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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Eye Candy – Banner/Background

Well I’m no photoshop expert… but once and a while, I like to explore some of it’s possibilities.

On my last venture I’ve created a banner/wallpaper picture from my last set of Wing Tsjun pictures ! So if you guys won’t mind please fill in the comments with any suggestions or remarks !! I’ve also posted the original picture, so if you have any time, just give it a go and astonish me with some nice design/rework.

Update: Here is a script for non pro Flickr users to get the large size of all pictures available

2007-02-17 - Seminar Dai Sifu Thommy Böhlig mortsel_099

WingTsjunBelgiumBanner

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Currently listening to: Pascale F. E. O. S.Overflow (Timo Maas Remix) ( Dirty Trancing )

Personal gain – Wing Tsjun

It has been a busy weekend. Our small Belgian Wing Tsjun organisation was again offered a chance to get a full day of training, this last Saturday, with our Dai Sifu Thommy Böhlig from Germany !
To be honest, I’m always impressed with how fluent Sifu Thommy is and how good his techniques are.

But this also presents following : training with Sifu Thommy always brings you back down to earth and shows you how much road there is still ahead to be traveled !! It really is a personal gain to be able to feel the correct implementation of a technique and being shown where I myself implement sloppy technique !

Much of the pictures are up on our Flickr page so just have a look, but here are 2 of my favourites, in the first I’m reacting completely wrong on an attack of Sifu Thommy ( and he helps me correct it ) and in the second Sihing Filip demonstrates that it is crucial to have the correct guard up !

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Currently listening to: Nina SimoneSee-line woman (masters at wor ( Back to mine )

Grouping the masses

Well to be honest I just love all those online services that let you group like minded people ! Also keeping your own profile online targeted by some service is a great thing…

Now Flickr has been around for a while now and I’ve had my account set up a long time ago ( not a pro though, don’t like to pay much 😉 ). But only now I’ve used their grouping function.

So for our Wing Tsjun organisation I’ve created a Flickr pool, so all the people in our organisation who took pictures that are related to Wing Tsjun, can now centralise those pictures inside the pool !

Of course the pool is publicly available for browsing, so just check it out here !

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Currently listening to: LeftfieldNot Forgottoen ( Visions of Ibiza Disc 2 )

reThink, reOrganise, rePlan

The Belgium department of our Wing Tsjun organisation has some issues… They are not critical, but still we have to have a sit down with the key members to discuss the planning.

I think every organisation has to rethink their strategy once and a while. So we came to a point that a new course should be taken. It will not be easy to get all the items on the agenda sorted out and maybe some things will not change at all !

But I’m eager to get started, it would mean more responsibility for me inside the organisation and frankly I think this is for the best ;).

Some points to discuss :

  • Structure in the organisation
  • Administration management
  • Membership gathering and structuring
  • Digital revolution enhancement

Currently listening to: The CureLament (flexipop version) ( Join The Dots: 1978-1987 (Disc 1) )
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CMS – Content management S**t

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t like a CMS, but sometimes they are a pain in the b*** !!!!

Currently I’m doing some maintenance on our WingTsjun website, but I got so frustrated that I kept on doing other stuff online ( like reading blogs ) to get my head clear !

Damn I just don’t like working with that stupid Typo 3 system. I don’t know if there are any different versions, but our version is just not intuitive to work with !

Stupid example: why don’t you use a simple text editor to put in text ? No you have to separate each ‘logical part’ on one page in a ‘text part’ inside typo 3 ! So instead of just typing and if needed starting a new paragraph, you have to type a title, your text and add links for each paragraph of your text… so editing the text on several places means doing several manual actions of opening and selecting the right ‘text parts’ before you can reach the text itself !!!

DAMN frustrating ! That’s why I like the simpel design of the Windows Live Writer I’m now using to blog with…

And some people just spot the simple designs of Typo 3 right away ;).

Currently listening to : Dj Kicks (The Track) – Carl Craig ( Dj Kicks )
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Beer belly vs. WingTsjun training ( 1 – 0 )

August is not the body friendliest month of the year for me… August means I won’t be able to practice my WingTsjun skills !

In august our Sifu – 師父- always goes on vacation and being the lazy bastard I am, no other sport replaces the lost training’s !

So like the title says, I’m currently gaining more weight… even though it is a slight increase, it’s noticeable 😉

Even my other recreational sport – bicycle riding – has been on a low level, due to very bad weather here in Belgium !

But no more worries for me, because this coming Monday September the 4th, the training will start again ! And I will be able to kick some butt again 🙂

Aaaah the beauty of Martial Arts, I love it ! So for the people who would love to join ( or be kicked/hit in the face ), just have a look on the following page – right here !

Currently listening to: Armin van BuurenControl Freak
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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 !

Night of Martial Arts

Last april the 22nd, there was a special evening event in Gent : the Night of Martial Arts

It’s an event where different martial arts organisations come and give a life demo to an eager audiance. The list of groups that were attending is posted on the poster ( linked above ), but some examples : thaiboxing, krav-maga, iaido and many others !

Our own organisation MAI ( martial arts international ) was also present to give 2 demonstrations, one for Eskrima and one for Wing Tsjun ! Of course I was also there to help with the Wing Tsjun exhibition…

To illustrate the event, here are some photos, have fun 🙂 …

Nacht van de Krijgskunst 041 Nacht van de Krijgskunst 045 Nacht van de Krijgskunst 053 Nacht van de Krijgskunst 061 Nacht van de Krijgskunst 095 Nacht van de Krijgskunst 098

Attempting recognition

Why do firms, companies or other organisations create a website ? Most of them do not provided webbased services, so a direct ‘client – company’ connection can’t be made ! But still each and everyone of them would love to be ‘online’…

So why are they so eager to commit a part of there communication budget to the internet ? Well mainly to get a face, to get some recognition for the small part they ( could ) play in our day to day life !

Does it work ? Most of the time, I would think that it does… a good visual campaign helps people decide if they should apply their money to the companies service or trade ! I do most of my ‘window shopping’ online, so it makes a difference !

But it isn’t always easy to set up the correct architecture to have the rigth impact ! There is that ‘budget’ factor that has to be incorporated, it draws an invisible wall and sets the maximum reach.

Let me illustrate with a real life example, that involves my own little me 😉 !

I’m a proud member of the WingTsjun organistation, headquarters based in Germany, but with several schools around the world !
So assume you would be looking to have a go at this type of martial art, what would you do ? Well, a good guess would be to search the internet to find a school near to your own current location !

So you would most likely be expecting following thing :

  • A site for your own country ( if possible translated )
  • An overview of all schools ( sorted per region ) for the given country
  • A good information page of the current training hours and location
  • Overall information regarding the style, the teachers, the school infrastructure, etc…

But creating these items, involves manual labour, money and time ! Our current solution offers most of the expected items, but there is still room for improvement ( remember that invisible wall 😉 )…

We currently provide a specific translated site for each country, but they are not home based ! Meaning, not a domain URL for each country… let me be frank here, when I really want to find a website about some firm I need to locate, I use my country specific Google search engine !! So a country specific domain name would make sense !

But does this mean we don’t target the right people now ? No, that isn’t the problem… but the audiance could get bigger by changing some of the current architecture !
Does it mean we have a wrong architecture now ? No, we just have a different approach and use a central starting point, hereby creating a feeling of ‘one’ ! Coming out and saying, ‘we are a team’, not seperate groups…

So sometimes the corporate slogan could have an impact on the outline of the architectural design.

Currently it just fascinates me how I can look at the current end result and wonder why some choices were made and what could change… it just helps me decide for future projects !