The big 'internal Wing Chun' revelation

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The big 'internal Wing Chun' revelation

Postby jonathan.bluestein on Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:56 pm

Many of the people following this forum and my articles have long wondered who is the new mysterious teacher of master Keith Kernspecht? The mystery was presented in my previous article about master Kernspecht's quest to make his Wing Chun an internal martial art:

http://cookdingskitchen.blogspot.co.il/2017/08/the-internal-path-of-wing-chun.html

I am happy to inform you today (at master Kernspecht's permission) that this teacher who has been helping him to transform his Wing Chun, is no other than master Sam Chin! Formerly of the I Liq Chuan system, nowadays better known as Zhong Xin Dao (a new term to describe the complete teachings of master Chin, within which ILC is included). You can read more about the relationship between masters Keith Kernspecht and Sam Chin in the official announcement article below:

http://www.wingtsunwelt.com/content/Introduction-3rd-Martial-Arts-Discipline-under-EWTO-umbrella-WAY-GM-SAM-CHIN?language=en

This is in my opinion a most wonderful combination and endeavor, with two distinguished teachers working together to create a better future for their respective systems and organizations. I have heard countless words of praise from master Kernspecht and his charming daughter Natalie of the kindness and skill of master Chin, whom I had already previously known to be a very honorable teacher with a good reputation. This joint endeavor certainly predicts great things for the spread of authentic traditional Chinese martial arts.

In the picture below are seen master Chin supervising the instruction of his son, Hsin Chin and master Kernspecht's daughter, Natalie.

Image
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Re: The big 'internal Wing Chun' revelation

Postby C.J.W. on Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:21 pm

While I applaud the efforts on his part, the caveat here is that mixing and matching the body mechanics of different systems doesn't always produce a superior combination, and may sometimes even prove to be incompatible.

If I were him, I'd look into southern internal systems (e.g., Fujian White Crane) that share the same root as WC.
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Re: The big 'internal Wing Chun' revelation

Postby Appledog on Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:52 am

Read the article. Saw the pictures. Looks like a noble effort.

There are some obvious flaws however. I would start any discussion by asking why he didn't just follow up on what Chu Shong Tin has been doing; he is highly visible and highly credible in the WC community; ignoring his efforts could be seen as a lack of credibility.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZjN4MX1sf8Y
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Re: The big 'internal Wing Chun' revelation

Postby Ian C. Kuzushi on Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:23 am

I'm going to completely disagree with the naysayers here. First, Sam Chin's art seems to clearly have some southern expression in it, even if the I Liq Chuan people like to present it as part of the family of northern neijia schools. The stance, shoulders, and frame are all very similar to many Hakka arts and other southern schools including phoenix fist and others. So, I don't see a problem with them working together (even if I see some similar vulnerabilities present in the frame of both styles).

Second, anyone asking why Keith Kernspecht might not want to work with just anyone in the "Wing Chun" community (is that a thing? No) clearly doesn't know about the history behind his master, Leung Tsing and his students. They come from a particularly fighty line (ie: Emin Boztepe) and the other lines generally either don't like them or are just scared.

My brother trained in that line and Keith sounded like a beast, as did his students who taught my brother (Emin, Klaus, etc).

There may be reason's to complain about what they are doing, I just think the comments above are way off base.
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Re: The big 'internal Wing Chun' revelation

Postby windwalker on Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:30 am

Ian C. Kuzushi wrote:I'm going to completely disagree with the naysayers here. First, Sam Chin's art seems to clearly have some southern expression in it, even if the I Liq Chuan people like to present it as part of the family of northern neijia schools. The stance, shoulders, and frame are all very similar to many Hakka arts and other southern schools including phoenix fist and others. So, I don't see a problem with them working together (even if I see some similar vulnerabilities present in the frame of both styles).


I believe his father has some s-mantis background.
His work and many demos always reminds me of s-mantis except for the foot work, its very different.
Thought I was the only one who noted it,,,good eye.
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Re: The big 'internal Wing Chun' revelation

Postby jonathan.bluestein on Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:41 am

In response to the first two comments -

How many years have you guys been in the martial arts or practicing Wing Chun? Keith has been over 60 years in the martial arts and over 50 in Wing Chun. You think he perhaps lacks judgement, hmmm? That he could have made a better decision for himself and his organization?

The man has met, trained with and studied under a ridiculous amount of people. Just last week he went and visited another notable Pak Mei sifu and did hands with him and his students.
(not sure I can share the name here). He has met most of Yip Man's long-term students and have trained or did hands with many of them, Chu Shong Tin included. In fact, he has many pictures with Chu Shong Tin from different periods. While he told me that he supported and thought fondly of Chu Shong Tin's efforts to make his Wing Chun more internal, this was not what he personally was looking for. Chu Shong Tin had the recreate the internal gongfu on his own, too.

In terms of pure body mechanics, I am biased to think that the type of Jook Lum Southern Mantis I do would have fit very well with Wing Chun (though I could not have been master Kernspecht's teacher, of course!). So does Xing Yi. However, one does not chose a martial art in this context and under these circumstances solely based on similarities as such. Oftentimes, choosing something very different to your own gongfu makes a bigger impact and leads to a greater improvement.

Master Sam Chin is to master Kernspecht:

- A very serious practitioner who has a complete and well-rounded system, based on logic and with a very good and comprehensible curriculum.

- Someone with a system that does not focus on forms and with a curriculum not huge in size - important factors for an older practitioner.

- A kind, well-meaning individual with whom Keith has a sincere connection and shares many beliefs with.

- Someone with internal skills more developed than most other people master Kernspecht has thus far met, over his lifetime.

- A person with an already established big organization and logistical skills who is willing and happy to travel around and teach.


All of these factors were very important for master Kernspecht in making his decision to merge Zhong Xin Dao and its teachings into his global EWTO organization, and learn the system himself.

Part of his motivation was to be able to remain a leader in terms of showcasing his art and skills. Master Kernspecht is a hands-on person and likes to do hands with everyone. He is 72 years old and past his physical prime. He needed a system to help him deal with often very big, strong individuals with little effort, not relying on strength, speed or reflexes. In Zhong Xin Dao he found the solution. It works very well for him, as I have felt myself.

Now as Ian has rightfully commented, Zhong Xin Dao also features some southern-Chinese roots along with the northern-Chinese ones. Master Chin is Hakka Chinese and one of their family arts used to be Southern Mantis, and they seem to have had other Hakka influences.
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Re: The big 'internal Wing Chun' revelation

Postby Appledog on Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:30 am

jonathan.bluestein wrote:In response to the first two comments -
The man has met, trained with and studied under a ridiculous amount of people. Just last week he went and visited another notable Pak Mei sifu and did hands with him and his students.
(not sure I can share the name here). He has met most of Yip Man's long-term students and have trained or did hands with many of them, Chu Shong Tin included. In fact, he has many pictures with Chu Shong Tin from different periods. While he told me that he supported and thought fondly of Chu Shong Tin's efforts to make his Wing Chun more internal, this was not what he personally was looking for. Chu Shong Tin had the recreate the internal gongfu on his own, too.


Exactly my point -- this is what I would expect to see from someone making this kind of effort. I didn't know either way, it's good to know he is on good terms with CST, and many others.

jonathan.bluestein wrote:In terms of pure body mechanics, I am biased to think that the type of Jook Lum Southern Mantis I do would have fit very well with Wing Chun (though I could not have been master Kernspecht's teacher, of course!). So does Xing Yi. However, one does not chose a martial art in this context and under these circumstances solely based on similarities as such. Oftentimes, choosing something very different to your own gongfu makes a bigger impact and leads to a greater improvement.


In my opinion the best way to combine wing chun with tai chi is to simply teach them side by side. If you have done one or the other for 50 years, well sure, feel free to explore the other. By that time if there is still something left to learn in your system I would say your not being honest with yourself :) For me I will probably never go outside of tai chi though simply because I don't think I will reach the end of it even if I did it for 50 years (lack of time, commitment, etc).
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Re: The big 'internal Wing Chun' revelation

Postby C.J.W. on Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:51 am

Looks like someone's a bit touchy today....

I, for one, have zero interest in questioning or debating Mr. K's experience in WC. The guy's obviously been around the block and knows his WC.
However, if he's that impressed with Big Sam's method, then I would venture to say he most likely has not had much exposure to quality IMA.

What I included in my previous post are an observation and a suggestion based on my experience and background as a cross-trainer and practitioner of Fujian White Crane, an internal art many CMA historians believe to be the precursor of WC.

You may choose to agree or disagree, but please try not to be miffed simply because not everybody on this forum is as eager to sing Mr. K's praises as you are.
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Re: The big 'internal Wing Chun' revelation

Postby Bao on Sat Nov 11, 2017 4:53 am

Seems like someone's trying to make a hen out of a feather...

Nothing new under the sky and certainly no big 'internal Wing Chun' revelation. But I can appreciate different alternative ways of looking at reality.

Though it feels a bit nonindependent and constructed to have someone else refining an art. If this gent has so much knowledge and experience, he should have enough confidence to create his own art or WC variation by himself and not use someone else's name to market or label his art. Seems confused and dishonest, IMHO.

And BTW, how much have Sam Chin studied Wing Chun? Enough to understand it's mechanics and power generation?

:-\
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Re: The big 'internal Wing Chun' revelation

Postby RobP3 on Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:13 am

I heard from a couple of his guys that he was adding a lot of Systema into his work, FWIW.
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Re: The big 'internal Wing Chun' revelation

Postby Tom on Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:31 am

This news is no surprise and what I had privately surmised. I think it is a fine collaboration both for expanding Kernspecht’s personal skill set and, from a business perspective, maintaining and potentially expanding the student base, not unlike the collaboration between Roy Goldberg (Daito Ryu Kodokai) and Dan Harden (Sangenkai). In this case, EWTO and ZXD are both family-run franchise businsses wih heads of systems who both want to retire and who are looking ahead to the younger generation to assume leadership.

I salute Kernspecht for not resting on his laurels and to still be actively pursuing excellence and learning at age 72. He sets a fine example. Goldberg is even older and has been training with Dan Harden for many years. Goldberg recently participated in a hands-on teaching/practice exchange with Sam Chin. Serge Augier (Urban Daoist), although well-established in his own arts, sought out Sam Chin for training. Sam has a lot to offer. It’s how one improves and avoids stagnation.
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Re: The big 'internal Wing Chun' revelation

Postby jonathan.bluestein on Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:34 am

Rob, are you talking about Keith or Sam? Because I have encountered no Systema whatsoever in master Kenrspecht's teachings. He mentioned to me a whole lot of styles which influenced him over the years, and Systema was not one of them.

Tom, I remember you guessed it would be Sam in advance.
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Re: The big 'internal Wing Chun' revelation

Postby RobP3 on Sat Nov 11, 2017 10:32 am

jonathan.bluestein wrote:Rob, are you talking about Keith or Sam? Because I have encountered no Systema whatsoever in master Kenrspecht's teachings. He mentioned to me a whole lot of styles which influenced him over the years, and Systema was not one of them.

Tom, I remember you guessed it would be Sam in advance.


Hi, it was Keith, from a couple of his East European instructors. Don't have any more info than that
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Re: The big 'internal Wing Chun' revelation

Postby KEND on Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:12 pm

I searched for many years for a branch of Hsing Yi that had similar body mechanics to the system I learnt[Kenny Gong] but found none that placed as much emphasis on complex rib and hip movements. I met and practiced a little with Sam Chin's students and found the I Liq Chuan system resonated , albeit the approach was based on TCC principles rather than 5 elements. I suspected there was a Hakka influence but was never able to prove it. Over the years I have successfully integrated the internal power of 5 elements into Wing Chun, Shaolin, Kali and other systems by analyzing them in a 5 element frame of reference. This goes way beyond adding techniques to produce a chop suey of unrelated methods. Sam Chin is a smart guy with a deep understanding of IMA, IMHO this will produce an improved WC system and encourage others to infuse internal power into their practice. Good luck to SC and Keith.
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Re: The big 'internal Wing Chun' revelation

Postby jonathan.bluestein on Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:37 pm

Thank you Kenneth! Not sure whether the Hakka arts influence was ever a 'secret'. Master Chin is himself Hakka Chinese, and I seem to recall his father was open about their family also having practiced Hakka martial arts before creating their own system.
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