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My experience with the traditional Wing Chun Kung Fu and the
modern realistic system WingTsun (WT) - by Joe Kuh

A lot of people might not realize the differences between the conventional and traditional "Wing Chun Kung Fu" and the systematic and modernized "Wing Tsun Kung Fu".

Their translations in Chinese are exactly the same, but in terms of teaching, training and applications, the "Wing Tsun Kung Fu System", in my opinion, is a lot more practical and realistic.

It represents many of the improvements and changes of the system from the era of the first generation students to the modern era of the 90’s.

Unlike many kung fu practitioners who devote all of their time following one Sifu (i.e. instructor in Chinese, with the meaning of a father figure), my situation is a little bit unusual.

I first became acquainted with Wing Chun Kung Fu when I was a teenager, more than 8 years ago.

My instructor was a good friend of my father’s employee, and I was under his instruction because my father wanted me to gain some kung fu skills "just in case I need it".

I was very delighted, because that’s what I have been wanting to do ever since I was a little kid. I was under his instruction for a period of time before having to go to the United States to further my education.

However, what I remembered from him was only fragments of the first form, without understanding anything about it at all.

Besides, my Sifu rarely showed us the real applications realistically, as the most he would do is show me the position of the form.
Maybe it was because of the short period of time that I had been with him; had I stayed there long enough, I am sure I would have learned a lot more from him, as I could see other students doing things that would be possible for me to perform in a matter of years.

After a few years, I happened to stay in Vancouver and had the privilege to meet and train under my current trainer specialized in Realistic Self-Defense Wing Tsun Kung Fu.

After a month or so of intensive, yet friendly and thorough training, I found that there was a big gap between what I learned before and what I was now learning.

With the modernized and progressive teaching method, we break things down into different segments – 12 programs before one reaches the instructor level, with each program focusing on different aspects of a realistic situation.

Best of all, my trainer welcomes any questions; anything ranging from the realistic fighting mentality to the applications of the forms.

As a contrast to what I had learned before, what only seemed possible for me to be able to perform in 3 years became only a matter of months, as the training programs provide me with all the answers I need.

To me, what I have learned (and am still learning!) from my Wing Tsun Kung Fu Instructor is not only complete and well-rounded, but at the same time, very realistic.

I have seen a lot of advertising and gimmicks elsewhere about the "lethal secret techniques of all time", with the emphasis of mystical secrecy and heritage of lineage. But for my personal preference, martial arts has to be something that is simple, yet effective.

Instead of mastering some skills in 10 years, I would like to make them happen in 3. Furthermore, I am sure what I learn from my instructor specialized in Realistic Self-Defense Wing Tsun Kung Fu can convince anybody that this system really works.

For the first time, I truly understand that the traditional way of instruction and the systematic, modernize way of teaching really do make a difference!

Group-photo (from left to right): Joe, Chris, Instructor Ralph Haenel, Jeannie
Please click here to view photo.
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