Self-Defense Tactics for Uncertain World

Is Martial Arts actually useful when you are in danger?

Sports combat has rules. Your opponents are similar size and same gender. There are clear beginning and ending on each fight. In the presence of the referees, fair fights are expected. On the other hands, when you need to protect yourself on the street, your opponents are not going to play by the rule. The attackers chose you as a target because they see the unfair advantages against you. The beginning and ending are unclear, and most cases, target is a small person against big one, a woman against man, one against many, empty hands against weapons, and/or being attacked from the behind, etc.

Imagine yourself suddenly encounter danger. Maybe you know some moves against specific attacks. However, don’t expect from yourself too much. Your brain would most likely freeze for the moment. You may not be even able to recognize it as a danger immediately. You may not be able to move. You may not be able to speak. You may not remember how to respond.

Of course, learning techniques against specific attacks are crucial for the self-defense. However, getting a handle on your threat responses is also important on multiple levels. For example, leaning when to use the skills, how to conquer your fears, how to awaken your inner animals within you; – in order to enable you to walk away, resist, and survive from violent attacks.

Outdoor Self-Defense Tactics Class Begins on April 2021

In this program, we do not only aim to gain physical techniques against violence, but also train to practice for the possible scenarios, step by step, in a safe environment. Through little role plays and repetitions, you can start building your brain circuits and muscle memories, till your response happens at subconscious level, so called reflex. You are acquiring the self-defense mindset 1) situational awareness -observation and analysis of your opponents and surroundings, 2) confrontation skills with verbal and body language for de-escalation, and 3) only if no choice left, fight back for your safety. The physical techniques we teach in the classes are based on WingChun, which has been developed to fight against bigger and stronger opponents.

Through the training, you are getting prepared for many different and difficult situations. Once you developed your fighting instincts, when you are in danger, your awareness and response instantly causes hormonal and physiological changes. These changes allow you to act quickly, so you can protect yourself. It’s a survival instinct that all animals, including ourselves, possess naturally. Your heart rate gets faster, which increases oxygen flow to your major muscles. Your pain perception drops, and your hearing sharpens. These changes help you act appropriately and rapidly.

For the time being, we will open this new program at Outdoor (Strawberry Creek Park), every Saturday at 2-3pm starting on April 10th, 2021. The class is aimed for students with not much experience in self-defense training. Especially for women and seniors with less muscles, who have more likely to become the targets at the crime scene. If you are interested in, please pre-register through the link here or email us at The first class is complementary.

Be prepared for the Uncertain World

There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.” -Will Cather

The self-defense training is about facing the reality of unfairness. It does not matter if you like or not. It’s about accepting whatever happening is just a real life and learn to deal with it. Not limited to the specific scenarios learned in the classes, we encourage our students to develop their own critical thinking processes in many possible situations outside classes, in order to survive this uncertain world. Not only against physical violence, but also for every day challenges.

Occasionally, life happens and hits you real hard. You may not be able to respond to or recover from it immediately. You don’t always have to fight hard and hit back right away. Sometimes, it is necessary for you to find a place to develop your inner peace. Stay still and rest. Find the way to connect and examine your body and mind. And do what you have to do. There is a preparation phase as important as an action phase. Appropriate actions always accompany with good preparations.

Observe yourself and outside world, practice to look “things happened”, very carefully from multiple angles. Like WingChun training, if you practice more, your self-awareness gets sharper, and your perception to the world will improve. You will start recognizing what you haven’t seen before. You may or may not find a root cause and/or perfect solutions. Although you will probably find something interesting in yourself. Think more and more for yourself instead of others think for you. Trust yourself and act for yourself. That’s the beginning of wisdom. The development of thinking process is intelligence. If you learn to live by and act consistently upon your decisions, it becomes your discipline. It will protect you for a life.

Finally, here’s one of my favorite life quotes. Let’s thrive through the uncertain world.

Fall in love with some activity, and do it! Nobody ever figures out what life is all about, and it doesn’t matter. Explore the world. Nearly everything is really interesting if you go into it deeply enough. Work as hard and as much as you want to on the things you like to do the best. Don’t think about what you want to be, but what you want to do. Keep up some kind of a minimum with other things so that society doesn’t stop you from doing anything at all.  –Richard P. Feynman

Sije Yuka Yoshioka

Urban Self-Defense Program Begins on 10/19 Monday

KFM -Keyshi Fighting Method

We are very excited to make this announcement! As some of you may know already, US Air Force Captain Andrew Emerson -Master Combative Instructor, is offering us an urban self-defense program, every Monday at 7-9 pm, starting on October 19th, 2020 at our Berkeley location.

The program is based on the KFM (Keysi Fighting Method), which has been featured in movies such as the Batman series, Jack Reacher, and Game of Thrones, etc. and his own military experience.

The focus of his lessons is to recognize statistically predictable patterns of violent behavior among criminal assailants and exploit those patterns for the benefit of the defendant. He starts with a probable self-defense scenario, demonstrate an appropriate technique in response to that scenario, and develop that technique into a new instinct through repetition.

Do not miss this rare opportunity to learn from the best in the field!  However, we have a limited space available, to ensure our safety and quality of the instructions. If you would like to join the class and/or have any questions, please contact us at or feel free to register online.  

Do not practice until you do it right; practice until you can no longer do it wrong!” -Andrew Emerson

Virtue of Training

What inspires you to find the strength to overcome the toughest problems life throws at you? Tough times are inevitable. Although, this is a fact that many of us avoid the things that we’re afraid of, because we think there will be dire consequences if we confront them.

However, if we recognize the patterns and learn to be capable of handling the issues, our attitudes and philosophy shift, from “Finding the strength and guidance outside of ourselves”, to “Maybe I am well prepared and ready for them”. We can start moving forward with our eyes open; to push the boundaries and experience toward a more thriving and fulfilling life.

When we put our bones and muscles under mild stress, they grow. When our immune system faces challenges, it becomes resilient. And when we face difficulties in life, we can approach them with the same principle; your struggles develop your strengths. One day, some of your greatest pains become your greatest strengths.

Strength does not come from physical capacity, it comes from indomitable will.– Mahatma Gandhi

Training enhances your “grit”. Grit is having the courage to do the right things and standing by, no matter what the obstacles are, regardless of the popularity or consequences, because you know it’s worth it. Grit is the passion, perseverance, focus, and stamina that we channel, in order to stick with our wishes and goals until they becomes reality.

It’s making your own luck and destiny.

Treat your energy as a precious resource. Look for more effective and efficient way forward. And most importantly, surround yourself with self-actualized people, you will have more of it!

Every moment becomes precious, especially when we convey the love and thoughtfulness of a good heart. Try new things, step out of your comfort zone, take risks, do things in ways you’ve never done before.

Are you ready?

Sije Yuka Yoshioka

Reopening In-Person WingChun Classes from 10/10 Saturday

I sincerely wish all is well with you. I am very pleased to announce you that we are reopening in-studio class starting from October 10th, Saturday at 11:30am -12pm at the Berkeley location. It’s been almost 7 months since the first shelter-in-place order was placed. First, it’s supposed to be only for 3 weeks, then indefinitely for such a long time.

On the top of the Covid-19 outbreak, ongoing wildfires, and heavy smoke covered up the Bay Area, most of you have probably had a difficulty getting consistent exercise and healthy workout outside. You might even find yourself with less energy to keep focused, motivated, or excited in everyday life.

If you are facing the challenging time, there’s comfort in knowing that everything is temporary. Emotions, thoughts, people and scenery. Do not become attached. just flow with it. Everything is bound to end.

Remember that; Everything heals. Your heart heals. The mind heals. Wounds heal. Your happiness is always going to come back. Bad times don’t last.

On the other hand, if you love something, love it completely, cherish it, appreciate it, say it, but most importantly, show it to whom you care and to whom you love. Life is finite and fragile. Never take that for granted. Everything is bound to end.

In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” 

WingChun Training Options

We are resuming in-person class from 10/10 Saturday at 11am-12:30pm. And going back to the regular schedule following weeks Tuesday & Thursday at 7:30-9pm. We would like to limit the attendance of the classes small and provide you more detail focused instructions on the techniques.

If you feel more comfortable with private 1-on-1 for the time being, or have challenges to adjust the schedule for the classes, we can arrange the private lessons with you.

In addition, those who have been in active membership anytime from April through September 2020, although haven’t had a chance to take advantage of it, we are planning to compensate you as roll-over-tuition credits or non-expiring private lesson credits. I will discuss the options with each of you, in separate communications.

In order to schedule the private lesson, you can initiate the process through the link below, or send me message through

 Schedule Private Lesson

The studio has been kept extremely clean with our mopping robots and a new air purifier. More training equipment has been installed. AQI monitor in studio, showed 12, when smoke hit hard on the Bay Area again, outside is over 160!

Additionally, we will be continuously streaming the WingChun Zoom Classes at the same schedule along with the regular classes (per request). If you are still not comfortable with in-person training or temporarily relocated to far from the studio, and yet wishing to participate in the training, please let us know.

Many Gratitude

I sincerely appreciate many of you who are reaching out to me for supports, offering helps, participating in the lessons at Zoom classes, past few months.

As a practitioner, isolation is the time when we thrive. Take this opportunity, to transform from who you are to who you can be. Transformation is an essential process as life happens.

Stay healthy and tough up inside and outside.

Tough time can also be a moment of growth.

Are you ready?

With Love and Respect,

Sije Yuka Yoshioka

Quality and Quantity

In order to achieve victory, you must place yourself in your opponent’s skin. If you don’t understand yourself, you will lose one hundred percent of the time. If you understand yourself, you will win fifty percent of the time. If you understand yourself and your opponent, you will win one hundred percent of the time” -Tsutomu Oshima

How to practice in solo?

Remember, the key to greatness lies in solo training.  This is how you build yourself up to mastery.  Step by step, session by session, day by day.  As we practice social distance, we may not be able to meet our training partners and instructors in person, however, your practice will never be cancelled.

The only way to go from average martial artists to outstanding is to train more. Not only repeating the same sequences, find logic behind the techniques. Not only doing your best each time, aim to do better. Focus on yourself during the practice, empty your mind, feel the silence and absorb your mind as is. It’s a moving meditation, as well.

WingChun Forms: Siu Nim Tao and Tsum Kiu

Forms are one of the great ways to practice for stronger foundations of WingChun. The first form of WingChun is called Siu Nim Tao (小念頭) -translated as “Small Intention”. In this form, we focus on one technique at a time, while standing still in Jing San Ma (正身馬). We may learn to generate power through bio-mechanics of arm movements associated with engaging many other parts of the body.

Tsum Kiu (尋橋) is the second form of WingChun -translated as “Seeking Bridge”. It consists of a variety of techniques and movements designed to coordinate your entire body in stance, footwork, and steps.

For each technique in a form sequence, there are meaning, name, action, and function. Every technique has a name, although please don’t be too obsessed about the exact pronunciation or spelling. Knowing the translation gives you a clue to its use. Find their definitions: by a start, spring, and finish lines and transitions to the next sequences -in other words, clarifying the process of preparation, execution, and completion.

Finally, we need to understand how each technique applies to self-defense.

1) What part of the body you are protecting?

2) What is your striking surface?

3) Where is the opponent and what is your target?

If it’s your first time practicing the form, this is absolutely ok to forget about some of the above criteria. Eventually, it will all come to you. Start from synchronizing or mirroring your instructors, senior students, fellow students. Repeat many times to acquire the motions into your muscle memory. Remember to enjoy the motions, appreciate and respect your time and health for being able to practice WingChun, it’s a privilege.

WingChun Form Practice Supplements

For the time being, in order to overcome the difficult time, we generated simple video clips of forms -both Siu Nim Tao and Tsum Kiu for your training aids. It is more appropriate for all of us to practice together in the studio with proper feedback and energy. Although, we considered that it’s more important for everyone to keep up with practice and moving forward. We hope it helps. Please find the links below.

Siu Nim Tao

Tsum Kiu

In addition, we are currently streaming the WingChun Zoom Classes at the same schedule as the regular classes. We already sent the invitations to all the members of WingChun Berkeley. If you missed invitations or find somebody who might be interested in joining us, please feel free to send me a message at

Many Gratitude

I sincerely appreciate many of you who are reaching out to me for supports, offering helps, participating in the lessons at Zoom class, past few days. It’s truly heartwarming and encouraging for me, and remind me of the goodness in human nature, and how awesome our WingChun Berkeley groups is.

If you concentrate on finding whatever is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul.

With a lot of Love,

Sije Yuka Yoshioka

Will be back open April 7th.

Due to the Bay Area mandated quarantine, WingChun Berkeley is closing its doors until April 7th or until the shelter-in-place is lifted. Monday’s announcement leads us working on bringing you online contents, home training gigs, solo practices, etc. Just like you, we are still figuring out how to best navigate through all of this new situations. If you have any requests, suggestions, feedback, questions, or concerns, please message us through

We know that WingChun is not only for self-defense against the physical danger, also for the health benefits, core strength buildings, and stress reliefs. We want to stay connected with you and be the support to our WingChun community during this time of retreat. Please keep eyes on our website, newsletter, for updates coming soon.

If you are able to support us during this challenging time, it would mean a great deal to us if you can keep your membership active. We are very local small business, and we need your help in staying flourish. In order to compensate the class closures, all March-April 2020 regular members gets 1 credit of Private Lesson (1 hour) with me and we can schedule it individually when we re-open. Please remember to claim it.

We also understand that some of you are financially impacted by the quarantine. If you’d like to pause your membership, please feel free to email me at and I’ll take care of it for you.

If you would like to extend the support WingChun Berkeley during the closure, we invite you to purchase drop-in class credits and/or private lesson credits for use starting in April. They never expire, and are a great way to upgrade your training after the veil of the COVID-19. We will be eternally grateful for your support.

We wish you all health, peace of mind, and wellness and look forward to training with you again soon.

Don’t hope that events will turn out the way you want, welcome events in whichever way they happen: this is the path to peace.” Epicetus

With a Lot of Love.

Sije Yuka Yoshioka