October 7, 2016 / in Articles / by Sifu Och Wing Chun
The following is a testimonial from Wing Chun student, Neckodemos Davison. During childhood it was common for my household to consist only of my mother and myself due to my father’s profession. In the event that anyone attached my family, my father wanted to ensure that I could protect myself and my mother in his absence. My father began his search for someone to train his 10 year old son. He hoped to find a martial artist who showed prowess in the ability to subdue an opponent. He also wanted someone who had the passion to pass this ability on.
Out of all the martial art schools he investigated, none of them were able to demonstrate what he was looking for. Most just acted as advanced versions of day care, with more of a focus on discipline rather than the instruction of realistic self-defense techniques. His search finally ended when he came across Sifu Och’s Wing Chun class. At the time those classes took place in Plant City, Florida.
After my mother rained a barrage of emails and phone calls down on Sifu Och, I finally participated in my first class during August of 2007. It was at this moment that I was introduced to one of the most important men in my life. During my first few days of class, Sifu Justin Och had taught me two ways to deal with a wrist grab and three basic blocks to stop three various levels of punches. When I saw my father at the end of the week he asked me “So what did you learn?” I then demonstrated the techniques previously discussed. From that point forward the choice of school solidified. I officially signed up as a student under Sifu Och Wing Chun.
I attended kids martial arts classes three times a week where Sifu taught the basics of Wing Chun and self-discipline. At this point in time, the size of the class never reached more than five students. Most of those classes could have been considered private lessons. By the time I earned my orange sash, the kids class only consisted of two others and myself. It soon merged with the adult Wing Chun kung fu classes. At 12 years old, I became the youngest of the three students to advance into the adult class. Being able to spar provided multiple examples of how the Sifu Och Wing Chun techniques were effective. It didn’t matter the size difference of the practitioner to the opponent. This was especially true because I was even smaller than all the women in the class.
The teachings of this martial arts school go way beyond just Wing Chun. Through dedication to the art and my Sifu, I was shown true inner awareness and self-control. Restraint and control had to be practiced for every punch thrown to a fellow student’s throat or kick to their knee cap. Over time, I developed not only better skills, but also discipline and respect for everyone. Their rank in class or status in life didn’t matter. Witnessing and practicing such devastating techniques also made me realize just how fragile the human body really is. With this realization came a certain level of urgency to refrain from resolving conflicts through physical means. Like Sifu told me long ago, “words are just water under the bridge.”
I am blessed to have found this Wing Chun school when I did. Unlike most, I was spared the trial and error of finding the perfect martial arts instructor. The people that I’ve had the honor of climbing through the ranks with have unshakable honor and loyalty. I would not trade that Wing Chun family for the world. I am a student of Sifu Och, and I always will be.