Heritage Martial Arts, Ottawa, Canada
Okay so I canít in good conscious write club reviews without reviewing my old club. But first a little history lesson about myself. When I was 16, I started in a Can Ryu Jiu Jitsu school in Ottawa. At the time it seemed great. I was learning throws, strikes, pressure points and all that stuff. I thought I was the ****. By the end of high school, I was the only guy in my group that had ab definition and I out ground fight all of them. One day I showed up to my class and it was closed. On the door was a letter from the property owner saying that the club didnít pay rent, and that they owed $10000. We were not told by the owners or the teachers that this was going to happen. I was totally crushed. I was hurt and angry that this **** happened, and more importantly that it happened to my great club. Four thousand TKD schools but my little club couldnít make it. So I said **** this martial art bullshit, and threw out my Gi, my belts, and all my certificates. Yeah it was a little immature but whatever I was still 18.
So about seven years later I started to get the itch again. I thought that the time was right to try a new martial art, because I was still a little sore with Jiu Jitsu. I was like letís learn Kung Fu! Itís the oldest martial art and it looks wicked. I look around and noticed that Ottawa doesnít have that many Kung Fu schools in the yellow pages. I found one that was kinda near me, and it was called Heritage Martial Arts. I spoke to the owner, and he was really nice. I told him that I wanted to try his Kung Fu, and he told me it was a style called Wing Chung. And this is where my club review actually starts.
So first off the club teaches three different martial arts. They teach Augstine Fong style Wing Chung, Shotokan Karate, and a more traditional type of Jiu Jitsu. I was told that I could do both JJ and WC at the same time, but I turned it down. I just didnít want to do JJJ anymore (yes im still pissy about the whole thing). Each WC class is an hour in duration, and the first half is a light warm up. The other half is spent doing sensitivity drills, or Chi Sau, or rarely do we get to hit pads. As you can see there is no sparring or really contact with another person in the standard class.
At first I was like aw yeah im doing the Kung Fu!!!! Class began and ended with the first form (Si Lum Tao). I was told that the style had few hand forms and two weapon forms. Also I was told that I would only be doing the first form for about a year and a half, because the other forms were too advanced and I had to learn the basics. All told it would take at least five years to learn the whole WC style and use it Ďeffectively.í So here I am eating fistfuls of this stuff because itís Kung Fu, and the more time it takes to learn the better it must be. So as the months pass I learn my form, I learn how they punch and how they kick (not above the waist for kicking).
Now while I was reading on the internet about the history of WC and martial arts in general I found a site called Bullshido. They seemed to be very, very against WC or Kung Fu in general but I stay and lurk to read about Frank Dux and stuff like that. I develop a taste for the site and surf it quite a bit. After a few months of this I start to develop a nagging feeling in the back of my head. Is my class junk? No no my club must be the real Wing Chung. Am I wasting my time? No no this Kung Fu is hundreds of years old and wouldnít last if it sucked.
Doubt enters and wonít leave. I start losing interest in classes. I miss one class a week. Then it goes to two. I start thinking okay maybe I can change the club from the inside. I start asking for harder workouts. Adding an elbow or two to the combos we work in class. Then Iím told elbows are too dangerous for beginners and I should lay off them. The brown sash in class starts doing the warm up, and starts not to do pushups. I think that was my point of no return. That class was being taught by a guy who was so lazy that he wouldnít do pushups. Not one fucking pushup.
So I tell my teacher that this is the last month at the club. He asks why and I tell him this isnít for me. Itís just not hard enough. He says he understands. That he had a much harder more contact class, but people stopped coming. He said that most people donít want to go to work with a black eye or all bruised up. I told my friends in class that I was leaving and most donít understand why. One guy does and he says that he feels the same way I do, but he wonít leave because he has friends here. I wish him good luck and donít look back.
Classes were a good price. $60 a month and really no contract. As much as I began to hate WC, I have utmost respect for my old teacher. He was never anything but nice and supportive about my decision. He said that at one point if I feel like coming back, I would be welcome to. I think he knew that his club ended up being something that he didnít want it to be, but he accepted it. It was a family club, and he was happy with that. There are days where I want to go back in a few years and spar with all my old classmates and destroy them. But that just seems petty to me.
So now I have fallen to the dark side. A few weeks ago I started training MT and now I just signed up for Judo. I want to compete in each style separately, but I donít know if I want to try MMA. Who knows? Give me a couple of yearsÖ