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Martial arts displayed during APAHM

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Sifu Stanley Jue instructs Capt. Brandy Wade during a martial arts demonstration and class at the Hanscom Sports and Fitness Center May 8 as part of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Wing Chun is a unique and effective martial art that was originally developed for women to compete against larger and stronger competitors. (U.S. Air Force photo by Rick Berry

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Sifu Stanley Jue instructs Capt. Brandy Wade during a martial arts demonstration and class at the Hanscom Sports and Fitness Center May 8 as part of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Wing Chun is a unique and effective martial art that was originally developed for women to compete against larger and stronger competitors. (U.S. Air Force photo by Rick Berry)

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and several events will help celebrate the culture of Asians and Pacific Islanders. The theme this year is "Building Leadership: Embracing Cultural Values and Inclusion."

A martial arts day recently at the Hanscom Fitness Center allowed base personnel to experience martial arts first-hand. Sifu Stanley Jue and his two students, Matt Gregory and Lisa Bernazani, from the Wing Chun Kung Fu Academy in Boston demonstrated the art of Wing Chun and allowed base personnel to actively participate.

Wing Chun is a unique and effective martial art and the only one that has been created and made famous by a woman. Ng Mui, the Shaolin nun who developed the system, realized that most of the techniques in Shaolin Kung Fu were useless for a small woman to use against a larger, stronger man. She also realized that a woman could not match a man's stamina in a long fight. With this in mind, she developed a system of fighting that enabled a smaller, weaker person such as herself to compete with a bigger, stronger person within a few seconds.

Almost three hundred years later, as Asian martial arts began to spread to the West, Wing Chun became famous in America. Its popularity continues to grow as increasing numbers of students are drawn by its simplicity and effectiveness.

While most other styles rely on windup to generate striking force, Wing Chun uses the structure of the entire body to create power in a small space. Wing Chun's famous "one-inch punch" is a testament to its striking power. Because
proper positioning will overcome sheer strength, much of a Wing Chun student's time is spent training his or her body to move precisely and efficiently. Wing Chun uses Chi Sao, or sticking hands, training to develop this precision and economy of motion.

"Every day, we see each other and return to our respective homes, carrying on each individual's traditions and values behind closed doors," said 1st Lt. Cadman Lau, Cyber C2 systems engineer. "Events like these enable the entire community to experience diversity and perspectives that are different than our own. Furthermore, it fosters mutual respect and challenges stereotypical misconceptions."

Many events to celebrate APAHM are still to come throughout May.

May 16: Asian Pacific food sampling and martial arts demonstration at the base chapel from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

May 22: Capstone luncheon, featuring guest speaker Robert T-I Shin, Head of Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance, and Tactical Systems Division, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Minuteman Commons.

May 30: Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War, a drama about the fate of brothers forced to fight in the Korean War is scheduled to show at the base theatre.