Saturday, September 25, 2010

A Backyard with A Roof

The tent (20X20 ft.) is going up this weekend. Now our backyard has a roof for when it rains. The porch has gotten too small for our growing numbers. This new luxury comes at a price, though. Now, there is more room for footwork: steps, kicks, punches, and multiple opponent circle-fighting drills - and that means you'll sweat more.

Got a few pounds to lose? Might as well lose them here at the Backyard. At least here you are getting something in return (grin).

Friday, September 3, 2010


Looks like more and more new students are signing up lately, and that without any more promo activity on my part. Great. We're ready.

The new Student Grade (S.G.) teaching program (Levels 1 - 3) has just been distributed. It's pretty ambitious. Wing Tsun is supposed to be taught fast, so let's see how much everybody can digest without getting indigestion. Student Grade testings are free (no extra charge for testing and certificates, etc.) and will now be available every two months instead of every three.

We are also getting a 20X20 large party tent in the driveway soon because the covered porch is getting too small and we need a place to train when it rains. It's all "BYOB" (that's "bring your own brains"; please leave the booze at home until our next grill party!)

Sihing Jean has just been promoted to Assistant Instructor to help me teach the new students coming in and leading the basic training drills. He will get free private lessons in return. Congratulations, Jean!

Friday, May 7, 2010


This video is a great example of the basic Hong Kong WT fighting training. (remember this is only the very first stage of free fighting!) It is all based on the "Lap Sau" cycle, the part of the early chi sau "sections" (drills) that helps tie all the different attacks and defenses together so you can start to "flow". At first, these students stay purely in the lap sau cycle with all the variations from the first program ((Chum Kiu chi sau section No. 1), and then they use the same movements free style as a fighting drill:

Lap Sau Series No. 2

Sifu Gavelin here shows the progression into more advanced techniques from the Lap Sau cycle really well. Watch how relaxed he stays the entire time. Even his student doesn't tense up because he takes him through it nice and slow.

Lap Sau Series No. 3

This is Chum Kiu chi sau section 6, done by Sergio Iadarola. It is the "solo" exercise for some of the movements you just saw applied in Lap Sau in the previous video. I'm talking about the lap sau/faak sau cycle you see here:

Lap Sau Series No. 4

The guys are students of Allan Fong, one of GM Leung Ting's earliest students from Hong Kong. Notice the progression from Lap Sau to freehand chi sau.

Lap Sau Series No. 5

Henning is one of the best WT fighters, but here he shows it nice and slow. Notice how most of what he does is based on the Lap Sau cycle (bong/fook/tsuen sequence):

Lap Sau Series No. 6

Selected parts of the whole student program in one piece, from Daan Chi to 7th section Chum Kiu chi sau and even bits of Biu Tze. Keep paying attention and focus on the bong sau/lap sau/tsuen sau cycle.

This video has embedding disabled, so you have to click the link to see it. It will open in a new window.

Lap Sau Series No. 7

The whole thing in action with more variations, kick defenses & take downs.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Do You REALLY Want to Learn Wing Tsun?

Houston's Wing Tsun Backyard is open to anyone - but not everyone will make it through the door. You can apply to join, but whether or not you are accepted as a students is up to you.

A very wise Sifu recently told me that "students do not choose Wing Tsun, Wing Tsun chooses them". That opened my eyes. Wing Tsun is not for everyone. Whether it is for you is for you to find out.

As before, anyone can come and watch a class or participate in a free introductory class. After that, if you decide to start, you will be on perpetual "probation".

I have decided to stop trying to convince students to take their training seriously. Now, it is the other way around. If you want to train here - and continue to train here, you have to convince me - and yourself, of course - that you are serious.

If I notice that you do not practice at home what I teach you in class, you will have a chance to correct that - but if you don't, I suggest looking for another Wing Tsun school that considers itself to be a service provider. This one is not. You don't pay for a "service" here. You pay for the right to learn and practice. Nothing else.

If you still want to schedule a free intro lesson, feel free to call me at 832-452-9966. Classes are held at 4341 Polk St., Houston, TX 77023 on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm.

All the Best,
Alex Wallenwein
Owner, Instructor
Houston's 'Backyard' Wing Tsun School

PS: If you want to know about my background in Wing Tsun, I have practiced WT since 1981. My Sifu is EWTO founder and Grandmaster Keith Kernspecht in Germany, but I only met him twice in my WT career. My first teacher was Si-Hing Curtis Dittrich. I learned directly from GGM Leung Ting and from my Dai-Sihings, Sifu Thomas Dolnitzki (who sadly recently died) and Sifu Emin Boztepe. I have the certificate for only a "Primary Level Technician" under the Leung Ting system (since 1985), but I know more than that. I'm just not interested in titles and certificates. If you are, this may not be the right place for you. How much more I know is for you to find out. I also am no longer a member of any Wing Tsun organization. I left the Leung Ting organization in 2005. If you want to know more, just ask me. I am not secretive - but I also don't embellish the truth.

Monday, February 22, 2010


Do you live in or near Texas? Do you practice Wing Tsun/Wing Chun/Ving Tsun (or whatever) and need "chi sau" partners to work with? This new Facebook group is your ticket.

The idea is to let potential training partners find each other - regardless of what school, organization, or association you come from, and regardless of any false loyalties that only hinder your training progress.

If you worry that your instructor may get angry at you for participating, tell him that through your connection with the Texas Chi Sau Circle you will be able to advertise for his future seminars and expose his school to more students from his area - for free. The only condition is that seminars be open to all systems or schools of wing chun/tsun etc. There must be no requirements to join any school or organization in order to participate.

As we grow, we can also hold "cross-denominational" summer (or better spring and fall) ving tsun training camps (this is Texas, after all). You can start discussions about wing chun-related topics on the discussion board and share photos, videos, and events. But, most importantly, you can find training partners right where you live.

Wing Tsun is all about adaptability, isn't it? So, why practice chi sau only with people from your own school or organization? How do you know your stuff works against people from other systems? This is your chance to find out. All it takes is a certain independence of mind and spirit (a prerequisite for learning wing tsun, at any rate), and the determination to get better, no matter what.

We are looking forward to seeing you join. If you don't live in or near Texas, you can start your own Wing Chun Chi Sau Circle wherever you are. It's easy - and it's free, whether on Facebook or elsewhere.


Alex Wallenwein