Practical Wing Chun
About Practical Wing Chun (Wing Chun, Wing Tsun, Ving Tsun etc.)
The main objective of our UCT Practical Wing Chun system is self-defense in it’s most practical and consistent form.
We aim to improve our students their overall well being not only from a self-defense point of view but also in the area of health and mental well being. In doing so we follow the ‘general’ structure of most Wing Chun systems. We start with our first form the Siu Nim Tao where we lay the foundation for our more advanced forms. Constantly pointing out the unique structure of our ‘Wing Chun Educational Circle of Continuous Improvement’ (a so called Code of Training Sifu Benno Wai developed through the years).
After having trained for several years in the Leung Ting system of Wing Tsun he decided to part ways with his former teacher and training partners because of differences in moral ethics. Sifu Benno Wai started UCT International in 2003 and started changing the way he was teaching the art of Wing Chun as to make it more effective in real street situations. He did so not because he thought the Wing Chun he was taught wasn’t good enough he only wanted it to be more applicable for how street fights were being done in the west. He then decided to look and train in other Wing Chun styles, this is how he met Sifu David Peterson who teaches on a quite accurate level in the system of Wong Shun Leung Wing Chun. Until 2008 Sifu Benno Wai was influenced heavily by Sifu David Peterson’s information as well as by Sifu Morten Ibsen, who taught Sifu Benno a lot in those days. Then in 2008 Sifu Benno was introduced by his good friends, Sifu Pui Yee and Sifu Martin Brogaard, to GM Wan Kam Leung on one of his trips to Hong Kong. Not only was he really impressed by GM Wan Kam Leung his Wing Chun skills he also found some one who thought of Wing Chun and self-defense in a very ‘Practical’ way. This made him decide to follow GM Wan Kam Leung and become a dedicated student. Until today he (Sifu Benno Wai) and his great team of highly skilled instructors (Sifu Pele Nguyen and others) follow, train and teach according to the handed down information of the Practical Wing Chun of GM Wan Kam Leung.
Training Practical Wing Chun
Normal Group Classes are for all adults regardless of gender, age or size as acrobatic moves or brute force don’t play a crucial role. The philosophy in Practical Wing Chun techniques are based on logic, science and not fighting force, but rather using the opponents force against themselves.
With this in mind we will provide our students with the best possible tools if they should ever face a dangerous situation.
Besides the physical techniques we believe that a healthy body and mind is equally important, so our class is divided into three parts: technical, physical, and health oriented. Together they form a class of 1.5 hours from which you can enjoy all benefits.
Personal training in Practical Wing Chun
UCT Practical Wing Chun Instructors are available for private intuition.
Better results in less time!
In addition to the Wing Chun classes you attend, we highly recommend private lessons. Private classes are for everyone regardless of level, age or any other conditions. More and more people become aware of the great progress that can be achieved through private lessons, so don’t miss out on this opportunity.
What is a private lesson?
In private classes the instructor will be both your teacher and training partner at the same time.
The structure of private classes and lesson content is based on your timed goals for success within this martial art. That way you get quick and measurable results and the desire to continue and push further than you could imagine.
How can private classes benefit you?
- To get answers to all the questions you will not have time to discuss in a normal group class.
- To thoroughly check your current knowledge and understanding of the system.
- To increase the pace at which you learn and integrate the system.
- You will gain a deeper understanding of the specific skills that are expected of you, regarding on your level within the system.
- You will gain a more profound understanding of specific technical details that make a big difference.
- Regularly attending private classes ensures you maintain and increase the right focus and gain results at a much faster pace.
- You will really understand the coherence of the system through teaching principles, strategies and structure.
- You will be corrected on all the technical problems that you have that cannot be properly addressed in a normal group class.
- You will see, feel and hear what is right and have explained the scientific and the philosophical theory that makes the big difference.
- If you do not have the opportunity to participate in enough group class hours, you can use private classes as a supplement to bring you up to speed or even in front of your fellow classmates.
What happens at a private class?
Based on your goals and motivations the instructor will write out a tailored training schedule with you. Your instructor will guide you through a motivating, safe and effective class. The lesson can include illustrations, explanations and various other information that’s specifically relevant to you, but most of all, it will be about training on all the right things that you need.
Who can teach private classes
Only UCT Instructors who run their own classes (schools) and are certified in the Instructor programs of UCT International.
Please contact us for more information regarding the private lessons. firstname.lastname@example.org
Practical Wing Chun Levels
Basic structure of UCT’s Practical Wing Chun education:
Siu Nim Tao
The student starts his training naturally with the Basic Level, some important training objectives are:
- General Physical Preparedness
- Basic self protection training
- Different fight-stages
- Basic training in the CST™ (Conflict Strategies & Tactics) program
- Basic understanding of the first Practical Wing Chun form: Siu Nim Tao
- Tactile reflextraining
- Basic understanding of the 5 centre lines and in connection the importance of the diagonal lines
After a period of approximately 24 months the student will proceed to the Mid Level, some important objectives:
- Specific physical preparedness
- Focus on duel fighting
- Stress reactivity training
- Tactile reflextraining with covering distance
- Basic understanding of the second Practical Wing Chun form: Cham Kiu
- Sparring drills, five fighting distances
- Basic weapon skills
- Understanding of how to defend against superior strength
Advanced Level I
After finishing the Mid Level, the student proceeds to the Advanced Level. This is the stage where diligence is a must, the student has to understand here that the Advanced Level training is a refinement of Basic and Mid Level training!
- Refinement of Basic and Mid Level training
- Refinement of Physical skills
- Developing the ability to apply bursts of energy in short range combat situations
- Being able to implement closed quarters fighting tactics in ground-fighting
- Concepts and Fighting strategies of the Practical Wing Chun system
- Basic understanding of the Practical Wing Chun Biu Jee concepts and it's form
Muk Yan Chong | Luk Dim Boon Kwan | Bart Cham Dao
Advanced Level II
Here we enter the level of training which is for those who kept training and growing. These students have gotten to the understanding that consistency is the secret to achievement.
- Continuous refinement of our skill level
- Understanding of our Muk Yan Chong form and it's concepts
- Weapon strategies and concepts (LDBK, BCD)
- How to implement the weapon concepts and principles into unarmed combat
Benefits of Practical Wing Chun
In addition to being a very effective and practical self-defense system, Practical Wing Chun also offers its disciplined practitioners a variety of health benefits.
Since Practical Wing Chun allows a smaller and weaker person to defend him or herself against bigger opponents with the use of proper techniques and effortless power, its use as a self defense system dates back over 250 years and has increased over the last years. It's effectiveness has caused it to be recognized and incorporated into a variety of programs, from top military special forces to women's self-defense.
It is a Martial Arts which is simple in it’s conceptual ideas but can be perceived as technically complicated and therefor difficult to master. Through this life long process the students of this brilliant ‘art’ can expect to gain significant physical and mental benefits.
Spiritual and mental fulfillment is one of Practical Wing Chun’s first goals and is integral in helping a practitioner be in control of several extreme emotions like fear, anger and anxiety.
The practitioner who learns to control his or her emotional state is best equipped to handle the daily motions of daily life itself.
Enhancing a student’s mental toughness will bring benefits into all walks of life.
Although it is not the first aim of the Practical Wing Chun training, increased stamina is one of the health benefits a Practical Wing Chun practitioner can expect to gain. The end of each PWC class is reserved for this specific reason. The average class length is one and a half hour. This time is mostly spent in motion, going through form, application, technique, calisthenics and situation sparring drills.
Over time and with consistent attendance to regular classes you will be feeling more composed and prepared.
Improved body coordination
The second health benefit you can expect to receive from practicing Practical Wing Chun is to see an increase in mobile abilities. Every class incorporates technical exercises where in many occasions the left arm and right arm need to move independently form each other . Situational sparring drills is when two students go over a live application of techniques in free motion. Technical understanding of the technical application is in order to apply the techniques effectively.
There are an infinite amount of techniques, positions and changes in Practical Wing Chun. You can expect to have your memory worked to its very limits.
Patience and perseverance
Patience is perhaps the most important benefits of practicing the art of Practical Wing Chun. This Martial Art takes a lifetime to master, and even those who have achieved technical mastery will still face occasional defeat at the academy. It requires one to set aside the ego, and look for honest improvement and growth- no easy task.
History of Wing Chun
Like with a lot of Kung Fu systems the history of the Wing Chun system has been passed from teacher to student verbally rather the through documentation. This makes it difficult to confirm or clarify the different accounts of Wing Chun’s creation.
Wing Chun started to appear in independent third-party documentation during the era of the Wing Chun Master Leung Jan, making the subsequent history of Wing Chun and it’s divergence into branches more amenable to documentary verification.
One of the more popular legends tells us that a woman had been a spectator to a fight between a snake and a white crane and, from this fight, combined with her knowledge of Shaolin Kung fu, she developed the key elements that is known as the Wing Chun kung fu system. Over time more famous names as Yip Man and Bruce Lee made the martial art known worldwide.
According to legends from the Yip Man lineage, Leung Yee-Tai was a poler, that is, he used a pole to steer the Red Boat away from rocks and shoals, and was therefore chosen by the legendary Shaolin master Jee Shim himself to learn the six-and-a-half point pole. Leung Jan's students included his sons Leung Chun (梁春) and Leung Bik (梁壁) as well as 'Wooden Man' Wah (木人華) and Chan Wah-Shun (陳華順) nicknamed 'Moneychanger Wah' (找錢華), from whom the Yip Man, Yiu Kai, and Pan Nam lineages descend.
Yip Man was the first Wing Chun master to teach the art openly in 'Hong Kong' on a school fee basis. His students and their students therefore make up the majority of the practitioners of Wing Chun today. Some of his most notable students were: Leung Sheung, Lok You, Chu Shong-tin, William Cheung, Moy Yat, Lo Man Kam, his two sons Ip Ching and Ip Chun, Bruce Lee and Wong Shun Leung.
There have been several movie made about GGM Yip Man and his beloved art of Wing Chun, one of the great actors who has portrayed him was Donny Yen.
GM Wong Shun Leung (Gong Sau Wong)
Wong reportedly trained in several martial art styles in his youth, primarily in t'ai chi ch'uan and either boxing or kickboxing. He abandoned boxing because of two incidents: one with his boxing coach and one with Yip Man. The first incident apparently occurred because Wong accidentally struck his boxing coach during sparring. The angry coach attacked in earnest, only to be eventually knocked out by Wong; the incident caused Wong to leave boxing. In another account, however, Wong said he had defeated his boxing coach with wing chun techniques: 'I was sparring with my instructor and I hit him very hard, he got real mad and came at me very hard. I fought back with wing chun and he ended up bleeding. Boxing was over for me!'
The second incident came about from Wong's fascination with the stories of legendary wing chun figures, such as Chan Wah-shun (陳華順) and Leung Jan (梁贊). This interest led Wong to look for a wing chun teacher. Friends of his older brother took him to meet Yip Man. According to one version of events, after defeating at least two of Yip's students, Wong had a match with Yip himself and was defeated easily. Another version is that after Wong faced Lo Man Kam, Yip Po Ching defeated Wong. In any case, Wong joined the wing chun group and eventually came to assist Yip with teaching, with students including Bruce Lee. Lee once wrote in a letter to Wong, 'Even though I am (technically) a student of Yip Man, in reality I learned my Kung-fu from you.” Wong was believed to have carried the letter in his wallet.
GM Wan Kam Leung
As a teen, Grandmaster WAN studied a variety of styles of kung fu as well as other styles of martial arts. Wan emigrated from mainland China to Hong Kong in 1959. There, his brother introduced him to Wing Chun kung fu. His first Wing Chun teacher was Leung Sheung, known to be the most senior student of Grandmaster Yip Man. He studied with Leung for seven months.
In 1962, another Wing Chun practitioner named Wong Shun Leung - another student of Yip Man - was opening a school across the street from Wan's home in Kowloon. Wan went to inquire about training with Wong, who told him to return later when the school was ready to open. Wan, who had learned of Wong and appreciated his philosophy and approach to kung fu, came back when the school opened and became Wong's first official student. After three months, Wong waived tuition for Wan due to his diligence and dedication to the school. Wan became Wong's close student and training partner. He continued to train closely with Grandmaster Wong for twenty years.
Wan began teaching as a sifu in 1969, after seven years of training under Wong Shun Leung. Through Wong Shun Leung, Wan met and trained with famed martial artist Bruce Lee upon Lee's return to Hong Kong from America. Lee invited Wong Shun Leung to a screen test in 1973, several months before Lee's passing, and Wong took Wan along with him. Once, Wan witnessed a spar between Wong and Lee in Lee's Kowloon Tong home. Wong had claimed his hands were faster than Lee's, and Lee retaliated by saying that his kicks were much faster than Wong's. The two subsequently had a friendly fight to test their abilities. In 1979, Wan traveled to Beijing to learn qigong from various masters of the art in order to incorporate it into his kung fu practice.
The Hong Kong Police Force, in 1993, invited Wan to be Chief Wing Chun Instructor to the G4 (VIP Protection Unit). He has been the only Kung Fu master to be employed by the British Hong Kong government.
Wong Shun Leung awarded Wan with his Senior Instructor Certificate in 1988. Wan worked to improve his Wing Chun, branching from his knowledge of Wong Shun Leung's style. In 1994, with Wong's consent, the style he had developed was named 'Practical Wing Chun'. Sifu Wan promised not to teach this style until after Wong's death, out of respect for the grandmaster. Wong died in 1997, and Wan subsequently opened a school for Practical Wing Chun and began teaching full-time. The school resides on Nathan Road in Kowloon, Hong Kong.
The modifications were designed to maintain a modern, adaptable martial art aimed at providing self-defense against a 'committed and real attack”, with all of the basic tenets of traditional Wing Chun. As such, Practical Wing Chun employs the idea of using body mechanics to overcome a physically stronger opponent. This is done by adhering to five components of a strong body structure - five centerlines, relaxed shoulders, elbows pointing down, flexible wrists, and 135-degree angles. Wan is adamant about making sure the art does not become obsolete, remaining practical through constant analysis and revision of the principles and techniques.
In 2008, the World Ving Tsun Athletic Association announced its inductees for the 2008 Hall of Fame. Wan Kam Leung was awarded Sifu of the Year for his hard work in propagating the art of Ving Tsun/Wing Chun.
Wan has several students who have opened schools across the world, including several in Europe, Asia, Australia, and America. Wan travels and holds a seminar each year - usually in Europe - in which he demonstrates Practical Wing Chun and instructs students of the style as well as new students and students from other lineages.