Understanding imitation

learn basic form and correct breathing

Understanding imitation

To find a good martial arts school it might be useful to understand imitation. If you are looking for a genuine Wing Tsun™ / Wing Chun school, you can help yourself by doing some research.  Check lineages.  Check history.  Check the writings, books, videos, and the geographic stretch of the organization behind the school.

Understanding imitation is part of being aware of schools that claim to teach everything under the sun.  If you can understand imitation and how the imitators go about it…,

…it can help you decide on a good, quality martial arts school. It can take decades to fully learn one martial art and then know how to teach it in its entirety.  Imitating the movements from a book or video or taking a few seminars from even a qualified instructor is not enough.

If a school claims to teach several martial arts, there should preferably be a separate instructor for each of those arts dedicating to conveying the principals of that art to you. If not, the instructor teaching those arts should have several years of training and teaching and appropriate credentials in his or her background for each of those arts.  There is no point in learning material coming from a person with falsified credentials.

Wing Tsun is one martial art that has very subtle principals of energy, pressure, position, angles, and emphasis that are completely different from the martial sports and bits and pieces being taught at fitness centers all across North America and Europe.  The principals that make it work are only learned through focused attention on Wing Tsun and not ‘mixed’ as simply a way to add to one’s encyclopedia of techniques.

If a sales spiel decries another school’s claims of authenticity, it may mean that their own credentials cannot be verified and you have no way of knowing whether the material you will learn has value. If you want the instruction to work for you, it is those principals that are important, not the mimicry of a talented sales person!

– Sifu Keith Sonnenberg