How do i know if my sifu's way of training me is effective?

by Daniel

I am a 17 year old male. I just started Wing Tsun 2 months ago and they do not train me that hard at my school, or push me to the limits, and they do not train me to be the greatest fighter that I can be, or prepare me to do the best that I can do in a fight, but I believe they will make me a decent fighter.

We also do not spar in my school. We just do lat sao, lap sao etc. I asked my instructor why and he says cause it is too dangerous.

Some people told me to leave the school because there isn't sparring. But I like my si-fu and his training is good. But I do not know if it would be really effective in a street fight, or if it will help me to be a great fighter.

I am also not sure if they are not training me hard because I am a beginner or because their training is not perfect. I still do not feel confident that if I would fight a bigger guy with my Wing Chun.

It is also the only wingtsun school in my area.

My aim in training Wing Chun is that I want to be the best fighter that I can be. And be very able to defend myself against anyone because In the future I will becoming a cop.

So what is your advice? What should I do ?
Sifu Michael McIlwrath who teaches Wing Chun privately in New York and New Jersey

Well, the first question is ask your self what do I want from martial arts?

Self-defense, sport or tournament fighting, or the next UFC champion?

Wing Tsun is IMO a very good street fighting system but not so great for competition. If you want to be a UFC champ you better look for a different school.

I started Wing Tsun training in 1981 and the learning curve was very slow. The sifu taught very slowly .

You have only 2 months of training, so you don't even understand the basics so forget about sparring.

Sparring is important if you what to test out your Wing Tsun but it may take a while to get there.

I believe your sifu does not have sparring in the class because 1) you're underage, and 2) he is worried of getting sued if someone gets hurt.

Try to find sparring partners outside the school. Use common sense when sparring and make sure you use appropriate gear with adult supervision.

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Aug 07, 2015
Sparring In Wing Chun
by: Sifu Jonathan Naef

There is nothing wrong with a slow progression in training. You just need to feel for whether the progress is kept slow so that you obtain a strong set of fundamental skills or whether it is being dragged out for financial gain. (some people tend to do this for more income from testing fees)

As far as sparring goes, if the class never spars then you should probably look elsewhere. (if self defense skill is what you're looking for) Sparring is an essential exercise to help you're skill in real time application of any given technique or method. I should also mention that it can be a good idea to delay sparring practice for your students. In my class sparring is held as an advanced level training, I currently only allow black sashes to spar but the reason is to ensure that the student has grasped enough of Wing Chun concepts to let the style shine through. I have seen and have met Wing Chun practitioner's who were encouraged to begin sparring too soon and as a result all they know how to do is box. When live punches are coming your way it is tough to want to stay in the close distance that Wing Chun specializes in, so people will tend to retreat too much. For this reason I believe that it is necessary for the student to spend plenty of time with drills such as Pak Sau, Bong lop, chi sau and so on to build the skill set and the confidence needed to apply it. So ya, pretty lengthy comment but there it is. No problem with delaying the introduction of sparring, it can actually be the best thing for a student, but if sparring is never practiced then you're training is not realistic. Thank you to anybody who has taken the time to read this, take care.

Aug 10, 2015
Re: sifu Jonathan Naef
by: robert

Great explanation. Thanks for giving us your point of view!

-- Rob

Feb 05, 2016
Give it a chance
by: Anonymous

You haven't been training very long at all. Your body hasn't had a chance to absorb the structure of wingtsun yet.

A big part of WT training is learning to relax and not outmuscle your training partner, this takes some time. If you start out sparring now, you will be trying to muscle everything and use too much strength.
Plus, because you haven't ingrained your structure and trained responses yet, you will teach yourself bad habits by falling back on what is comfortable when you are under the stress of sparring. Things such as not committing to your attack, chasing hands, blocking then punching, instead of simultaneous "block"/strike.

If I were you, I would give it time and give your sifu the benefit of the doubt...who knows, he may actually know what he's doing.

Jun 19, 2016
Starting Wing Chun Beginner Tips
by: Anonymous

2 months? Count yourself fortunate after 3 months I was still learning the basic goat stance.Tip delete sparring,delete all previous martial arts from your memory.Results will be slow and there is a lot of muscle memory and fine motor skills to cultivate.Regards.

From Rob: I second that.

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