Wing Chun FAQ’s.
Below you will find the most common Frequently Asked Questions. We do our best to answer honestly and comprehensively. if you feel you require more information we welcome your call and will help all we can.
- Can I start at anytime?
- Will I be out of place?
- Can I watch a class?
- Is Wing Chun suitable for everyone?
- Do you have ladies ONLY classes?
- Is it suitable for the disabled?
- Am I too old to start?
- Are the instructors qualified?
- What are the requirements for training in Wing Chun?
- What does a typical class consist of?
- Do you have a grading system?
- Do I need to be aggressive?
- Will I get hurt in class?
- Do I have to be fit to start?
- How long will it take to get good
- Tell me about the UKWCKFA… ?
- Where can I find addresses of your branches?
- Can I train as a non member?
- How Do I become an Instructor?
- Who is the Chief Instructor?
Can I Start At Anytime?
We have beginners start dates, where all new students are enrolled. You will be placed in a separate class and not ‘thrown in at the deep end’. However, you will not have to wait for too long at our three Full Time HQ’s in Essex, and London as they have much more flexibility concerning enrolment. Please call, we are happy to try and help.
To keep all students of particular levels together. We have classes separated by ability. We allow more experienced students to mix with beginners, as they can help, but not vice versa.
If you are an existing wing chun student or lapsed student of another organisation we would accommodate you to the appropriate class that your standard dictates. As there are traditionally no gradings in Wing Chun, every organsisation has a slightly different way of separating students of differing abilities. We ask that you attend a beginners class and we will move you up the ranks as appropriate.
Will I Be Out Of Place
All beginners are enrolled at the same time. After three weeks we close the doors to new students and concentrate solely on those new recruits. You will be trained together as a class and progress at similar rates. You will stay together developing a club spirit and new friendships and respect for your fellow training partners. Your levels of fitness, co-ordination etc. will judged and training set accordingly, making you feel comfortable. It is important to remember that your goal is to challenge yourself and not compare too much to others.
Can I Watch A Class?
Students do not like to be watched and we feel sure you would feel the same.
We hold regular ‘open days’with live demonstrations and also have a video projector which we use to show Wing Chun footage of all aspects of our system on a 14ft screen. This is a popular event and is offered free of charge or any commitment. It is open to everyone, even if you have no intention of starting, or are training with another Wing Chun school or another style completely.
Is Wing Chun Suitable For Everyone?
Yes, we have both male and female students all working hard together. We have specialised sessions for children and run daytime self defence courses for women and businesses, as well as private lessons for individuals and small groups. In fact in recent times we have begun to teach within mainstream schools as part of the physical education curriculum and bringing an awareness of responsible self-defence.
Do You Have Ladies Only Classes?
Yes, if there is sufficient interest. Ladies may still train in mainstream classes too, but it was a much requested move.
The UKWCKFA has classes and a syllabus specifically geared toward women who genuinely wish to be able to defend themselves, whilst at the same time enjoying the art of Wing Chun Kung Fu. If you wish to know more then please take a look at this page.
Is It Suitable For The Disabled?
We have taught the blind on many occasions and we have students with cerebral palsey,wheelchair bound and other conditions which could add difficulty to their learning.
We have to base our decision to be able to help on your safety in class. But, if you wish to accept the challenge of learning, we will consider the challenge of teaching.
We would like to work more with differently abled people. If you feel able to put us in a particular direction we would be happy to hear from you.
We feel strongly that there are too many people in this world only too happy to tell us what we can’t do. We want to allow people to try for themselves, with people who will tell you what they can do.
Am I Too Old To Start?
The likely answer is no. We have students from 6 to 70 years of age. Older students do tend to find it more difficult as they are more ‘set’ neuro-muscularly. However, they do progress and tend to improve well. The biggest problem is the students’ own expectations in that they have so much enthusiasm but the results don’t come quickly enough. If you realise it is a marathon not a sprint you will tend to relax and take each step at a time, and not look too far ahead!
Are The Instructors Qualified?
All of our senior instructors or ‘Sifu’ grades are registered by the prestigious Ving Tsun Athletic Association in Hong Kong, which further validates the high standard and reputation that the UK Wing Chun Assoc. has around the world.
All of our instructors have been trained within the Association itself. The potential instructors have to pass 4 grading levels before consideration can be made to join the three year teacher training programme.
The instructors are all first aid trained by St John Ambulance and those that teach children are checked through the police criminal records beaurau. Instructors are required to have their own Professional Negligence and Public Liabilty Insurance Cover as part of the UKWCKFA.
What Are The Requirement For Training In Wing Chun?
The most important requirement is that you enjoy the training and are willing to dedicate yourself to a task. You do not need to be big and strong to learn Wing Chun Kung Fu.
What Does A Typical Class Consist Of?
Typically a class begins with a warm up, then progresses to drills for punching and striking efficiency on pads and then on to work with a partner. The majority of any class is ‘hands on’ with a partner. Many different facets will be trained, from self defence to visualisation and meditation.
Do You Have A Grading System?
We have a well established grading system that is based around the UKWCKFA syllabus. Traditionally, Wing Chun had no grading system. Until the 1970’s, Wing Chun was a very small style and there was no necessity. Now with the massive popularity in martial arts and the focus Bruce Lee gave to Wing Chun, it is necessary to separate students of differing abilities in order to better teach them. We have found the implementation of a grading system has benefited the students immensely, giving them clearly defined goals.
The UKWCKFA has a grading system that is based around the usual learning syllabus in Wing Chun.
Preliminary Grading Consists of basic punching, footwork and distance judgment
Sui Nim Tao Consists of first form, hand combinations, lok sau, dan chi, and sparring
Intermediate Consists of first & second form, hand & leg combinations, lok sau, single & Double chi sau and sparring.
Cham Kui Consists of first & second form, double chi sau, multiple assailant, blindfolded sparring, one arm sparring, back to the wall and cornered sparring and breaking techniques.
Wooden Dummy Consists of Dummy Form, Drill Form, Free Form and Empty Form
100 Man Challenge. Consists of fighting 100 opponents in succession.
Bui Tze & Luk Dim Boon Kwan Consists of forms, Chi Kwan, power and sparring.
Bart Cham Do The form, application and sparring.
Do I need To Be Aggressive?
When confronted with an angry individual who is intent on causing you harm, it is reasonable to expect that you may need to be physically aggressive to counter his actions if it becomes violent.
However, training is certainly NOT AGGRESSIVE at first, but later classes could certainly be assumed to be so by an uninformed bystander. But it must be understood that by the time the students are training with such intensity they are highly skilled and emotionally controlled. The ‘aggression’ is purely physical, they are not training with ‘temper/anger’ but intense determination, and focus, there is a difference.
An out of control aggressor is very dangerous as they no longer consider the consequences of their actions, if they knock you down they may well kick you and cause severe damage, even if you are no longer able to protect yourself in any way. Our students have to learn to deal with this type of, often maniacal, temper and yet remain civilised.
There is a statement by Sun Tzu in the art of war which says (in victory) ‘give your opponent an honourable retreat’. Basically, one can say that if you do defeat your aggressor you can allow some mercy in the hope that he does not seek revenge. The aim of martial arts is to defend yourself against attack, not thuggery bullying or intimidation.
Will I Get Hurt In Class?
No. You can get severely injured in a real fight. However, you should expect some bruising and minor abrasions in class from time to time. The aim is to improve, not be injured more each time you attend class than you ever would in most confrontational situations. We train our army to fight in life or death situations but we don’t aim to kill any of our troops in training!
Do I Have To Be Fit To Start?
One of the ambitions of nearly every student is to improve their fitness at some level. All beginners are treated carefully and the training begins with gentle exercise and education before any real strenuous activity is emphasised. We do encourage you to continue with any exercise programme you may be undertaking.
We often find that students who have never exercised undertake to do so in other ways in addition to their martial art training. We find the general health and fitness improvement in most students is considerable and is generally continued as their desire to improve their Wing Chun skills grows. Students find that if they are fit they are able to train for longer in class with focus and concentration and develop skills more readily.
You will be encouraged to reach your potential but we will not push or force you to do any activity. Please bring a drink to refresh yourself and take a break if the going is too much for YOU. Remember pushing yourself too hard too soon will only set your training back.
FAQ How Long Will It Take To Get Good?
How long is a piece of string? It is not a precise question as every person’s definition of good is dependent upon what they want the skills for. As a rule of thumb a student should be well disciplined and have considerable punching power after the first year and be able to look after themselves in most unarmed situations. However, they must train hard with intention and direction in each session, don’t drift in and out and miss classes and you will be rewarded more quickly.
There are a number of schools claiming to teach you the ability to defend yourself in just a few weeks. They quote learning to swim or ride a bike as examples of how a person can learn skills in a short period. We can all learn to swim in a pool relatively easily, and riding a bike is a matter of balance. Neither of these equate to the fear, anxiety and sheer danger of dealing with a violent, aggressive individual who may be psychotic, on drugs and intent to sexual assault or worse, or the multiple difficulties of weight, height, strength stealth, distance judgment, left handed, right handed, punch, kick, knees, bite, scratch weapons and multiple assailants. Try swimming down white water rapids and extreme mountain biking and you may have a starting point when potentially fighting to save your life!
Tell me about the UKWCKFA…
The UKWCKFA branches only have a new intake of students a few times a year, generally Dec/Mar and Sept/Oct. However, our 3 full time schools have monthly intakes. We do this for a number of reasons.
To enable us to take on new students to replace some students who may have left.
To keep students of particular levels together. We have classes separated by ability. We allow more experienced students to mix with beginners, as they tend to help, but not vice versa.
If an intake is not deemed ready to integrate smoothly into the next class up, they will be kept together and a new intake will be postponed until such a time that they can move up.
Contact the Association and ask for an application form to a branch that is local or convenient for you. You have a one month trial period during which you only pay for your tuition. This month is in place to enable a you to assess the style of Wing Chun Kung Fu and our teaching quality in order to ascertain whether or not it suits your requirements.
The Association is a membership based organization. We have an annual fee of £50 (£40 renewal). This fee helps keep the prices of uniforms and equipment as low as possible, and to support the branches that are not as well attended. It also funds our free to attend events.
Where can I find the addresses of my nearest branch?
The Association has a number of branches. All of our instructors have been trained within the Association itself.
You can go to our club directory page by clicking on this link: Branches
Can I train as a nonmember?
Only during your first month on a beginners course. We are a membership based organization and you may only attend courses and seminars run by the UKWCKFA if you telephone and request a place. The Annual Summer Camp held on the last Bank Holiday in August is available to all.
FAQ How Do I Become An Instructor?
We have a three year teacher training program that is available to students who pass the UKWCKFA first and second level gradings beforehand.
We regularly take on students from other schools and will consider them for instructor training if they have a good standard. If you are already a teacher and wish to join a high standard teacher support programme and have the backing of a well respected Assoc. then please contact us and we can discuss the matter further. We are not political and have no hidden agenda!
Who is the Chief Instructor ?
The Association was formed in 1985 by Master James Sinclair. On this web site we have a profile on the chief instructor. To access the page on him click here:James Sinclair”
You may read some of his views as expressed in an interview for Martial Arts Illustrated in Deb 1999 which has been reproduced in our site, please click HERE to read it now.