One thing I have learnt in my time of writing for WCI is to be open-minded. Yes, there is some very poor Wing Chun out there, but there is also some outstanding stuff too, and sometimes this instruction can come from outside of my own lineage.
Hopefully, you already know Sifu Sergio from his excellent articles in previous WCI issues and you probably realise that he is an expert on the history of Wing Chun. However, does that mean that he can make a good instructional DVD? The simple answer is: yes.
So what does Past and Present offer? We get a historical introduction to the venue where the filming of the first DVD (Past) was filmed, complete with a demonstration from a 90-year-old woman performing an old Gung Fu form—all very nice if you like that kind of thing. It’s when we get on to the actual learning that this DVD starts to really shine.
First, we are shown ways of dealing with a hooking punch, which then goes on to how to break the balance of your opponent and bring him to the floor ready for the follow up strikes. It is excellent and brutal stuff, with each part of the concept demonstrated in depth, with an emphasis on detail.
We are then given an advanced version of the previous technique, plus a bonus throwing technique, which is simple, but so effective. This is some of the most combative Wing Chun I have ever seen, all delivered with belief, passion, and knowledge. The sound and camera work is excellent too.
On the second DVD (Present) we are brought right up to date with an introduction containing some invaluable advice concerning fight or flight syndrome, effects of adrenaline, and the importance of reacting immediately without hesitation. It was refreshing to see so much time spent on the neurological and psychological responses of combat on a Wing Chun DVD and not just how to chain punch your way out of a paper bag!
Next up is the pre-emptive strike and how we can deliver it using Wing Chun techniques. And again, we get more great advice relating to trigger words and how to get that elusive knockout. Other topics explored are controlling with one hand and hitting with the other—always a winner in my book.
The only bad thing about this DVD is the way it ends, which is probably down to sloppy editing as it comes rather abruptly during a demo of a choking technique.
In conclusion, this double DVD set is excellent, with Sifu Sergio embodying the tenets of WCI with his holistic approach and philosophy of having one voice for Wing Chun.
So remember, “Knowledge is not enough; we must apply.”
Buy at EverythingWingChun.com or Download it Digitally
Running Time: Approx. 54 min.
Format: NTSC or PAL
Number of Discs: 2
Review by: James Woodcock