The School Of Wing Chun Kuen
What makes 'The School Of Wing Chun Kuen' traditional?
We try to follow the Hong Kong syllabus as taught by the many schools in Hong Kong who try to teach the authentic Yip Man method. Though Yip Man is the only person that taught the Yip Man way; but we aim to maintain the authentic structure. We do not add circuit training, grappling, drills, repetitions or influence from any other martial art. This is the only way I was taught and the only way I teach my students.
What is Chi Sau?
Chi Sau means ‘Sticking Hands’. It involves moving in at close range and making close contact with your opponent to the point when you bridge and stick arms. It can be considered a cross between a game of chess and sparring. Each practitioner attempts to sense the others movement, learning to anticipate their strikes enabling yourself to remain in defence but also create openings to which you can move forward and strike through. Chi Sau is further enhanced by the use of footwork to move around your opponent, moving around a strike and moving in to strike.
Does the school practice Chi Sau?
Chi Sau is a core part of Wing Chun practice. Wing Chun is not Wing Chun without Chi Sau; as tea is not tea without water. Chi Sau is spontaneous and unrehearsed, the same as any real fighting situation. A Wing Chun practitioner’s skill is judged by his ability to apply techniques in (real time) Chi Sau practice, when under pressure from an unwilling partner. Practising individual techniques in isolation does nothing for sensitivity, reflex, response, timing and accuracy which is the core purpose of Chi Sau. In Chi Sau there is no taking it in turns to receive or throw strikes. Chi Sau can break out into a fight but in reality it is the bridge between practise and fighting, not only that it teaches you to engage an unwilling partner and helps build confidence.
Do you practice drills?
Students are taught traditional exercises at the beginning to build sensitivity (response), coordination, structure and timing. We do not teach army style, regimented drills. Student's practise exercises throughout their learning but are then encouraged to apply them spontaneously in their Chi Sau practise.
How long does a beginner do the exercises?
The general rule of thumb is 1 exercise per lesson. After 5 or so lessons they are taught to roll and Chi Sau. They are then expected to think independently and transfer the techniques into spontaneous Chi Sau practise, attempting to apply techniques on someone who doesn't want you to do so but who is also wanting apply techniques on you. That is the only way a person can gauge timing and respond accordingly under pressure.
Why do you not do drills long term?
Drills practised over a long period become rehearsed and monotonous. Repetition makes muscles become tighter, rigid, robotic, losing free movement, becoming heavy and predictable. Practising a movement for a minute or two and then applying it in Chi Sau is perfectly okay... But drills are impossible to practise on an unwilling partner. No fighter or attacker will wait for you to do something and watch you while you do it... This goes against the intuitive, spontaneous and problem solving nature of Wing Chun. Chi Sau is a strategic form of sparring that requires a solution orientated and unrestricted mind.
Do you do grading and how much are they?
I do not do grading as such, I practise with my students regularly and each student is assessed constantly and feedback is given as and when required. There is an exam after completion of each form which includes a short written paper assessing the theory and a practical test to assess the student’s skill. This is conducted within the lesson and costs nothing extra.
How many forms there there?
There are 6 forms in the Yip Man system, each can be considered a level and each taught after the completion of the previous.