I would like to start this blog by wishing all our students in
America, Canada and all around the world:
A Happy Thanksgiving!
Of course not all of us will be celebrating this particular holiday today but this does not mean that we should not give thanks and be grateful for what we have, even if you do not have much, there is unfortunately, always someone with less than you.
‘You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone’
This is a phrase used so often because it carries so much weight.
We tend to associate this idea with friendships but it can be so much more, a lovely home, holiday retreat, school, or even your old Wing Chun teacher.
I have travelled over to Hong Kong so many times to see my Sifu, Grandmaster Ip Chun and on many of these trips I have taken students with me.
I do not usually mention this to them but I always feel so sad to leave my Sifu, and cannot help feeling a little jealous of my students and the position that their are in, that being that they have their teacher whenever they want, and only a phone call away (Another hurdle for me to jump over with my Sifu, if it’s not distance it’s language!).
Missing my Sifu
Of course, when I first went to Hong Kong, over thirty years ago, (after having been invited personally by Master Ip Chun), I did learn Cantonese, but this was at the time where, when I wanted to speak Chinese to the Chinese, the people of Hong Kong desperately wanted to speak English to the English!
This was all in preparation for the big handover to China in 1997 (which I was also there for), so no matter how hard I tried to keep these skill alive, they began to deplete, at least to a level where I would not now be able to hold a worthwhile telephone chat with my Master.
It is so easy to take for granted that what we have today, we assume we will have tomorrow, especially in these times of Covid 19 where so many have lost loved ones, partners or family members, or even been taken ill yourself causing you to lose your employment and possible therefore, your home.
Within a couple of miles from my school in Leeds is Kirkstall Abbey, the remains of a beautiful Abbey dating back to around 1150AD and yet the only people I see there are tourists from America, Japan and so on, VERY few locals (if any).
Here is a building of real wonder and magnificence, right on your doorstep, and locals do not bother to visit, and yet others are travelling half way around the world having this place on their ‘must visit’ list.
So if you do have a good school, if you have a good teacher, if you ‘have it good’ in general, do not take these things for granted because they may not be here for long, and when they’re gone, they’re gone.
For me personally I would like to thank my Wife and children for their support in my teaching Wing Chun for all these years.
I would like to give thanks to my Sifu, Ip Chun for giving me the opportunity and the skills to do this in the first place.
And I would dearly wish to thank and show my true gratitude to all of the wonderful students and Instructors I have had the pleasure of teaching and training alongside over these last thirty years. I think of you all as family and not seeing you through these incredibly difficult last eighteen months plus, has been heartbreaking. In addition I would like to those of you who have been able to stay with us through this time, keeping the school running through attending and teaching, for this I thank you from the bottom of me heart.
I hope to see you ALL again very soon,
In good health and good spirits.