Review of the Ving Tsun Musuem's Wing Chun Series #3/4 Chum Kiu: The Combat Bridge DVD by Sifu Benny Meng

Posted by Taganashi on Nov 21, 2011
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Review of: VTM Wing Chun Series #3/4 Chum Kiu: The Combat Bridge By Sifu Benny Meng

Review by: Todd Taganashi
DVD Bought on: Everything Wing Chun
This DVD is also available for download on Everything Wing Chun Instant Access

Quick Review:
Part 1:
Chum Kiu: The Combat Bridge Part One is the third episode in the VTM Wing Chun Series. In the Sil Nim Tao video parts one and two, Sifu Meng taught us the fundamentals of the Wing Chun system in order to establish a solid foundation and understanding in the basic concepts and techniques. At the Chum Kiu level Sifu Meng introduces the student to the more advanced fighting concepts, such as generating power through forward momentum and two directional force. Although footwork is taught at the Sil Nim Tao level it is at the Chum Kiu level and in the Chum Kiu form that the advanced concepts of generating power through footwork and mobility are taught. Sifu Meng uses a slightly different teaching method in this video than in the previous. After going over the main techniques that are taught at this level, he spends most of his time on the movements of the Chum Kiu form one by one. Sifu Meng talks in detail about the little things that are so important in each movement of the Chum Kiu form such, as balance and positioning. This video also contains training drills using the focus mitts and kicking shields, giving the student a chance to start working their striking and targeting skills. It is obvious that Sifu Meng is preparing the student for the application phase of training as he emphasizes the concepts of efficiency and economy of motion. Overall I would say that this Chum Kiu DVD has touched on points that are not usually covered on this topic in video format. Sifu Meng always goes all out in his teaching and demonstrations. If you buy any of his videos you should expect a high-quality production and an exceptional learning experience. Of course putting the time and effort into training is up to you, but through his VTM Wing Chun DVD series Sifu Benny Meng has provided a map to guide you on your journey.

Part 2:
Well, if I had to say which DVD contained the most practical instruction for students at the intermediate stage of Wing Chun training, this would be it. But be warned; without spending a good amount of time training in the exercises taught in the previous videos you will have a difficult time at this level. In this video Sifu Meng teaches the two-handed Chi Sau drills so crucial to the development of the Wing Chun Fighter. It is really great to have a qualified master of Wing Chun spend so much time going over the small details of Chi Sau. Sifu Meng takes the time to point out the importance of energy and positioning that can really make the difference when "playing" Chi Sau. In fact he is so good at teaching this that during his demonstrations you can literally see when he is about to seize the opportunity to exploit the opponents weakness. He also makes it a point to ask the viewer to see if they can recognize the Chi Sau techniques in practice. I must say that his assistant Jeremy Roadruck, who is an experienced Sifu, helped a lot in making the Chi Sau segments one of the best of the entire VTM Wing Chun Series. It is great to see two very experienced Wing Chun men training together. The Chi Sau lesson concludes with Sifu Meng doing a blindfolded demonstration -- top notch! I have seen Chi Sau go to the point of almost all-out sparring, or played as if it were a game of tag where the guy who gets the most hits wins. Sifu Meng makes it a point to explain that Chi Sau is a training exercise, and in order for both sides to learn equally there has to be a sort of cooperative give and take of energy and technique. He goes on to explain that it is up to the more advanced students to work with the less experienced students and bring them up to their level. This is part of the "family helps each other" philosophy, which should be present at every martial arts school. For the techniques and combinations, Sifu Meng spends a good amount of time teaching four basic movements and their drills to set the base for Chi Sau practice. I imagine that this being somewhat the application phase of development that Sifu Meng wanted to end this video with a lesson on the important subject of Ranges of Combat and where Wing Chun fits in. We are shown the advantages and the disadvantages of various fighting ranges and then given a demonstration of Wing Chun's optimal range of combat. The video concludes with Sifu Jeremy Roadruck giving an overview of the lessons taught in the Sil Nim Tao and Chum Kiu videos.

Technical Review:

  • DVD Length: 110 Minutes
  • Display: NTSC
  • Region: 0
  • Type: DVD
  • Language: English (No Subtitles)
  • Video Quality: High (Professional Production)
  • Audio Quality: High (Professional Production)

Content Review:
Part 1:

  • Introduction
    • Opening the DVD is a very nice short historical segment introducing Sifu Meng, detailing his journey in the art of Wing Chun and paying homage to the many great masters under whom he studied.
  • Stances
    • Goat Gripping Stance
    • Right and Left Horse Stance
    • Back Horse Stance
  • Footwork
    • Side Step (Inside and Outside Bracing)
    • Press Horse Step
    • Thrust Horse Step
  • Hand and Elbow Techniques
    • Thrusting Hand
    • Elbow Slice
    • Uppercut
    • Bracing Hand
    • Fencing Hand
  • Kicking Techniques
    • Front Kick
    • Side Kick
  • Chum Kiu Form Demonstrated by Sifu Benny Meng (Multiple Angles)
    • Sifu Meng first demonstrates the entire Chum Kiu form then slowly breaks it down one technique at a time, naming each individual movement and describing them in detail.
  • Demonstration of Details from the Chum Kiu Form
    • Common Mistakes
  • Applications from the Chum Kiu
    • Resting Hand
    • Bracing Hand
    • Low Wing Hand
    • Kicking Techniques
  • Attributes Developed by Practicing the Chum Kiu Form
    • Generating Power Through Momentum
    • Generating Power Through Two Directional Movement
    • Generating Power Through Forward Movement
  • Training Drills
    • Focus Mitt Punching
    • Using the Kicking Shield to Develop Balance and Power
  • Conclusion

Part 2

  • 1. Chum Kiu Form Demonstrated by Sifu Benny Meng
  • 2. Basic Chi Sau Technique
    • Sifu Meng gives a solid lesson on the basic mechanics of Chi Sau including proper positioning, energy control, and reflex sensitivity training.
      • Rolling Hand
      • Catching Hand
      • Running Hand
      • Single Hand Strike
      • Pushing The Horse
  • 3. Training Exercises and Applications
    • Sifu Meng demonstrates the basic Chi Sau techniques at full speed against one of his advanced students, then breaks each movement down and explains them in further detail.
    • He also gives some good advice for instructors of Wing Chun.
  • 4. Pushing the Horse (Further Explanation of this Vital Technique)
    • Maintaining Structure and Distance
    • Pushing with the Whole Body
    • Strong Roots to Redirect Energy
  • 5. Summary (Ranges of Combat)
    • Kicking Ranges
    • Wing Chun Striking Range (Optimum Range)
    • Grappling and Throwing Range
  • 6. Conclusion
    • Jeremy Roadruck, one of Sifu Meng's advanced students and VTM Instructor, gives a brief summary of what he has learned through practicing Wing Chun at the Sil Nim Tao and Chum Kiu levels.