I am very proud to announce that Shao-Foong Chong has today been awarded his 1st Technician Grade in the Federation Wing Tsun System.
Shao started learning Kung-Fu from me in January 2007. He came to me as an experienced martial artist with a strong background in Kung-Fu, holding Brown Belt ranks in both Choy Li Fut and Wu-Shu Kwan. He also studied Escrima with me, reaching the 8th Student Grade in that discipline too.
Nine-and-a-half years is rather a long time to reach the 1TG rank in FWTS, however this is because Shao is also a qualified medical Doctor, and due to constant exams and a gruelling workload is not always able to find the time to train regularly. Despite this he always manages to book private lessons as often as he can, and attends classes, workshops and events whenever possible.
It just goes to show that if you don’t give up, you will reach your goal – even if it takes you a bit longer that you initially hoped. Well done Shao, your achievement is an inspiration to all those who feel stuck at their current grade. Keep going!
Huge congratulations to you, and now onward to the 2TG training programme of the Journeyman Level.
Today I heard that Olivia Slee, my student of nearly five years, has finally been accepted onto the UK Stunt Register as a fully-qualified stunt performer. This is amazing news, and very welcome indeed.
Olivia first approached me in September 2010 to start training in Wing Chun Kung-Fu. She needed to fulfil the martial arts requirement for her chosen profession, and understood even then that a sport fighting method was not required. Instead she wanted a proper striking art that taught the use of the entire body, and the Federation Wing Tsun System certainly does that.
For nearly five years she attended two private lessons each week, and in October 2015 successfully passed her 11th Student Grade in the system, after a great deal of hard work and effort.
Then came the long process of applying for the stunt register, and on 2nd August 2016 all her sacrifices paid off, as she was awarded membership of the stunt register. This means she can now officially work as a stuntwoman in the film industry, and we can’t wait to see what her first role will be! 🙂
This also means that the Federation Wing Tsun System is now an officially-recognised martial art for UK stunt performers. So, if you’re looking to become a stuntperson and you’re not sure which martial art to learn, come give us a try.
As of the 1st August 2016 (the start of our School Holiday Term) we will be operating a revised class schedule for all members.
Existing evening classes at 8pm on Mondays (in New Malden) and at 8pm on Wednesdays (in Kingston-Upon-Thames) will be unchanged. Those classes are working well, and will remain as they are for the foreseeable future.
However the needs of the Tuesday evening class have changed, as many senior members are finding it a difficult evening to attend. So i’ve taken the decision to cancel this class, and instead will replace it with a longer afternoon session running from 12-3pm on alternate Saturdays, starting 13th August 2016.
This new Saturday session will take place at New Malden Studios, and will be open to Instructors, Journeymen, and students working at the Advanced Stage of training (10SG and above).
The new 3-hour Saturday session is included in the existing Group Classes tuition fee structure, so no need to amend your payments. For those who cannot attend the other evening classes, you can pay a workshop fee of £25 per-session instead.
I hope this revised schedule will help everyone to get the most from their available hours. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line.
I am proud to announce that both Ryan Green and Sasha Pats-Nougues were today awarded their 1st Technician Grade in the Federation Wing Tsun System, the first milestone in the Journeyman Level of the training programme.
Sasha started learning from me in September 2008, coming from a background in Kushido Karate.
Ryan started learning from me in April 2010. He was already an experienced Wing Chun practitioner, having been an instructor for the UK Wing Chun Kung-Fu Association under Mark Phillips. He also had a background in Shotokan Karate, Wado-Ryu Karate, and Capoeira too.
Both Ryan and Sasha also studied Escrima with me too, reaching the 8th Student Grade in that discipline. They both also participated in the FWTS Instructor Training Programme, and are qualified Assistant Instructors in the system. Busy!
Huge congratulations to the both of you for many years of perseverance, effort, and excellent work. Now onto the 2TG training programme! 🙂
On Saturday 23rd April 2016, I ran another small-group Wing Chun workshop in New Malden, Surrey, this time solely for those very senior students who have completed an apprenticeship in Kung-Fu, and who are now studying the Journeyman Level of their art.
At this point I must admit to a scheduling error: Firstly, I didn’t check with everyone before putting this date in the events diary, and secondly it was St. Georges Day. So, big thanks to Joe, Ben, Sasha and Scott (pictured above with me) for managing to make it along, and big apologies to Matt, Shao, Ryan, Marcus, Gary, Andrew, Steve, and Dan for running the event when you simply couldn’t attend – my bad. It turned out to be a smaller group than expected – five instead of thirteen – but we had a great session anyway. I’ll schedule an extra one very soon, so we can all get together properly! 🙂
The focus of this session was all-things Biu-Tze, the third ‘Toolkit’ of the Federation Wing Tsun System. We started with the form, then explored attacking options using these specialised tools, then explored several options to overcome such attacks. Top entertainment.
Biu-Tze techniques require a great deal more body movement and overall control than those of the other forms. It became very clear why the system is structured the way it is, and why our warm-ups are the way they are. Without the ability to precisely control your entire body, you are better off NOT using Biu-Tze tools – just change the range and keep using the tools from the Siu-Nim-Tao and the Chum-Kiu that you’re already skilled with.
A common mistake with Biu-Tze is the thinking that it is somehow better than the other forms. Nope. It just provides another range of options. Just like the classic game of rock-paper-scissors, there is never one ‘best’ option – something is only the best in context, at one particular time. It can be a humbling experience to discover that in many situations, your best option may be something far simpler than the Biu-Tze tools.
That said, the Biu-Tze tools do have an incredibly valid place and a great many wonderful uses. But unless you’re training with someone capable of creating the situations in which they are required, it can be very hard to practice their applications. Thanks to everyone who made it down to provide a few hours of high-level work. It was a great workshop, and i’ll schedule another very soon.
On Saturday 27th February 2016, I ran another small-group Kung-Fu Workshop in New Malden, Surrey.
This time the focus was on the Chi-Sao training programmes of the Federation Wing Tsun System. Chi-Sao is a series of sophisticated training exercises which develop the ability to recognise and react correctly to pressure – it’s one of the four components of my system’s Technical Element.
Over time, the continual practice of correct Chi-Sao creates excellent practical combat reactions. This process forms part of the Creation Cycle of the system, in which good technical skills have a positive effect on practical ability.
Within the technical element, if the Forms of Wing Tsun Kung-Fu can be compared to toolkits, then Chi-Sao is comparable to the instruction manuals for each of the tools and techniques.
Each of my short, concise Chi-Sao cycles delivers real-time instructions for how each technique should be used, and these cycles are then practised with a training partner, and linked together. This process develops the ability to see when and where each technique is best used, which is the essence of good fighting skills.
My continual research over the past decades has yielded well-developed, complete Chi-Sao programmes for each of the forms, which move progressively through the techniques of the Siu-Nim-Tao, the Chum-Kiu, and the Biu-Tze. Each covers different ranges, different tools, and different situations, slowly building into a complete encyclopaedia of skills covering all possibilities. It’s a lot of fun! 🙂
Big thanks to those who attended and trained hard with me for the three-hour workshop. Hope to see you all on the next one in May 2016.
The samples of our brand-new T-Shirts have arrived, and I think they look awesome. Our new colour palette works brilliantly, and the new logos come across very well indeed.
As you can see, there is a clear progression through the different stages of training within the system, both in the fabric colours and the logo colours too.
Instead of putting the same logo on the left-chest position, I have chosen to feature the Chinese text (which says “Kung-Fu”) along with a graphical representation of the completion of each of the five martial elements.
Starting at the Apprentice Level of the training programme, students at the Foundation Stage (Grades 1-3SG) are working on their Practical Element. They have not yet completed any of their Five Martial Elements, which are illustrated by the five empty circles.
Students within the Basic Stage (Grades 4-6SG) are now working on their Strategic Element, exploring different ways of coping with combat problems. One circle is filled, representing completion of the Practical Element.
Students within the Intermediate Stage (Grades 7-9SG) are now working on their Technical Element, focusing on precision and economy in all things. Two circles are filled, representing completion of the Practical and the Strategic Element.
Students within the Advanced Stage (Grades 10-12SG) are focusing on their Physical Element, which is where we add speed & power to all movements. Three circles are filled, representing completion of the Practical, Strategic and Technical Elements.
Once past the Apprentice Level, we move into the Journeyman Level (Grades 1-4TG). This focuses on the Theoretical Element, understand WHY everything is the way it is. Four circles are complete, representing the Practical, Strategic, Technical and Physical Elements.
Once the Journeyman Level is complete, all five elements have been studied. The final Master Level of the system contains no more training programmes, but instead of being the end, is actually just the start of a lifetime of practice and refinement within the art of Wing Chun Kung-Fu. Like a Doctor graduating from years of medical school, now comes the years of practice leading towards true, complete understanding of the discipline.
Anyhow, that’s the concept behind the new uniform designs and colours. If you want one, i’ll be taking orders over the next few weeks. 🙂
Our new uniform colour palette has now been finalised! The designs have been sent to the printers this week, and we are expecting samples to arrive in the very near future.
Since 2006 we have used the old White-Grey-Blue-Black-Red palette. It served us very well, but frankly is now looking a little dated. All things must develop and improve, and so as part of our 2016 rebrand I have redesigned the entire uniform range using technical fabrics, our new logos, and of course the new colour scheme as shown above.
The image above shows the colour & design of the T-Shirt back print (upper image), the colour & design of the T-Shirt left-chest print (lower image), and the fabric colours of the garments. I hope you like them! 🙂
Once the samples have arrived they will be tested in class, and then will become available for all members to order if desired. As always I won’t sell anything that i’m not completely happy with.
At this stage, the new FWTS clothing range is to include:
If you have any requests as to other items, please feel free to drop me a line.
I’m overjoyed to announce that Version 10 of my Federation Wing Tsun System is now complete, and updated training programmes will be rolling out to all students over the next few weeks, free-of-charge.
This is a major update to the content of the official training programme, and offers many improvements over previous versions. It is formatted so that each student has their very own personal programme, and arranged so they are able to study it at their own pace, no matter whether they train in classes, in private lessons, or via both methods.
The programme is the distilled results of over seventeen years of professional Wing Chun teaching. It solves many problems traditionally associated with group tuition, and in conjunction with the syllabus, allows students to see at a glance the entirety of what is required for each grade.
Downloads Coming Soon
Once each grade has been properly formatted for publication (which always takes me a while, sorry about that) I will again put them up on this website for download, and add the information back into the Knowledge Base too.
This of course was the reason behind the delay in re-populating the Knowledge Base on this new website. It would have been pointless to upload everything from Version 9, only to have to delete and re-upload much of it again once this version went live. You understand, i’m sure. 🙂
Collect In Class
So, please collect the latest programmes from me at your next class. You are welcome to take ALL programmes, up to and including your current grade, just so you’re aware of any changes to previous programmes. Who knows, you may even want to go back and practice?
Happy New Year to all students and instructors, and welcome back to training for 2016. I hope you had an amazingly relaxing festive break with family & friends, and are now ready to get back into studying this great system of Wing Chun Kung-Fu.
There are a few changes and updates to tell you about for the start of the year, so make sure you read the below carefully!
I have streamlined all class start times to begin at 8pm, so don’t turn up too early. I hope this will help people get down to training after work, as sometimes the old 7.30pm start was a bit of a rush. All classes still run for two hours and so will end at 10pm. See the new group class timetable for full details.
Also, the Monday evening classes will now be held in the Art Room at The Malden Centre, Blagdon Road. It’s a bigger space and there is free parking after 6.30pm, so I look forward to seeing you along there. Details of this class can be found on the updated New Malden Classes page, as are details of the 7SG+ class at New Malden Studios on Tuesday evenings too.
There are no changes to the Kingston-Upon-Thames Classes at present. I’ll see you at the Kingfisher Leisure Centre on Wednesday evenings as usual.
The new FWTS uniform designs are now in the trial stage, as I need to test the new T-Shirt fabric during training. We expect them to be complete and available to order by the end of January. For now please continue to wear whatever you wish to classes, including the old UKKFF designs of course, and you’ll be able to order the new kit once I get everything sorted.
2016 Events Calendar
I’m currently putting the finishing touches to this year’s events diary. Once complete all details will appear on this website, and i’ll also email a PDF to all members. This should allow you to plan your attendance at special workshops, seminars and gradings throughout 2016, and perhaps book time off work in advance if required.
As the image above says: Make 2016 the year you learn Kung-Fu! You are all already doing this, but new beginners are always welcome, and a Taster Class only costs £10 – with no obligation to continue. Please spread the word, and you know anyone who would enjoy getting stuck into this great martial art, just get them to contact us and we’ll get them into things.
That’s all so far this month. Welcome back, and i’ll see you in training.