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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Randy WIllams work on the dummy

Book Review: Wing Chun Gung Fu
The Explosive Art of Close Range Combat
Volume #3 Mook Yan Joang and Mui Fah Joang
by Randy Williams
This is an excellent book, if you have a dummy especially so!
Because it has foot patterns in it – as this picture shows (Ipludered it off the web). This is very helpful. I had managed to derive the footwork from Michael Wong’s DVD using slow motion stepping – had I got this book beforehand it would have saved some time indeed. But I was pleased I had got most of it ‘right’.
Also of interest in this book [its quite big using A4 pages] is that is talks about the plum blossom posts. This is very rare indeed. Its an array of wooden posts that the wing chun player can step on in a pattern from one side to another using arm shapes too. Or even run through kicking the stumps as you go. The heights of the wooden stumps can be varied from 1 inch to a foot ? No other wing chun book covers this and Randy Williams really give you a lot of information in this book – with sample patterns to navigate the posts. The attention to detail is excellent. I have 3 other books in this series. This is my favourite of the series. They are hard to get hold of the UK and the copyright is 1989. They are ahead of other books published about wing chun at that time and very very useful.

Randy Williams 4 x tapes on the Wooden Dummy too are excellent. These are 2 on the 116 movements and applications and 2 on wooden dummy combat drills. Get these if you have a wooden dummy as they include details that are very well described. As a teacher Williams attention to detail and use of language / metaphor to explain is top dollar. I rate him as a teacher and his work is up there with the best of them (I need to nominate who I regard these are at some point – remind me). Even though the form starts to diverge from Yip Man’s 116 movements (does it matter ?!) its still of use to any wing chun stylist as you hear / see ideas you may not have considered. There are kneeing motions for example that are highly useful – I haven’t seen anyone knee the dummy in a classical form. (Only Joseph Simonet does in his Slam Set using Thai knees).

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