Sihing Justin Kampff – 2nd Level Wing Chun Instructor
Sihing Justin Kampff is an Ip Man lineage Wing Chun Instructor and has been training in the Wing Chun system for over 9 years. I trained for 3 years of Tae Kwon Do and Kenpo Karate experience. I originally started my training in the Wing Chun system in 2002/2003. After my first interview I quickly became hooked on Wing Chun, and knew I wanted to be a part of this realistic self defense style. I was absolutely blown away by the blazing speed of Wing Chun, the ability to simultaneously strike and defend, multiple attackers, and the effectiveness of being able to fight in close combat situations. I also always had a special interest in learning and doing the Wooden Dummy Form and was happy that I would finally be trained on how to use the Wooden Dummy properly. I trained with Grandmaster Steve Lee Swift (Sifu Swift) up through my 2nd Level Instructor’s Certification Test. Under Sifu Swift I completed my Advanced Basics Test, First Level test, and my Second Level Instructor Test. I credit my former Sifu (Grandmaster Steve Lee Swift) with giving me a solid foundation in the art of Wing Chun Kung Fu and instilling in me a “never quit attitude”. I remember him always telling me that “Wing Chun takes hard work, skill, time and effort.” He also use to tell me that “Wing Chun is hard in the beginning and easier at the end.” Meaning that everything comes together in the end like pieces of a puzzle. While training under my previous Sifu (Sifu Swift) I met Sihing Och (he was a Sihing then). We would train together often and became close Wing Chun brothers and friends who both enjoyed the speed and effectiveness of Wing Chun. Sihing Och use to have a nickname for me, his doppelganger as we both have the same first name Sifu Och still calls me that today. I also met Sihing Dr. Nelson (now Master Dr. Nelson) and Sihing Koleczeck (now Sifu Koleczeck) while training. All of us would frequently train together to help each other improve our Wing Chun skills and fighting techniques.
While living in Brandon but working in Tampa/Oldsmar towards my 3rd Level test I had no idea that my Wing Chun training was about to come to a screeching and sudden halt. I was playing football that weekend when I blew out my ACL. I had surgery to repair my knee and the doctor had told me that my knee would require 8 months of rehabilitation before I could slowly start resuming my Wing Chun training. Needless to say I was devastated. My Wing Chun brothers would be going on with there training without me, getting there next level. While I was rehabilitating my knee I found out that Sihing Och had opened his own school in Lakeland, Florida. I would call him from time to time to see how things were going, he invited me down to train together and continue our friendship and improvement in the Wing Chun system much like we had always done. Sihing Och would call me and keep in contact with me. He told me that I would get back to training and that he would help me “get it all back” he told me that I would catch up. I was very depressed that I could not train and thought that I could never come back because I missed so much time, all in all, over a year. I was considering not going back to Wing Chun at all and I had started looking at XFC, Mixed Martial Arts schools and other self defense martial art schools. I continued to train myself as hard as I could and visit schools in the Brandon / Tampa area. Though after my Wing Chun training I didn’t feel like any of them were teaching me how to deal with a situation on the street, none of them felt right. I was also too depressed to go back to Wing Chun and didn’t think I could achieve the goals I had set as everyone would have surpassed me. All that changed one day when Sihing Och called me up and told me “sometimes a horse has to go a little further to drink better water.” Sihing Och never gave up on me, he told me that “I can only open the doors for you, you have to make the decision to walk through them or not.” I made the decision to go down to his school and the very next day we sparred, no gear, no gloves, I immediately noticed something was very different about the way he was fighting his strikes were way more direct and had much more energy and impact then I had seen. His footwork was different and I was not able to get off many of my attacks and those I did had no effect. His style of fighting with Wing Chun was intensely direct and his redirection of his footwork was really effective, he had increased his speed, power and footwork. Though it was different, it was still pure Wing Chun, he hadn’t added in another style or changed it, he worked within Wing Chun to advanced himself and his students. After our sparring session he explained to me details he had learned while training under Master Dr. Nelson Rios and through other Master’s in Wing Chun overseas who he gave full credit for in lineage and name in full detail for their welcoming and kindness by teaching him. He explained details that I did not get in my previous training under Grandmaster Swift, including details about proper structure, applications and footwork while performing attacks and combinations. Sihing Och also freely provided in-depth details of proper energy during Chi Sau combinations and how to make each one count. He explained that my Wing Chun was good but that like every professional we all need some “fine tuning”. It was hard to swallow after training for nearly 8 years in the system, but I had also seen what Sihing Och was able to do and I wanted that. With that Sihing Och out of respect said that I should go back to train under Grandmaster Steve Lee Swift. I asked Sihing Och if I could train at his school as it was closer to where I was living and quite simply I liked and wanted the details and the way Sihing Och was fighting and I wanted to learn how to fight like him.
I want to say that Grandmaster Swift had really helped me after 8 years, passing the higher level tests and becoming a wing chun instructor. I still cherish my training with Grandmaster Swift and honor him by continuing my training in Wing Chun.
I am close friends with Sihing Och (Sifu Justin Och), I call him Sihing and not Sifu because we are brothers under the same teacher and after 10 years as friends I don’t ever see that changing. We are always training with each other when ever there is a chance, advancing our Wing Chun through training and practice. Sihing Och believes in keeping the purity of Wing Chun fighting and application but also seeks out advanced instructors overseas from his same lineage as well as other lineages of Wing Chun. For him Wing Chun is a life long passion and study, and I have now been training at Sihing Och’s school in Lakeland for over a year and I am glad I made a decision to do so. He is a great motivator and teacher who is always pushing everyone beyond their abilities to make them better Wing Chun fighters and people as well. If your looking to train hard and push yourself this is the place to be. Sihing Och’s classes are intense, yet extremely focused and organized, so people with no, little and/or various martial arts experience can all benefit. However, I’m going to be honest with you. You have to have a desire within your heart to train hard and push yourself. If you don’t want to train hard and push yourself then this is not the place for you. Remember that training in Wing Chun is hard in the beginning, but it gets easier as you progress.
I also want to say something on a personal note. From the time that I met Sihing Och he has been a good friend to me and one of my Wing Chun brothers Sihing Justin Och is like family and I don’t say that lightly. I credit him for giving me the motivation and encouragement to return to my Wing Chun training after I thought I would not be able to. At times Sihing Och has also given me some tough love when I needed it. But I knew it was for my own good and that he is trying to make me a better Wing Chun practitioner and person. He has taught me that it is not about the next belt or just getting to the next test, but rather the information, knowledge and skill of the journey there. He brought me back to the Art of Wing Chun, after I never thought I would be able to return and that has been an invaluable fit that I can not thank him enough for. I sincerely thank you Sihing Och for making me a better Wing Chun practitioner and more importantly a better person, from the bottom of my heart. I look forward to continued training with Sihing Och and working towards my 3rd and 4th levels.
With Utmost Respect and Honor,
2nd Level Wing Chun Kung Fu Practitioner