As Well As, Not Instead Of



Todays’ blog is of immense importance as it is such a common factor in a students’ progress, or should I say

lack of.

And it is the fact that when you learn something new, a form for especially, that this information is

As well as, not instead of’.


This is something I try to emphasis in every beginner course, the fact that what we learn in lesson one, should not then be forgotten in order to make room for lesson two, and this is the same for lessons three, four and so on, that this new information is ’As well as, not instead of’.


If you learn the first section of Siu Lim Tau and then move onto the second section, the first section should be improving all the time as it has had more time studying it.

Moving onto the third section, for every hour learning this section should be doubled on the second section and tripled on the first section.


And yet this does not happen… why?


“Never neglect basics!” is something I have shouted at students for decades, and of course this is important, but at the same time, at some point these basics need to be relaxed in order for them to work at their best for you.


Sticking purely to the ABC’s and NEVER allowing yourself to explore would be detrimental to your overall development, but NOT when it comes to form work.


Form application is 100% open to interpretation but the pattern MUST be perfect every time or these blueprints will simply lose direction and eventually have no purpose and give no answers, which after all is the reason for forms.


Forms are your textbooks and must be protected and preserved.

When learning any form I tell students that you must know your form techniques/moves four times.

For every move in every form, you should know:


What it looks like (The move done correctly of course)


What it’s called (The terminology of that move)


What that means (The translation of that terminology)


And what it’s for (The application of that move)


And if you have an application for every move in that form, GET ANOTHER!

And never argue who’s application is correct, THEY BOTH ARE.

Stop being narrow minded and share your ideas, that way you both gain in knowledge and experience.


When I opened my school at the start of the 1990’s I always said to my students that I didn’t want to teach Wing Chun but wanted them to learn it.

Only yesterday I had an email asking:

‘Is it possible to learn the full system through

How do you get round the fact that you are doing it remotely?’




Because it’s up to YOU to do the work anyway, this is what I meant when I said I wanted my students to LEARN Wing Chun, and not to be constantly spoon-fed the information.


For various reasons I have not been to my class for several weeks and on my return last week I was shocked to see a drop in Siu Lim Tau skill, a big drop I might add, and yesterday I had the same thing again in Pak Sau drills.


Now I do not mean to criticize my students or talk bad of them, quite the opposite, I love them all dearly and consider them my family, BUT it did concern me that the most basic elements had been allowed to slip in my absence.


One of the main reasons I started WingChun.Online so many years ago was so I would not have to keep repeating myself and hoped that students would constantly use this vehicle as a way of reminding themselves to keep up to the basic principles, therefore allowing the students to check themselves and even teach themselves.

As can you too!


So we come to a question I have for the more experienced among you (and I’m sure that’s most of you as no-one likes to think they are not good):

‘When was the last time you looked at your techniques

(through the eyes of a beginner?)


Do try it, please, if possible, use your phone and make a short video of your training in a class situation if possible, and watch it back.

I’m pretty sure you’ll be surprised by what you are doing (or not doing) without even knowing it.


“Never neglect basics!”

Even as an instructor.



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