My Way of Wing Chun

The Learning Curve

Tag Archives: Wing Chun

Summary of Siu Lim Tao Movement Sequence

Summary of Siu Lim Tao movement sequence. The table summarizes Siu Lim Tao movement sequence for all three sections (for both hands). Each movement spelled in Simplified Chinese with Cantonese pronunciation and English translation. Please keep in mind that the movement sequence might be different from lineage to lineage.

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An Interview With Grandmaster Yip Man from 1972

If you are a beginner when it comes to fighting, that concept itself for you is likely no more than throwing a punch here or giving off a kick there. However, if you manage to have someone who cares to explain to you the essence of Wing Chun, it is highly likely that within 5 minutes, you’ll learn about the unique way in which a Wing Chun practitioner pushes enemies back. You will also learn about the standards used in Chi Sao (“sticking hands”), and the secret behind defeating enemies using the shortest path and the fastest of speed.

That is what Wing Chun is all about- using simple, practical moves to defeat enemies. Over a mere 23 years, the aging Master Yip Man has made Wing Chun hugely popular in Hong Kong, and has recruited many enthusiasts under his wing. Surely there’s ample reason behind the popularity of the sport and the diligence of many of his students.

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Choose Your School Wisely

In this post I am not going to tell you what are the good things you should look for when choosing a school/Sifu. Instead, I want to tell you about potential “smells” that you should be aware of when signing up. One of the reasons why I decided to write this post, is the fact that in this day and age, the world of Wing Chun (in fact, the world of any other sport) is a very commercial environment. Some Wing Chun schools can really go the distance in their efforts to milk extra $$$ from students.

I have visited quite a number of Wing Chun schools and did a lot of digging and reading around. This process can be daunting and time consuming sometimes. For a young Wing Chun practitioner, it can be hard to see the bigger picture immediately without doing preliminary research,  I hope the current post can save you a little bit of time by shedding some light on how some Wing Chun schools operate today.

The “smells” that I mentioned earlier (or the warning signs in other words), might help you to identify whether the school you chose is a money trap. Please keep in mind, that the following is my personal and subjective opinion and you do not have to agree with me.

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What It Really Takes to Become Good In Wing Chun?

Lets not worry for the moment what “good” actually means…

The short answer is – practice. Yep that’s right. Good old practice and many many repetitions. I think, many people these days obsessed a little bit too much in their search for the most experienced and the most credible Sifu. Sifu that can prove the purity of his lineage, tracing back directly to Yip Man.

IMHO, no Sifu, not even Yip Man him self can help you if you do not practice. This applies to everyone without exclusions. There is no magic wand, shortcuts or secret behind door techniques – just practice, practice and again practice. Yip Man himself can be teaching you but, if you do not practice diligently, then the time spent will not yield any results.

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Moving Away from “Traditional” Wing Chun

In About page I have mentioned that I have spent several months (six to be more accurate) in one of the Australian Wing Chun schools, that follows W. Cheung (WC hereafter) lineage, and teaches the so-called Traditional Wing Chun (TWC). After the six months of training, when my subscription at the school has ended, I decided to move on. In the following text, I explain my reason for the departure from WC’s school.

The main reason for my move were the high fees. When I decided to undertake Wing Chun training, I chose the school of WC because I got influenced by the marketing – direct disciple of Ip Man and the man who trained Bruce Lee. I thought: I cant really go wrong with this, so long story short – I signed up. I remember my first time when I met WC and shook his hand I thought: “Ooh wow, I actually met the world known grandmaster, direct disciple of Ip Man”.

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How and Why I Decided to Study Wing Chun

I was longing to study Chinese Martial Arts since I was a kid. Originally, I come from Eastern Europe, and we as kids, were greatly influenced by old Chinese martial arts movies about Shaolin temple and of course Bruce Lee.

Is it enough wanting to study martial arts because of some movies? I guess not. But during that time as a kid, I knew only one thing – it looks cool, it is highly efficient and I want to do it.

As I grew older, I learned to respect not only the fact that its “looks cool”, but I also started to see the philosophical side of things. The importance of body and mind connection. It was not just about looking cool anymore, I started to recognize the efforts needed to master a style or at least to become comfortable enough in it and concepts one learns along the learning way. Some of the things that impressed me is the amazing control over the body one has, the discipline and the dedication.

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Notes on Hard/Soft Hawkins Cheung Wing Chun

I am a student of Hawkins Cheung, and as this is a forum on my sifu’s site. I have some thoughts on his teachings that may be of interest to some of you. I have been with Sifu for 14 years, and he has been a great influence on me. I enjoy sharing dialogue with others that are on a true path. Here are some thoughts on the “hard way” and the “soft way” in Sifu Hawkins Cheung’s system:To consider the whole of Wing Chun, beyond the various techniques, we must look at the two sides of the W.C. character; the “hard” and the “soft”. The yin-yang, the black-white, sun-moon, etc. . . characters of the system.

From the waist up, most W.C. practitioners are relatively the same. The elbows are in more with one system than another, or leg positioning changes slightly, but basically the tan sao is the tan sao, the lop is the lop, and the bong is the bong. However, how we apply them is important to understand. Why? Because if we are not trying to understand how to apply our art more and more, we are just spinning our wheels.

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What I Have Learned Through “Beimo”

The great master Wong Shun Leung fought anyone, anywhere to prove the validity of his Wing Chun techniques.

The following article is a personal account of what Wing Chun master, sifu Wong Shun Leung feels, are the main lessons he has learned about combat through his experiences of “beimo” or skill comparison, a somewhat subtle way of naming the many full-on fights he had with practitioners of literally dozens of Chinese and other fighting systems during his 40plus years as a Wing Chun devotee.

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Bruce’s Classical Mess

Bruce’s sudden death left behind a classical mess. We can’t deny the impact that Bruce had. Eighteen years since Bruce’s passing, and hundreds of martial artists are still trying to copy Bruce’s movements, punches and kicks. Some learn wing chun simply because wing chun was his mother system. There are now many jeet kune do instructors teaching “his methods.” Eighteen years and many are teaching jeet kune do, but many still don’t know what jeet kune do is, Many of these so called instructors make their art mimic Bruce’s movements. Some instructors have nothing to do with Bruce, but try to relate their teachings to him.

Some of Bruce’s first-generation students came to study from me when I first immigrated here. When I told Bruce of my intent to immigrate to the U.S. before his death, Bruce thought it would be great to have me help out his students, but whether they came to learn or not was another thing.

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Bruce Lee’s Mother Art

To understand Bruce and his martial art, you have to look at his mother art, wing chun. Wing chun in the 1950s was a popular fighting system because of its reputation in challenge fights with other gung-fu Systems. Wing chun was noted for its simple, direct, economical movement and non-classical style.

Many joined and wanted to learn how to fight. Because of the reputation of wing chun, Bruce and I joined. The thing about wing chun is once you start the first form, you feel frustrated. We questioned, “Why do we have to learn this? How can you fight like this?” Everyone wanted to learn the siu nim tao quickly, so they could move onto the sticking hands exercise. The dan chi sao (single sticking hand) exercise was no fun, so the younger students wanted to get through that even quicker. When you finally learned the double sticking hands exercise, we felt excited and thought, “I can fight now! I know wing chun now!” We liked to copy the seniors. If you could land a punch on your opponent, you felt very excited. “I can beat him now,” was our first thought. So everyone wanted to beat his partner first so he could be the top dog.

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