TLDR: 20 years learning and teaching Wing Chun, including three years full time under Sifu Jim Fung, and three years full time under Sigung Chu Shong Tin.
I was living in Perth, Western Australia, just out of secondary school, and I asked myself, “What do I want to do with my life?” I wasn’t sure what to do with all of it, but I was sure about one thing: I wanted to do martial arts.
I signed up for many martial arts classes, wanting to give myself a broad exposure before dedicating myself to one. I did Taekwondo, boxing, fencing, aikido, capoeira, systema, ju jitsu —- then I discovered Wing Chun, and it was love at first sight.
A few months into my training, I was googling about Wing Chun and I came across something that seemed too good to be true: a government-accredited tertiary accreditation in Wing Chun instruction? The government would pay me to learn Wing Chun? The only catch was the course was starting next week and was in Sydney. I wish I could say the decision was hard to make. Five days later I was on the other side of the continent ready for the Monday 9am class at the International Wing Chun Academy in Sydney’s Chinatown, the first student through the door.
Certificate IV in Wing Chun Instruction
At the International Wing Chun Academy (IWCA), I trained 60+ hours a week, for three years, and I also got to do a lot of teaching as a Sihung. I learnt a lot from this period from dozens of great instructors. Once I became an instructor I continued to teach for several years, until Sifu Jim’s death.
Sifu Jim Fung liked to demonstrate his powerful one inch punch on me if I was by the front desk and potential customers had come in. He would strike me, I would fly back over a meter, hit the wall, and then slide down it! Sifu Jim had extremely fast and powerful hands!
About 9 months into training, I met my grandmaster, my Sigung, Chu Shong Tin. Annually he would come to the IWCA and give a week of seminars. I attended 60 hours of seminars over four years. These seminars contained a lot of theory, in highly concentrated form.
At these seminars I found that Sigung would like to combine theory, with demonstration on the questioner, and then an attempt to get the questioner to be able to do this themselves. I wasn’t shy in asking questions! These seminars provided the theoretical foundation for my training in Australia, and put me in an excellent position to later learn rapidly from Sigung’s daily instruction when I lived in Hong Kong.
If you click on the link below you’ll see Sigung using an an application of the dummy form to throw around a younger me.
Certificate IV in Fitness Leaders
While training to get my CIV in Wing Chun Instruction, I also got this Personal Trainer qualification. I learnt a lot about anatomy and biomechanics from this course. I was lucky that the course was run by Sport Scientist and Wing Chun Instructor, Kevin Troeger. Click the link to read an excellent article by Kevin.