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Email us to get started with an appointment for a trial lesson. Click Schedule and fill out the form for an appointment. $55.00 is your cost for one month, no obligation. Your 30-minute trial lesson is free ($25.00 value).

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We have all seen how some high school students play football or try out for track or gymnastics and make the team and others just cannot make the cut. The first set of students are picked because they are naturally coordinated. They did not have much time to get that way in one or two years of junior high school. The second set, the rest of us must practice hard to get someplace. It might be difficult on your ego to see the talented rise to fame, seemingly with ease. If it’s any comfort, the talented also must work – hard.

If we graduate high school without making the cuts for athletic competition, well that is life. After graduating from school, there are fewer chances to get on an athletic team unless you take up martial arts.

If you study martial arts, sometimes the same thing occurs. The talented students seem to rise to the top quickly. Of course, this should be no reason to quit. On the contrary, you should maintain your pace. Quitting means you lose the valuable time in precise training that most people never try, and the benefits are often unexpected.

History is full of examples of talented practitioners rising quickly and giving rise to jealousy in the ranks. The one that comes to my mind is our Grandmaster Leung Ting. He was a very talented student of Sifu Leung Sheung. Sifu Leung Sheung was the first Hong Kong student of late Grandmaster Yip Man. The young Leung Ting studied every day for several hours. He was present so often in Sifu Leung Sheung’s school, Sheung became irritable upon seeing him every time he turned around! *

Later, one of Leung Ting’s uncles arranged for him to meet the late Grandmaster Yip Man whereupon Leung Ting became a private student of Yip Man. *

After his training under the late Grandmaster, Leung Ting created a teaching system of his own to better maintain the consistent quality of his system and renamed what he had learned as “Wing Tsun,” instead of the more common terms being used at that time of “Wing Chun” or “Ving Tsun.” From his experience under the Grandmaster Yip Man, he discovered how easily the concepts and techniques could be misunderstood or interpreted differently.

There were many difficulties in maintaining relationships with others in the Yip Man clan. His renaming would put his teaching system in a different category. He would become the grandmaster of his own system, not affiliated with the others. Literally Grandmaster is like being the Grandfather, the master’s master.

Even talented people must work hard if they are going to be of a high standard. Jealousy has no place in martial arts training. Traditional martial arts are an inner effort. We train the inside, our inner physical, mental and emotional health.

Si-fu Keith Sonnenberg

*Reference book “Roots and Branches of Wing Tsun” https://wle.com/collections/books/products/roots-and-branches-of-wing-tsun

**Interview with Sifu Wang Kiu http://www.dwto.dk/magazine/no6/Data/p05.html

I just saw Master Z, Ip Man Legacy which is set in the same time period of the late 40s and early 50s, Hong Kong, as the Ip Man movies. The character from Ip Man 3, Cheung Tin Chi, who fought Ip Man is back in this movie. It is played well by Max Zhang. Cheung Tin Chi ostensibly left the martial arts world only to become involved in combating a local drug syndicate. Michelle Yeoh who has had a more and more distinguished acting career in movies and televison – Wing Chun, Star Trek Discovery, Tomorrow Never Dies, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon – shows up in this movie as the head of the drug syndicate.

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Long ago, masters of martial arts recognized that if you are suddenly attacked by a person unknown to you, the old martial arts motto “Know Your Enemy,” has lost some relevance. After all, you do not know this person. How do you deal with this event if you cannot know how he moves, thinks, or his real intent?

No fighting method is ever fool proof but sticky hands (chi sau), immediately allows you to tie into your attacker’s balance, flexibility, strength, direction of power, and taken together, gives you clues as to whether the attacker has skills, all in a millisecond.

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The legendary founder of Wing Tsun is supposed to have analyzed the techniques of her native martial art, Shaolin and found it impractical to learn and impractical to use in a real encounter against her stronger male adversaries. She reduced the repeated movements in the forms and reduced the total number of choreographed forms. It is doubtful that the full transformation in developing her own method took place in one generation. She taught another female, a teenager named Yim Wing Tsun and it was passed among a series of family members and “Red Boat” opera performers over a 250-year history.

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Back in August we talked about the many different versions of “Wing Chun” based mostly on ancient history prior to late Grandmaster Yip Man. Many of the forerunners of Yip Man must have had students who taught others. They passed what they knew onto their students the way they saw fit. It is easy to see how, in a country as large as China and how, in ancient times, with little communication, there could eventually be variations of Wing Chun.

Why then, do we see significant differences, even in the versions taught in the twentieth century in lineages from Yip Man?

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There are many different lineages of Wing Chun, Ving Tsun today including Wing Tsun. The instructors of these schools have decided to spell their teachings differently from one another. For many years, the western world assumed that all Wing Chun came from the late Grandmaster Yip Man. Yip Man lineages are the most numerous and generally successful in attracting new students. The late Grandmaster was drawn into teaching publicly by enthusiastic students in the Hong Kong of the 1950s. He also became known for teaching kung-fu superstar Bruce Lee.

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Martial Arts Histories. History lessons? Why?

Because we can learn a lot from what happened before. Regarding martial arts histories, we can learn why a martial art like the one we practice came to be the way it is. Unlike the fictional stories we hear, one cannot invent a martial art from a dream or a sudden inspiration.

Today, martial arts are practiced as a hobby as much as they are practiced as self-defense if not more so.

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Some historians think that Wing Tsun was developed from several martial arts types. They dispute the most common story that says that Ng Mui, a female Buddhist elder invented Wing Tsun from her training in the Shaolin Monastery martial art system.

The story goes that Wing Tsun was developed by secret societies from the arts of Tai Chi Chuan, Praying Mantis kung-fu, and a mix of Shaolin animal styles such as snake and crane.

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Sifu Leung Ting and the late, great Grandmaster Yip Man.

Leung Ting’s first instructor was late Grandmaster Yip Man’s first Hong Kong student, Leung Sheung.  Later, Leung Ting’s uncle introduced him to Grandmaster Yip Man.  He soon became a private student of the late Grandmaster.

More information can be found at: WingTsun Welt, the European online magazine about the WingTsun World!