Rolf Clausnitzer

Wing Chun Memories...

Interview conducted by David Peterson


"The following interview was conducted by David Peterson, Melbourne-based Wing Chun instructor, with his friend of many years, Rolf Clausnitzer, author of what is arguably the first ever English language book written & published on this popular system. Rolf, now living in Perth, Western Australia, was born in 1941 of a Japanese mother and a German father in Shenyang (Mukden) in what was then known as Manchuria, and spent most of his childhood in Shenyang, Tianjin (Tientsin) and Shanghai, before he moved with his family to Hong Kong in 1954. In this interview, conducted a few short years ago, Rolf recounts his earliest memories of the Wing Chun system and some of its most famous practitioners, specifically his meeting with the young Bruce Lee and the patriarch of Wing Chun, Yip Man. Rolf also sets the record straight on Lee's now famous high school boxing match, the first time an accurate account from an eyewitness has ever been reported."

What I have learnt through "Beimo"
by Sifu Wong Shun Leung

The following article is a personal account of what the late Wing Chun master, sifu Wong Shun Leung felt were the main lessons he had learnt about combat through his experiences of “beimo” or skill comparison, a somewhat subtle way of naming the many full-on fights he had with practitioners of literally dozens of Chinese and other fighting systems during his forty plus years as a Wing Chun devotee. The “beimo” is a long established tradition in the Chinese martial arts and in the Hong Kong of the 1950′s and 1960′s, one name shone out like a beacon when “beimo” was the topic of discussion. That name was Wong Shun Leung, student of Wing Chun patriarch Yip Man, classmate and trainer of Bruce Lee, and the man who became known in martial art circles as “Gong Sau Wong”, the “King of Talking with the Hands”. During these celebrated “contests”, which took place on rooftops, in back alleys, behind closed doors, in the countryside and anywhere else that was found to be convenient, sifu Wong is said to have never lost a fight, and most witnesses claim that the majority of exchanges took no more than three techniques to determine his victory.

Wing Chun Perth

Personal Protection (Part 1)

​by Andrew Williams, Rolf Clausnitzer & David Peterson

Wing Chun is a major Chinese martial art or system that is unparalleled in its suitability for today’s urban environment. It is radically different in its general approach from that of most traditional martial arts, as it is not reliant on strength, balletic poise, acrobatic movements, or a complexity of often flamboyant techniques. Instead of being technique oriented and requiring students to learn by rote an endless variety of movements (which often result in a mental “log jam” in real life situations), Wing Chun is based on a clear understanding of fighting concepts and strategies, expressed via a minimal number of techniques which meet the basic criteria of simplicity, directness and efficiency.

Personal Protection (Part 2)
by Andrew Williams, Rolf Clausnitzer  & David Peterson

At the core of any good personal protection system are one or two techniques, at most a handful, honed and developed using the principles of simplicity, directness and efficiency. Given the opportunity, these techniques should be applied with the intention of being first, being fast and being ferocious.
Be honest and ask yourself if your system fits these criteria, and if it doesn’t, then maybe it’s time to reassess your approach to Personal Protection

Personal Protection (Part 3)
by Andrew Williams, Rolf Clausnitzer  & David Peterson

The methodology of Fear Control which is presented below is based on experience and research, and we would encourage the reader to research their own experience, and that of their peers, openly and honestly. Central to any discussion of the response to a perceived threat is to understand the physiological responses that the body has when a potential menace is recognised. One of the first things to realise is that your thinking stimulates the physiological reaction, and that it is your own thinking which can therefore control and harness this response. “Fear is in the mind of the beholder.”

Rescuing Wing Chun from Fundamentalism

​  An afterword by Rolf Clausnitzer in the the book

"Look beyond the pointing finger. The combat philosophy of Wong Shun Leung by David Peterson.

When David Peterson asked me to write an afterword to his much awaited book, I felt thrilled, honoured, and appreciative. As I began to write, feelings of sadness form…but they invariably give way to feelings of inspiration and gratitude, when I reflect on the difference that Wong Sifu has made to my life and that of countless others. To my mind, whilst he blazed a trail of Wing Chun with his legendary combat skills, Wong Shun Leung was more concerned with pointing his students in the direction of their own deeper wisdom, urging them to reflect on and test what they were learning, rather than expect anything blindly. Not all his students listened, but those who did were able to experience their own insights, not only about combat, but about life in general.

Wing Chun the Wong Way

(Taken from Blitz Magazine November 2012 issue)

The world of martial arts has thrown us a variety of characters throughout the years. Among the sea of tough guys and hard nuts, it’s easy to forget about the quiet and unassuming individuals who continue to strive to spread and develop their respective systems, day in, day out. You could say Western Australia’s Rolf Clausnitzer is one of those guys. Looking more like a school teacher rather than an instructor of martial arts, the Hong Kong born ‘kung fu tragic’ is a prime example that you shouldn’t judge a fighter by the kindness in his face. Introduced to the art by Bruce Lee himself, Clausnitzer is today one of the country’s most respected and experienced instructors of Wing Chun. He teachers at the Wing Chun Kuen Academy of Western Australia in Morley, Perth, continuing what he describes as his lifelong love – the Chinese combat art as taught by Ip Man’s student and Bruce Lee’s senior, Wong Shun Leung.

From Boxing to Wing Chun

(Interview by Maurizio Petri - 2013)

​Ving Tsun has definitely played a big role in the development of my boxing abilities. It has helped me to enhance my physical expression. In the ring, the concepts are similar. As Wong Shun Leung says “Ving Tsun is a science of combat, the intent is the total incapacitation of an opponent”. After my first loss on a points decision, I have since adopted this philosophy of aiming to finish my opponent and not to leave the decision up to the judges again.

How good is your Wing Chun?

(By Rolf Clausnitzer)

Before you attempt to answer the question above, I should like to explain exactly what I mean by the question. Proficiently, Wing Chun can be measured in numerous ways, e.g. correct performance of the Siu Lim Tao and other forms, skill at Chi Sao, proper coordination, timing and power in attacking the dummy, speedy and evasive footwork, sound intellectual understanding of the theories and principles of Wing Chun, etc. My question, however, is confined to your practical fighting ability. To me that is the ultimate test of any and every martial art.