Wing Chun's - little ideas  Newsletter - Winter Edition 2014
Australian Wing Chun Federation

little ideas

Winter 2014          
edited by Corey & Melissa Slade

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Welcome to the 5th edition of our Wing Chun community newsletter.
Hope to see you all there at Conference!

Yours in Wing Chun,    


Melissa and Corey Slade

Invitation to our 3rd Annual Australasian Wing Chun Conference

by Tamara Sales
Prism Martial Arts Wing Chun for Health

Hi everyone, I just wanted to take this opportunity to share that it has been an exciting time here in Sydney with the organizing of our 3rd Annual Australasian Conference.
The genesis of our conference for this year began last October long weekend in Adelaide Hills, a great time had by everyone sharing amongst our growing family of happy wing chun people over four days of pure wing chun, laughter, a-ha! moments, Gary’s infallible trivia, the lucky draw of the hat and of course the generosity of all our presenters who happily donated their time and wisdom.
Since then much thought and care has gone into preparing this year’s event with the kind help of our volunteer committee, friends and wing chun family.
It is great to see the enthusiasm coming from our schools regarding our annual gathering, a great sign of this is all the enquiries we’ve had and also that tickets began going very fast on the first week they were available catching the very first early bird prices.


YHA Rooftop with Sydney Opera House view

The Conference this year will be held in the heart of Sydney at one of our oldest suburbs ‘The Rocks’ We have to our fortune a roof top terrace for late night Chi Sau with uninterrupted harbour views in Sydney’s brand new hostel facility which to our luck I just happened to stumble upon after much search through the suburbs of Sydney. I basically wanted to make sure that we were local to everywhere and not have to spend much time, effort and dollars travelling to and from our venue. As everyone is aware same as every year full event price include accommodation over the 4 days and all meals included plus all workshops.

Just a couple of travel tips for everyone who is travelling from interstate and travelling into the YHA:

  • Check-in time is after 2pm for everyone 7 days per week
  • If you have booked your air fare tickets already and are arriving into Sydney earlier, luggage can be held for you at reception until check-in time. 
  • Latest arrival time to YHA on Friday 3rd October would be approximate to 5pm as Dinner will be at 6pm
  • Breakfast is served between 7-8am
  • Seminars begin every day at 9am and finish at 6pm ready for dinner time
  • Lunch is at 12pm
  • If you are travelling by plane we have Sydney Airport just 15 mins travel time to and from The Rocks by train.  J
The closest train stations to SYDNEY YHA are Wynyard and Circular Quay Stations with approximately 7-10 mins walk.  PLEASE SEE MAP

To all our Sydney Day Trippers, I would recommend travelling by train or bus into town and to facility to avoid paying high parking rates for the day. I believe there’s a flat rate of $40 for the day at the nearest parking facility. 

YHA Rooftop with Sydney Harbour Bridge view.
Guys the Sydney YHA is welcoming our stay with a whole wing designed for large groups so this means almost half of the facility will be just about private for our group throughout the weekend.

Please do advise your head of school and make your bookings as soon as possible as we have limited booking spaces available and spaces are booking fast. Our latest booking date is July 31st to guarantee your discounts and YHA accommodation.   

Finally I look very much forward to welcoming everyone into Sydney for our 3rd Annual Conference and on behalf of our committee and myself we look forward to hosting a wonderful Wing Chun weekend event for everyone! Warmest wishes to all.
Sydney YHA Façade

Please for further enquiries email us:


My interpretation of Chi Sau
by Craig Deane, Hiding Dragon

Gday...well I have no idea what to write, so I guess I’ll chat about my interpretation of Chi Sau and maybe discuss how my thought process goes about thinking of relaxing.

Chi Sau is a platform where we get to test our understanding of Wing Chun forms in a dynamic and practical manner.

It is also the best fun!! :-)
What do I mean by that then? When doing your forms, you should be studying your mind and body for flaws and self-correcting.

For instance you must learn to understand what you’re looking for so you can self-correct. So; how am I standing, am I leaning forward or backward, does my body and limbs feel relaxed, am I pointing mentally, are my shoulders relaxed and joints moving biomechanically well? I could go on forever there’s so much too self-correcting, but you get the idea.

So when rolling (Chi Sau) even when beginning contact, you should be thinking is any part of me self-correcting, like when I do my forms.

Chi Sau is not a wrestling match, which so many of us get caught up in.
Chi Sau is the understanding and studying of the instant  of contact in battle. To defend yourself and attack your opponent with confidence and control, learning how to do what’s best for you to survive conflict.      Understanding when to move and what pressure is being placed on you and the best way to manipulate things to your favor.

So first thing, always enter a roll in guard. This prepares and protects you and keeps you in control of the center line.  Next but of equal importance, FINISH YOUR TOOLS!

Fook Sau paints the center line vertically; the opposite side rotates through Tarn Sau, Di Sau, Fook Sau and into Bong Sau and repeat again and again. Try not to get caught up in wrestling at the contact spot.

Too many practitioners get caught up in the weight training side of things and have good biomechanics but fool themselves into thinking that this is good kung Fu. I think this is a mistake and will lead you down a garden path to nowhere cool.

So when entering a roll (Chi Sau) and making contact, you start to interpret your opponents understanding of what he knows about Wing Chun forms as well as correcting what you know about Wing Chun forms.

Now, to my second topic - How do I go about thinking about relaxation?

I’m glad you asked lol. I try to relax in all directions at once. What do I mean by that?  We all get caught up in relaxing downwards but although we do have to relax down, this type of idea can lead us to being trapped or weighted heavily to the ground which restricts mobility. So I try not only to relax down but in all directions. This idea enables me to have better mobility and balance.

Not only do I think like that, but I also think about relaxing inwardly along my bones. I go through what I call “Ironing out the tensions”.

You see, for me it’s a repeating cycle. For instance, take these last few months. I identify feelings of tension in my body and work on them. So it goes like this for me. I constantly think to relax in everything I do. I might find my chest is tight and holding me back, so I go through a process of relaxing my chest and take that to a new level of relaxation. Then I might find that my legs are holding me back, so I go through the same process and relax them more. Then I find my shoulders are tight and holding me back, so I concentrate on them, then they relax and I find it’s in my back now. So I am now working on shutting my back muscles down closer to the bone.

At a deeper level of awareness I cycle back to my legs or neck or chest that might be holding me back. So you can see it’s an endless fascinating cycle that just keeps evolving!

Well, this is my first article for the Federation. I hope you found it enjoyable, all the best with your Fu...Ooroo.

Wing Chun Kung Fu - one woman's perspective
by Julie Verhoeven

The journey of Wing Chun Kung Fu is not about fighting for me. It is a spiritual journey of self discovery. It is about finding the untapped power inside of me as a woman and finding how to feel confident as the person I was destined to be.

I began my martial arts journey at around the age of 14 years after a not so nice experience with a boy, which I must let you know, I won. Still I started training in the art of Tae Kwon Do.  It made me feel powerful, it was a release for my pent up anger and other raging emotions.  I liked the integrity and structure it provided me in a life that was emotionally unstable.  Knowing little about any martial arts systems, I put my soul entirely into its practise in the quaint little city of Adelaide where I grew up, then later in sunny, Port Lincoln.

Until... the respectful Sifu we had moved towns and left us with a slightly crazy and somewhat fanatical instructor.  So needless to say, I jumped ship and took up Karate instead with a very kindly and stable minded Cory DeWitt.  A few years of this training passed and I learnt a lot.  I found both styles to be power and strength based and neither of those things am I. 

Restless as I was, I took off round the world as I thought best to do these things young as hip replacements and Bungy jumping aren't really compatible.  Doing the sometimes crazy things that single female travellers do, I thought best if I sought out more martial arts training in the not so quaint, but oh so fun city of London. Woo hoo.  'Twas there I found a big black Jamacian by the name of Gary, oops sorry I digress, back to the martial arts, no really, he actually trained me in the art of Wing Chin Kung Fu only.

Then I turned the tender age of 26, my visa ran out and they kicked me out of the country darn it!  I had to come home and was a little home sick anyhow.  So I said goodbye to those beautiful people I had come to love in London, my Wing Chun family (I was the slightly embarrassing Aussie member of my English family),  but before I left they just happened to mention some sort of Academy for Wing Chun in Australia.  Jim Fungs here I come. 

I hit the phone book, yes people the phone book, the thing that has now been replaced by my friend Google, and there I found the Adelaide Academy of Wing Chun and just up the road from the bus depot, what luck.  Ring ring, 'Hi, Jules here, can I pleeeease come train with you?' They said yes, great.  There I met Albert, not that he would remember me, I hope he doesn't remember me anyway as he took one look at me and well, he laughed, I could almost see the words tumbling round in his head, something like, golly gosh here is a lady claiming to be a Wing Chun practitioner, hmmmmm, sigh. 

Ego, I had plenty of that, built up like a wall round my entire being, stiffening every joint in my body, making every muscle taught like several over stretched rubber bands.  Albert laughed, I got angry,  I'd been doing Wing Chun for bout a year and a half now, I was fit, I could do hand stand push-ups, we'll almost any way.  Let's just say he wiped the ego right off my face and quickly.  I had never heard of the concept of Tei Gong, and maybe Chi Sau was some sort of vegetable. I thought I knew Sui Nim Tao because I knew some of the movements but had no idea of the internal energy that needed to be kindled.  I knew nothing, but as every beginner knows it all, so did I.

Back to sunny Port Lincoln I came with the name of a man who would prove to be the biggest catalyst of change in my entire life, Corey Slade.  A swimming instructor at the time, I went back to the pool to earn more money to travel yet again and there I saw a man (fully clothed) walking round the pool with Wing Chun intent and bingo, I'd found Si-Hing Corey. You can tell a Wing Chun person by their walk!

Corey started teaching at the Leisure centre & I started learning what this magical art is really about.  I learnt for the first time the nature of force and tension in my body and that of my opponents. I learnt that I really can't live like a wound up rubber band and be a deeply happy person.  Kung Fu fitted like a glove, it is teaching me about myself, helping me to let go and definitely turning me into a better person.  Helping me to find a deeper meaning to my life and to be more humble in the process.  I laugh at myself often now, I'd also rather hug you than fight you.  I especially don't claim to be a marvellous martial artist as there is so much more to learn and then there's the art of being taught, not to mention self discipline. For me Wing Chun is about personal power, it's about developing the ability to sit within the eye of the storm and remain unruffled.

I admire this art and have been able to return to this training time and again with renewed passion and dedication, although it's some years on and I still haven't been Bungy jumping!

Corey asked me to explain what made me a better student?

Many things contributed to my becoming a better student, here are the ones most important to me;

I learnt to trust.  To trust myself to know when someone was trying to help me.  This allowed me to open my mind and not be so forceful both in Wing Chun and in daily life.  It allowed me to respect people more, although I don't always get it right.

The realisation that mistakes are opportunities to be a better person. So I became grateful for the times when I could observe self through others reflecting my energy back - sometimes good, often not so good.

Also beginning to learn acceptance. Mostly of myself, being able to think 'this is who I am', and not freaking out, hiding or blaming.

The free flow of information that has come to be.  Finally, the endless patience, tolerance, kindness, warmth and wealth of knowledge of Si-Hing Corey. 

Thanks for your dedication, because without your generosity none of us would be learning Wing Chun Kung Fu on Eyre Peninsula.

Thanks for sharing my journey.

Photo from recent kids MA movie & games day during term 2 school holidays - Tumby Bay Kids Martial Arts Academy - 

Dodge the ninja stars (bean bag) whilst negotiating the obstacle course!


Further Reading

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