Friday, January 20, 2012

Women learn self-defense tactics through Kung Fu - YNN - Your News Now

Women learn self-defense tactics through Kung Fu - YNN - Your News Now

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Moy Yat Kung Fu Academy Giving Back to the Community

As a response to a series of attacks on women in the local community, Moy Yat Ving Tsun Kung Fu Academy is offering 2 months of free self-defense classes for women beginning in January 2012. We want to be a vital part of our local Austin community, and we can think of no better way than to help people feel safer in our neighborhoods.

I also wanted to share an email I got this morning and my response. It's amazing that someone took the time to actually email this one sentence response to me being on the news.

What makes me snarky with this guy is that he sent this after Heath and I just gave about 14 hours of our time working on, preparing, appearing on live TV, answering calls and emails and then actually teaching.  For a man, women's self defense is a very tough and emotional class, hearing stories of some of these women have been attacked and listening to their fears and emotions.... it's not easy, nor should it be.

I'm very happy to give my time and have my wife and son with me when I do, if this is what I can do and all I can do, then that is good. So I can say, thank you osborne for the email I hope to see if you respond.

---Vyvial Sifu
We are all alone in this together.

osborne 11:13 PM (10 hours ago)
"Your trainees would have a better chance of surviving an attack if they used a pistol"
Aaron Vyvial
7:11 AM (2 hours ago)

You really have no idea what self defense is. We mostly teach avoidance, awareness, 
conflict resolution and the use of body language. What we do would not be replaced by a pistol. 

Most violent attacks occur "with no warning" they happen in seconds. 
When would the pistol be useful then? 
What would happen if a poorly trained, scared women fails at pulling out a gun? 
Now a weapon has been introduced into the equation and the attack, mugging etc... 
has been escalated and has the gun.

I'm not against guns or weapons at all, I'm highly trained with rifles, 
knifes and pistols but they are only part of the equation and the physical self defense 
or "Kung fu" is just part of it as well. 

If a female in your life, was surprised and couldn't pull out her gun, what would she do next?
If a female in your life had the body language skills, avoidance training, conflict resolution and 
never had to pull out her gun, wouldn't that be better? 

So be honest with your self and ask these questions and then look at your original statement to me, 
looks pretty ignorant. I hope the women in your life get better advice from someone other than you.

--Aaron Vyvial

One of my kung fu nephews just sent me this info with a quick note:

This is such a wonderful and empowering program. I've been teaching self defense for women in Guatemala for 4 years now and I can tell you that you are in for a very rewarding experience. I'm sure you most likely already have this resource, but if you need input on dealing with folks who've been exposed to human trafficking, war rape and femicide survival please let me know (most of my past students fall into one of those categories) We see a lot of this in the Hispanic community (your area is on one the main trafficking routes from Central America) and is one of the reasons why so many flee into this country. So anyway, I think what your doing is awesome and is a great representation of the Family ♥

Attached is a link to one of my project blogs which should give you an idea of the environment some of these women came out of and should explain some of the tips being passed on.

Occupy the Neighborhood

It's your neighborbood. You should be able to walk through your neighborhood in safety and with confidence. The good people who live in the neighborhood are the 99%, and the bad element is, at most, the 1%. But even a small percentage of bad actors can put the neighborhood on edge.

Having a business in the neighborhood makes you a part of the neighborhood. Many neighbors become friends, and even though you don't have time to make friends with everyone in the neighborhood, they are still neighbors. Neighbors help neighbors in times of need without thought of compensation, and right now our neighborhood has a need to feel safer and more protected.

Learning some basic self-defense strategies can help our neighbors feel more confident about walking to a friend's house or to and from a school or store. We should be able to do that freely and without fear. It is only natural that a school that teaches martial arts and self-defense should give a bit of itself when neighbors are in need. It is the right thing to do. If you take care of your profession, and you take care of your people, especially your friends and neighbors, your business will take care of itself. Now is the time to help take care of neighbors.

The Moy Yat Kung Fu Academy is all about family, and the neighborhood is an extended family. I am proud to be associated with the school, even if it is in a small way. And this guest post is one small way I can help. I hope the ladies in our extended neighborhood will take advantage of this opportunity to learn some basic self-defense. With greater confidence our neighborhoods will grow stronger, as will our sense of community. It is your neighborhood. You are the 99%.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Moy Yat Ving Tsun in the News.

In light of recent attacks, the Moy Yat Kung Fu Academy is offering 2 FREE months of Women's self defense classes to help women become more empowered, alert, and prepared. Our mission is to help the community through these difficult times. Call us at 512.680.4535 or email for more information.

Please help keep our community safe by sharing this information with our Austin ladies. 

Cathy did a great job on camera and we have been asked to be interviewed on the live morning show at 8:45 AM. Please check it out if you can.

--Vyvial Sifu
We are all alone in this together.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Chi Sao POV Video

Looking At Life Through A Filter, Jong POV Video

When dealing with people in your daily life, it is easy to only look at them and their issues through your own "filters" and  points of view in place. As we grow and experience new things we add more and more filters and it shapes how we view things and how we think.   Follow me?

Basically, you get into an argument with a friend or family member and they say maybe you are not giving them the attention they need or that you are just being a jerk. You think to yourself, "hey I'm a great guy, I'm nice and caring". They see things one way and you see things completely opposite to them.  This is normal and when you really look at both opinions, you find that there is  truth to what both people are saying.

Maybe, next time you recognize this happening, try to see the person without your filters in place and maybe you will gain a new perspective that you didn't have before. 

--Vyvial Sifu
We are all alone in this together.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Here is a great Chi Sao interaction between Mark and Neil. Shot at the Richmond School's 25th anniversary. Sometimes your Chi Sao needs to be hard, or aggressive, or just very simple. Other times, you just have fun.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Moy Tung Tsui Ma Lesson

One of the better lessons I have seen on Tsui Ma (pushing horse) Drill within the Chi Sao Cycle. Any comments or questions? This Tsui Ma focus is on single step and top arm energy "push".

Shot at Detroit Kung Fu in Michigan.

The System is in The Details, Gaining Perfection and Playing The Jong.

Kip and Heath help out during the beginners class.

Attention to detail is such an important part of Ving Tsun training, we should never just go through the motions, treating some movements in the forms with more respect than the others. There are no throw away movements.

As an example,  last night at Moy Yat Kung Fu Academy's Austin location, we spent at least 15 minutes just going through opening the  Yee Jee Kim Yeung Ma stance. It is the basic foundation and platform for everything that we do in Ving Tsun, it should be obvious that you need to put the time in working it.  

We don't just get into our Yee Jee Kim Yeung Ma, or as we say "your horse", we have a method, a checklist. When you go through it religiously, every time you start a form or get into a 2-person drill, your checklist will start to blur into one clean movement, this is the nature of Ving Tsun. If you don't put the time in working the foundation correctly, you might get something that looks ok but you won't achieve the power and feel that you would get from religiously adhering to the individual details of the system.

Why so much detail on the horse?

EVERYTHING we do in Ving Tsun is stance training. In a 2 hour class, you get 2 hours of stance training, in a 4 hour class, you get 4 hours of stance training. This is very important for your kung fu ability, without a stable platform, you will not be able to successfully launch power attacks. Think what would happen if you mounted a tank's cannon on a small car. You need the body of the tank to withstand the pressure and energy of the firing cannon.  Training your horse turns your body into the tank.

When playing forms, your legs should get burned out, sometimes even shaking. When playing 2-person drills, your legs should give out before your shoulders. It's easy to let our horse relax when we are focused on what the upper body is doing but Ving Tsun needs to develop Yau Ma or full body horse, this a small way to start on that development and be able to link upper body and lower body together.

The Ving Tsun Kung Fu System, is a system made up of details, this is what really sets us apart from most other martial arts. We put the time in to educate ourselves on the most minute details of what we do because what we do is a martial science.  There are many different details for what could be considered the same movements, this isn't a discussion of right or wrong, it's just a lesson in understanding EVERYTHING you do when training.

Seeking perfection in what we do is a very Ving Tsun-centric practice. If you treat your Ving Tsun forms and movements with the respect they deserve, you will in turn get amazing carry over into your daily life with everything you do. Training your Ving Tsun is really training your life habits in the long term.

As a goal in your kung fu career, you should know 2-3 ways to do every movement in Ving Tsun.

As an example of working on the details, here is a video of myself going through some of the Jong form with Sigung Bak, Moy Bing Wah  a direct student of Yip Man. That'll make someone a bit nervous, but I was just working on different, specific details while going through the form, instead of really performing the form as a cohesive whole.  Great training that will  give me years of practice ahead.

Please make a habit of PERFECTION in your life.

---Vyvial Sifu
We are all alone in this together.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Time For Meditation? 108 Luk Dim Poon Kwan Forms

Kingsley's meditation was superb this day

A quick time for meditation?  With the start of the new year, this might be a good thing to try. Take a moment, maybe while playing siu nim tao, or maybe just lay down on the floor.  Slow down your breathing, clear your mind, relax, and let the stress melt away.

Then ask your self what your new year's resolution is. Be very specific and honest with yourself. Is this something you can accomplish? If so, then how? What will you do, how will you prepare, where will you be, what will you look like? Visualize everything from the preparation, the execution, to the completion. Imagine all the steps as you plan to do them.  Completing your goal should be something you can already feel and taste if you have done this exercise correctly.   Setting a goal and completing that goal can be very rewarding. It can also be motivating towards setting future goals.

 We kept this in mind during this morning's workout. Our workout today consisted of completing 108 luk dim poon kwan pole forms with our heavy quan dim wood poles that are 9' long and 6+lbs.  It took about 3 hours to complete 108 good, clean forms but we completed the challenge and it's now that much harder to let any Kung Fu training defeat us.

 Performing challenges such as 1 hour long siu nim tao, 10,000-20,000 punches, 108 forms non-stop, etc. will not only affect your physical training but it will really boost your mental game. If you can defeat your inner wuss and complete these challenges, no matter how badly your mind wants you to quit, what can defeat you in your training? You have challenged yourself against the worst you could come up with and still come out alive.

--Vyvial Sifu
we are all alone in this together

Also, I would like to welcome 4 new people to start today at the Moy Yat Kung Fu Academy in Austin: Joshua, Rhian,  Don,  and Cesar. These guys are off to a great start for 2012!

Some footage we shot today during class

Monday, January 2, 2012

"My Way. Or My Way With a Black Eye"

"My Way. Or My Way With a Black Eye"

For about 17 years I worked as a Dolly Grip, making movies, TV shows, music videos and more. I was working on a TV show called 6 Feet Under and we were shooting on stage at Sunset-Gower Studios in Hollywood. One day, we needed to move our equipment and carts from one stage to another. Space around a film set is at a premium with everyone fighting for prime real estate in order to be able to efficiently work and service the set. The grips have the most equipment, the biggest equipment and the most dangerous. Well, this day as I was saying, we started pushing our equipment, carts and everything to our normal spot, we came across a Gold Room. It was right there in the middle of where we needed to be.

A Gold Room is a room for the props or set dressing departments to store and secure their valuable junk. We normally have a good relationship with these departments, but the fact of the matter is that there are two Unions you don't cross in the movie business - the Teamsters and the Studio Grips. We both have the useful ability to make anything look like an accident, but we are also the guys you go to when you need things done.

This is pretty much what I did while working as a Local 80 Dolly Grip

So the Key Grip (my boss at the time) showed up and saw the situation and called over the set-dresser or prop-master, same thing really, and asked what was going on and why they decided they needed to take a space that had already been claimed for quite a while. Obviously the explanation wasn't good enough because the end of the conversation had my boss saying, "There are two ways this can go, MY WAY or MY WAY WITH A BLACK EYE, your choice!" The next day, the choice was apparently the "MY WAY" option, since we had our spot back. Pretty much a regular occurrence on set with the grip crew.

So what does this have to do with Kung Fu?

Something I overheard my Sifu say a few times in the past is that there are really only two answers  to every question in Ving Tsun: A1. Play More Siu Nim Tao and A2. Do You Want To Be Knocked Out?

The "Play More Siu Nim Tao" is the "My Way" and the "Do You Want To Be Knocked Out?" is the "Black Eye".  But what does this really mean? Do we punch people in the face for asking questions? No, of course not, but what is really being said is that if you have a question about Ving Tsun, the first thing you need to do is study your Sui Nim Tao and look for the answer within. Siu Nim Tao contains the entire system of Ving Tsun. If you study it hard enough, you will unlock all the secrets of the Ving Tsun System. Now if you say that you don't have enough time or focus for that, we do have another way to transmit the secrets of the system. There is an old saying of Ving Tsun that says, "Some techniques I can't teach you unless I hit you."

This does not mean that we are going to brutalize our adult students - that is not what we do. However, if a student wants the process to go quicker than normally advised, Ving Tsun has options.

As far as asking questions, that's fine. It's not taboo like it used to be in the old days. I can actually say that I have asked my Sifu a total of six Ving Tsun specific questions in the span of my martial arts career, 4 of those questions being about my students' training. Most martial art teachers nowadays are more than willing to share their knowledge and are happy to help, but the one thing you should make a habit of, is to formulate an answer before you ask the question. This will help you grow in your kung fu much more than getting an easy answer from your sifu.

--Vyvial Sifu
We are all alone in this together
Moy Yat Kung Fu Academy

Neil Plays Siu Nim Tau at Moy Yat Kung Fu Academy

Bai-Si Ceremony and Old Man’s Tea

Bai-Si Ceremony, Outdoor Students and Old Man’s Tea

The practice of drinking tea is a long-standing tradition in China. Legend says that Chinese Emperor Shennong discovered tea when a leaf from a camellia sinensis tree fell into a pot of water that he was boiling.

One can drink tea at many times during the day such as morning, during meals and even before bed. Chinese tea is normally classified into five categories: oolong, green, white, red, and post-fermented. Tea is considered one of the “seven necessities” of Chinese life, along with rice, oil, salt, vinegar, soy sauce, and firewood.

I grew up watching kung fu movies from the 70’s and in every movie you would always see the Kung Fu Master accept a person into his inner circle only after being served tea by the disciple. There was usually bowing involved as well. In modern times, this custom has mostly vanished from western martial arts schools, but the practice has stayed alive within the Moy Yat Kung Fu Family.

The custom of a todai (student) offering tea to a sifu is known as the bai-si ceremony and should be considered one of the most important ceremonies a kung fu practitioner can be invited to perform. The ceremony is what sets the disciple apart from the "outdoor students". Historically, a sifu would share 100% of his kung fu secrets only with disciples who had earned the opportunity and demonstrated that they could be trusted with this knowledge.

Outdoor student vs. Disciple

What is an "outdoor student"? Many traditional Chinese martial arts were taught privately as family styles, and classes were taught within a sifu's home or a family's hall. Only the trusted disciples (those who went through the bai-si tea ceremony) were allowed in the indoor areas for training or "Kung Fu Life". The "outdoor students", not yet having the trust of the family or sifu, would wait to train outside in the courtyard.

These distinctions continue to hold true in the modern kung fu school. Normal clients are the"outdoor students", and those who wish to take their kung fu to the next level are invited to participate in the bai-si ceremony and become "indoor students" or disciples.

The Ceremony

A todai who has been invited to perform the bai-si ceremony will kneel before the sifu who will seated before him (or her). He will recite a school code, kuen kuit, or maybe even just explain why he wants to commit himself to the sifu and the kung fu. If the sifu accepts, the todai will kowtow, bowing three times with his head touching the floor. This is considered the highest sign of reverence. The todai will then be handed a cup of tea to drink by someone who is assisting. Another cup of tea will be handed to the todai who will bow again and offer it to the sifu. If the sifu accepts the todai as an "indoor student" or disciple, he will accept the tea and will drink. This confirms the ceremony, and the todai will offer his "kung fu father" a gift such as lucky money in a red envelope to end the bai-si.This is just a basic, simplified explanation of the ceremonial process. There are many variations of the bai-si, and some ceremonies may last for many days.

A disciple who completes the bai-si ceremony becomes like a son or daughter to the sifu and the sifu will even bestow a kung fu family name. My sifu was a disciple of Moy Yat and was given the name Moy Tung, meaning Moy East or "Man of the East". When I became a disciple of Moy Tung, I was given the name Moy Saup Tung or Moy 10 Tung.

It is important to keep in mind that a discipleship does NOT mean blind obedience; it truly means mutual loyalty between the Sifu and the disciple. The disciple pledges to continue training hard, learning everything the sifu teaches while maintaining the integrity of the school and the kung fu. In return, the sifu pledges to completely pass his kung fu knowledge to the disciple to the best of his ability. That said, loyalty does demand some obedience and supplication - that is the nature of relationship between master and student. However, it must remain positive and must not be abused by the master.

The bai-si should not be taken lightly, for it is a big leap. Although I have students who are considered inner-circle, I have not yet had a student perform a bai-si ceremony with me. I never thought I was ready for the responsibility, but my kung fu and my students' kung fu have grown to the point where it really should not be put off any longer.


I can remember that Sigung Moy Yat loved his tea. If I recall correctly, he drank oolong, but maybe it could have been jasmine. I learned a few years ago, while visiting my kung fu uncle, Miguel Hernandez, that in Sigung's later years, he drank Shau Mei tea. Which is a type of white tea that he called "Old Man's Tea"due to its strong, bitter flavor.

A few months later, I was in Boston’s Chinatown eating Dim Sum at China Pearl with my Sifu and Sigung Bak Moy Bing Wah. There were a few types of tea at the table but I noticed that a special tea was brought for Sigung Bak, I tried a cup and it had a really strong bitter taste. When asked what type of tea it was, Sigung Bak replied that it was Shau Mei.

So I finally had my chance to try Sigung’s “Old Man’s Tea”. Now it is a taste to which I have grown accustomed, and now I drink it every night before bed. Could it be perhaps that I am getting old?

Tea was very important to Sigung, and the bai-si ceremony carries a lot of meaning. The last person to bai-si as a "Grand-Special Student" to Sigung Moy Yat was my kung fu brother, Barry, who is a sifu in Richmond, VA. The tea ceremony is a traditional element of Chinese kung fu that I am glad to see live on, even after the death of MoyYat.

--Vyvial Sifu
We are all alone in this together.
Moy Yat Kung Fu Academy

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Moy Bing Wah visits Austin, TX

GrandMaster Moy Bing Wah in Austin, TX at Moy Yat Kung Fu Academy
This December, we were able to spend a few weeks learning from Grandmasters Moy Bing Wah and Moy Tung. We also had guests from Minnesota, Houston, San Antonio, Denver, Boston, Virginia and Detroit.  It was a great experience for all who attended the training sessions.

My Sigung Bak (great-senior-uncle) Grandmaster Moy Bing Wah is an "Uncle" to the Moy Tung Family. He is one of the few surviving students of Grandmaster Yip Man and also biological cousin to the late Grandmaster Moy Yat. He began his training in 1956 and introduced Moy Yat to Yip Man in 1957.  Sigung Moy Yat always gave Sigung Bak all the credit and respect for introducing him to his Sifu Yip Man and the reason the Moy Yat Ving Tsun Kung Fu Family exists!

What Sigung Bak  gave us during his visit to Texas, was nothing less than an experience that will never be forgotten. Many said that he was a living affirmation of the kung fu. At his age, almost in his 90's, it is amazing to feel his energy and kung fu.  His arms are like iron and when you hit his stomach, it is a true definition of "chi belly"... it can hurt your hand.  In four days we trained about 46 hours and Sigung Bak was right there most of the time doing his thing. It was amazing to see.

Many of the instructors from my Austin and Houston Academies have been traveling with me during 2011 to visit and train with Sigung Bak and learn his interpretation of Ving Tsun. It is a Ving Tsun tradition to start your kung fu over throughout the course of your Ving Tsun career and I have been fortunate to learn from Sigung Moy Yat and my Sifu Moy Tung.  Going through the system again with Moy Bing Wah has been an amazing opportunity and I really give thanks to my Sifu for putting me in that position. Also, being able to give my students an experience with a legitimate grandmaster and student of Yip Man like I had with my Sigung before he passed away is really important to me.

The details and movements that we learned are as practical as they are deadly - Phoenix Eye Fist, Ginger Fist, "Taking The Heart", Bui Ji and "Musical Conductor hands" that sorta trains you to cover your center-line in a  figure 8 like pattern (hard to really describe). Sigung Bak's techniques were easy enough to learn and train but I can imagine that they might be something most of us just need to catalogue and keep in our storage banks for when we have enough kung fu to really and safely comprehend what we are actually doing.

The drill that our women and kids classes really enjoyed that Sigung Bak taught us was the Walking Bong Sau drill.  It taught, that with proper structure, anyone, any size could move a much larger opponent.

What we can really take from this, is foundation! foundation! foundation! Keep at it and we might just get an idea of what we can accomplish with our kung fu!

 --- Vyvial Sifu
we are all alone in this together.
Moy Yat Kung Fu Academy

Slow Motion Jong (Wooden Dummy) Details

Still taken from Jong Video

We put up a new video of Nic Bartell at his new school location Houston Moy Yat Kung Fu Academy.

Sigung Moy Yat compared the Mook Yan Jong (wooden dummy) to a typewriter. The idea being that the Jong is just a tool to help your kung fu. Using a typewriter doesn't make you a better writer, it just makes your writing look better. The jong doesn't teach you anything new - it just cleans up your positions, timing, footwork, etc... It is NOT meant to be used as arm conditioning, or to go through the form as fast as possible while smashing your arms against it. A well-learned Ving Tsun sifu should be able to tell whether the Jong is being played correctly by just listening to the sounds it makes when a student is playing it. Sigung was also known to comment that he could not tell which one was the dummy sometimes when he could hear a student playing the form poorly.

I like to say that you can't tell one Mook from the other when watching videos of people playing in super speed online.

I think this video is pretty interesting with the dolly move around to the back of the jong. Also it is the first  posted online to be in slow motion HD.  We threw in some special details that you may have not seen before from anyone playing the jong form, have fun learning and trying them out.

Please click the thumbs up on the video if you like it, thank you.
Slow Motion Jong Video

--Vyvial Sifu
We are all alone in this together
Moy Yat Kung Fu Academy

Making the Nation Stronger: A New Year's Resolution?


Hello and welcome, this is the beginning, the seed, the small idea, the Siu Nim Tao. I have been looking for various way to share my thoughts, photos, videos, workouts, meaningful and even meaningless ideas... I have settled on blogger.

This is my New Year's Resolution, this being January 1st, 2012, with year of the dragon just around the corner, it seemed appropriate to start my new blog right now.

Wa Ha Jun Hung Fung is the name of the new blog. Sigung Moy Yat was asked by Sitai Gung Yip Man to carve the most important Kuen Kuit, or martial sayings, into a priceless set of chops. The Ving Tsun Chops were so important, they were actually stolen from the family for a short time, until they were "given" back, a story of legend that you may hear some time if you treat me to a good dinner. Now they are safely stored away back with the Moy family .

As I was saying, the Kuen Kuit are an important piece of Ving Tsun history, they could be considered the manual or textbook for Ving Tsun Kung Fu. Sigung Moy Yat was known to give these Kuen Kuit sayings to his most loved disciples. One of the Kuen Kuit that my Sifu received from Sigung was Wa Ha Jun Hung Fung or "Making the Whole Nation Stronger". My understanding of its old meaning, was that it used to say "Making the Han Nation Stronger".


---Vyvial Sifu
We are all alone in this together
Moy Yat Kung Fu Academy