Friday, 20 March 2020

Chu Sau Lei Wing Chun Kuen - A New Beginning

As of March 2020, with much consideration I made the decision to change our club direction and become part of the "Chu Sau Lei Wing Chun Kuen" family under the guidance and teaching of Sifu's Alan Orr and Aaron Baum.
Before I continue on this line I would like to say that the last two years of part time research, learning and practice of the Chu Shong Tin method has been thoroughly eye opening and has changed my view of how Wing Chun can be approached forever, Sifu's Daniel Parr, Mark Ho and Jon Jones of Sung Wing Chun in Sheffield have some very special, unique skills and teaching methods via their direct contact with GM Chu Shong Tin and had it not been such a difficulty in being able to spend adequate time on a regular basis due the distance and money involved to learn fully what and how they transfer those skills, I may not have chosen to look elsewhere for future guidance in my Wing Chun. Respect always.

Aaron Baum/Alan Orr

After making contact with Sifu Alan Orr via Facebook and booking into his summer seminar in London this June, I also touched based with his CSL UK representative Aaron Baum, who despite many years learning under Sifu had also MMA fight experience using the system and being based in Brighton where I spent most my youth, arranged an afternoon of private tuition to experience first hand what their system has to offer.
I found Aaron to be humble, genuine and easy to talk to as he met me from the station and we went to a local park to train (new experience for me) and for the next two to three hours he covered a broad look at long, mid and close body momentum ranges of combat via barefist and gloved sparring drills, how to load weight into a dynamic body structure by using the 7 bows (springs of the body) and discussed parts of the 6 core elements that the CSL system is known for and how it relates to the training and system as a whole.
With some past experience of training with boxers and competitive Jiu Jitsu/MMA fighters to a smaller extent, I know they have a certain feel about them, and Aaron Baum has that feel, he's done the hard yards and knows his game better than most from real experience as well as an internal ability on contact that I have only ever felt from the Sheffield coaches in a similar way.  

Alan Orr and his BJJ Master Leo Negao

As anyone who has trained under me will know, I am forever open minded and in search of understanding as much about other systems of Wing Chun as I can so not only to benefit my own knowledge and skill base but that of any students and not to get too caught up in a bubble of delusion. All of the Wing Chun has been great and has something to offer and perhaps always something lacking, already what I feel I have unearthed this time round is finally a system that appears to have the elements I have read about and searching for, a system that has been combat tested in the best modern way available in the competitive fighting arena, a mix of traditional and modern training methods, from Shaolin Qigong sets to Chinese boxing sparring and iron shirt conditioning, dummy pole and knives as well as kettlebells, bosu balance balls and medicine balls, a system that utilises the whole body and addresses the clinch, takedown and grappling effectively and overall spends the majority of training time in live training with realism in mind and attainable levels of real skills for all .
Sifu and Aaron Baum, and all the established CSL coaches I've made contact with the last few weeks have been so helpful and welcoming and now just want to move forward and grow myself and the club for the years ahead. I plan on visiting Aaron when possible for private training and some of the other UK based coaches and use Sifu's online learning resource to help adjust to the differences and help me coach when we return to classes again.

Sigung Robert Chu (Sifu of Alan Orr and student of GGM Hawkins Cheung and Kwan Jong Yuen)

Obviously exciting times and some changes ahead when we finally get back to regular classes  following this Covid-19 outbreak which has closed down our options for the time being apart from the solo training Wing Chun also affords us.
Please keep in contact via our Facebook page or message me directly about our classes, or joining our group sessions.

For more information on Chu Sau Lei Wing Chun check out Sifu Alan Orr's webpage

Thursday, 16 January 2020

NEW Sudbury Venue/ Wing Chun Kung Fu

Wing Chun Kung Fu is a Southern Chinese Martial Art over 400 years old hailing from the Shaolin Temple.

A close quarter combat system of Kung Fu which employs punches, chops, palms, elbows, knees, low level kicks and sweeps. 
Wing Chun is a pragmatic, concept based system ideal for a hobby and could be very useful for modern day street self defence, developing efficient body mechanics, coordination, balance and improves self confidence, mind/body awareness and offers a lifetime of improvement potential. 

Classes include practice forms, controlled partner exercises, striking to pads and a unique sensitivity training called "Chi Sau" (sticking hands) where you learn how to detect, nullify and control a partners force and intentions on first contact.

With regular attendance and some home practice of what you learn in classes it's possible to become competent much faster than other sports based martial arts that rely on speed, strength and athleticism . In Wing Chun, the more relaxed you are the more powerful and adaptable you can be!!
Wing Chun is said to be the only martial art devised by a woman to overcome larger, stronger opponents so we eagerly welcome new female members to come and join in and keep the guys in line...(haha)

Why not come and find out for yourself...message us NOW to show interest and book a place in our new Beginners focused sessions-

 Wednesday 5th February 6.30pm to 8pm @ Sudbury Therapy Rooms, Unit 5 Byford Road, Chilton Industrial Est. CO10 2YG (Opp the old Strikes Bowling Alley across the road from McDonalds) Ample parking available 

£10 for a trial/no commitment class in this unique martial art made famous by Bruce Lee and the recent Ip Man film franchise. 

Regular Tuition: Covers you for Sudbury and Bury St Edmunds classes in the month.

Adults Fees: £40 per month
15-21 yr olds: £25 per month

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Second Visit to "Sung Wing Chun" - Chu Shong Tin Method

I don't understand women....often they are very contradictory creatures, when they say yes they mean no, and when they say no they mean yes...if they say they are "fine" you better run and hide or rapidly begin the ironing!!
Women can be extremely pragmatic, simple and direct in their attitiude and actions but in the same moment be frustratingly complex and challenging.
However, saying all that, I may not understand them fully, but I know they exist and I find (most) women fascinating , intriguing and beautiful and the good ones have the ability to enrich your life while making you a better person just by being around them on a regular basis

Now read again the above blurb but change the "Women" references to "Wing Chun" and you'll begin to see where I am coming from.
You don't need to believe in silly fairytales about a Buddhist nun creating an efficient system of fighting by watching a crane and a snake but still recognise that Wing Chun has many female characteristics in its make up as well as how simple and direct it can be as well as delving into the depths of complexity and shining a mirror into your very being and make up within the training process. It will soon highlight if you're weak, big headed, impateint, lazy, full of excuses, too head strong, over confident or cocky, living in cloud cuckoo land (Ip Man film franchise land) or if you have patience, perseverance, dedication and a work ethic to get anywhere and improve yourself at all.

Since I last travelled to Sheffield to have an introuction into the Chu Shong Tin Wing Chun methods , a year has passed and in that time in my classes we have been working towards opening up our Wing Chun thinking and applying as much efficiency into whatever we do, from impact pad striking, to partner drills, form pathway tests and Chi Sau.
Obviously with only a very small amount of insight I am not in the position to pass on any part of their method with anything more than my interpretation of what I experienced, but thats really what we all do as we learn from others and I feel we made some progress along the lines of being more balanced, aware and efficient if nothing else along with a better understanding of when we were jamming up, fighting against force and overly relying on speed, structure and alignment - all aspects their method does not require to the same degree or in the same way as any other Wing Chun ive encountered in over 20 years.

I had however begun to get a bit desponant due to the distance and cost for me to learn this method to a good enough degreee to be able to pass it on and had started to look around for other potential clubs to visit.
However personally I was still very intrigued to learn more and meet up with Dan Parr, Mark Ho and Jon Jones again as they were so very helpful and genuine as were their students on my last visit, so I arranged this trip and took another two days off work to go up with an open mind to see if anything they showed me last time had sunk into my grey matter.

 Sung Wing Chun Instructors Dan, Mark, Jon and students

My itenery was similar to last time, travel up on a Tuesday, have an afternoon private lesson with Mark Ho as soon as I got there, book into my AirB&B and then attend their Tuesday evening class, before a very comfortable sleepover and another private lesson this time with Dan Parr on the Wednesday morning before returning home.

So not to completely parrot what I wrote in my previous blog I will try and condense this part but bear in mind over these two days we covered only 4 or 5 areas and I wrote 13 pages of notes on this alone!
Mark again warmly welcomed me into his house with a large pot of hot Chinese tea and we sat and talked for a while on what had happened since my last visit and many aspects of how Chu Shong Tin taught and approached his Wing Chun in the last decade of his life which they aim to pass on as accurately as possible. We again covered the essence of the method via standing practice, fundamental sung actions, Yi Sik (intent methods) accepting force exercises using your body as a conduit to receive and issue as well as how this applies to the Siu Nim Tau actions and Chi Sau (mainly Tan, Bong, Fook)
I began to recognise that although in my classes we had opened up and had more ability to handle greater forces and allow joints to open and rotate, there was still too much structure, muscle activation and alignment required for us which Mark doesn't need in contact, he felt immovable again yet soft and present and breaking contact or speeding up for me would have been fruitless, he was there and had my balance before I knew Id begun to lose it...all with a smile and no real apparent  intent.

Mark Ho being taught by Sifu Chu Shong Tin

I left buzzing again and went for a two hour walk around that area of Sheffield for something to eat and clear my head a bit after an already long day, then walked a couple of roads up from where I was staying to Dan's house and a lift to the evening class. I will say at this point that I feel very comfortable in the company of Mark and Dan (and Jon) who accept ive been around the Wing Chun block a few times but are not ever trying to impress or compare what they do, only try and help you improve your understanding and skills and explain how they practice and teach Wing Chun.

The first hour was comprised mainly of standing practice and forms training. (Standing practice is a whole body awareness scan to recognise and release tensions in the body and joints which also centres your balance and settles and focusses the mind before form practice and training).
Their classes are conducted in an open Hong Kong style where students come in and train what they require and want to train for their level, past the new starter stage anyway, train with who they want to train with and the three Sung Wing Chun instructors are on hand to help and adjust and advise as needed.
Dan spent quite a bit of time with me kindly at the start, pulling and prodding my arms, shoulders, back, neck and hips, like being at a chiropractor but without the pain to loosen the joints up and show once loose you can accept an incredible amount of force without it affecting you in the slightest and no need for stance or power from the ground or any of that usual Wing Chun dialogue (certainly no references of jin flow pathways and sinking the chi - although sinking the Brie or Tea and exploring pathways to Gin seems pretty viable up in Yorkshire thankfully)

I spent some time sticking hands with all the instructors and 3 or 4 students of varying levels all of whom were very polite, helpful, informative and skilled - a real good indication of how they are taught, and was pleased this time round that I handled myself much better in these rolls than last year when I literally couldnt do a thing with anyone, although at times just getting close to touching them you bounce off this invisible solid rubber wall and take yourself off balance in the process...impressive and useful self defence skill indeed.

My private lesson before leaving Wednesday lunchtime was with Dan Parr in his garage training space, equipped like my personal training shed with wooden dummy, poles, knives, pads etc and thankfully a heater and hot cup of tea. Mark, Dan and Jon all approach teaching the method in a slightly different way but all arrive at the same destination. On top of force handling, joint release and Chi sau that we covered,  I wanted some questions answered despite feeling how powerful and effortless this internal Wing Chun method was in the form tests and Chi sau practice, myself and many of my more experienced students had the obvious doubts to if it could potentially stand up to some nutcase grabbing you round the throat, smashing you against a wall and trying to remove your head from your shoulders!! (ie..can it work against smackhead psychos?)

Now although ive been punched in the head more times than I like to remember in boxing and milling (no rules boxing) in the Royal Marines, kicked in Muay Thai classes by professional fighters and experienced street level violence on three occasions, as well as being choked almost unconscious and physically dominated in jiu jitsu and been hit close to full power lots of times by Wing Chun instructors far better than myself over the years with aggression, power and speed ...Dan calmly adapted his Man sau and Wu sau hands in more of a Geoff Thompson type fence and applied Wing Chun method and theory to close down any options and space I had and stole my balance and position in an instant making me feel more threatened than I ever have with no real effort or intent ...but he also explained that nothing is infallible, Mike Tyson in his prime got hit thousands of times every fight, Bruce Lee got hit too and their club are not into teaching "Psycho Wing Chun" to smash the living granny out of people...

An attacker on the street is aiming to put force of some type onto you to affect you..whether thats a push, pull, punch, kick etc...its still force..and will have to be in your personal space, onto you very much in Chi sau range...this method involves sensible and objective training to defend yourself with better use and access to your whole body mass and develop the ability to handle more incoming force, control the opponents balance and actions and also to hit with unimpeded power should the need arise ...on the flip side the Wing Chun martial art can be practiced and explored for a lifetime if you have the dedication and persistance to walk the path and put the required time and effort (kung fu) in for the majority that have no intention of wanting to learn how to fight and survive a street attack anyway
Those that do can do so and pressure test as they see fit until confidence is improved and questions answered, once the basics of the method have been learnt and internalised (you cant be a formula one racing driver if you cant drive or have the opportunity to drive and never get in your car ; read, turn up to training regularly)...its good but its no magic wand.

Another simple way to improve self confidence for fighting as Dan mentioned and I have alluded to many times in class, is to spend a month or two hitting the wallbag several thousand times every day, or hit a heavy bag in the same way...that way even if you cant defend anything you will know you can hit without thought hard and effectively (ps YouTube not required)

In closing, as you may be able to tell and like Brittany Spears sang about...Oops they did it again, I was very impressed and returned on the train once more feeling like a better person and itching to get some hands on practice. Mark and Dan were more philosophical about my potential transition to this method and said obviously it will be a process and take time but whatever I wish to cover in my classes is upto me but to try and follow the path set out, make what we do more efficient and tweak things as needed as and when I can return upto them, which will be in a few weeks time at their long weekend "Sung Wing Chun International Gathering" with over 40 people to train with, all of whom have experience in the method, many with Chu Shong Tin directly in the last 10 years of his life.

I also have invited Mark and Dan to come down to Bury St Edmunds one Sunday this year to hold a 3 hour seminar so you have the opportunity to feel some of what I have yourself ...details and dates to be confirmed.

This is the path of Wing Chun practice I wish to explore and intend to do so but as my current students know I am an open book and happy to cover in class whatever I know from my experience to help you all improve while im on the path to improving myself and own Wing Chun.

"Do basic stuff better" Mark Ho

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Review of my first lessons in the "Chu Shong Tin Wing Chun" Method

The late Grandmaster Chu Shong Tin - 1933-2014

 To begin, here is a brief description of who Chu Shong Tin was and his life's work developing and teaching his Wing Chun method.
Much information can be found online in these modern times to gain a more insightful historical account of this mans approach, practice and teaching of Wing Chun but as a brief overview, Chu Shong Tin (abbreviated herein as CST) began his Wing Chun learning under Grandmaster Yip (Ip) Man as a 19 year old in January 1951, he was one of the original Hong Kong based students alongside famous others such as Lok Yiu, Leung Sheung and Wong Shun Leung.
CST took to his Wing Chun practice diligently often spending around 10 hours per day on the development of his skills, of particular focus was the first practice form in Wing Chun, Siu Nim Tau (little idea) as well as focused concentration on leading all the actions from the mind intent (Yi in Cantonese) and on the direct advice of Ip Man "to use no force"
During many hours of daily Chi Sau with his peers CST chose to work on his defence often letting his partners strike at will and aiming to nullify the incoming force and seek only to control his own balance as well as affecting his partners in the process (as students of Ip Man also report that they were always off balance and he never needed to resort to striking).
CST also spent around 5 years of his 21 years training time actually living with Ip Man and being a closed door student as well as a senior instructor within Ip Man's classes.
Following the passing of Ip Man in 1972, CST continued to honour his Sifu's art passing it on with a passion to retain the original simplicity and true essence that was passed to him by Ip Man.
A short breakdown and overview can also be found in this link

Some other great resources and clips can be found on YouTube including "Mindful Wing Chun" by Sifu Nima King and Sifu John Kaufman Wing Chun and of course the "Sung Wing Chun" channel...but I stress this looks very different to how it feels. Like all Wing Chun when you feel know what real and whats not.

"Sung Wing Chun" - Sheffield; Daniel Parr - Mark Ho - Jon Jones

After 22 years to date in Wing Chun practice for myself and exposure to around 7 lineages of our art and forever open minded to all approaches of practice, i've recently found my interest has piqued enough to explore the internal side that seems to be a big talking point in modern day Wing Chun.
Sifu Sergio Iadarola is having huge success spreading his IWKA worldwide and has some fantastic research into the practice and development of Wing Chun that long pre-date the common Ip Man method recognised today. I was also aware within the Ip Man line that Chu Shong Tin had a very internal and holistic focused methodology in passing on the system, so via some Googling and a few online conversations found the instructors at "Sung Wing Chun" Sheffield UK. 
I had a couple of free days so arranged to travel up there this February 13th/14th 2018 to learn both privately with Mark Ho and Dan Parr and attend one of their classes while I was there also to have some immersion in the Chu Shong Tin method that they teach.

I arrived in a cold Sheffield city centre at 12.30pm after almost 5 hours on the train and took a taxi to Marks house where he welcomed me into his home with hot Chinese tea and a smile. Mark made me feel at ease immediately and spent time to explain how his Sigung taught and the key breakdown of the system is practised and approached. There is far too much that wont be understood prior to feeling the method but in brief, most Wing Chun is highly external in nature, punching, kicking, mobility, partner drills, scenarios, sparring  and is very direct and effective. The internal methods concern more along the lines of holistic self development, learn to correct and release tension in the body for balance and synchronicity of the skeletal frame and how the subconscious mind may be tapped into to control any actions we perform and there is a process of change and pathway to follow to make the most of this understanding and develop the skills required for realistic use if needed of the Wing Chun system of Chu Shong Tin.
I guess I was part expecting some form of esoteric mumbling's about soft magical force and Qi (Chi) power or autosuggestion that gets you to act in a certain way to sell the method...but nothing could be further from the truth, Mark demonstrated their handling of given force in comparison to how most ( do it ..or the reliance of speed and muscular power, bracing or fast footwork and lightening fast hands...when in fact once contact was made and he asked me to do 'anything' I wanted...I was totally unable to punch, kick, trap, grab, breakaway...I couldn't even keep balance..and he wasn't trying or needing to move or strike me to do so..just smiled back as I was caught in his web..if anything he made me stick to him!! He indicated though that he could have struck me at will at any point but there was no need as we both knew this....

Mark led me through some basic force related exercises and tests (pushes/pulling/pressure) so I could feel where I was holding tension and how to release that as well as how being aware of my postural integrity and thought process could positively affect my ability to release and withstand increasing force given and how to join our body mass into the equation as well as the relationship of this practice to the Wing Chun forms, Chi Sau, dummy and weapons.
The core actions in Wing Chun are well known as Taan (lay-out/disperse) Bong (wing-arc) and Fook (nullify/cover) - these actions are often angular in most Wing Chun branches, yet circular in nature in the CST method and involve free joint rotation instead of jamming elbows in and relying solely on structure and action/reaction force.

We covered the core CST method of Standing Practice and its relationship to the methods effectiveness as without balance, relaxation and control paired with awareness of our self, how can we possibly attack or defend against an external resistance. 

When Ip Man learnt and taught initially the traditional method was to focus on the basic stance only for the first few months to a year at least, perhaps some form practice and wallbag punching to be added in before commencing the Chi Sau training, Ip was forced to add more variety and mobility in the training as he relied on the income from teaching to live and most wouldn't commit to this form of mainly static practice so deviated slightly from how he was taught. Chu Shong Tin in his last 10 years documented that this was crucial to the development of his Wing Chun methodology to retain this original nature and approach to Wing Chun.
Mark mentioned in his time learning directly from his Sigung he would often spend 6 hours standing every night (5pm to 11pm) in his classes (I have just begun with 30-45 mins daily and this is arduous enough being new to this method)
I left Marks, booked into my B&B and took a walk for a coffee and to write up notes from my lesson still shaking my head in relative disbelief.

Mark Ho teaching how to receive incoming force

A few hours later Daniel Parr, one of the three "Sung Wing Chun" instructors picked me up for the evening class. I was interested to see how the class was structured and how the students took to this method of practice which is clearly in direct contrast to most Wing Chun schools. There I also met the third instructor they have, Jon Jones (not the MMA legend)... they share the hands on teaching and avoid the titles and certificates and bowing of many western Wing Chun schools.
The class began with standing practice, easier said than done and there is much going on inside your body and head despite what it may look like to an outsider...this was followed by individual form practice and concentrating on the "Sung" (relaxed/settled) state and the mind leading the body. Immediately I realised how much tension I had been holding in my shoulders and hips and calves and thighs and back...this began to dissipate I noticed with attention to it during a slow first form run through lasting around 20-25 mins.
We then paired up and were given a force exercise/test to run through in accepting the pressure within the body, release any tension without collapsing inward or moving, dissipate the force and connect our body mass as the pressure increased. Fascinating and frustrating all at once! 
Lastly we moved onto their practice of Daan Chi Sau (single sticking hands) which doesn't follow any set prescribed routine or drill (there are no drills in fact) but the exchange of pressures and forces and the use of the Taan/Bong/Fook joint rotations with steps/shifting only there if required..I trained with instructors, experienced students and almost total novices with less than a year Wing Chun and regardless they handled me with ease and a smile and left me unbalanced  and in total awe of the effortless skill and ability to hit me anytime they wanted without any speed or muscular force being used at all. Very impressed is an understatement.

Daniel Parr - Chu Shong Tin

After a great nights sleep in my comfortable en suite room I headed round to Dan Parr for a private lesson with him before my journey home, Dan initially learnt Wing Chun for 12 years under Sifu William Lai, a Chu Shong Tin disciple in the 70's and Dan is the only student under William I believe to be certified to teach under him. Dan went onto learn directly in Chu Shong Tin's school in Hong Kong in his last years and learnt the method they currently teach now.
Another very hands on lesson followed and Dan built on what Mark had showed me and presented it in a different way but the result was the same...he effortlessly controlled my centre and attempts to do anything without really trying but explained the whole time what he was doing and how I could follow suit, lets just say I had some glimpses into whats possible as he led me through aspects of Siu Nim Tau and Chum Kiu and Chi Sau and how what he teaches is all encompassing as far as dealing with any type or direction of attack that may come in from punching to kicking and grappling and not merely Wing Chun vs Wing Chun lines of attack, the core concepts came out naturally, if I attempted to break away he ate up my space, if I sped up my response my balance was compromised quicker and always had an immediate striking opportunity available that he didn't need to be set up or search for ..he was some jedi wizard :-)

On my journey home I continued to write up the 15 pages of notes from my experiences and know deep down this is worth investing time in and committing to for the long run, I also strangely felt like I have returned a better person in some way and view Wing Chun in a much different light to its true power and potential. 
I will return very soon for another input, possibly in the form of attending their long weekend gathering in April in Derbyshire and in the meantime focus on my own internal wing chun development and practice and begin to drip feed some of the ideas into my current classes until I have a better skill and understanding to pass it on accurately.

I have also suggested that we arrange for them to come down to Suffolk to hold a workshop/seminar on the Chu Shong Tin method sometime later this year as it needs to be felt first hand by our students to be fully appreciated.

Lastly I'd like to thank Mark, Dan and Jon for being so open and welcoming without agenda as well as the the Sung Wing Chun students who gave me an initial feel for this unique and very special genuine Kung Fu skill.

See you all very soon. Paul

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Christmas and New Year Class Information

Well, another training year is coming to an end and Id like to thank all the students that have continued to put in the hard work and regular attendance in the Sudbury and Bury St Edmunds Wing Chun sessions in 2017as well as the private students who put that extra time into their learning.

We have had some regular longer term students cease training this year and also some new faces eager to learn start to join us with also some that had left, return again to the fold in both locations.

With my extra work commitments that I have taken on since September the pressure is off to chase people constantly to attend on a regular enough basis to enable me to get some true momentum and progression in the classes.
Although this has in turn allowed me to focus on the dedicated students who turn up week in week out and put the time in to make the club stronger and provide solid training partners for others coming in to learn and develop their own Wing Chun.

This year we have also taken our first real tentative steps into sparring and will continue to explore this in the new year in a variety of ways from empty hand Chi Sau based drills to pad fed and partner live sparring work using small and large gloves with also the option of additional protective gear to pressure test and explore the concepts in training as this develops past the basics.

The Sudbury training shed also now has a wall mounted Wooden Dummy that has been utilised in many of the midweek sessions and I will also be offering "Small group or Individual Intensive Training" opportunities on this area of Wing Chun (as well as others) in the spring of 2018. 
These will be 2 or 4 hour sessions depending on the subject matter and a great way to get a comprehensive insight into some of the key training areas that dont always get the time allocation required in class.

In April there will be a small monthly Tuition Fee increase as this hasn't happened for over a decade and in fact prices have gone down in that time period which doesn't provide me with financial security to pay hall fees/travel expenses should people not bother to turn up or pay on time/set the compulsory standing order payment up etc. I admit I have been laid back about this in the past and will also change come April. More details to come next year but I teach more out of passion for the art than financial gain as you all know so the increase wont break the bank and we will still be well under what many other Wing Chun club charges to learn the system .

On a final note our last Bury St Edmunds session is this afternoon (December 17th) and Sudbury still has Monday 18th and Wednesday 20th as their final sessions.
Private tuition will be available up until and including Saturday 23rd December in Sudbury by contacting me directly to arrange.

I wish you all a very happy Christmas and lets try and hit the ground with the right training mindset from the start of the new year to improve our standard and practice in our personal Wing Chun journey. January will be a big focus on old school type drilling of the core basics, forms, footwork, functionality and coordination exercises alongside the usual Chi Sau and Sparring that have been present in the last few months.

Merry Christmas to all!!! 

Sifu Paul 

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

What to expect when joining our Wing Chun classes

When a new student or prospective student comes along to try a martial arts class, often getting them through the door is the hardest step for them to take.
Our classes are adults sessions but on occasions we do accept members as young as 13 if they have the right training mindset and behaviour and the self discipline to concentrate and improve but everyone works with each other to some degree and helps each other to learn and improve regardless of ability or experience.
We currently take new members in our main classes in Sudbury and Bury St Edmunds all year round.
First 4 sessions can be on a taster basis Pay as you Go £10 per class, after this the monthly fee applies to everyone, ideally via standing order.
(*Private one to one tuition is also available on request in Sudbury*)

So with this in mind here is a brief rundown of how we structure our classes and what to expect when you join us to learn Wing Chun Kung Fu.

Wing Chun Fundamentals:

It is important at first to develop a basic understanding of how Wing Chun works and what its key principles and concepts are, so the early weeks of training will comprise of setting up stance for optimum balance, the way we use our guarding hands and punching method and footwork methods.
At this stage you will also be introduced to some partner drills that begin to develop coordination and control and a respect for your training partners in class (many of the wing chun drills help you build an optimum training partner)
Striking to pads and tag type sparring development drills will also be introduced alongside the first Wing Chun practice form Siu Nim Tau (little/young idea) and its sticking hands counterpart Dan Chi Sau (single sticky hands) as well as a double sticking hands drill called Poon Sau (rolling/folding hands) which develops the correct use of the elbow and force exchange, both of which act as punch development tools and linking the upper half to the stance via the elbow and waist.
In our club we also get the beginning level students to learn the key Wing Chun actions in combination drills with a partner and learn basic Wing Chun self defence scenario training, how to deal with common street level type attacks and situations in a fixed and more random, but controlled format.

Wing Chun Intermediate Level:

By this stage you may be a few months into your Wing Chun training and have a good basic grasp of the Fundamental level training...we never fully move on from these basics as advanced Wing Chun is simply the basics done to a high standard, but there are more forms, drills and a deeper understanding to be worked on from this stage.
The second form is introduced here Chum Kiu (seeking/sinking the bridge) which involves turning the stance, stepping, kicking and begins to focus on a moving target and training the body to work as one unit. Chum Kiu has its own complimentary drill in the form of Laap Sau (warding off hands) that primarily works on the Wing Chun core actions contained around Bong Sau (wing arm deflection) and how it may be used to open up a new attack line if our wrist is controlled in some way.
You will also learn how to deal with grabs and holds at this stage of training and be introduced to our Level 1 Free Sparring programme and begin to learn to apply your wing chun against more random pressure in a controlled environment .
Sticking hands training is a large focus in Wing Chun due its close quarter suitability so this will be bedded in within most sessions to some degree as Chi Sau practice works to stage of an encounter where hands and arms often get jammed up and entangled so the Chi sau helps us find a way back to being able to use our main Wing Chun punch or diffuse a situation enough to control or escape safely if possible.
After this maybe 2 to 3 years have passed depending on how often you train and how diligently you practice at home to improve.
The next stages to come involve the third practice form Biu Jee (thrusting/pointing fingers) as well as the famous Wing Chun Wooden Dummy training Muk Yan Jong as well as two weapons forms, the long pole Luk Dim Boon Gwun and double knives/short swords Baat Jaam Dao

Chi sau and sparring get more intense as your skill and control improves and the early drills become pivotal now as you find some of the mistakes you make under this pressure can be rectified using a return to the drills. In this way the Wing Chun system is constantly being refined as you become programmed to respond in a more efficient way for close quarter fighting always referring back to the foundation level as your root.

In over 20 years I am still amazed at how much Wing Chun teaches me about myself and as martial artists we constantly strive to learn, dvelop and improve ourselves and others through the training habit.

So what are you waiting for???? Join us soon in one of our classes and learn for yourself how much Wing Chun Kung Fu has to offer.
For more information call me on 07891699272 or request to join our Facebook page at
"Next Level Wing Chun Academy"

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Sudbury Wing Chun change of training night (January 2017) and Tuition fee breakdown

As of the first week of January 2017 our usual Thursday night training session will switch back to a Wednesday evening 6.30pm to 8pm. 82 Cornard Road, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 2XB (please arrive at least 5 mins early)

This session will focus mainly on one or two areas per session such as a practice form and a partner drill for example or may cover just one area for the entire class, this session will still be suitable for all levels of experience but I would encourage all beginning level students to attend the Monday night session in Sudbury and/or the Sunday main class in Bury St Edmunds and use this Wednesday training as an addition if you have less than 6 months Wing Chun training experience.

I have had a few new enquiries for both the Sudbury shed based sessions and Bury St Edmunds class over the Christmas break  so its possible that I could try again to hire a larger training hall in Sudbury if we get enough committed regular students paying monthly by standing order to warrant it (8 to 10 paying monthly)..although this will have been the fifth time in 12 years I have done so in Sudbury and been let down by lack of dedicated students to cover the hall fees every time so admittedly I am a bit reticent to dive straight in and lose money again...but with enough interest can happen.

Each class in both locations needs to have a minimum of 6 students to keep the sessions open so its more than achievable and my open, lenient approach to tuition fees over the past ten years or so hasn't helped at times.

Every student should have set up a monthly standing order payment within the first 6 weeks of training. Cash payments can be used for tuition as long as the student always pays the first session of each month..once this has been missed a standing order needs to be set up from this point forward to continue training. Standing order details can be sent to you via email or via paper to hand into the bank, please use your name as a reference...should you decide to cease training the first instance is to inform me, then the standing order payment may be cancelled at any time

£10 pay as you go fees are only applicable for the first month of training to enable the student to decide if they wish to continue training in Wing Chun..after this monthly fees apply immediately.

Tuition Fee Breakdown

15 to 18 year olds and unemployed adults: £5 per session/£20 per month

Adults: £10 per session initially for the first 4 sessions then £30 per month in either branch

Family Discount: £60 for upto 3 members of the same family all training

All classes in both locations per month: £40

Private Tuition: £30 per hour held in the training shed, Sudbury