January 29, 2018 / in News, Self Defense Tips, Techniques and Styles / by Tim Kittelstad
Wing Chun is not the easiest martial art to teach. The techniques come from a philosophy and list of principles. Due to this, the application of the techniques can be done with many variations that can be considered “correct”. These variations can cause added frustration. This is due to the details when it comes to teaching the variations. So that being said, you need to give ample attention to your students to genuinely help them understand, learn, and apply their Wing Chun. Sifu Och’s three sections of teaching his main classes help accomplish that.
Sifu Och’s Three Sections of Teaching
The beginner class is for those students that are within their first year of training. We typically have one main instructor on the floor who has trained for at least 3 years. He or she helps the new student’s build their fundamentals. The focus of this section of class is to build their immediate ability to stop basic, common attacks. In our article When to Learn Chi Sao & Wooden Dummy we cover in more detail what our philosophy is for that class. We want to make sure that when a student leaves our doors the are able to hand dangerous situations as quickly as possible.
Much like a building we must set the groundwork. Within someones first year of training we teach them the basics to a few things. First, we guide them through the basics of footwork. Second, while building their footwork we help them through the concepts of using two hands at the same time. Thirdly, we want to build an attacking mindset. Instead of being focused on the perfect counter, block, or defense, we want our students to build an immediate offensive mindset.
For our Intermediate class we move past our basic footwork and attacks and start building our combinations. After initial contact you must follow up to finish your opponent. Building on the foundation of attacks we begin to teach students how to effectively and efficiently follow up.
Not only do we build in the ability to follow up and finish an opponent we also begin to lean heavier into reaction training and sparring. There are three main stages of development which I go into more detail in my article Three Cycles of Martial Art Training. The last of these stages is reaction which is the hardest to master. Speed, technique, power, all mean nothing if you do not have the correct timing.
Conner McGregor said “Precision beats power, and timing beats speed” in a post fight interview. You can take this one step further and say that without any form of timing you cannot fight. So you MUST develop your timing. Wing Chun is very effective when used properly. But due to many attacks being intercepts versus blocks, learning the timing can be tricky. You must devote consistent hard work in sparring and active attacker training.
At our advance class level we begin the refinement of the techniques. We being teaching and using the Wooden Dummy at this level. Now that there has been years of using the Wing Chun shapes and applying them against pressure we can now upgrade them to the fullest level.
The Wooden Dummy training helps conditioning of the arms as well as tightening of form. Since the dummy does not hit back it serves no purpose other than that refinement of techniques. Spacing, shapes, rooting, all can be worked on using the dummy.
When at the advanced class we now also pass on the more traditional aspects of Wing Chun including Long Pole and Butterfly Swords. Wing Chun needs to stay applicable to the current martial arts you might run in to. However, you must keep your roots strong in the history of your training. Now that your training is coming full circle we finish the circle with advanced techniques and weapons.
WING CHUN LAKELAND FL CONTACT (863) 800-0171
Sifu Och Wing Chun Kung Fu
Call us: 863.800.0171
116 East Pine Street, Lakeland, FL 33801 (Downtown Lakeland)