Secrets On The Internet!
After sharing a documentary on our private Facebook group which focused on the history and secrecy of Wing Chun, an amusing comment was made by one of our students, suggesting the dramatic change of attitude, from 300 years of hiding a secret system to it now being shown on the Internet for all to see, all in just a couple of generations.
Actually this is a very good point but of course there’s so much more to it than that.
It was secretive to start with because of the Manchu’s who ruled China for hundreds of years, right up to story of ‘Tan Sau Ng’ of the red boat opera company, as told in the movie, ‘The Prodigal Son’ (a very good film if you get the chance to see it), when the style seemed to start to become secret for another reason.
At that time Wing Chun was only passed on to family members or very select disciples, these ‘Disciples’ often became such because of their wealth, by giving land and property in exchange for being accepted as a student.
Wing Chun then became known as ‘The rich mans martial art’.
More than twenty years ago I remember my peers telling me that I was charging too little for my classes and that I should ask for more money, something I chose NOT to do.
Even today my students charge more for their classes than I do, in fact many of them double!
Ip Man said, ‘There are no secrets in Kung Fu, only time and practise’ and this is the way it should be, but unfortunately the ‘Secret’ card often gets played here again.
I find this so frustrating when a student asks their teacher to show them techniques or forms, at the higher end of the system, only to be told, ‘One day’ or, ‘You are not ready yet’ or to try to scare them off by charging extortionate amounts of money for the privilege, and often being because the teacher does not know it them self!
Or, they are simply out for what they can get and do not give a s**t about the art, only cash, so if this is really their reason for holding back, I would ask yourself, “Is it worth even trying to learn it from them?”
NO IT ISN’T!
This is also the case with moves in Chi Sau, if (as a teacher or senior) you are able to always get a particular technique on people, don’t be smug about this and keep it to yourself, SHOW THEM!
Show them not only the move but also how to defend it too, that way you BOTH know the technique (the sign of a good teacher) AND it means you will now find difficulty in using that move on these same people, the outcome being that a you now have to find a new approach, a new move or new technique.
Oh and when you do find one, SHOW IT AGAIN!
This is a win / win for everybody and you move forward together, as a school.
Many years ago I made a promise to Ip Chun to help spread Wing Chun as much as I possible could, and the Internet allows me to do this, I also did not want to prevent people from learning who had the right attitude but not the money, either in my classes or online.
In fact, thinking about it, through WingChun.Online I’m probably the highest qualified to teach and yet at the cheapest cost! 🙂
If you have a chance, here is the link to the documentary, far too many adverts, but still very interesting: