There are as many unique interpretations of Wing Chun’s Wooden Dummy sequence and sets as there are actions within its form. Sifu Chuck O’Neill offers up his unique brand of presenting his teaching methodology through the Wooden Dummy set, as learned from his Sifu Nelson Chan (a student of the late Sifu Moy Yat). Audience members familiar with the carved Wing Chun Kuen Kuit created by Moy Yat will enjoy the translated quotes that appear edited into the introduction segment of this video presentation.
Sifu Chuck’s angle of approach in presenting the individual sections, their actions and information, provides easy to comprehend guidelines for the novice or intermediate practitioner of the sets to follow. A colour-coded method is infused into the neutral brown body of the Wooden Dummy with varying camera angles to provide the audience with a balanced perspective of each technique played. At the end of every section demonstration and explanation, each one is again performed in its entirety in real time and in varying slow motion times to present the set in motion.
Set-by-set, step-by-step, this video installment focuses exclusively on the sequence of actions in an overview style of format, and broken down into eight sections. A good resource for the learner to reference on their laptop or tablet when one can sometimes find him or her self becoming overwhelmed by trying to remember the sequences of actions let alone the respective terminology that supports them. The practitioner can literally play along with the video footage at a hasty pace with the presence of a virtual instructor guiding one through the motions.
Complementing the playing of each technique is also an attention to the proper body positions that are employed when engaging the Wooden Dummy. Starting from the ground up, from footwork to form, these ideas reinforce the mechanics needed for structural integrity and to withdraw the appropriate feedback to feel them work. Sifu Chuck will always remind you of the importance of not, “hacking or slashing,” at the Dummy in an effort to “slice” the angles and not fight with force against force. All of the fundamental concepts that form the foundation of the system are echoed throughout.
For an introduction to the ins and outs of the Wooden Dummy form, its terminology, as well as definitions, this is a good entry-level production. Absent, however, are the expanded insights as to how to make the Dummy come to life in partner drilling, Chi Sau exercises, and practical application. A reminder that a video can never be a formidable replacement when a live partner is required to give one the real experiences to make them work.
CHUCK O’NEILL WOODEN DUMMY FORM: SECTIONS 1-8 (BUNDLE)
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Language: English Running Time: Approx. 114 min.
Format: NTSC Region: 0
Availability: DVD & EWC Instant Access Download
Reviewed By: Dwight Hennings