Teachers, Never stop learning


Teachers, Never stop learning

More of a request than a statement


I have been teaching Wing Chun for about thirty years now, and I think I’m quite good at it, not as good as I could be but certainly a lot better than I was, why, because I am constantly developing.

Not only as a teacher, but as a student, or rather as student THROUGH teaching.

Something I tell my instructors is:

‘If you are not learning through teaching then you are not teaching right’


When I started WingChun.Online around 1993/4 I found it interesting recording my views and approaches to techniques and to look back on them, it also made me dig up some archive videos and take a reality check on what had changed over those early years.


I tell all my new students:

‘I have a reason for everything I do’


This is something that has always been important to me, including having a relaxed approach to teaching by using humor, on reflection perhaps on occasion a little too much, but I have never wanted to rule with a rod of iron, with a, ‘My way or the highway’ attitude.


To me the best way is to teach with respect and kindness, unfortunately though this is sometimes taken the wrong way, with people mistaking kindness for weakness.


I like to think of myself as a polite sort of person and not a bragadillo (which is why most of you had probably not heard of me before), and this also goes for my students (I hope).


I’ve never understood the Sifu who walks into the room as a God like figure, expecting everyone to fall at their feet.

Ip Chun once said to me:

“A true Sifu is one who is humble and mild, and does not go around blowing his own trumpet”

(BTW, the trumpet comment, that was translated to me)


New and developing instructors will ask me,

“What do I do if I am asked a question I do not know the answer to?”


I say to them:

‘Be honest.

If you know the answer and it is not a personal matter or about an individual, tell them.

If you do NOT know the answer, ask them to give you a moment or to come back to you toward the end of the class, thanking them of course for such a good question.

But if at the end off that time you still do not know the answer, ask me, that is what I am there for and that is how we grow together.

You might inform them of an educated guess but do not make it up or lie.’


As I have improved I have adapted and even changed some things (principle wise) but always for the better and always in a more simplified manner, NOT adding on just for the sake of it.


One thing that springs to mind is the teaching of an Inside Pak.

With the Inside Pak I would enforce:

‘Never turn with an Inside Pak as there is a danger of a second strike’


The issue here was that at that time my thinking toward my students was that of defence, protection and avoidance.

Of course I still hold these values today but sometimes the best form of defence, is attack.


So when using an Inside Pak, yes there is still a danger of a second strike, BUT the second strike should be coming from you NOT them.


And as for you turning with an Inside Pak, well this may be necessary if the attacker steps in closer, but the second strike principle remains, the only difference being that instead of using a Fak Sau, you may need to use a Pie Jarn (Level elbow)


So I come full circle back to the name of this blog,

Teachers, Never stop learning


Remind yourself of this when you stand in front of your class and you are looking at ten, twenty, thirty individuals, they are not only your students but also your progress reminders.

So before you check/correct THEM, make sure you are not guilty of these imperfections yourself.


Be honest with your students and they should respect you for it, and if they do not, let them go.

Do not sell yourself out just to keep students, because if you have to, then they are not the students for you anyway.


Remember the saying:

‘The man who claims too know everything is a fool for his learning has ceased’



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