Photos from Wing Chun grading

Every three months, Master Steve conducts a grading session for the whole class, each grade taking turns to be tested, starting from the lowest grade (that’s me).

I happened to be in England when the grading was on, so decided to join in even though I felt I hadn’t attended enough classes yet.

Here are the senior guys, all in black, doing last-minute practice:

 

Wing Chun grading

 

On the right are the newbies, in assorted colours, standing around discussing how nervous they are, lol:

 

Wing Chun grading

 

Okay, to be fair, they did get serious after a while of standing around.

 

Wing Chun grading

 

The newbies were the biggest group for this grading. There were eight of us! Or seven. Thereabouts. I was the only female in the newbie group.

 

Wing Chun grading

 

Standing in formation waiting for further instruction:

 

Wing Chun grading

 

Grading starts!

First set of tasks were done in a group. This was to test all our basic moves.

 

Wing Chun grading

 

Wing Chun grading

 

Some moves had to be done with a partner, so the senior students came to partner us. Why did I get the tallest guy when I was the shortest person in the group?!

 

Wing Chun grading

 

And then we had to do our Fighting Form individually. That’s a short series of attack and defence moves.

 

Wing Chun grading

 

Then back to group again for more basic moves. It just went on forever and ever!

 

Wing Chun grading

 

Wing Chun grading

 

Wing Chun grading

 

Wing Chun grading

 

Wing Chun grading

 

Then it was done and our turn to sit down and watch the rest do their gradings.

Okay, now, some photos of other people! They had more exciting stuff to do than us.

 

Wing Chun grading

 

Wing Chun grading

 

Wing Chun grading

 

Piers. =P

 

Wing Chun grading

 

Wing Chun grading

 

Wing Chun grading

 

Wing Chun grading

 

And now the fun part…

I took a video of Piers chopping wood! Haha. For his grading, he had to do a three-inch punch and a chop.

He had never done it before the grading. Only seen others do it. So he took his time measuring the distance between fist and wood before doing the punch.

He ended up punching through to the floor and gouging out a piece of flesh from a knuckle. Eee!

Here’s the video:

 

 

A few more photos of the rest of the gradings.

 

Wing Chun grading

 

Wing Chun grading

 

Wing Chun grading

 

Wing Chun grading

 

Wing Chun grading

 

Wing Chun grading

 

Wing Chun grading

 

Piers and I both passed to the next grade, although I don’t know my marks yet. Piers got really high marks! Like 96% or thereabouts. So proud of him!

Hmm, really miss going to classes. My newbie classmates are moving on without me and I’ll miss the next grading because I won’t be in England then!

=(

Progressing in Wing Chun

Did my first Wing Chun grading yesterday after attending only about 10 classes, possibly fewer, didn’t really count.

Grading is conducted every three months, so you go for it when it happens, ready or not, or wait for three more months.

 

Wing Chun

 

The results will be out in a few days or so, by which time I’ll be back in Singapore, boohoo.

It’s been fun! Would have to continue in Singapore, cos I can’t lose to Piers too much! Am currently three grades behind him.

 

Wing Chun

 

Watching the seniors do their grading was really cool. I have tons of photos, badly taken ones cos the room was backlit as you can see, but I’ll share them when I get back to Singapore.

Am leaving in two days. Yes, finally. No more extending this time, haha. Got meetings and interviews and stuff lined up back home so I think if I still don’t go back, I will get killed.

See you all in Singapore soon!

My first Wing Chun class

Piers took me to Wing Chun class on Thursday. It was so fun seeing a room full of caucasians doing an Asian martial art.

They looked really good.

 

Wing Chun

 

When Piers announced in Plurk last year that he was going to take up Wing Chun, everyone was so excited for him and many jokes were made at his expense.

To be honest, I never expected him to last so long (eight months now) but he did, going for classes two to three times a week.

I think he’s really good, from the moves he showed me in class. (But he’s one of the more junior students, so he can get a whole lot better. Most of the others have been doing Wing Chun for years, some over a decade.)

 

Piers doing Wing Chun

 

This was at the Lun Kuen Academy of Wing Chun in Poole (which is next to Bournemouth). The founder, Stephen Lyons, is a descendent disciple of Ip Man. The lineage goes like this:

Ip Man > Ip Chun (Ip Man’s oldest son) > Samuel Kwok > Stephen Lyons

Here’s Steve demonstrating some basic moves on Piers.

 

Wing Chun

 

Apparently, he’s very, very good, having trained in martial arts since the early 1970s, and he’s personally recognised by Grandmaster Ip Chun as a Wing Chun Master.

But what’s more impressive is that he runs the school not for profit but for passion. He only charges £5 per two-hour class and holds them three times a week. So very nice!

 

Wing Chun

 

I was lost in class half the time. Steve would show a short, sparring sequence with one of his instructors, then the class would get into pairs and practise on each other.

Piers said he was also lost in the beginning but, after a while, maybe a month or two, it started to click and then he got it.

I can’t imagine that happening for me.

It was really fun, though. In just half an hour, I learnt the basics of how to effectively defend myself while at the same time strike at my opponent to incapacitate him.

Of course, it takes a lot of practise to get good at it so you can apply your knowledge and not get killed when someone comes charging at you for real. In class, your opponent will pause mid punch and let you respond slow-mo if you’re a bit retarded, like me.

 

Wing Chun

 

I think I shall take up Wing Chun when I get back to Singapore. I quite enjoyed my first class and look forward to learning more.

I will probably go for more classes before returning to Singapore, but I’ll feel better when I’m in a class where no one knows me and won’t laugh at my clumsiness and incoordination.

While sparring with Piers, I laughed in embarrassment every time I did something that looked stupid, so that was very unimpressive. But he was very kind and let me chop his throat (one of the moves I learnt) over and over again.

Well, I suppose there are some benefits to having a friend in class.

Make SALONPAS a fashion statement

Sponsored

I think this will sound a bit masochistic but I’m always excited whenever I get a cut or a scratch. That’s because I have a collection of colourful, cute plasters with all sorts of designs. They make the hurt feel better instantly!

(I’m not really masochistic okay. I still don’t like getting hurt and I don’t purposely hurt myself.)

Besides the normal kind of plasters, there’s this other kind I use for my sports injuries: SALONPAS Pain Relief Patch.

 

Salonpas for sports

 

By sports injuries I mean mild ones like aches, sprains and bruises. If, like, you fracture a bone or something, please go see a doctor, instead.

SALONPAS patches don’t come in colourful, cute designs. I guess that’s because not many people care about making a fashion statement with everything they do and wear.

But I do, so I made my own fashionable SALONPAS!

My knees hurt every time I skate. I think it’s because of the half-bending position that skaters maintain all the time. Plus my knees aren’t in tip-top condition to begin with, after long years of indulging in sports.

 

So this is me skating with SALONPAS on my knees:

Salonpas for sports

 

Salonpas for sports

 

And this is me making a fashion statement with SALONPAS:

Salonpas for sports

 

Salonpas for sports

 

Salonpas for sports

 

If you think that’s idiotic, you have no sense of humour. If you like it, I like you!

I made the words in photoshop, printed them out on normal paper, then pasted the pieces onto the SALONPAS patches with double-sided tape!

You can get creative and do all kinds of nice designs to suit your mood and clothing. You don’t have to demonstrate a nutty sense of humour like I did.

 

SALONPAS Pain Relief Patch is the first US FDA-approved over-the-counter topical analgesic patch in Singapore.

It’s used for temporary relief of mild to moderate aches and pain of muscles and joints associated with arthritis, sprains, bruises and simple backache.

It contains methyl salicylate and l-menthol as active ingredients!

 

Attractive features:

  • Thin, stretchable and flexible, minimising tension.
  • Snug fit over joint areas.
  • Improved adhesion.
  • Painless when removing.
  • Inconspicuous skin colour.
  • Penetrates quickly for fast-acting, long-lasting relief.
  • Use on many areas (e.g. neck, shoulder, back, elbow, knee, foot, calf).
  • Easy to peel off backing and apply.
  • No greasy residue after removal.
  • Now with a choice of cool, minty scent!

What a lot of features!

 

You know how they’ve made SALONPAS patches an ordinary skin colour so that they’re less conspicuous when wearing? Well, for some reason, people don’t like to be seen wearing plasters and patches. I guess I can understand that. People like appearing healthy and not debilitated in any way.

But I like having some fun in my life, and making fashion statements is fun, even if it may not be very practical at times.

I think my Fashion SALONPAS works just as well, even if sticking a piece of paper on a patch makes it a bit less flexible.

I can use it also when I go running!

 

Warming up:

Salonpas for sports

 

Salonpas for sports

 

Running gives me a backache sometimes, so I stick a patch on my back:

Salonpas for sports

 

Okay, I don’t normally run in such sexy gear. I’m a t-shirt and shorts person, mostly. I specially put on a sports bra to show off my SALONPAS patch.

 

Because this outfit goes so well with my lovely cute SALONPAS heart:

Salonpas for sports

 

So adorable, right? Similar to my knee patches, I printed out a heart, pasted it on the patch, then cut it up. Sure, there’s some wastage, but sacrifices must be made for art and fashion.

You can minimise wastage by choosing a different kind of shape that will use as much surface area of the patch as possible. Then you’ll get more of the medicine, too.

I actually made a pair of Hello Kitty faces, intending to use them on my knees. The Hello Kitty face shape gives very minimal patch wastage when you cut it up. But my friend says I can’t show them here because of copyright issues.

Sad. They are very cute, too. Imagine a pair of Hello Kitty on my knees!

Anyway, back to my heart patch. Even though small, I can feel the medicine working its way in and relieving pain. Anyway, my backaches aren’t too severe so I don’t need the entire patch. =P

 

Salonpas for sports

 

SALONPAS patches aren’t only used for sports pains. They can be used for daily strains and sprains.

I’ve been getting stiff necks/shoulders since young. I remember getting stiff necks as early as primary school days. Maybe I was born with a lousy neck. =(

And I worsened the situation for myself by being a gaming addict and sitting at my computer for long stretches at a time my whole life. And I mean really long stretches, like 10 hours or more, without any breaks.

Now, my neck is, like, constantly stiff. Using SALONPAS helps numb the pain so I don’t feel like cutting off my neck whenever it gets really bad.

It’s even more crucial now that I’m addicted to iPad gaming.

The iPad is very much a lap device, so that means more neck-bending when using it, which causes more strain.

 

Salonpas for sports

 

SALONPAS to the rescue!

Salonpas for sports

 

Cute SALONPAS to the rescue!

Salonpas for sports

 

This elephant was a bit harder to cut up, but it’s worth it. I love having an elephant on my shoulder!

 

Or how about a star?

Salonpas for sports

 

The best thing about the new SALONPAS, I think, is the minty fragrance. It doesn’t smell like the Chinese medicine that people associate with these patches, so you can go out wearing the patches and people will just think you’re chewing gum or something.

Of course, the fast pain relief and the ease of application are great, too. You can take them out and use them whenever needed, easily.

Okay, I feel very inspired after this photoshoot. I shall start my running and gymming routine again soon! (Been neglecting my exercise for a while because of iPad gaming. Eeks!)

SALONPAS Pain Relief Patch is available at all major pharmacies, supermarkets, drug stores, convenience stores and neighbourhood Chinese medical halls.

 

Salonpas for sports

 

DISCLAIMER:
(In case you’ve only looked at photos and haven’t read a word the whole post.)

The “fashion patches” are not available for sale. They were created by me. So don’t scold people if you go to the shop and can’t find them.

And be sure to read instructions carefully before you use any medical products.

 

Now, wanna try SALONPAS for yourself? =)

 

RECEIVE SALONPAS:

Here’s your chance to receive a sample pack of five SALONPAS patches.

Just go to this link and submit a short note on how you would use SALONPAS!

You need to do it before October 19, okay?

GO GO GO!

 

All photos in this post by Justyn Olby, my awesome photographer.

Behind the scenes: CLEO photoshoot

Remember my CLEO magazine-Coke Zero interview and photoshoot?

CLEO interview

I thought the photo made me look like I was actually really high up on the wall.

But I was only about one metre off the ground. Haha.

CLEO photoshoot

We were at SAFRA Yishun, the place where I had my first rock-climbing experience.

I was really excited about getting to climb rocks again, so I was a bit disappointed that they only needed me to climb a few steps.

What happened was that because this wall was a little challenging for me, my belayer (also a rock-climbing instructor), decided to demo the route for me. He went on the wall himself and showed me where to step on.

When he got into the position where you see me in the photo, the CLEO crew said, “That’s it! We want that position.”

So, for the next two hours, they shot me in that position endlessly, only tweaking the lighting and camera angle as well as small shifts in my body, head and expression, every so often.

Of course, I didn’t stay on the wall for two hours. After a series of shots, I got to come down and rest while the crew looked over what they’d shot to determine what they needed to change. So it was up and down, up and down.

Even though I didn’t get to climb higher, it was still fun.

Although very, very hot.

I think I tanned two shades darker after the two hours. And I had sunblock on.

CLEO photoshoot

To get the shine on my body, the makeup artist first rubbed some oil on. Then it was sprays of water at every break. He also had to wipe sweat off my face every so often, heh.

Did I mention it was really hot?

But I guess the sunny weather was great for lighting.

During the breaks, I chatted with Nanny Wen (who was acting as my manager and personal photographer) and my belayer (can’t remember his name). He was the one who told us about the Sport Climbing course which Nanny Wen and I eventually took up.

In that course, we learnt how to belay, use the safety equipment and climb more efficiently, so we can go climb rocks together now without having to hire belayers.

CLEO photoshoot

CLEO photoshoot

Anyway, the shoot was over way before I expected. Disappointing, as I said, cos I wanted to climb somemore. Haha.

Oh well. Here are more photos for your viewing pleasure!

Getting makeup and hair done while being interviewed:

CLEO photoshoot

CLEO photoshoot

CLEO photoshoot

CLEO photoshoot

CLEO photoshoot

Putting on my climbing shoes:

CLEO photoshoot

Gearing up for safety:

CLEO photoshoot

Setting up the camera:

CLEO photoshoot

Hooking the belay device on. Ready to climb!

CLEO photoshoot

Shoot starts!

CLEO photoshoot

CLEO photoshoot

Crew checking the shots:

CLEO photoshoot

CLEO photoshoot

Taking a break:

CLEO photoshoot

Spraying water:

CLEO photoshoot

End of shoot and a rewarding cold drink!

CLEO photoshoot