I am Sifu Paul. Welcome to my website. My new location location is Staten Island, a/k/a “the forgotten borough”.
I have studied numerous martial arts systems and styles over the years, including Wrestling, Karate, Bak Mei, Balintawak, Muay Thai, Tae Kwan Do, Bagua, Hung Gar and Wing Chun. Since 2005, I have mainly concentrated on Wing Chun kung fu training.
I am a semi-retired attorney. I teach a slightly modified version of Wing Chun which incorporates some of the training methods and techniques from other martial arts, from both traditional martial arts schools old and modern gymns.
At the present time, I can take up to 4 students for a semi-private class. Students must be adults (ages 18 and up). Although I like kids , many of the techniques are just too deadly to teach them to children. Students must also have either studied Wing Chun Previously, or have studied another martial art seriously and have good body coordination. At this time I am not accepting total beginners. This class will be modeled on the way Wing Chun classes are taught in many Hong Kong schools. My martial arts classes have a strong focus on practical self-defense, taught in a safe and fun environment.
Staten Island Martial Arts and Self Defense Classes
Wing Chun (variously spelled Wing Tsun, or Ving Tsun) is a Chinese martial arts combat system which is said to have been invented by a Buddhist nun in southern China around 250 years ago. It is believed that when Wing Chun was invented from predecessor art or arts the founder or founders de-emphasized internal martial arts principles in favor of a simpler and more practical style.
Wing Chun was designed to train fighters in a much quicker time than it took in the traditional Shaolin kung fu styles. Practicing kung fu movements can also build physical fitness, which has benefits both for self-defense and for health and long life. Because this art has an emphasis on concepts, principles, and skill, rather than on strength and brute force, it can be practical for people of any sex, age, or size.
In Hong Kong, where grand master Ip Man had his school, Wing Chun used to be called “gangster fist” because criminals trained in it to be able to learn how to fight in a relatively short period of time. Nowadays, the “good guys”, including many special commando military units and swat teams around the world, train Wing Chun.
Wing Chun, unlike other martial arts, is primarily based upon touch sensitivity, not sight, and sensitivity cannot be seen. Instead, it must be felt and taught by physical contact between your arms and those of an instructor or senior student. It is thus best taught in private lessons or very small groups. Sensitivity is developed with a unique training methods called chi sao, and experts can develop it to a degree where they are able to fight effectively while blindfolded.
Although it is difficult to find a good Wing Chun martial arts school in many parts of the US, In NYC I have attended several well-established martial arts schools with dedicated teachers who have trained extensively in Wing Chun. These schools use traditional teaching methods, emphasizing the basic concepts, principles and techniques of Wing Chun, and some incorporate modern training methods.
Train realistic Kung Fu – learn the Wing Chun fist
As I have studied, learned, and trained, I have become interested in understanding which martial arts self-defense systems are best for real world combat situations, and why. This website and blog is intended to focus on the arts that I believe are the most practical self-defense systems, which I believe include Wing Chun Kung Fu, Bak Mei Kung Fu, Western Boxing, Kickboxing, Muay Thai, Silat, Hapkido, Escrima, and Kajukenbo.
Other martial arts such as wushu, Tai Chi, Kyudo, Krav Maga, Capoeira, tae kwon do (taekwondo), American kempo, iado, kendo, and Ninjutsu, while interesting, in my opinion are not really practical, at least not in today’s modern age.
I focus on striking systems in my self- defense classes because , if you are attacked on the street, most of the time it will be by multiple attackers, and with multiple attackers you want to be as mobile as possible. Therefore, grappling arts like Brazilian Jujitsu, Aikido, Judo, Sambo, and the various forms of Wrestling, often will not work on the street.
Although I still believe that Wing Chun Kung Fu (also spelled Wing Tsun), is one of the best arts for self defense, I no longer consider it to be the be-all and-end all for self-defense. I do believe it is an excellent art for self defense, and, just as importantly, it is the most fun martial art to learn and train. It is also easy on the body, and can help keep you in shape, while promoting health without causing debilitating injuries.
Wing Chun, if trained diligently for a certain period of time, can be extremely effective because it emphasizes efficiency and uses simple but effective straight punches, palm strikes, elbow and knee strikes, joint locks and throws. Kicks are thrown to no more than waist height so that they work in regular street clothes without having to stretch or warm up beforehand.
While the beginner will have to spend time practicing form, stances, how to deliver force at close range, and how to use relaxation to deal with incoming energy, and developing coordination and flexibility, this practice will ultimately pay off in the ability to respond fluidly and instinctively to an attack.
Unlike other traditional martial arts , whether they are Chinese , Japanese or Korean martial arts, Wing Chun only has 3 forms, along with the wooden dummy (mook yah jong) form.
Bruce Lee , the most famous disciple of Grand Master Ip Man, used Wing Chun as the seed art for his Jeet Kune Do. Prominent Sifus of Wing Tsun include the world famous Ip Man, and his top students Moy Yat, Wong Shun Leung, Leung Ting, Chu Shong Ting, Wan Kam Leung, and others.
My own opinion, after having studied martial arts for many years, and watching thousands of videos of real fights in UFC, Pride, K1, Glory, etc, is that Wing Chun can be a very good style for real world self defense, if learned from a good teacher in a good Wing Chun school, and the Wing Chun training is modified to be more realistic.
Realistic training would include more emphasis on power and explosive footwork, as well as training more intensively for power, and training to fight against other common styles like boxing, kickboxing, and wrestling.
While you can develop fighting skills from Wing Tsun within about a year and a half to two years, mastery of the art takes years of very intense study which includes learning the entire system including the wooden dummy and a lot of sparring.
Training for self defense
Here are some statistics about self-defense classes in the US:
Over the past 5 years, the number of people taking self-defense classes has increased by 17%.
In the United States, approximately 5.4 million people take self-defense classes each year.
Women make up the majority of self-defense class participants, accounting for 65% of all participants.
In the United States, the average cost of a self-defense class is $50.
The most popular type of self-defense class is martial arts, which accounts for 40% of all self-defense classes.
The average length of a self-defense class is 2 hours.
The most popular self-defense techniques taught in classes are Krav Maga (25%), Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (20%), and Muay Thai (15%).
The most common age group taking self-defense classes is 18-34 year olds, accounting for 55% of all participants.
I believe that adding training methods and a few selected techniques from martial arts such as Western Boxing, Kickboxing, Jeet Kune Do, and Bak Mei can make Wing Chun even more effective for real world self-defense.
Boxing For Self Defense
In addition to Wing Chun, I am very impressed by western boxing, a very sophisticated art, which is both simple and extremely effective, and may enable men and some women to be able to defend themselves against a typical attacker within a few months if it is incorporated into self-defense classes.
Western Boxing has perhaps the best footwork of any martial art, with the possible exception of Jeet Kune Do, which combines boxing footwork with fencing footwork. Boxing punches can have 1 punch knockout power which can allow a smaller person to knock out someone in a much higher weight class with a single punch. Boxing also incorporates head movement and footwork to evade punches, instead of blocking them.
Kickboxing For Self-Defense
Kickboxing is tried and true in both the ring and the street, since the foot, especially in solid footwear, can deliver an impact several times greater than any hand strike, and kickboxers have excellent footwork that enables them to avoid a lot of blows, while Bak Mei includes extremely dangerous, indeed deadly strikes for self defense.
Self Defense Against Weapons And Multiple Attackers
Responsible self-defense instructors must teach their students thSee fact that no self-defense techniques are reliable enough to use against a firearm. It is almost impossible to disarm an attacker armed with a gun before he can pull the trigger.
It is also true that even black belt level martial art experts have very little chance of survival against an attacker armed with a knife, if the attacker has even a little skill.
However, if you have some kind of heavy stick and are highly trained in escrima or other stick fighting, you MIGHT be able to defend against an attacker armed with a knife, if you absolutely have to, because the stick has range, tremendous speed, and can cause tremendous damage when used by a skilled practitioner.
The idea that a skilled martial artist can beat multiple attackers armed with weapons is fantasy, i.e. it probably only works in the movies. When dealing with any kind of deadly weapon, by far the best strategy is to look for some means of escape. A good self-defense program will also include instruction about the pluses and minuses of striking first , while avoiding problems with law enforcement, and will emphasize situational awareness and multiple attacker scenarios.
Even if you understand the importance of avoiding problems and walking away from trouble, you will carry yourself with increased confidence, which will deter trouble makers, who are usually looking for a victim and not an opponent.
For more information about instruction about private and semi- private lessons in Staten Island, New York , please feel free to call me at (347) 461-0760.