WingTsun™ and the Ego

by Keith Sonnenberg, Sifu

My younger kung fu brother in Texas quoted something on a post at our association web site heard generally in WT (WingTsun) circles, “If you really want to learn Leung Ting WingTsun®, it is best to leave your ego at the door.”

I have not seen anybody who can learn WingTsun techniques instantly, not even talented athletes or highly experienced martial artists. It is basically the same for everybody and WingTsun training is the great equalizer. All students start on the same level and we teach you step by step according to a well organized teaching system. A student must leave preconceived notions at the door, this includes how well or how poorly you will do. If you think you will do badly or you think you will do well, you are right! This means that the attitude you bring with you will determine the outcome! You are the architect of your success or otherwise. There is no reason a person can bring with them why they cannot learn WingTsun.

WingTsun techniques must be learned first before you can apply the concepts, even though we teach the concepts at the same time. The oft repeated statement – that WingTsun (or “chun”) is a conceptual art is almost a cliché by now. This leads people to think that a WingTsun class will be this “free-form,” make it up as you go along type of class. This comes from the Bruce Lee JKD ideas that are expressions of ideas for advanced martial artists only. In reality, those teachings have fallen on hard times because the majority of new students cannot learn it. They have no basis for comparison, have no physical training basis and cannot be taught “trapping” without first learning WingTsun chi sau and gum dar! They cannot learn chi sau and gum dar before learning other basics. They have had no energy training and if they are taught Escrima techniques, they cannot grasp the JKD idea of Filipino martial arts without first knowing a roof block and its fighting theory for example.

As my Si-fu says, there are too many ‘theorists’ who talk and talk and talk about all they know but cannot DO anything because they do not train, they do not work hard.
We in Leung Ting WingTsun® have available to us, the pleasure of teaching and learning WingTsun from Great Grandmaster Leung Ting, closed door student of the late legendary Grandmaster Yip Man. In the IWTA-NAS, we have the potential opportunity to learn from some of the greatest masters of WingTsun that ever lived. A member can jump on a plane and participate in a seminar by Grandmaster Leung Ting, Master Leung Kwoon or Grandmaster Keith Kernspecht in Germany or Master Oliver Koenig of Austria. I encourage you to take advantage of it!

©Copyright 2012, Keith Sonnenberg. All rights reserved. No reproduction without permission.