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