feel it !

But words don’t say everything… so here is Mike’s private YouTube account, just check it out : http://www.youtube.com/user/mikemartello

My favourite ( also posted on the Dojo Rat ) here :

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Cantonese lessons

Ever since I started following Wing Tsjun, I was fascinated with all the Chinese terminology that is used during our training !
Like, every hand movement has it’s own name and this name represents the position of the hand, for example a Wu sao = “Protecting hand” !

But when I looked further, it seemed that most of the phrases where spoken in Cantonese instead of Mandarin !
So to ease my curiosity I took up Cantose 🙂

It doesn’t only consist of speaking the language, we also have to write and read !! And man, the writing is tough !
For starters, you don’t have any reference when writing Hanzi, they don’t have any resemblance with anything we are used to !
But secondly, you can’t just copy them when writing ! There is a specific order and direction that needs to be followed when writing the strokes that make up one character…

But, hey, we all have our hobby, so I don’t mind the fact that mine is a little tougher 😉
I also started looking up the chinese representation of our names, just for fun though, I’m not like many western people who like the Hanzi but don’t know the translation and just use them on tattoos for example !!

Femke ( our daughter ) – 费姆克 or 费姆可
Martine ( my wife ) 马蒂娜 or 馬蒂娜
Glenn ( me ) – 格倫 or 格伦

I found several great sites that help me in my quest for knowledge, just folow my delicious tag link !