Chi Kwan Training in Denver: Classical Shaolin Weapons Training of the Ving Tsun Kung Fu System for Advanced Fighting Abilities

Sifus from the Detroit Kung Fu Academy (Owen Matson) and the Texas Moy Tung Ving Tsun Kung Fu and Martial Arts Center in Houston, TX (Nic Bartell) meeting in Cheesman Park in Denver to do Chi Kwan training as part of Denver Kung Fu’s annual seminar.

Sifu Nic and I have been working together to develop our Kwan kung fu at workshops taught by Moy Tung at the Moy Yat Kung Fu Academy of Austin, Texas and at the Detroit kung fu academy, and at the Moy Tung family headquarters in Richmond VA. Our students and grandstudents were being led in a workshop by Aaron Vyvial, a direct disciple of Moy Tung. We took the rare opportunity to head out on our own and do some invigorating outdoor training. 

Our workout began with a session of playing our Luk Dim boon Kwan form, while looking out onto the rocky mountains. The Kwan form brings many of the rarely seen low stances often associated with the Shaolin kung fu, or other southern Chinese arts, into the Ving Tsun practice.
When we started feeling the energy of the forms practise we began working on some of the partner drills that build into Chi Kwan. Here I’m attempting to develop my fuk kwan as a recovery technique to engage Niks bill kwan. As the hours went by it got darker and colder, but our rigorous workout kept us warm. We were both surprised by how comfortable it was.
The Kwans meeting on centerline with sensitivity and control is always a surprisingly challenging aspect of the training. Throughout the workout our confidence grew, but so does exhaustion. Measuring distance is a vital aspect of the practise. No one wants to make a mistake in weapons training. The Luk DIm Boon Kwan is a heavy and powerful weapon, and with training it moves fast. This is another image where we can see the energy of the impact, I’m trying to bring a Tan Kwan technique as a riposte to recover after losing the line.
Light breaks through the cloud briefly as we began to develop power and precision in our techniques, and counter techniques, here Nik ends an exchange with a Dearn Kwan that takes the line. The leverage structures developed to optimize power and control of the Kwan support all levels of kung fu self-defense technique. Its a very different way to examine the principles of Ving Tsun.

The Luk Dim Boon Kwan was carefully cultivated by Yip Man, and brought to the students of his Hong Kong school with depth. His Disciple Moy Yat was renowned for his complete grasp of Kwan kung fu and brought his mastery of VIng Tsun to America. My Sigung, Grandmaster Moy Tung, distinguished himself with an intense commitment to this rare aspect of the system. My own Sifu, Robert “Moy Yat Tung” Squatrito has accomplished high levels training and teaching the Kwan art in workshops on several notable instances.  I feel very fortunate to have a strong kung fu lineage, with an engaged Grandmaster, who pushes us to realize Ving Tsun in all its depth and complexity. I feel equally fortunate to have kung fu brothers, and cousins, juniors and seniors, who will join me in pushing to realize the Kwan art now and for future generations. Thank you Nik, for being willing to work. Thank you to my kung fu uncle Aaron Vyvial for teaching the guys at the workshop. Thank you Moy Tung, for directing Nik and I to take some time to work on our kung fu. I look forward to much more in the future.

-Owen Matson

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