I once listened to a podcast by Karate pioneer Iain Abernethy that promised to reveal “The Biggest Secret in the Martial Arts!” I listened with excitement until Iain revealed this bombshell: Martial Arts can actually be fun! Simple, but true. And this is the first thing I would say about this DVD set: it is great fun and I thoroughly enjoyed viewing each of its volumes.
Robert Chu (Chu Sau Lei) is simply a joy to watch. His delivery is full of humour and there are some really funny (but serious) subject titles including: Driving With Insurance, Lock and Load, and X Marks the Spot. And when he launches his student across the room and then tells us that it came, “Courtesy of Air Chu,” I actually laughed out loud.
But this three-disc set is no joke.
The first disc covers the basics, from understanding the centrelines and footwork to body structure and proper balance, all delivered in Chu’s inimitable style. There is lots of advanced stuff on Disc 1 too, and the more seasoned Wing Chun practitioner will learn a lot from this first volume.
Disc 2 focuses on the anatomical tools of Wing Chun, giving you a complete and in-depth understanding of Wing Chun’s striking methods, including hand strikes and kicking, through to using the palms and body shifting. This is brutal stuff.
For me, Disc 3 was really something special. In my years of watching instructional videos, I have never seen the Wing Chun pole given so much attention. Robert Chu’s understanding of this sometimes overlooked part of the Wing Chun syllabus is simply phenomenal. Not only do we get a historical overview of the pole and it’s use in combat, but a complete demonstration of the many movements (and according to Chu there are much more than six and a half!) in the Wing Chun pole fighting system.
So what more can I say about this set? Well, it does exactly what it says on the box: it’s a Masterclass.
Running Time: Approx. 180 min.
Number of Discs: 3
Review by: James Woodcock