Back In The Saddle
Happy 100th Sifu!
Well, what a time it’s been over this last couple of weeks…
Firstly, may I apologise to my students for my absence, but, as I did inform where possible, I had been going to Hong Kong to visit my Sifu to celebrate his 100th year on the planet, during this time I was unable to blog as I would have wished, unable to run the zoom classes, and, even unable to be in a position to pop up pre-recorded sessions, but I am back now and looking forward to training with you all again.
As for the trip itself, well where do I begin?
The story starts with a visit from a super typhoon, Typhoon Saola (one of the top five ever recorded), which caused the cancellation of our initial flights and hotels, forcing us to seek new arrangements departing after the typhoon, and unfortunately, also after the celebratory dinner.
Not only were we not at the dinner, but Master Ip Chun could not attend either due to the terrible travelling conditions.
The rains were incredible, the heaviest rainfall in 140 years!
However, this did not stop us from training, visiting the VTAA (Ip Mans school), and meeting up with old friends, while at the same time rolling with new ones too.
The greatest joy for me was spending time with my students and having the luxury of being able to share techniques and experiences through discussion as well as LOTS of practical exchanges, AND, to also meet with Nick Francis Stephens, who until this point, I had never rolled, or made any contact with, only viewing his progress on screen through our WingChun.Online livestream, sessions.
He was great!
I was overjoyed to see that the online training had really worked and that he really could roll and play Chi Sau so well, even my students from the UK were impressed by his abilities, so much so in fact that I certified him as our first, official WingChun.Online Ambassador in New York.
Nick is a real credit to his students over there, students I hope to meet with very soon, along with the rest of our family over there.
The training began by us taking a look at Dan Chi Sau, understanding its link to Siu Lim Tau, and then bringing that into Chi Sau, using this triangle of thinking we could apply it to anything using the Dan Chi principles (trained solo), under the Siu Lim Tau.
Each lesson created a deeper understanding and a higher skill set, this was not just theory my friends, this sh*t worked! And with great effect.
Our Wing Chun pilgrimage took in all the usual sights, such as Ip Man’s tomb, the 10,000 Buddhas, Wong Tai Sin temple, star ferry, peak, and many more, and ALL with classes galore.
As always, a tight bond grew within the group, with sadness on departure, for me personally, the saddest part being not getting to see my Sifu at all this time, this being due to a covid outbreak at his residence meaning the entire building being in lockdown.
So all that means is, let’s get booking the next trip!
One thing I did bring back with me though, was flu like symptoms, giving me hot and cold shivers on the flight home, not the best journey with a jumper, two blankets and cold sweats, goodness knows what that might be eh???
I’ll not bother testing, it is what it is. 🙁
At least I won’t be infecting anyone at the livestream classes (which I am very much looking forward to), oh, and this is also the reason for this post being so short.
On a final note, just in case anyone Google’s the birth year of Grandmaster Ip Chun, you will see he was born in 1924, which to many would make him 99 years old, however, in Chinese culture it is said that when you are born, you are 1, because you are in your first year of life (making it year number 1).
In the West of course we do not celebrate you being 1 until you have completed a full year, hence the reason some posts may read as Happy 99th Birthday, and some read Happy 100th. 🙂
Well done Nick
Now who will be next???