Knock, knock? It has four limbs, is made of wood, and is no joke to the dedicated Wing Chun practitioner. Sifu Sergio Iadarola explores the popular training device in its significance, from its origins to its practice and its understanding. “The Ip Man Wooden Dummy Form is a very modern creation,” he prefaces in his introductory chapter before delving into the consistencies of practising with the apparatus as derived through researching the common denominators amongst the sub-lineages of Ip Man Ving Tsun. This live off the classroom floor shoot from a private Wooden Dummy session covers the angles of sequences and techniques of engaging them in practice just shy of a one-hour runtime.
Compartmentalising the dummy’s sequence into individual sections, Sifu Sergio invites an attending student to demonstrate, then follows up with addressing common corrections that must be made in the learning curve with expanding explanations of what each movement provides. The sense of being a participating member of the class environment translates with the realtime corrections and insights imparted to recognise one’s performances to maintain an upward curve toward maximising what the training device provides. Complemented with an everpresent set of eyes, hands and experience to keep training moving forward on a progressive line.
Not only is the relative terminology shared for each, but also a thorough exploration of the energies that must be invested in practising on the apparatus and how they should be translated to employing them with a live, interactive training partner or opponent.
Sifu Sergio acknowledges the aspectsof feedback that one must withdraw when interacting with the Wooden Dummy. In particular, the “push and pull energies” employed to disrupt and strike in evolving from Chi Sau to physical engagement. The modern wall mounted configuration providing a springy motion from the track mounts, versus the traditional ground or floor fixed mount, offering both aspects of delivering and receiving energies, resulting from the invested activities providing feedback. Further expanding the capacities of each action played from practice to application to exercise, the potential of managing lines and angles of attack, engagement, control and overcoming of an attack.
Through eight sections, 116 moves and 52 minutes of instructional class time, Sifu Sergio works to the core of the Muk Yan Jong, with a flexible understanding derived from his parallel pursuits of learning all things Wing Chun, Ving Tsun and Wing Tsun. This instalment focuses solely on the movements and concepts, with the intention of solidifying appropriate training habits so as not to develop bad ones when the practitioner moves to adapt them to partner and Chi Sau drilling, with the ultimate manifestation of practical application.Maintaining an open platform of sharing the practical and historical significances of the device, all angles are covered to work with and for the individual, cutting to the chase of the target and to the point of controlled contact with conviction.
Sifu Sergio – 116 Wooden Dummy Form
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Running Time: Approx. 60 mins.
Format: Digital Download Only
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Review by: Dwight Hennings