Tony Plasse: Becoming an Orange

Here on Tony Plasse: Becoming an Orange I explain my story but first, some history. Wing Chun a southern Chinese martial art mentioned during the period of the Red Boat Opera in the Late 1800s. Developed by southern Shaolin monks to help combat the Manchurians. It is influenced by other Fujian martial arts that preferred short steps and close fighting, with arms placed close to the chest and elbows close to the flanks offering protection. A simple boxing form quickly mastered by dedicated practitioners.

Two key figures keeping Wing Chun system alive after the burning of southern temples were Yat Chum Dai Si, 22nd generation Siu Lam Grandmaster monk, and Cheung Ng, also known as Tan Sao Ng within the opera. It was taught to other rebels taking refuge with the opera. From there it spread along the coast and rivers of south-eastern China by people who lived by and on the water. The Shaolin nun myth was most likely created to protect the identities of the creators and perpetrators of the Wing Chun system. Wing Chun translates to Spring Chant or Spring Praise.

Tony Plasse: Becoming an Orange

I remember my first introduction to Wing Chun Kung Fu was an Ip Man movie three years ago. Did not know much about it, but the movie inspired me to research it. I liked the theory behind and thought it would be more practical for myself. High flying kicks, although cool looking, are not my style. When I finally had the opportunity to attend a class near my house I thought to myself, “this is great”.

My Reaction

I have spent the last year training with Sihing Garret and I have noticed improvements in myself. Garret emphasizes physical training at the beginning of each class. I have improved muscle tone and stamina. Wing Chun techniques taught to me have improved my reflexes much to my surprise. Not just in wrist against wrist but in everyday applications. I react to things such as doors flying at my face. I caught one once with a Jum Sau action. The lady next to me said “Wow! That was like a ninja!”. I also catch the items knocked off shelves with a lot more ease.

My Confidence

Tony-Plasse-Wing Chun Kung Fu Tampa Bay FloridaThe wrist against wrist drill has helped my sensitivity improve into reaction. It has given me more confidence in handling myself. I always knew my normal movements gave me power. But now I am learning to channel that power more efficiently through stance and technique. I am more confident that I’m more prepared for situations when I’m out on the town or at work. I believe there are many applications I could have used previously in my life as a football player. Namely the footwork and center line punch drill. Both would have greatly helped me as an offensive lineman and coach. It also adds to my overall scariness.

My Future

As the days grow closer to my son’s birth, I look forward to sharing Wing Chun with him. I hope he will benefit from Wing Chun training developing skill, balance and confidence. I see Wing Chun as an opportunity to develop father and son bonds.

The instruction and encouragement I receive is outstanding. Sihing Garret and Sifu Och inspire me to dedicate myself and continue training. I hope to be an inspiring instructor one day. I look forward to progressing and to be a good representative of Tampa Bay Wing Chun Kung Fu and Sifu Och Wing Chun.

Jacob Cramer: Orange Sash Pre-Requisite Paper

Where to Begin? Where does one begin divulging the effervescent determination surrounding my growth in Sifu Och Wing Chun? But also the growth in myself.

Jacob Cramer: Orange Sash Pre-Requisite Paper

The Beginning

Ultimately the scrupulous truth would be in my young age of six when I as many martial artist has divulged found my passion for martial arts watching Enter the Dragon featuring Bruce Lee. It was my favorite movie to rewatch and practice the moves of in my mom’s living room. From that moment on I knew I wanted to learn more about Bruce lee but also learn more about martial arts. Growing up we didn’t have much extra money so my passion laid with tutorial videos, school wrestling team, and books explaining how to train and learn new moves or techniques.

Ip Man

Ip Man, Yip Man, Grandmaster Ip Man, Grandmaster Yip ManFast forward to the important part, the year 2009 when the film Ip Man was released in the united states red box system, I was helping my grandpa move when he out of kindness decided to rent a movie for me and my brother. He casually strolls in and I will never forget what he said “you Know you guys have worked real hard and I wanted to show a small gesture of appreciation, I know you both love martial arts so I saw a film on Bruce lee’s master in red box and thought it would be interesting for you to check out.”

Little did I know that night after years of watching, reading, and jumping styles when able I would find my passion. I watched the film and fell in love with the pure flow of combinations, relentless ferocity in each hit and it wasn’t flashy but it was unprecedentedly fast and effective.

I begin with this prelude only to set the proper background for why I study as hard as I do and why I have such an appreciation for every moment I spend learning something in Sifu Och Wing chun.

The Search

In my years of martial arts fanaticism and study I have trained in my styles of course seeing as I have landed in Sifu Och Wing Chun never were for very long. The complete breakdown would be six months of high school wrestling, a month of Muay Thai, a month of Goju-Ru karate, and Six months of Sport Judo. I gained a proper understanding of what most martial arts schools were about because of the many styles that I bounced around in.

The schools primarily focused on the money, they would show you a couple moves leave you on your own and then after a bit would ask if you want to join up. This was an industry standard I did not like, so I often parted ways, if I wasn’t sure I maybe stuck around for a bit to maybe see if I was judging to quickly or harshly. I feel that my jumping styles did in fact help me grow as a martial artist however the training only took me so far and let’s be honest it wasn’t very far at all. I still had nervousness in fighting situations or even in confrontational situations.


Sifu Och Wing Chun has and will always be a blessing to me. It’s not simply a school to learn how to defend yourself, for me it’s so much more. To elaborate in greater detail and analysis it’s a family that helps me when I’m struggling. It’s a support group to help me further grow as a martial artist however the training only took me so far and let’s be honest it wasn’t very far at all. I still had nervousness in fighting situations or even in confrontational situations.

Sifu Och Wing Chun has and will always be a blessing to me, its not simply a school to learn how to defend yourself, for me it’s so much more. To elaborate in greater detail and analysis it’s a family that helps me when I’m struggling. It’s a support group to help me further my physical and mental goals. And it’s also the one place in the world where I feel myself separate from my troubles.

The Training 1

Growth in Wing Chun Kung Fu lakeland FlFirst note I am going to touch on is the benefits of the training I receive from Tampa Wing Chun and Lakeland Wing Chun with my martial arts growth. When I began a little over a year ago I was nervous when entering a physical confrontation, however from the moment I joined (Like literally Day One) I was put into wrist vs wrist. This automatic exposure with the accommodations of the further advanced students I could not only overcome the fear but also conquer it. Now I love sparring and wrist vs wrist.

As a result when situations outside in my daily life seem to be escalating I don’t worry, I am able to keep a level head. This allows for proper understanding of my surroundings and better problem solving analysis. Sifu Och wing chun also gives realistic defense training. Whereas in other schools I have found what felt like rigid motions that are supposed to at some point just become natural. Sifu Och Wing Chun has offered close quartered and naturally fast movements that take your body no time to understand and implement. It may take years to perfect or tweak to get it in the state you most desire. But in the beginning, you already see significant differences.

The Training 2

Second I also found a school that talks to each other. Where older, more intimidating students walk up to the newbies and say hello.Give praise while also offering helpful criticism instead of sink or swim. It’s a place where I feel at home, not judged and where only growth is possible. Growth of the self, growth of the heart, and growth of body and mind. Nowhere I have crossed paths with has ever come within striking range of what is offered.

All of what I wrote hopefully explains why I love what I do at Sifu Och Wing Chun, why I drive 2 and a half hours for private lessons, tests, classes, and get together, and dream of one day offering a place of Sifu Och Wing Chun where I end up when I become Sifu.


2 WEEK FREE TRIAL & Access to our full class schedule

Fill out the form below to get 2 FREE weeks of training at our downtown lakeland facility and access to our full class schedule!

FULL ACCESS to our complete schedule of classes & training sessions!
Learn the ENTIRE System of Ip Man Wing Chun Kung fu, Self Defense, and Close Range Combat!
IN HOUSE training with our instructors ready to help you accomplish your goals!
IN HOUSE Group fitness classes, body weight loss training, and free weight training
DISCOUNTED FAMILY RATES if you decide to sign up for a full time studio membership!
Click to get FREE 2 WEEK TRIAL