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Thaughts on our class.

posted Oct 24, 2011 00:51:55 by ChrisSpears
I joined Mendip Wing Chun Kuen more than three years ago invited by my friend and mentor Steve who i now have the honor of calling Sifu, i have known him for more than a decade now as a selfless honorable man who lives his life by a genuine code of common decency and justice, as a selfless man he would rather i not put him in the spotlight but i think what i have to say is the truth and as such important to air, i am proud to be a part of mendip Wing Chun Kuen and i trust my Sifu- anyway these are my innitial thaughts, how about you?
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32 replies
ScottHutchinson said Oct 24, 2011 23:00:44
As always Chris you hit the nail on the head, as I've said it has taken me some time to find the martial art that was right for me but it has also taken me some time to find someone worthy of the name Sifu. I think I have found that person and that is why I'm in his class and no one elses. The support and instruction I have received have been exemplary.
stevenmaidens said Oct 28, 2011 11:13:26
Thanks guys !! it takes a lot of bottle to stand up and voice opinions such as these.

I will with your help continue to pass on this art in all its grace untill my last breath.

Contrary to the belief of some, Wing Chun is a thinking mans art..There are no secrets, magic scrolls, inner chi breath or anything like that, Its a learning system. Forever learning means just that..

There are no true masters, only those that have mastered the art of staying power. You could say "Master of a life of searching" with eyes to see, ears to hear, sensitivity to feel and a focused mind to know the difference.

I break down drills in order to focus on one thing in particular, as you guys start to learn, i learn. There is no "I am complete" moment...its just not like that. Its a process of constant, polishing, simplifying, doing. Its more of an art that grows as you grow !.

Its not to be seen a chore, its to be seen as a blessing. a routine that makes you hole, fills in the gaps of your soul.

The whole experience is life changing, new friends, family, morals, choices, every single moment of being a part of a club/family should be cherished, for without it,we have nothing, we have the mundane grind of everyday existance.

Look after your Wing Chun and it will look after you.

Look after your Wing Chun brothers and sisters, we are one soul.

Look after your club because it is were your heart resides.

look after your bonding friendship, because when all else fails,

We your family will still be there for you...

ChrisSpears said Oct 30, 2011 19:17:05
Well said my friend, its not the destination its the journey- i have no delusions of grandeur i would like to know the art as best i can- in good company and i know i can do that here. you're right we should take care of one another thats important too from a helping hand to a helping word its all part of the journey.
ChrisSpears said Dec 15, 2011 19:32:02
No one ever said that learning Wing Chun was easy or fast, its all about persistance and the will to learn, Kung Fu is a personal journey in which a person embraces the art making it their own by living and breathing Wing Chun- making it a part of every day life, the best strategy is to train often and train well making sure each drill and structure is as correct as it can be, conferring often with your Sifu to make sure you understand to the best of your ability dont be afraid to ask questions and above all be patient with yourself sometimes progress will seem slow or restrained just remember the old axim "Rome wasnt built in a day" there should never be a rush to become some sort of modern Bruce Lee- Kung Fu is a road not a destination how you travel that road is the important thing.
stevenmaidens said Dec 16, 2011 09:28:26
Well said Fei,
Yes your quite right, it is a journey. Yes there will always be some that cant train as much as they would like..This happens, life just gets in the way. No worries though, youve just got to keep putting one foot in front of the other..

Some even if theyre not able are still with us in spirit..(Scott, im looking at you)

See you in the new year brother!!

Chris I will see you this Sunday, Class then our yearly Xmas mayhem shopping trip....
ChrisSpears said Dec 25, 2011 22:31:38
Its Christmas day and i thaught i would share a couple of Winston Churchill quotes i recently heard that rang true and felt applied to our class:

Out of intense complexities, intense simplicities emerge.
~Winston Churchill 1927~

And on a similar note:

All the greatest things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word- freedom, justice, honour, duty, mercy, hope.
~Winston Chuchill 1947~

MendipWingChunKuen said Dec 28, 2011 17:32:02
Cool Bro, Cool
ChrisSpears said Jan 05, 2012 21:58:55
The greatest chalenges any warrior can face are those that lie within and so it is not pure prowess that i respect- courage comes in all shapes and sizes but all true courage springs from within an individual- it cannot be taught instilled or forced... though it can be nurtured, countless times in history acts of true courage have inspired the few to triumph over the many where one persons inner strength has shined forth- it can be easy to ignore the victory of another or for an inner struggle to go unnoticed even by family member- i try to keep this in mind so that when i do see someone facing these chalenges head on and even emerging triumphant i speak up and let their courage be known i am no stranger to the chalenges from within and in truth neither is anyone else.
ChrisSpears said Jan 24, 2012 22:58:45
The idea of preserving an art is not new- for centuries Kung fu has been preserved not by holding sacred one mans life or teachings but by preserving the core concepts and purpose- contrary to popular belief there is a great deal of difference between these two aproaches, would you rather preserve one individuals interpretation and achievements or preserve the spark of truth that serves as foundation to the art, personaly i feel there is room for respecting tradition and time honored methods as well as the many heros of our art however allowing ourselves to be bound to these is a self limiting and ultimately self defeating.
stevenmaidens said Jan 25, 2012 15:46:05
Fei, So well put.. Its a shame the rest of the worlds WC community are blinded by the must preserve one persons take on the system.

As you quite rightly put it, its the trials and errors of generations of practioners that should be celebrated. The system was designed to adapt and grow, not stagnate. Im not saying we should go down the MMA route, shudder. That would destroy the art completely, what I mean is that the art has to be kept alive and energetic.

Its not about shapes, its about the journey to achieve that said shape. The system is virtually perfect, its the individuals that can and should be adding through their knowledge and skills of the system, better ways to apply it.

There is no more room for lazy bland Gung Fu....the truth will out in the end.
ScottHutchinson said Jan 26, 2012 13:31:03
Is that not especially so of Wing Chun, it is an art/skill that becomes personal to each individual and in this respect no two persons style should be the same. We should all share the underlying principles and structure but should develop them through the medium of our own experience and physiology. The very nature of Wing Chun itself will prevent us from preserving any individuals style of Wing Chun as it is inevitably altered by our own experience of it. Ok I accept that trying to mimics some one else's Wing Chun may not give that person all the fundamentals of the system depending on whether the person they are mimicking has those fundamentals in their style. We all need to learn the underlying structures and techniques of the system first before it inevitably becomes personalized. For me this is the thrill and challenge of this martial art that it is a living breath evolving system. It has not died and become solidified into meaningless forms, more an entertainment than a deadly fighting skill!
ChrisSpears said Jan 26, 2012 22:51:08
Its good to see you back on the forum again brother Scott- i agree we mold the art ourselves due to our physiques psychology and experience though i was mostly refering to following without questioning and taking things on faith rather than on evidence as is common in some schools- for example the forms and applications from the forms can you feel it work does your teacher explain why it is the way it is or do they simply make an educated guess as to its application? its important to know wether what is being taught is actually accurate in so far as its original intent is concerned, of course the goal is to defeat the opponent as quickly and as efficiently as possible- is this the premise on which drills are trained or is there much chasing hands and playing "patticake" combat rather than simply seeking a direct and safe route to victory? I know that we train well because i can feel applications work i ask questions so i know if they can be answered (as well as for my own information) when i train with my sifu in a non compliant drill i can see he is using exactly the same techniques and applying them the way he has taught them and crucially they work when i get it wrong and not when i get it right, our training is dynamic and energised so i know its the real deal.
I do worry that Kung fu is being dumbed down for the masses but not within WSL VT where i believe the art is being preserved by honoring its true intent, like you Scott i relish the challenge and the thrill of learning the living art it should never be a series of meaningless drills mis-interpreted concepts and dreary patticake chi-sao it doesnt float my boat, i am here to learn the living breathing evolving art that i had always admired, its a journey and not a destination thats why in truth no one can lay claim to mastery one can teach and one can learn but no one can ever master the art that would mean they reached a destination on an eternal road- a road without end, i love it- i have seen it change lives give purpose and catalyse peoples sense of self for the better thats why its important that we preserve its spirit properly.
ScottHutchinson said Jan 27, 2012 00:08:20
Totally agree Chris, as for the dumbing down of Kung fu it is sadly what happens whenever something becomes extremely popular. Fortunately there are enough of us around who want to preserve the 'real' Wing Chun.
stevenmaidens said Jan 27, 2012 12:06:41
Firstly in answer to Scotts first bit of written wisdom....Hmmmm yes and no !!

Its is without a doubt the most violent fighting art known to man !! It isnt a self defence system ! It is a, you attacked me first, and while your first strike is midway, I will strike you harder, more directly and finish it.

The forms are so important, without them it becomes as Scott put it individual. The shapes within the forms teach us everything, angles, power, speed, distance, timing, position etc.

Its ok to individualise the system but the forms must be adhered to at all cost(the concepts at least) with an understanding of which parts of the form can be and should be interchangable (such as a palm strike, Jic Jeung, it could be a Yat yee kuen, vertical punch instead)..Its the forms that shape the WC practioner, not the endless drilling...

Drills come and go, the forms do not....The drills we do in class are just a means to practice concepts that the forms contain.

Wing Chun is a concepts art. all the techniques within the style are actions (verbs)
Its not the finished shape that important, its the "getting to" the shape.
stevenmaidens said Jan 27, 2012 12:22:23
Now im going to write about your comments Fei,

I can tell that your listening in class, Your words are full of the WSL way. The transition for all of us is being made easier by the fact that my coach and his coach are so accurate in their teachings.

Im just passing it on exactly the way its been given to me...Im not trying to personalise it at all. I want you guys to get it set in stone first...This is so important for our class to thrive.

The info you guys pass on has to be accurate, has to be tangible...As individuals,yes we will emerge with our own take on the system, I get this idea completely...Although in truth, I also disagree.

Im a teacher, its what I do, I dont want to add to in any way, the art that im passing on to you. I want you guys to experience it in all its glory...

If you dont teach it will become watered down, as Scott is correct, we will add too our own limitations and preferences.

WSL in the world is still a tiny part of the grinding IP family machine...We are still holding a tiny piece of truth. We are as a community so small, that really all we should be considering is education...We need to grow, WSL worldwide needs to grow...So all of you must teach, even if for the moment its just in class....It will, you will, grow and go its, your own way eventually...

Education, education, education......Efficient, simple and direct !!
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