Wing Chun Melbourne, Austrailia
Hi everyone, this is my very own 1st experience in Martial Arts and I'm basically making a review of what I am experiencing. This is not a biased review because I personally want to learn martial arts for self defense, so learning any discipline I can that gives me a higher chance of surviving a fatal encounter I will be open and willingly to learn. This review is structured in a way I can closely make it towards Bullshido's review system, so I'm not officially stating that "chi sao" is our sparring, its just what I think its closes to. This review is also showcasing how Wing Chun should be, with a little bit about Wing Chun and I'll try to relate the negatives I m experiencing that considers Wing Chun a bad choice for a martial art.
How long have I been there for? nearly 5months.
WSL Lineage is all about keeping Wing Chun simple, direct and efficient. My Sifu (high level instructor) is David Peterson.
So there was not any fancy,flashy,useless forms we had to learn or stupid grading fees, we only had to purchase a t-shirt which cost my $25AUS dollars and pay a monthly fee of $130AUS, they also had other plans which i can't remember the specifics but the longer the plans were the cheaper it turned out to be in the end.
The gym we practice in is a rented studio big enough to fit over 20 people but to do drills or sparring(chi sao).....you better watch your back!
As you can see from the website, it tells you we do have 3 classes per week that all go for 3 hours.
There is the standard 5 or 6 must learn forms depending if you want to learn both the weapons
The class is usually structured like this...
Warm up - 15-20mins
Form (usually at the start or end of the classes) - 12-20mins (Wing Chun terms, the slower and longer it takes to finish the form, the better)
Technique drills - 1hr-2hr My arms can get red and bruised, there can be times were my partner strikes at a vital body parts that take a bit of air out of me but always with controlled force.
Sparring Drills - Here is where I cannot give you a full answer, as I am not up to level where they can teach me to do chi sao, but it seems its something that after classes which can go for 30mins, but however the Saturday classes is "free training" so I have seen people do it for the straight 3 hours.
Pressure circuit - this Circuit is to help students to use the basic punch, kick with correct form and footwork, while going flat out for 2mins with our partner holding a "red shield", then its switched into focus mits, and we have to chase down our partners in the right form and using the right footwork, and be prepared to hit twice on the focus mits whenever our partners raises them, and then we swap positions with our partners and repeat. We do this for 1hr
That is the background information, but my opinion starts here.
Learning WSL Wingchun from Sifu David Peterson, is defiantly very informative, he likes to go in-depth with his teaching, and he always tests our techniques,structure, and corrects our wrongs with constructive DETAILS. Sifu always says when you are training, train as though you have bad intentions like as if you were really fighting for your life but control the force of your technique since you do not want to break your partner.
Now your wondering why is this guy talking about his teacher?? Well the reason is my Sifu is the only person that makes me want to learn Wing chun at that place because I have seen the students he has produce and I kid you not, Wing Chun is effective with the right teaching. However it saddens me that my Sifu is going to move overseas due to his personal reason, and he has left one of his students to start teaching who I believe has the skills but teaching and doing are complete different things, and since I have had the new student teacher teaching me, I beginning to see Wing Chun's flaws that everyone bashes.
The form is crucial to understand, Wing Chun is a concept based martial art, you gotta apply the concepts to make it work or its useless, now I admit the forms looks damn fugly but when done correctly you can feel how it helps develops the techniques, this is were TONS,most every bloody Wingchun instructor does, "oh you put your hand like this, and then u bend it like that" freakin monkey see monkey do sort of teaching that pisses me off! which the student teacher is currently doing, but my Sifu would always stress the basics and make us do it right.
The pressure circuit; shows how Wing Chun practitioners are just so unfit!, I used to play soccer two years ago and I always keep my body in good health. BUT DAMNNN I would see countless people in the room dying for air, the circuit makes me sweat but come on! I believe the reason for why there so many unfit Wing Chun Practitioners is due to the fact its concept based, and one of our core concepts is body structure so once your in close range you dont really need to do much coz you can rely on just your body structure, and as my Sifu said Wing Chun can be a lazy man's Martial art.
Sparring/ Chi Saoing, now this is the closest "DRILL" I have seen to sparring, yes Chi Sao is a drill to create sensitivity in the arms but I have seen people injuring their knees, jaws dislocated & got connected with a big hit in the vital parts but that's all due to people loosing focus of the control force. So in terms of sparring like MMA or other martial arts, my school does do it but we need to be supervised and I believe it will turn out like those German Wing Chun vids that just looks like their using boxing more so.
The studio can be abit cramped at times especially for the Circuit we just start tripping on other peoples legs, bumping into each etc... but when doing technique drills its alright but when people are Chi Soaing, you better get into a corner.
Saturday "free training" as a newbie it can suck cause nonone would want to train with you unless you have learn the drills, I was lucky enough just once a senior student would help me out, but from other peoples perspective it was working to their advantage to improve their skills.
The cost, its the cheapest around Melbourne city, AUS.
Wing Chun is effective martial art for street based aka self defense (what i am looking for), but however its very demanding of the individual to understand the concepts since Wing Chun is a concept based martial art so you must have a teacher who knows wth is going on. As of the moment I feel I am learning fine/ok... with the encouragement of my mates I have made there but I do question can I really defend myself right now? Since the student teacher began teaching I feel ripped off and that its just not as close of addition to detail as It's required, and every time I get changed at the top of the building bathroom, across the building are some BJJ peeps putting in hard work and giving everything they got, should I be one of those guys?