Kung Fu Wing Chun Style

Images from my visit to the India Wing Chun Academy in Mumbai.

I'm grateful to the India Wing-Chun Academy's top brass for the invitation to visit their Borivali location to take some pictures. My main takeaway was learning how effective the "soft style" can be in close quarters, against much larger opponents. While not necessarily flashy compared to other forms, it's here I note that Bruce Lee (and a host of other well-known names) was an active practitioner, taking up the study and practice of Wing Chun at the age of 16. Definitely something worth looking into if you're interested in learning a form that is both effective and usable by almost everyone.

On a photography note, I've recently been looking for more action in my work, people and things in motion. The martial arts was one of the first ideas to come to mind for this. I've dabbled in the past in martial arts and its always been an interest, however fleeting in time. Photography is a great motivation to revisit the practice visually. And I must say, that visiting the India Wing Chun Academy in Boriviali has certainly inspired me to begin again. As previously mentioned, Wing Chun isn't necessarily a flashy form in open hand practice. But weapons do play an important role if one is practicing authentically. Visually speaking, this could be exciting. I did get a few pictures of the head instructor demonstrating knife and stick attacks. The problem with rehearsal spaces though is terrible light, too many people clouding up the frame, and dull backgrounds. Scope for artistic shots is quite limited without a lot of help from Photoshop - even then, the thrill is gone because I'd much rather be out on the streets or in open spaces with more freedom to control what fills the frame. This explains my preference for black and white images for interior practice spaces because monotones immediately take care of the color situation and places the emphasis on form and composition. Moving forward, I don't think I'll be asking to visit martial arts studios to shoot. I need practitioners outdoors someplace else, or at least where the light is good. My quest for action continues.

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