The reason for this small piece stems from us increasingly being approached by dissatisfied students from other clubs and Organisations.

Imagine believing you are buying the best steak then only to discover when you get home and unwrap it you have purchased only cat food (or worse).

It is so vital for any individual to try out their chosen Martial Art for a period of time to make sure it contains all the right criteria for them. With so many wing chun, wingtsun, vingtsun, etc. schools around. All, describing themselves in different ways from being quickest way to learn wing chun or simply by saying they are the biggest and so therefore the best organisation.

What can possibly be so good about having something quick to learn? (May be two years) what substance can this wing chun system possibly have. Either the instructors have forgotten most what they had learnt or more probably and realistically they never had it in the first place. What also is necessarily so good about being the biggest organisation? Big can only be that they have hundreds of schools with, hundreds of students in each club. But, look into each club and you will see most likely only the same students each week not the hundreds or so members that are professed to belong. Biggest is now the club with lots of students but for some reason not many attending.

I see a good and successful school is the one that has a strong and happy group of students. Students, who all regularly attend the classes and really want to progress and grade through a properly constructed syllabus that is challenging for both the mind and the body one, where students know they can become nonpareil in their “art”. What honestly makes a good Wing Chun school is when the system is being learnt at any level whether first grade, twelfth or technician levels it is demanding, intriguing, and rewarding enough to make students proud to belong. Not wish they were gone.

Please, please if you are interested in Wing Chun then visit different organisations. Don’t necessarily choose the one that may be the closest or most convenient. Talk and “listen” to the instructors to see if they have a passion for what they do. Try also to meet their students. Train for a period of time and make sure you have the possibility to leave at any time if disillusioned, dissatisfied or maybe in case your circumstances change. Don’t be tied in!

It saddens me a lot that we at Wing Chun UK in England have been approached by so many people who have been sitting down to years and years of supply of “cat food” gagging at every single mouthful just because of the fact they have bought it. If these poor souls could just be courageous and mentally strong enough to throw it all away they could then free themselves of this horrible and humiliating burden and be able to go and find themselves the beautiful steak they had wanted in the first place.

Sifu Tony Hollander, Wing Chun Head Instructor, Sevenoaks and King’s Hill