My martial journey, like many others, started with Taekwondo, but about 3 years into my training I became interested in the current trend of making martial arts work “on the street,” spearheaded by Geoff Thompson and many others. Inevitably I became disillusioned with Taekwondo mainly due to it's sports based applications. This is not to take anything away from TKD as it is a fantastic Martial Art and one that will keep you very fit.
So I had a look around to see what other martial arts were available locally and came across Sifu Alan Gibson's Wing Chun Federation. I immediately went for my first private lesson with Alan and we hit it off straight away. I continued to receive private training for about 6 months and then joined Alan's class in Southampton.And it was here that I met Mark Page. I totally fell in love with Ving Tsun (our preferred spelling) and trained twice a week, plus other seminars for the next 7 years. It was then that Mark Page (my senior) had the idea of opening a school nearer the Portsmouth area, and it was soon that Havant Wing Chun was born.
Mark Page has since left the club to teach in his home city of Southampton but still remains as a mentor for our club.
My development in reality based martial arts contunued when I found out that Urban Combatives Founder Lee Morrison was teaching a 4 hour workshop once a month in Southampton. I went along and found everyone there, especially Lee, to be absolutely amazing and it was a baptism of fire. To further my self protection knowledge I attended the workshops every month for about a year and also attended two seminars hosted by Lee. I also attended many other seminars with world class coaches. And what I learnt was this; real violent combat is disgusting and vile and should be avoided at all costs. But not only that; I also learnt that you need more than simply martial arts for “street training.” You need a mindset of “do not fxxk with me.... EVER!” In fact the physical side of Martial Arts only provides a back up if things go wrong.
What will serve you best for understanding how to protect yourself in violent situations is awareness. Awareness of your environment, the people around you, and the threat cues that may signal that a situation may be about to start. Then you have conflict management skills, that is how to talk people down and therefore preventing the physical confrontation even starting. At HVT we understand all of this and if it is subject you would like to explore further then we can support you in this.
So where did that leave Ving Tsun? Well for starters Ving Tsun, even in it's purest form will provide you with many attributes which will help in a “real” situation, such as spacial awareness, correct range, non-telegraphic close range striking and many others. And Ving Tsun, and for that matter ALL martial arts will give you much much more than just fighting skills.
Enter Sifu Cliff Au Yeung.
In 2011 Mark Page and Alan Gibson organised the first UK visit of Hong Kong Sifu Cliff Au Yeung, luckily the Wing Chun Federation coaches also had the opportunity of spending time with Cliff during some closed door training. Simply put, I was blown away by Sibak Gungs skill and knowledge of the Wong Shun Leung method. It was like having massive pieces of my own Ving Tsun jigsaw filled in. He also introduced us to the internal skills of Ving Tsun, which have transformed the way I teach and train myself and my students. Sibak Gung Cliff came over again the next year and we learnt even more.
Then in November 2015 I had the honour of organised my first Wong Shun Leung Ving Tsun Workshop with Sifu Cliff Au Yeung accompanied by Sifu Asiatic from UFA Ving Tsun in Canada, the workshop was a complete success. During that time I was fortunate enough to receive private tuition from my Sibak Gung Cliff which was a highlight of my Ving Tsun career so far.
In 2016 it was time for my Sibak Gung Cliff and Sisook Asiatic to return! So I organised my second WSLVT Workshop. Again it was a massive success with everyone training hard and learning so much. Yet again I received hours of private tuition from my Sibak Gung Cliff with him checking my forms and understanding of his system. I now consider him a close friend and I am honoured to pass on what he has taught me. Sisook Asiatic was also on hand to help everyone throughout their stay in the UK and we thank him greatly.
I still receive tuition from Sifu Alan Gibson and Sihing Mark Page and we have regular “Coaches Training” sessions with all the clubs from the Wing Chun Federation.
I would also like to mention my Kung Fu brother Sifu Paul Conway from Bognor Wing Chun. Paul has helped Havant Wing Chun immensely with occasionally taking the classes and acting as our go to guy when it come to using your Ving Tsun in an explosive and effective manner. Thank you mate.
So I continue to be a perpetual student of my beloved Ving Tsun and whatever I learn I will always pass down to my students.
We hope to have Sifu Cliff and Sifu Asiatic over to the UK again in 2017, so keep checking the events page for updates.
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Classe Venue -
Havant Academy, Community Room 3 (C3), Wakefords Way, Havant, Hampshire, PO9 5JD