By Dave Chesser
Last summer I had the chance to attend sifu Ed Wong’s level 1 Urban Survival System certification and I really enjoyed the experience. I started martial arts at the age of 15 and came to Taiwan to study traditional Chinese martial arts and even after all those years of practice, sifu Ed’s material was some of the best I’ve seen. Here’s what made it special.
1. The goal was learning to survive a fight, not win a sport match or a form competition. Some of the martial arts I’ve done didn’t really address violence in any way even though they thought they did. In fact, we sometimes ignored that it existed. The USS seminar starts with the fact that you will have to be extremely aggressive to survive getting assaulted on the street and focuses on that instead of exotic, obsolete weapons or laying on the ground in guard position.
2. The techniques were all realistic. The 100 forms I learned in traditional arts won’t help you defend yourself. The material we got at level 1 contained no fluff, no fantasy moves that could only be pulled off in movies. The material is actually very simple because as Ed explained, complex moves don’t work when you’re pumped full of adrenaline and struggling with an attacker. Because the moves are simple, most anyone that trains them can do them. I came home after the seminar and taught the techniques to my 9 year old son and he could execute the moves well within two days of learning them.
3. Aggression was the key. This was something completely missing from my martial arts experience. Peace, love, and universal harmony sounds great but when someone is trying to cut you with a knife on the MRT, then you need aggression to survive the assault. That mindset needs to be developed, it doesn’t come naturally for most people.
4. Anaerobic fitness was a key component of the training. The same kind of fitness developed by hard kettlebell and bodyweight circuits played a key role in the training. As Ed explained, you have to go all out for :15 to maybe 3:00 in order to get away from an attacker. Add in weapons like knives and multiple opponents and you’ll see very quickly that having anaerobic power is absolutely necessary to pull off the techniques. Just having the techniques by themselves isn’t enough without having the fitness to pull them off. Again, this was the clearest connection I had ever heard between the type of fitness we do at the gym and training for fighting.
5. The intensive format really appealed to me. I’ve taken and enjoyed regular martial arts classes for years. But getting a full system that you can practice at home or at the gym in a weekend appealed to me because I’m too busy with family and work to take regular classes. Get the full system in a weekend and then go practice on your own or with friends instead of having to attend classes for months.
If any of the above sounds appealing to you then consider joining us for the level 1 and level 2 cert that we’ll have with Ed in April. We’re only taking 14 people for each because we want you to have lots of exposure to Ed and to clearly see what he does. That’s a lot smaller and more intimate than a lot of local seminars.
We are honored to be hosting this seminar and I hope to see some of you there.