Review of Gary Lam's Fighting Strategy DVD
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Review by: Manuel Bustos, Jr.
DVD Bought at: http://www.everythingwingchun.com/Gary-Lam-Fighting-Strategy-p/gl01.htm
Of all of Sifu Lam’s Wing Chun DVDs this DVD “Seminar: Fighting Strategy” is arguably Sifu Lam’s most advanced DVD to date. The DVD is not one that focuses on the actual techniques of Wing Chun, although many ideas do just that, but rather the ideas behind the late Wong Shun Leung’s Wing Chun and fighting. Sifu Wong believes that Wing Chun was concept based rather than technique based. Wong also believed that the better Wing Chun martial artist uses Wing Chun without letting Wing Chun control him/her. To gain the most from the DVD a student should have a solid background in Wing Chun, but some of the concepts presented on the DVD could be used by any martial artist. Sifu Lam covers many concepts and ideas behind fighting and some of those do not necessarily originate with Wing Chun, but most of the ideas presented do. Due to the coverage of a extensive set of ideals, the DVD is lengthy at 1:49:15. Additionally, Sifu Lam himself was both a fighter and trainer and ideas from his experience are also covered. This DVD is recommended for the advanced student, but could also be seen as an investment for the beginning student or fighter.
The DVD “Seminar: Fighting Strategy is a higher level seminar. The seminar encompasses all of Wing Chun’s forms, theory as well as experience gained from fighting by the late Wong Shun Leung and Sifu Lam. The coverage of these ideas makes the seminar lengthy at 1:49:09. This is not to say that any student could not benefit from the DVD, but that better understanding is gained by having the Wing Chun forms, and theory under one’s proverbial belt.
Sifu Lam states that attack is better than defense, which is the late Wong Shun Leung’s stratagem. Wong Shun Leung stated, “The best defense is an offense.” With the seminar Sifu Lam states that the only time a fighter should wait before attacking is if the fighter knows he/she is stronger than the opponent. Sifu Lam also states that Wong Shun Leung used the stratagem of attacking first in his Beimo challenges. In other words control the opponent rather than responding and in doing so being controlled by the opponent.
During this seminar Sifu Lam systematically explores every faucet of Wing Chun be it stepping, guarding hand returning hand, stance, control of techniques, relaxation and concentration to name but a few of the topics covered in the seminar. Sifu Lam brings to this seminar the extensive knowledge gained by Wong Shun Leung’s numerous Beimo challenges as well as his own extensive experience in fighting.
This is not a DVD that demonstrates a great number of techniques, but rather the ideas and theories needed behind the points brought up within the seminar. To drill some points home, Sifu Lam will indeed demonstrate the point he wishes to expand upon, but in general the DVD focuses on the ideas behind fighting. Again although quite a few points relate to Wing Chun, this DVD is more the basic, as well advanced theory within fighting.
In real fighting the idea is to finish the opponent as quickly as possible. Simplicity is better than unnecessary or complex techniques, which is of course is the core of Wing Chun. To better understand the ideas behind this DVD it should be noted that Wong Shun Leung Wong defeated the majority of his opponents within three techniques. Sifu Wong never lost in his numerous challenge fights and those were quite numerous, by some accounts over seventy challenges. The ideas, techniques and theories Grandmaster Yip Man presented to the young Wong Shun Leung were immediately put to the test on the streets of Hong Kong. By combining Yip Man’s instruction, testing the ideas and techniques on the streets of Honk Kong as well as the sheer brilliance of Wong’s analytic ability Wong gained a very high level of fighting skill. Wong’s brilliance and experience allowed him to pass his ideas of fighting his students. Gary Lam spent 21 years with Sifu Wong. Additionally, Sifu Lam has great deal of experience in fighting and coaching so the culmination of all of these factors allow Sifu Lam to present a brilliant DVD on the strategy of fighting.
Again, this DVD does not have an abundance of demonstrated techniques. The DVD combines Wing Chun theory, application and structure with ideas gain from fighting. Indeed the title was aptly chosen in that the DVD present strategies that enable a fighter to fight better to understand potential weaknesses. Finally, the ideas presented on the DVD are not just for Wing Chun students and fighters, but potentially applicable to any martial artist.
One hand controls two.
Take the position
In one action you have to be fast, stable and perfect
Action in the same position – do not retract a limb
Hit the weak point – if a point on the body had been hit, repeat hitting.
Find the weak point
Control the motion and timing – the most difficult
Use body motion, sit, and twist with the same timing
Use the body when hitting
Use Yin instead of Yan when punching.
Use the wrist – breaking a hold, catching a weapon
Speed - the straight punch may be curved or slightly curved if a the timing is slightly different.
The back hand is stronger that the back hand.Tan sau – attacking hand, Bong Sau and fook Sau are helping hand.
Front hand has seven uses: disturb opponent, attract the enemy, helping inside of the fighting, stop and hit, use the attack to become a defense, front hand keeps chasing to take position, hit the weak point. The front hand becomes the KO hand: the opponent is too open, the weak point is close to the front hand, the fighter is much stronger than the opponent.