Wing Chun Lifestyle Change – Improving and Growing

Every day, we face opportunity in this life: the opportunity to succeed, fail, or stand by idly observing as our life flickers away. Many of us, too afraid to manifest destiny by our own will, fall into the role of an existential bystander. We wait for the universe to illuminate the path to our own ultimate fulfillment. For several years, I struggled with debilitating depression and anxiety accumulated through a painful romantic relationship. I often contemplated “when my life would finally start.” I was waiting to live, but then a dawning realization struck me: This is my life. My life is now, within every fleeting moment escaping my grasp as I wait. Coincidentally, within the same period of my life that I had achieved this revelation, I discovered Sifu Och Wing Chun. This was the beginning of a Wing Chun lifestyle change that altered my perspective forever.

Before the Wing Chun Lifestyle Change

I still remember my first day of training as if it were yesterday. The whole school was testing that week. Ms. Cathy took me aside to teach me gan saus, biu saus, and tan saus. Needless to say, I’d never felt so physically incapable within my entire life. For once, however, my shortcomings didn’t produce discouragement. I took this as a challenge to be better. That’s exactly what my journey through training in this school has taught me.

Because of this school, I achieved a newfound understanding of my capabilities. Every day I toiled, struggling to progress. I pushed myself to the brink in boot camp and came to learn something. There is never “good enough”. There is only “better”. Since then, I’ve applied this philosophy to my life in its totality, and my successes have flourished.

Wing Chun as Self Expression

Wing chun is without a doubt, the single most positive venue of expression ever introduced into my life. With it, I have been blessed with a second family—people who want nothing more than for everyone around them to succeed. I have a place that imparts me with deeper solace than even my own home. Participating in an ever-evolving tradition has grown cooperatively with me for the rest of my days. I also have Sifu Justin Och, a teacher whose wisdom and prowess instills ambition within my heart every day.

Within my short journey of a little over a year, my anxiety has withered to dust, I have minimalized my detrimental habits (smoking, etc.), I have regained my lost confidence, and established a solid foundation of techniques for which I can defend myself and my loved ones with. My training has not only become a channel for my aggression, but it has become the most beneficial tool in my self-progression. Wing chun has allowed me to take back my life.

After the Wing Chun Lifestyle Change

The plethora of blessings I have received as a consequence of practicing the Wing Chun lifestyle are numerous. I’ve achieved a radically profound, transformed perception of martial arts as a collective. I’ve come to understand Wing Chun as a living, organic philosophy. Wing Chun presents itself as more than a system of self-defense, or a conceptual or intellectual ideology. I emphasize on the intrinsic “aliveness” of our system, because it is something that one comes to feel first hand through direct interaction.

Anyone can speak of the combative ideals regarding simultaneous offense and defense, redirection of energy, and utilizing the body as a holistic weapon to achieve maximum affectivity, but until you’ve felt it first hand, you’ve attained no experiential reality of these ideals. Our training is truly alive, manifesting itself within each practitioner, metamorphosing our approach day by day. Its essence harmonizes the union of masculine and feminine energies, it teaches that often the greatest strength lies within the least resistance, and it shows that even with what may appear at first to be a mountain before you can be surmounted with the proper application of direction and patience. These principles have permeated every aspect of my daily operation, and because of this, I will say, I don’t just train in kung fu; I train in a way of life.

Of all that which for I am grateful, wing chun certainly rests near the top of the list. It has changed my life for the utmost better, and it will continue to every day. So for this, I will follow it for the rest of my life. Thank you, Sifu.

Testimonial: Neckodemos Davison

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.

Continued Training

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.


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