A friend contacted A Journalist Reveals to give some coverage for his friend’s Martial Arts’ Workshop. With the Navaratri underway, neither of us could attend the workshop. Then, we decided that we should post the interview of the Master. Meet Master Suresh M Nair. He professes late Bruce Lee’s martial art Wing Chun Kung Fu and brought it to Mumbai. He is also the head instructor at his academy Wing Chun Fist, in Mumbai, since May this year. Excerpts from the interview:
Trace your journey with martial arts from the beginning.
I have been training martial arts for over 25 years. I started with Shotokan Karate, which I’ve practiced for over 17 years. Currently, I hold a second-degree black belt (2nd Dan) certified by the Japan Karate Association (JKA) in Tokyo, Japan.
I had injured myself and stopped training Karate for a short period when I was working as a copy-editor in Amsterdam. During that period, I became good friends with Pat Crowley, who was already practicing Wing Chun for many years. Soon we began to train together during our lunch hour. This was my introduction to Wing Chun Kung Fu. I was very impressed with Pat’s skills as well as the well thought out approach to fighting and self-defense in the Wing Chun system.
After my return to India in 2011, I completely stopped training Karate and began practicing Wing Chun. I’m currently training at the Instructor level with Grandmaster Leung Ting’s Wing Chun school in Hong Kong. GM Leung Ting was the last student of Great Grandmaster Ip Man, who was Bruce Lee’s first martial arts teacher in Hong Kong.
What is Wing Chun Kung Fu?
Wing Chun Kung Fu is a concept-based “centerline” fighting art from southern China, believed to have been derived from Shaolin Kung Fu.
Wing Chun is known for its simplicity, directness and efficiency. Unlike other martial arts, it does not require physical strength and has been specifically designed to overcome stronger opponents by developing strategic fighting skills. Age, gender and fitness levels are also not a barrier to practicing this unique fighting art.
In Wing Chun, you will encounter unique concepts such as “rooting”, correct “body structure”, and “connectedness”. Using the right body structures in which various joints are connected to each other and rooted to the ground helps a Wing Chun practitioner to deal with attacks more efficiently, while simultaneously being able to generate powerful counterattacks.
Unlike most other martial arts, Wing Chun has been designed to develop improvisational fighting skills. That’s because our opponents will not fight or attack in predictable ways, so we should always be ready to respond to whatever happens in a real situation using either arm or leg to defend ourselves and fight back.
Finally, Wing Chun emphasizes “soft” power. That’s because unnecessary muscle tension reduces our striking speed and power, along with wasting energy and causing fatigue very quickly. Also, use of muscular power reduces the contest to one of physical strength rather than skills.
No matter how strong we are and how much we develop and strengthen our body, there will always be someone stronger. Also, our muscular strength and stamina will become less as we grow older. Sometimes we can fall ill. However, if we keep practicing Wing Chun, we can improve our fighting skills even as we get older. Wing Chun training can and should be for our entire life.
What do you see in the near future?
Over the next few decades, I hope to broaden and deepen my practice of Wing Chun Kung Fu with masters in Hong Kong and Europe. I would also like to share the immense joy and satisfaction that comes with practicing this noble fighting art with other, similarly dedicated people in Mumbai and India.
I’d also like to use the advanced principles in this and other fighting arts to teach our fellow countrymen and women to defend themselves against aggressive physical attacks. Even if they don’t study Wing Chun Kung Fu in great depth, they can still learn to protect themselves in such situations.
In my opinion, such training should be imparted to everyone starting at a young age because it offers multiple mental and physical benefits.
Photo Credits: Rukmani Sen
Contact: Suresh M Nair – 9029877546.