Last Saturday we finally had our much-anticipated Animal Day. The Animal Day challenge is based on a fighting formula that I got from Sifu Chris Collins (www.chriscollinsaction.com) in Hong Kong. It consists of three phases, namely 1) guo sau (chi sau/lat sau sparring), 2) free-fighting, and finally 3) ground-fighting.
In order to complete the grueling 68-minute challenge without hacking up a lung, we had all the fighters (started with 12 - whittled down to 8) participate in a 12-week training camp. This included 5 workouts every week that gradually increased cardio, conditioning, heavy-bag work and bodyweight calisthenics. Even non-fighters participated in the 12-week challenge and their reward was that they were able to watch the fighters do Animal Day. We had nearly 20+ particpants in the 12-week challenge and I was very happy to see everyone (fighters and non-fighters) train so hard for three months.
The first phase (guo sau) consists of three 9-minute rounds (!) non-stop. Each round of guo sau focused on another aspect, for example applying certain concepts or techniques against your resisting partner. As this is full guo sau it includes lat sau, kicks and sweeps as part of the deal. This with only one-minute breaks in between. Total time for phase 1 with breaks was 30 minutes.
Some junior students had some difficulty with phase 1 but stuck it through anyway. CWT Trainer Craig Savino was by far the most technical and aggressive in phase 1.
The second phase (free-fighting) consists of two 8-minute rounds of fighting WT vs. non-WT attacks all while using a limited number of movements from the repetoire. Participants wear full equipment to allow realistic pressure and intensity to be used. Every minute the attackers and defenders switch roles to ensure that it's not a WT vs. WT melee as seen in most WT schools. This is done with two minute breaks in between. Total time of this phase is 20 minutes. Sifu Nicole Daniels was an absolute phenom in this round.
Phase 2 unfortunately put Craig out of commission as a pre-existing rib injury was aggravated by a nasty knee strike from Sifu Nicole Daniels. Since we were down a fighter I had to throw on the equipment and get in their and fight myself. Luckily I also was training and working out so my conditioning was up to par to fight with these guys. I ran an anti-WT clinic (using my knowledge of other arts and WT to counter my student's WT) on all those who I sparred with. As Craig himself blogged:
"My Sifu has Jiu Jitsu, Tae Kwan Do and of course Wing Tsun chops. Plus he knows everything we might pull and how to counter it. It’s basically the most beneficially educational nightmare you could ever have."
The final phase is ground-fighting where the students are stripped of using any WT striking and must solely use concepts to escape the grapplers attempts at pinning or controlling. Taking away the devasting striking arsenal limits the WT fighter use body mechanics and WT tactics to escape in addition to good old-fashioned conditioning and grit. Two 7-minute rounds of this with a 2-minute break. Total time of phase 3 is 18 minutes. The total Animal Day challenge is 68 minutes non-stop.
This was the first time we staged this event and I was very pleased with the results. All 8 participants performed excellently and have learned very quickly what aspects of the game they need to work on. I'm very proud of the hard work, preparation and the final perfomance from my fighters.
We will be holding more such events in the future. Our Saturday Dynamic WT fight class is truly a highlight of the WT week. I use modern training and fighting protocols (same as in MMA gyms) and applied them to WT fighting. I'm very pleased with the results!
To see more photos from this awesome event, please visit our CWT Facebook page.
Animal Day Graduates:
- Sifu Nicole Daniels
- Craig S.
- Pete M.
- Roland B.
- Eugene T.
- Brian C.
- Vincent P.
- Joseph L.
You guys are beasts!!