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BRETT MACNEIL, 46

 

Account representative with 3M Automotive Aftermarket Division, Wing Chun Do ITT instructor,

Winnipeg Rifles junior football team running backs coach

 

ACCOMPLISHMENTS: While playing 10 Canadian Football League seasons as an offensive lineman for the Winnipeg Bombers, Brett MacNeil learned a few things about pushing forward to achieve a goal and protecting what's important. MacNeil had been a follower for many years of martial artist Bruce Lee's career and teachings -- he began training at age 15 in Ottawa in Wing Chun Do. It is a martial-arts system founded and developed by Grand Master Sijo James W. DeMile, who was an original student of Bruce Lee beginning in 1959 in Seattle.

 

After MacNeil retired as a CFL player, he became an instructor under Sigung Rocco Ambrose, the Wing Chun Do inheritor. For the past 10 years, MacNeil has been teaching Wing Chun Do at the University of Winnipeg, including to football players to help with their co-ordination and footwork. MacNeil, who retired from the CFL in 2003, was inducted into the Winnipeg Football Club Hall of Fame in 2006. Football has continued to be an important part of his life as MacNeil coached the offensive line for the University of Manitoba Bisons from 2002 to 2008, including the 2007 Vanier Cup champion team. This year, he will coach the running backs for a second straight season with the Winnipeg Rifles of the Prairie Football Conference.

MacNeil said Wing Chun Do techniques helped him during his playing career with his hand speed and angles in football, but anyone with any body type can participate in it for defence or fitness.

"We use natural techniques that can be used by the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker, any body shape any age," said MacNeil, who has a black and red belt in Wing Chung Do. "The system isn't dependent on being an athlete, bodybuilder or powerlifter. Anyone can use Wing Chun Do effectively because it maximizes all of your core muscle potential and focuses it. Everything we do is done from a relaxed body state."

He said 11 pounds of pressure with a focused Wing Chun Do strike can knock out an average adult male.

To train with MacNeil, email macneilwcd@hotmail.com.

 

What is your favourite workout?

 

Wing Chun Do drills and heavy-bag punching.

 

What is your favourite workout song?

 

The Heretic Anthem by Slipknot and Voodoo Child (Slight Return) by Jimi Hendrix.

 

Fitness tip?

 

"Finish Strong" is my motivational coaching point for any repetitive drill or sports play: Your last rep has to be as strong or even stronger than your first rep.

 

What is in your fridge?

 

Soy milk. It contains no cholesterol and is low in sugar, high in protein and calcium and has no trans fats.

 

What is your guilty pleasure?

 

Pizza. I like pizza from Winnipeg-based businesses like Santa Lucia, Chicken Delight, Pizza Hotline and my wife's homemade pizza.

ashley.prest@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 28, 2014 D16

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