Author Sifu Jon Rister has been teaching martial arts since 1987. He has been involved in Wing Chun since he first met his teacher, Sifu Francis Fong, in 1986. In addition to Wing Chun, he has also studied and achieved instructor rank in Kali-Eskrima under Dan Inosanto, and similarly ranked in Jun Fan/ Jeet Kune Do under Dan Inosanto and Larry B. Hartsell.
For starters, the book title itself really sounded promising to me, as it starts off with the history of Wing Chun.
Sifu Rister goes on to explain his vision on “The Theories and Concepts behind the Art of Wing Chun”, starting with the words: Attack, Attack, Attack! This got me excited. “The Wing Chun strategies and tactics are to attack, and to continue attacking until the opponent is annihilated. We have to look at Wing Chun as an art of attack. It’s an art that attacks the opponent, imposes its strong will on the opponent to gain the advantage, and then continues to attack with that advantage in mind”.
That is precisely what this book is all about, and Rister clearly has a realistic view on combat as a whole: “It’s better to explain to a jury of twelve than to be carried out by six”, or “When in doubt, whip it out”. A good point of view in my opinion.
In the following chapters, Sifu Rister likens the Wing Chun concepts and tactics to The Twelve Gates, the usage of “false” attacks to draw a response from the opponent, Lin Sil Da (simultaneous attack and defence), as well as the use of kicks, and attacking the most effective areas; “Eyes, Throat and Groin”, or even the limbs, are mentioned as excellent targets.
Three major categories for follow-ups are explained: “Strike, Control and Break”— extremely aggressive maneuvers according to Rister. An extensive 66-page chapter is set aside to explain the tactics of trapping your opponent.
Sifu Rister really got my attention when talking about the importance of mobility in Wing Chun, where he refers to a Chinese saying: “Power is rooted in the feet, released through the legs, controlled by the waist and manifested in the hands.” He states that the practise of the footwork should be of equal or greater importance than the practise of hand skills.
The book also contains an introduction to the Wooden Dummy, the Eight Hack Broadsword and even the Wing Chun Dragon Pole. Although Sifu Rister repeatedly states that it is not a forms book, the second half primarily demonstrates both the Siu Nim Tao and Chum Kiu forms. However, what makes it really interesting is that it is accompanied with all the correct terminology and its translations.
This book, in my opinion, is one that places emphasis on what Wing Chun is all about: fighting! The book clearly gives you a deeper insight into Sifu Rister’s view on realistic combat, which are explained and demonstrated with clear examples of his view on technique
Buy at Jon Rister – Wing Chun Strategy and Tactics: Attack, Attack, Attack at: EverythingWingChun.com
Paperback: 308 pages
Publisher: Xlibris, Corp. (February 27, 2012)
Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
Review by: James Woodcock