This ain’t exactly a knitting club, y’know.

Padded up and ready to go. But first: the form.

Padded up and ready to go. But first: the form.

Wing Chun isn’t easy to photograph. There are no graceful animal poses or flashy moves with outstretched limbs. Its beauty is in the simplicity of its movements; brutally efficient in close quarters and an absolute marvel to see in motion. Much of that beauty is lost when captured in a single frame – the untrained eye won’t see the multiple vectors being used by a practitioner, which defy the usual rule in photography of waiting for a definitive crystallising moment.

No necks were hurt in this photo. Honest!

No necks were hurt in this photo. Honest!

So when I was given the rare opportunity of capturing some action photography at the Wing Chun school I attend (as opposed to the usual static poses), I kind of jumped at it.

Padding reduces your mobility, makes you sweat more and wouldn't be used in real life… but at least your ribs won't be broken.

Padding reduces your mobility, makes you sweat more and wouldn’t be used in real life… but at least your ribs won’t be broken.

My instructors gave me an open brief, so I ended up breaking a lot of my usual rules and experimented with motion blur, height, wide-angle and telescopic composition, reflections… What I didn’t want to do is produce a bunch of photos that resemble photos I’ve seen elsewhere, but who knows whether I succeeded on that front?

I've always made it a point to spar with people who are bigger than me because, well, that's what it's designed to do.

I’ve always made it a point to spar with people who are bigger than me because, well, that’s what it’s designed for.

People have been generally complimentary of the results, which is nice. But the truth is all I can think about is how I’d do things differently next time.

2 thoughts on “This ain’t exactly a knitting club, y’know.

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