Damian Rainer is a Wing Chun practitioner, instructor and co-owner of the Adelaide Wing Chun Academy (co-owned with Tony Psaila).
Damian began training Wing Chun in 1998 at Jim Fung’s International Wing Chun Academy in Sydney. The early years of training were under Mark Spence and then onto Sifu Jim Fung. In 2001 he started working for the IWCA and relocated to Queensland as Assistant State Manager. In 2003 Damian moved to Adelaide as the South Australian State Manager, where he was responsible for all operations of the academy and teaching/training programmes that the academy delivered, including full-time accredited courses to Australian and International students in Sport Coaching, and external workshops in Wing Chun and self-defence to schools, business and community organisations. In Adelaide, steeped in Wing Chun history and knowledge, Damian further developed his Wing Chun under Albert Chong, built upon his skill sets as a teacher, and had the opportunity of Hong Kong trips to train with Chu Shong Tin. In 2013 Damian was recognised with the Hong Kong VTAA, and the same year as the IWCA closed its doors in Adelaide, Damian and Tony set up the Adelaide Wing Chun Academy, where he currently trains, explores and passes on Wing Chun.
At the conference Damian will be focusing on ideas and dynamic concepts from Chum Kiu. The relationship we have with our centre, balance, connection, arm work and mobility.
Q&A with Damian
How does wing chun integrate with your daily life? What principles or movements of wing chun do you notice permeating your everyday?
Wing Chun permeating through “every part of life” is how this system grows and develops within the practitioner. The way that this lineage of wing chun focuses on building structure of the body and the mind, brings internal observation that leads to constant experimentation with how we use our mind through our body in everyday life, once this has developed within ourselves, it’s always present.
How has training changed for you over the last 2 years?
Change for me comes in small doses, it’s about exploring concepts, ideas to ponder on, experiment and play with. Training is divided between home where I work on ideas and the club training floor, where I’ll put them into practice and get live feedback. Forms and Dummy get a lot of attention most days, the dummy being a great “solo training tool” for developing ideas.
Any tips for training alone, or any favourite solo exercises?
For me “solo training” has always been an important part of training. It gives light to the things that you need to work out on your own, bringing a lot of self discovery. I think the advice I can offer here is about motivation and planning. Having a plan helps you have a direction to set off on. It makes efficient use of your time, you can monitor what you are doing,, it brings motivation and clarity, in turn you find more areas to turn your attention to. Start by writing out the areas of focus, (ie; forms, striking, mobility, coordination, drills ect…) then recollect classroom instruction for exercises, map them out into a “dedicated time you’ve set aside for training”, this is a starting point, make a small plan and everything will expand from there.
What is one thing a martial arts teacher or fellow student has said that you’ve never forgotten?
“Point every cell in your body” – Mark Allinson, there is a lot of conceptual weight in that statement.
If you had to recommend a book, an album, or a movie for everyone to check out, what would it be? (Doesn’t have to be martial arts related)
I’m a guitarist and listen to a lot of guitar focused music across genres, a lot of session players. This guy kills it, with his funk blues!
Instrumental New Orleans funk, blues, with horns and dirty guitar lines.
Thanks Damian! We look forward to seeing you in action at this year’s conference.