Open-Mat Saturday

'Open Mat Saturday' is an opportunity for Houston area martial artists to get together and practice, exchange ideas, compare skills, and make friends. We have wall to wall mats (yes, the thick kind). It happens every Saturday from 3-5 pm - unless not enough people RSVP. It's free, and there are only two requirements: (1) you need to RSVP online through our Meetup, and (2) you need to respect each other and our school.

If you agree to these requirements, you are welcome to stop by and say hi, train with us or your friends, or meet new people from other systems/styles to train with, if you like.

Breaking Old Barriers

Here at the Backyard, we don't like to isolate ourselves. Wing Tsun/Wing Chun is supposed to be the original "style of no style" from where Bruce Lee drew the inspiration for his Jeet Kune Do. Sadly, some people (students and instructors alike) have turned it into an article of faith of sorts. Students are supposed to believe that wing chun in general (or your brand of wing chun/wing tsun/ving tsun) is "the best" or "better than anything else."

In my honest opinion, that mindset creates a lame form of sectarianism that isolates wing chun practitioners from each other and from the rest of the martial arts world out there. I think that's as unfortunate as it is counterproductive. Open Mat Saturday is here to counter this trend and, hopefully, to reverse it.

Inspired by ...

Open Mat Saturday was inspired by Cindy Loo, the owner of Gulf Coast Combined Martial Arts (CMA) and by Will Wu, a student of my Wing Tsun "younger uncle" (Si-Sook), Sifu Law Choi, who teaches Leung Ting style Wing Tsun at Gulf Coast CMA. They were gracious enough to invite me to their events when they started, and  I have helped them advertise their open mat events for about a year or so through our Backyard Wing Tsun Meetup until I opened my own commercial school. Now I am carrying that tradition on here at the Backyard, and I'm returning the favor.

It's amazing what can happen when people just back off and relax a bit and start working with each other instead of against each other. I am a firm believer in that, and Open Mat Saturday at Houston's Backyard Wing Tsun Kung Fu is here to make a start in that direction.

What You Need to Do:

To join us, please join our free Backyard Meetup and RSVP for one of the next open mat Saturday events. Please understand that the school will not be open unless at least three non-Backyard students RSVP through the Meetup by 9 pm of the preceding Friday. If you simply show up at the door, you may luck out, but you also may find it closed. We can't afford to sit there and wait to see if someone shows up. To make sure Open Mat Saturday will happen, simply join the Meetup (yes, it's free and there are no obligations), RSVP, and check after 9 pm on the Friday before your chosen date if there will be enough people present. Thanks for understanding!


Alex Wallenwein