eric oram

In the martial arts, one school of thought holds that you should change your game to match your opponent's. Example: If you're a stand-up fighter and you're facing a grappler, you should immediately switch into grappling mode. Problem is, that requires you to train to such an extent that each subset of your skills is superior to the skills of a person who focuses on only that range of combat. Your grappling must be better than a grappler's, your kicking must be better than a kicker's and your punching must be better than a puncher's. It's a tough task, to be sure. Another school of thought holds that you should never fight force with the same kind of force. In other words, don't try to beat your opponent at what he does best. Instead, use a set of concepts and techniques that will enable you to nullify his attacks and nail him when he's not expecting it. The best set of concepts I've found is called the science of wing chun, as taught by Black Belt Hall of Fame member William Cheung. It offers a strategic approach to combat that's guaranteed to help any stand-up fighter prevail on the street. Before beginning, a few words about wing chun are in order. Supposedly developed by a woman named Yim Wing Chun, the system is based on scientific principles that allow the practitioner to achieve peak performance in any combat situation, even against a larger opponent. It does so by teaching you how to fight smarter, not harder. The key to achieving that goal lies in the following seven principles.

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9 Wing Chun Kung Fu Strategies for Defeating Multiple Attackers

Two Chinese men stare at each other in an ancient courtyard. They are motionless, their eyes relaxed yet intensely focused. Their bodies are like iron sculptures — each muscle specifically conditioned for the martial art its owner has mastered.

After some time, one man finally offers his palm, turned upward toward his adversary. The other man nods his head and bows, then bursts into his favorite form, which he has perfected after thousands of hours of practice. He finishes, then motions toward the first warrior. That man bows and begins his own incredible barrage of prearranged kicks, punches, sweeps and flips. He finishes and bows again. Each man looks deeply into the eyes of the other, satisfied with the display of skill he just witnessed.

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In this vintage video footage, wing chun kung fu grandmaster William Cheung demonstrates the wooden dummy as a training tool for kung fu techniques.

Practice is the key to mastery in any martial art. Execution of thousands of strikes, kicks and blocks against a partner is the key to integrating the strategies and techniques in such a way that they become second nature. However, live partners are not always available. So the next best thing, of course, would be a stand-in — and that's where the wooden dummy comes in for the practice necessary for mastering kung fu techniques when a human partner's participation isn't possible. Training devices such as the wooden dummy have been used by China's Shaolin Temple fighting monks for more than 2,000 years. "There was a corridor that consisted of 108 wooden dummies representing 108 different attacking techniques," says wing chun expert andBlack BeltHall of Fame member William Cheung. "The monks would move down the hall and practice their defenses and counterattacks on them." In this kung fu techniques video, William Cheung demonstrates how kung fu practitioners can use a device such as the wooden dummy to practice their own defenses and counterattacks. William Cheung then demonstrates the practiced kung fu techniques on his training partner and senior disciple, Eric Oram

KUNG FU TECHNIQUES VIDEO Grandmaster William Cheung Demonstrates Wing Chun Kung Fu Training Techniques and Applications Using the Wooden Dummy

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10 Wing Chun Kung Fu Training Principles Any Martial Artist Can Use!

Construction and Functionality of the Wooden Dummy for Wing Chun Kung Fu Training

"The three arms on the dummy can represent strikes to the middle and upper gates and can be either punches or kicks," explains Wiliam Cheung disciple and wing chun techniques expert Eric Oram. "The leg of the dummy teaches the wing chun practitioner to move from one side of the dummy to the other, keeping in mind where the opponent's lead leg is at all times."

The First Modern Wooden Dummy for Wing Chun Techniques Practice

"In 1951 my brother George Cheung ... persuaded Hong Kong-based wing chun legend Yip Man to commission a carpenter to build the first wooden dummy outside of China," William Cheung recalls. "It was built and installed on the rooftop of my family's house on Argyle Street in Kowloon, Hong Kong. I've been training on the wooden dummy ever since.

"In 1956 [George] went to Sydney, Australia, to attend university. He brought that dummy to Sydney with him. When he moved in 1959, he placed it in the care of a friend who ran a gas station. One winter's night when the temperature plummeted, [George's] friend used the dummy as firewood to keep himself warm. It was a sudden and tragic end for the first modern wooden dummy."

Safety First in Your Wing Chun Kung Fu Training

Because the wooden dummy is usually made of teak, it's essential to practice all your offensive and defensive kung fu techniques slowly and softly at first to minimize the impacts your body is forced to absorb. As your accuracy and technique improve, you can put more energy and intention into it.


Related Martial Arts Books, E-Books, DVDs and Video Downloads

For more detailed information on wing chun training using the wooden dummy, live partners and a variety of weapons, please refer to the William Cheung wing chun training DVD series Wing Chun Kung Fu (Volumes 1 - 5). You also can visit grandmaster William Cheung's official website at cheungswingchun.com. For more information on Eric Oram, visit the website for his Wing Chun Kung Fu Chinese Boxing Academy & Mind/Body Center in West Los Angeles at lawingchun.com.

William Cheung and Eric Oram demonstrate how trained wing chun fighters can dominate “the fourth center” for maximum control over their opponents in this informative video!

Is wing chun effective for self-defense on the street? In this exclusive preview from the DVD Grandmaster Cheung's Wing Chun Kung Fu, grandmaster William Cheung and Eric Oram discuss wing chun history and how wing chun techniques developed over time. The kung fu moves they demonstrate focus on what William Cheung calls "the fourth center" -- namely, how trained wing chun fighters can dominate this zone for maximum control over their opponents.

"Before the wing chun system came along, [Chinese martial artists were] using three centers," William Cheung explains. "You [would] protect your center, and then you [would] attack the opponent's center, and [then there would be] the center of exchange. But when wing chun was developed, they said, 'Ahhh. We're doing a 1-2-3-4.'"

William Cheung proceeds to demonstrate the 1-2-3-4 sequence with a series of kung fu moves and explains a pivotal moment in wing chun history. "So they developed a fourth center," the wing chun grandmaster explains. "When you throw a punch, then I can counterattack at the same time."

Using his senior student, sifu Eric Oram, to demonstrate the role of the fourth center in wing chun techniques, William Cheung elaborates on how this development altered the course of wing chun history and elevated the art into an effective self-defense arsenal that is still popular today.

"So when he comes along, I block. I'm facing this point here," William Cheung explains, having moved around Eric Oram's punching arm to the outside of his elbow — which William Cheung refers to as the third center, from which he can readily access an impact point on Eric Oram's head. This would be the fourth center.

"I free up [my] other arm to do the counterattack — so I don't need to deal with [his] other arm," William Cheung explains, demonstrating a strike to Eric Oram's head. "You're using the fourth center to fight on the blind side."

The quick and fluid motion of wing chun techniques in action allows for minute gaps of time during which an opponent's arm, although being contacted by the defender, is still relatively free. Some may ask: Is wing chun effective for street fighting or other close-quarters encounters if the attacker's arm is not secured, pinned, bent or impacted by severe pressure-point manipulation?

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