It is inherent in Wing Chun Kung Fu after hours of training , that the forearms become desensitized. Hundreds of punches thrown, received by hundreds of blocks can create a almost indestructible arm. In Thai boxing training the shins against banana trees and absorbing countless kicks with the thighs , develop an unbelievable resistance to pain. One aspect of training which is neglected by most self defense practitioners is the way of body hardening or body toughening. As a young Wing Chun novice, I remember our Chief instructor John telling everyone to partner up, so we can begin ” Ox Training”. This kind of training involved hitting the forearms in a particular sequence that would toughen our forearms.
I remember training with my friend Carl in Penjat Silat , over 20 years ago. We would begin each session , slapping each others face, then taking turns pushing and punching each other from head to toe. We practiced in the middle of Kapiolani park in Waikiki. I would always think about the three stooges when doing this. Some of it hurt, but I new that there was a purpose. I think this type of training especially, should be done in a progressive manner. I often employ drills that I have learned or seen through the years , starting off slow ,then increase the intensity from class to class. Sometimes if the person is a novice, it is good to introduce a body conditioning exercise, but not continue until they become more experienced. In this way, if the student is not use to contact , they can ease into the training without getting frustrated.
As one progresses in Wing Chun training , contact is essential. Reality training is being able to simulate a real situation the best way possible. Personally , I can`t stress progression enough. To often, people go full contact , without a build up. Sometimes from no contact, to all out fighting. Examples of progression could be blocking against someone attacking with boxing gloves half speed with no head gear on the attacker. Next head gear on the attacker and the defender. Next increase intensity and combination of attacks. The progressions are up to the instructor. I try to customize the training to suit the individual, because most people that come to learn have no experience fighting or being hit. Again progression done correctly builds confidence and hopefully someone who trains this way, can convert this into a real life situation.