When Can Schools Re-open And What Happens After They Do?
Are we really opening yet?
After such a long break from school training many of us are chomping at the bit regarding getting back to classes, especially after recent news in the UK that gyms and swimming pools may reopen shortly.
The news says that gyms can open from the 25th July, great news for gyms, but gyms do not require personal contact, neither do Zumba, Yoga, Spin and other similar gym classes, Wing Chun however relies on being in very close and even what some consider, intimate contact.
We are all wanting to get back, and I too am dying to play Chi Sau, but I, (as well as most instructors) also do not want to get in trouble with any councils or the law in general.
Also, we must remember that, Covid 19 has not gone away yet and there is still no cure or vaccine at the moment, so if someone catches it and suggests it’s through class training, Instructors will be in shit (to be blunt about it).
So unfortunately, for the moment at least, it seems many of us are having to stay put.
I have shown you previously how you can get some form of Sparing and even playing of Chi Sau virtually of course (I’ll pop a video at the bottom of this blog) to at least keep you in touch with each other, and help keep you mobile, but this is still only through the internet.
Of course we could try to train together in some class ways, but Chi Sau will certainly be out for the time being.
One option may be to have people sign a waiver, wear gloves and a mask, and then possibly enter into Sarm Bok Mar drills etc., but this too may be difficult to enforce and contain.
Forms and drill work may be another option and even minimising the number of students in a class at any one time, but this would be at your own call as a teacher and subsequently, at your own risk, both legally and morally.
My plan at the moment is to see what develops throughout July and then give a more direct set of plans to be initiated from August.
But what happens then?
And how will our new approach to training change?
So many of you have complimented our teaching at wingchun.online and you have spent this time studying with us, whether that is starting afresh, getting a deeper understanding of the basics you have now, or even using the time to learn a new Form such as the Dummy or the Knives, but you have also had some concerns which I wish to address for you now.
It is said that you ‘Cannot serve two masters’, well for many this may well be true, but this usually refers to two different styles and not necessarily two trains of thought.
If you are enjoying your training with us and are concerned of what will happen when you go back to your schools you do not need to end your relationship with us, in fact quite the opposite, many schools themselves have taken us on as partner Instructors, using us as a back-up and gaining new teaching methods, accompanied with plans for visiting seminars.
The most important thing when it comes to YOUR training is that you understand what you are doing.
So ask questions, ALWAYS.
Do not just DO because your where asked to do, or, told to do.
Therefore, staying with us as well as would only help you to see things from both angles and give you a better understanding overall.
What you get from us you could discuss with your Instructors, and vice versa.
You don’t have to take just one person’s word for it.
As Bruce Lee said, learn from everyone:
“Take on board what is useful and discard that which is not”
Something I hear a lot is:
‘Why is this teacher’s Form, different to that teacher’s, if they were supposed to both be taught by Ip Man?’
Over my last thirty years of teaching Wing Chun my methods have changed, I’m a lot better teacher now for instance than I was ten years ago, but not as good as I hope to be in ten years from now, because in my opinion:
‘If you are not learning through teaching, then you are not teaching right’.
So how does this make teachers from the ‘Same lineage’ end up with varying Forms?
Well, during a lengthy period of time, as methods and understanding change, so may their outcomes, and just like a game of ‘Chinese whispers’, so do those eventual interpretations, mix this with the varying longevity of each individual students training, and all this may well lead to something very different from one ‘teacher’ to the next.
Imagine someone begins their training under Ip Man, then after not so long, the Great Master passes away, this leaves that student with a possible dilemma, does he continue his learning with another teacher, making him no longer a student of Ip Man, or does he, ‘Fill in the blanks‘ himself so as to later capitalise on a being able to call himself a teacher with a premier lineage?
See my point?
Me and my Sifu
Please understand, this is merely a suggestion and in NO WAY aimed at ANY Instructors or their credentials.
All I can say is that what we teach at wingchun.online is as taught to me directly by Grandmaster Ip Chun, eldest son of Great Grandmaster Ip Man himself, with nothing diluted and NOTHING hidden.
As Ip Man said:
“There are no secrets in Wing Chun, only time and practice”
So if a teacher ever holds back your training, tells you that your questions are only for the seniors or that a particular Form is only for the highest of levels…. You may wish to consider getting a new teacher!
Onwards and upwards, and may your training and knowledge continue to grow.
My best wishes and greatest respect to you all,
The video showing Virtual Sparring and Virtual Chi Sau (as promised)