Review – Steve Barninger’s Anatomy & Physiology for Wing Chun

Review – Steve Barninger’s Anatomy & Physiology for Wing Chun

What it’s about:

This four volume DVD series provides instruction in the science of Anatomy and Physiology presented within the context of personal health and martial arts practice for Wing Chun Kung-fu practitioners.

Disk 1 Comments:

Possibly for the aspiring martial artist and future physical education teachers, this series is an excellent video for a basic introduction to the makeup and workings of the human body. One is given a glimpse into the nitty-gritty of anatomy and physiology important to good health and martial arts practice. The instructor, Steve Barninger presents in a leisurely way the rudiments of what concepts are essential in understanding the skeletal system as structure and how function relates to physiology which carry on vital processes that keep us alive.

Please don’t feel intimated with the subject matter it can be a rather complex topic for anyone. However, Barninger’s teaching style successfully eases you through the material even though it may seem daunting at first. He begins his talk by using the terminology which describes the anatomical planes and sections of the human body. One needs to know how to offer explanatory detail in showing where things are anatomically and how they relate to each other for crucial understanding and observational study; this method of orientation is used for all skeletal structures and tissue groups in the human body and in the veterinary sciences which involves the care and study of animals.

For example, it’s important to understand what the difference is, when one uses the term medial or lateral in reference to the whole bodily structure and how the terms proximal and distal relate to the limbs. Although I’ve only have presented several of these terms, there are however, a total of sixteen that denote the internal regions or parts of the body and the position and direction describing the relationship of one organ to another.

As one progresses in their martial arts practice, Barninger associates, the study of anatomy and physiology as moving from a gross stage of analysis toward a deeper one that becomes internal right down to the molecular level.

He offers the likeness of even going further toward the metaphysical realm which implies esoteric knowledge and the achievement of wisdom. Wing Chun and martial arts in general; implies more than one achieving mere physical prowess, particularly for the serious and dedicated practitioner. The art is more than kicking and punching and learning how to mentally discombobulate someone.

There are a few momentary glitches in the filming of this DVD, when the camera goes out of focus and people start running up the stairs and a small child runs past him while he’s lecturing; this might seem as a distracting element. However, nothing’s missed which is considered important in his presentation of topic or in the informational drawings and pictures that are provided throughout this presentation.

This DVD would be a wise investment for any marital artist or any person who wants to know some basic concepts about one’s anatomical structure and physiological processes. In purchasing this four disc set, you’ll be surprised as to the benefit it offers in useful and practical knowledge in the volumes which follow.

Disk 2 Comments:

Instructor Steve Barninger provides a more in-depth discussion on the skeletal system of the human body in this second volume of the series on anatomy and physiology. And he provides further emphasis in approaching skeletal structures from the stand point of how injury might be inflicted in applying technique.

Barninger talks about how the head and neck are actually separate from the body and discusses where the vulnerable parts are associated in this region. He also discusses the differences which exist between bone types or structure based upon function and the internal structure of various kinds of bone such as those that slide like knee joints and those that rotate called ball and socket joints of the arms and legs. Bone he said, not only provides support and protection, but also is very active tissue. Some practicing WC stylist might find of interest; his depiction of where the pelvis is most susceptible to injury if it should be struck with a devastating kick. The rib cage can also be hit, but because of its actual function to protect and support the internal organs it has to be struck in a certain way to cause serious damage. Obviously, you’ll need to purchase the DVD series if you want to find more information regarding where to inflict injury for one’s protection. Barninger also briefly introduces the muscular system by describing the different types of muscle tissue that is characteristic in there attachments and associated function; he continues with a more thorough discussion on this topic in the third volume of this series.

It should be said, and I want to make this very clear, is that Barninger is not promoting violence or to encourage one to seriously injure someone, because they practice Wing Chun Kung Fu. Accordingly he wants the martial art practitioner to understand the human body from knowing about its basic structure and how movement and exercise might be done more effectively. One also should know the structure of the human body not only for the sake of martial arts, however, he also wants to promote an understanding of how such knowledge may contribute to one’s health and the health of others!

Again, this series on anatomy and physiology is in no way an in depth study on the human body, however, Barninger covers those basic concepts, which he feels every Wing Chun martial artist should know about in relationship to practice, as well as to promote one’s awareness of the principles of health and safety.

Disk 3 Comments:

Understanding the muscles of the human body and what makes them work; not only in their function and development, but what promotes good health in training is a vital consideration for all martial artist. Too much muscular development could reduce flexibility and may even lead to death. Flexibility in movement is an essential characteristic of all Chinese Kung Fu, whether they are classified as internal or external systems. It has been well documented that being extremely muscle bound my increase one’s risk to myocardial infarction or heart attack. Barninger gives a clear explanation as to why this so and that ultimately such over muscular development could be counterproductive for Kung Fu practitioners. Instructor Steven Barninger begins his discussion of the human muscular system by describing the general structure of striated muscle tissue. Muscles are made up of muscle fibers and it is these fibers and associated nuclei which provide them with their contracting ability. The intrinsic physical attributes of muscle fiber structures and development can be an exciting subject of study. A specific kind of training produces different kinds of fiber types…such as in ballet, track and field or even in Kung Fu. Muscle develops according to specific nutritional needs and physical requirements. Barninger gives a clear explanation of the biochemistry of muscle tissue, the twitch cycle and voluntary innervation of motor units. I found his description of how fine motor movement is accomplished and the neurology that is associated with it…there is a discovery that one can make here, particularly regarding sensitivity and Chi Sao practice.

His discussion of the muscular system is perhaps, one of the major contributions he makes in this DVD series. The topic itself may lead one into further research and understanding that muscular movement is more than a reflexive process or what some might refer to as a “knee jerk” response. For the Wing Chun attack oriented practitioner, he also provides ample suggestions as to the various sites of the body where injury could be inflicted for one’s protection.

Barninger’s DVD’s on Anatomy and Physiology for Wing Chun are presented on four DVD disc and indeed they’re an integral set. One must purchase the whole series to appreciate his approach in teaching the subject in how one might integrate the information into practice and enhance self-discovery for the benefit of health and the acquisition of knowledge about the human body.

Disk 4 Comments:

This last topic in this DVD series is perhaps the most important, if not essential to ones’ goals toward health, training and the maintenance of physical vitality. Obviously, through consistent exercise one can indeed contribute toward a genuine sense of vigor and excellent prospects for physical longevity. Surely most people are cognizant of the reality that a poor diet could lead to an early death and if you’re a smoker it certainly could contribute to heart disease and respiratory illness later in life.

Steven Barninger gives a thorough discussion regarding the topic of the heart, its anatomy and vital functions. He not only tells you how the heart is constructed and but also how it works and why it’s important to understand the stages related to the onset of myocardial infarction. One should clearly understand the reasoning in how important it is to receive treatment at the first signs of a possible heart attack! Knowing how the heart functions and the tremendous job it has in pumping blood throughout your body during your entire life, should give you a sense of appreciation and desire to keep it healthy!

This DVD presents some realistic questions about the nature of the heart and heart disease; ask yourself, do you know what the signs are and where the symptoms might occur in the body during a heart attack? Heart pain associated with an attack can exhibit symptoms in many areas of the body; everyone should educate themselves of the initial indicators of an ensuing heart attack.

Ask yourself these simple questions: Do you know what types of damage that may occur during a heart attack? When the nurse takes your blood pressure, do you know what the range for healthy blood flow is? What does the medical terms “Dystole” and “Systole” mean in relationship to these levels? If you were shown an Electrocardial Gram (ECG) of your heart; do you know what the wavy lines indicated on the graph mean? Indeed, if your family has a history of heart disease its early detection might save your life. Barninger offers essential and important knowledge about all these basic aspects which are related to the heart’s condition. For a teacher in any of the martial art disciplines, it’s critical that one knows what these early signs mean in terms of prevention; not only to know what these indicators are, but how to provide the proper care if a student should have a heart attack at your school? Do you know what CPR or Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation is and how to perform it should it be needed! This whole series on anatomy and physiology produced by Steven Barninger would be a wise investment for any martial art school, for the teacher as well as the students who attend classes.

Technical Specifications: 

Presenter: Steve Barninger
Title: Anatomy and Physiology for Wing Chun
Region:  all
Number of discs: 4
Production Quality: 2/5
Length: Disk 1 is 53 min; Disk 2 is 60 min; Disk 3 is 72 min; Disk 4 is 50 min
Language: English
Sound Quality: 2.5/5
Video Quality: 2.5/5
Material covered: 5/5
Instructional qualities: 5/5

Content Overview:

  • Anatomy and Physiology for Wing Chun 1 of 4.
    • Introduction
      • Instructor experience and background
      • Textbook recommendation
      • The Greek derivation of terms
    • Anatomy
      • Structure
        • Anatomical Planes & Sections
          • Median
          • Sagittal
          • Coronal, Frontal
          • Cross, Transverse
          • Terms of Position & Direction
            • Cranial
            • Anterior
            • Posterior
            • Medial
            • Lateral
            • Proximal
            • Distal
      • Basic Organization of the body
      • Bones: provide support and protection
    • Physiology
      • Functions
        • Basic examples of Physiological Processes
          • Molecular levels
            • Chemical Reaction
              • Synaptic function
              • Receptor function
    • Wing Chun
      • Anatomical Structures
        • Sites of injury and vulnerability
  • Anatomy and Physiology for Wing Chun 2 of 4.
    • Continuation of the Skeletal system
      • Vertebral Column
        • Atlas/Axis
      • Sites of vulnerability
    • General Anatomy of Bone
      • Cancellous (spongy) Bone
      • Compact Bone
      • Interior structure of Bone types
    • General movement characteristics of bone type
      • Sliding joint
        • Knees
      • Ball and Socket
        • Arms/Shoulders
        • Legs/pelvis
    • Sites joint injury
      • Joint sections
      • Position of Rotation
    • Rib Cage and vulnerability
      • For support and protection
      • Angular points of penetration
    • Pelvic Girdle
      • The abdominal and pelvic muscle attachments
      • Improper exercise and spinal misalignment
      • Point of possible serious injury
        • Symphysis Pubis
    • Axial Skeleton
      • Areas of possible injury
        • Ethmoid
        • Hyoid
        • Axis
    • Introduction-Muscular System
      • Types of muscle:
        • Skeletal/Striated Muscle
        • Cardiac/Striated Muscle
        • Visceral/Smooth Muscle
  • Anatomy and Physiology for Wing Chun 3 of 4.
    (Continuation of the Muscular System from Disc three.)

    • The Muscular System
      • Striated Muscle
        • Muscle bundles
        • Muscle Fibers
        • Muscle cell
        • Muscle nuclei
    • What is a muscle fiber
      • Muscle filaments
        • Thick and thin filaments
        • Heavy/light segments
        • Contraction as a racket mechanism
        • How these structures function
    • What makes a muscle contract
      • Calcium binding sites
      • Kreps Cycle
        • ATP
      • Ions, neutralization, and cellular waste products
      • Muscle fatigue
        • Ph. levels
    • The muscle twitch cycle
      • Contraction and relaxation
      • Recovery period
        • Absolute Refractory Period
        • Relative Refractory Period
        • Motor Units
          • i.e. voluntary ones
          • Motor neurons
          • Muscle cell number
            • Fine motor control
          • Muscular contraction
            • Summation
              • Temporal attributes
            • Spatial attributes
    • Muscular Development
      • You don’t grow more muscle cells
      • Muscle fibers get bigger
      • Length tension relationship
        • Position and power
        • Stretch and expression of power
        • Locking position and range
        • Load and response
          • Relaxation and velocity
    • Physical conditioning and muscular development
      • Anaerobic cellular processes
      • Aerobic Cellar processes
      • Over training and heart failure
      • Cardiac conditioning
      • Motionless exercise
      • Injuries and muscle
    • Wing Chun and points of attack
      • Point of contact
        • Muscle attachments
        • Region of substantial function to movement
        • Vagus nerve
        • Linea Alba
  • Anatomy and Physiology for Wing Chun 4 of 4.
    (Continuation of the Muscular System from Disc four.)

    • Introduction
      • Structure of the heart
        • Right an left chambers
        • Its position in the body
        • Pericardium association
          • A double wall sac.
            • Epicardium tissue
            • Myocardium tissue
            • Endocardium tissue
          • Cardiovascular System
            • Four chambers
              • Right side-pulmonary heart
                • Includes the right atrium and right ventricle
                  • Receives deoxygenated blood from the superior and inferior vena cava and from the coronary sinus.
            • Left side-systemic heart
              • Includes the left atrium and left ventricle
                • Receives oxygenated blood from pulmonary veins. Atrial blood is pumped into the right and left ventricles simultaneously through the atrioventricular orifices.
    • Myocardial Infarction – heart attack
      • Sites of pain in the body
        • Contralateral
        • Arms
        • Within the neck
        • On the Chest
        • Perfuse Perspiration
    • Blood pressure
      • Dystole – relaxation
      • Systole – Contraction
    • Heart attack –critical time for treatment
      • First hour
      • The longer the heart remains without blood the more damage will occur.
      • Related conditions
        • Heart spasms
        • Clotting
        • Occlusions
        • Multiple spasms and occlusions
    • The ECG and impulse conduction in the heart
      • EEG –measurements called the electrocardiogram
        • EEG basic waves and what they mean
          • P-wave: atrial depolarization
          • QRS complex: impulse invades the ventricles
          • S and T signifies complete ventricular depolarization
          • T wave also corresponds to repolarization of the ventricle
      • Examples of irregular and abnormal ECG readings
        • Heart block
        • Fibrillation
    • Heart disease
      • Congenital
      • Myocardial infarction
      • Heat failure (not the same as a heart attack)
      • Myocardial rupture

Reviewer: George Hernandez
Date: June 9, 2011
DVD Bought at:, but currently these DVD are only available via Everything Wing Chun Instant Access

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