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Wing Chun's - little ideas  Newsletter - Summer Edition 2015
Australian Wing Chun Federation

little ideas

Summer 2015

edited by Corey Slade

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This Summer edition see's us fresh and motivated after another successful Conference in Adelaide!

Attendees at this years AWCF Conference 2015 - Adelaide
 
There has been a ton of stuff going on in our Wing Chun world lately. Training opportunities, events, promotions etc. We have packed this edition with as much as possible.  
The AWCF Conference 2016 will be held in Brisbane in early October 2016, exact date to be confirmed by the end of the year, stay tuned for the announcement.
 
The AWCF is also proud to support the official 83rd Birthday party for our Sigung, put on by the CST Alumni in Sydney 18th-19th June 2016. 
 

The AWCF has also received an invitation to submit an article to 'Coaching Life', a national magazine featuring the best of Australia's Sporting, Business and Life coaches. Available monthly in newsagencies, they aim to provide the best information to coaches from all disciplines. If you're interested in staying up to date with the latest coaching practises then subscriptions can be purchased at www.coachinglife.com.au. The AWCF committee nominated me to put an article together for submission next month which I have included below called 'Wing Chun - Traditional Kwoon Culture' - enjoy.

Yours in Wing Chun,    

                                                                           



Corey Slade


Ip Man 3

Great News - we have been approached to participate in the promotion of the movie 'Ip Man 3'- The Final Episode! by the movie distribution company in charge of its promotion. The movie will open in cinemas in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji on December 24th. 
 
We have gladly accepted to participate as one united lineage. Our logo (non-exclusive) will be presented in the beginning of the movie on the BIG SCREEN as "Special Thanks" if we could share the promotional work together with a few simple steps: 
 
1) Like their Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/AsianCinema/
2) Share the news / update of the movie 'Ip Man 3' to your social media to your members and friends
3) Place movie posters at your schools
4) Email us back with the photos on your participation (we will email them with your school's participation) 
 
You may like to subscribe to the YouTube channel with the latest 'Ip Man 3' trailer and update of the film:
 
There are also limited movie premiums and souvenirs to be given away to those who would like to organize premier / special screening, feel free to let us know your interests on this, so we can notify the distribution company of your participation and get the ball rolling for you. 
 
Thanks in advance for your support as we look forward to working together as one united lineage on the final episode of 'IP MAN'. 
 
Exciting times for our Wing Chun family! 
 
Tamar Salas, Publicist - Australian Wing Chun Federation.

Chair's Report
by Seth Piszczuk

Firstly a big thanks to Lindy Scott for holding the Chair position for the past two years, a great job and the AWCF is certainly better off for her time and input.

Thanks also to the rest of the team on the committee for all contributing throughout the year.

Additionally a big thanks to the Adelaide Uni Wing Chun Kung Fu Club for hosting and this year’s conference. Particular thanks for Daniel Pitman from the Uni club who put in a huge amount of time to make it all happen (he even hand drew the pictures used for the T-shirts and general promotion!).
I decided to once again nominate for the Chair position as I felt in a good place with my work/family/kung fu balance to be able to help out in further strengthening and growing our federation. Hopefully I can deliver on that! Here’s my ideas on what the AWCF represents and what you can do for it, which will then help you too!
 
When myself and Gary King (current secretary) first sat down and talked about the idea of establishing the AWCF it was with a simple purpose. To connect and maintain communication between the many schools of our lineage, with the hope that together we can help each other to grow, not just in numbers of schools and students, but grow in our Wing Chun skills.
Together we are constantly pushed to better ourselves. We remind each other of concepts that might have been put aside, we might be forced to re-think our approach to something. As a group, we have a collective experience and range of skills that can never be possible in any one school or any one practitioner/coach.
 
So what does the AWCF do?
It provides a medium for this communication and growth to happen. It hopefully stimulates you to want to share your thoughts and skills.
Sometimes I/we get asked “What does this AWCF do for me?”. Well, that’s up to you. If you contribute to our newsletters, attend the conferences, try to make a point of visiting associated schools when travelling (or even in your own city), then it’s giving you a lot. If you don’t involve yourself in anything, then the AWCF does nothing for you. Sharing is a two way concept.
We as the federation will do all we can to share what we have. Tamara as publicist is gradually releasing interviews with various coaches, we will share our knowledge via articles and videos and we’ll ensure that as many people as possible deliver their broad range of skills via our annual conference, which is getting better and better each year!
 
What can you do for the AWCF?
Push your students to get involved by sharing their thoughts and experiences for the newsletter. It feels great to have your work published, also writing things down is one of the best ways to work out what you actually know!
If you’re organising a seminar with a guest instructor, let us know, we can help to promote it and maybe then pull in some extra guests which will make it easier to cover costs for these events. The AWCF conference is always near the beginning of October. So don’t book seminars around this time, allow your students time and money to get to the conference if you can!
Travelling? Once again let us know, we can send an intro on your behalf if you’re visiting schools you haven’t been to before. A school might be interested in having you help coach a class for them also.
Make a point of attending the conferences. Really this is THE major event we do each year, and frankly, it’s awesome. Having a large group all together for multiple days with no agenda other than talking and training Wing Chun is so stimulating. It’s great! From next year this will also be the principal time to be assessed for higher level promotion, for those of us who use the AWCF grading system (more on that in the article below).
AWCF annual conference, get amongst it!
 
Thanks for being a part of this federation, everyone of you contributes to our strength just by being a part of a member school.


The frail, hollow tree and the 
torrential water fall

by Ana M.M.Sequeira - www.wingchunpath.com
 
A few years back, I had the opportunity to visit Hong Kong to meet and train with our Wing Chun family, and to meet Grandmaster Chu Shong Tin (hereafter, Sigung). I feel privileged to have had the chance to meet Sigung in person. I also feel extremely grateful for the few minutes he spent with me allowing me to feel what he was doing while demonstrating a particular Wing Chun movement.
This happened the year before Sigung’s passing, when beloved Sigung’s body was as frail as the body of any other eighty year old man.
During the short lesson, I asked Sigung if he would not mind starting the movement in a completely wrong way and then change it, in slow motion, to the right way so that I could feel what changed.
What I felt that day has stayed with me ever since and is in my mind every time I practise Wing Chun. I will try to share that feeling with you here.

When Sigung’s arm touched mine to start the movement in the wrong way (as I had asked him to kindly do), instinctively my reaction was to feel worried for him.
His arm felt so frail and brittle that I feared for, what I thought were, his brittle bones and delicate joints. I could still feel structure behind that fragile setting, but in terms of power, his whole body felt to me like it was a paper-thin, frail, hollow, old tree trunk.
Such perception of fragility only lasted less than a second though. The first change in Sigung’s body reflected a ‘letting-go of tension’, practically ignoring muscle existence. 

(Pic ref: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mattheuxphoto/8718376061)

From there, even though the change happened in slow motion, slowly but surely I felt power emerging from the once brittle joints, bones and structure. 

The imaginary hollow, frail trunk was now alive. And the paper-thin perimeter of the tree trunk had thickened considerably.
Another second later, the power being exerted on me was so strong that I could not withstand it anymore. The walls of the hollow tree trunk now felt like torrential water falls. There was no way I could hold my stance any longer. I could also perceive that the power I was feeling had only just started. Had I the strength or skill to withstand it for longer, the already torrential water fall would have become stronger and heavier, and even stronger and even heavier again and again.


(Pic Ref: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mattheuxphoto/8718376061)
In the years that followed my visit to Hong Kong, I have been focusing on improving my structure and on letting go of tension, as that part was clear in what I felt: the thickening of the hollow tree trunk’s perimeter. But the ‘torrential water-like strength’ has been hard to find or understand.

I wrote above that what I felt is with me every time I practise. I should perhaps have written that remembering this feeling puzzles me every time I practise. Ever since my trip to Hong Kong, I have been trying to make sense of how the feeling changed from a frail touch to such a powerful water fall.
Recently, I discovered in my training another level of ‘letting go’. This new level of releasing tension highlighted a little hollow-like space in the region of the body commonly referred to as the ‘centre of energy’. Somehow, this ‘hollowness’, even if ever so slightly, seems to strengthen the connection between my upper and lower body.
What this new feeling is, or means is still a mystery to me, but I like to think I might have found that first drop of water.

Wing Chun and the Longbow
by Gary King
 
During my early thirties, when I had already been practising Wing Chun for nearly fifteen years, I took up the longbow with a passion. I used to practice regularly and I even made my own arrows from imported cedar shafts. The longbow, for those that aren’t familiar, is a very tall bow (six feet in height) that was favoured by the Welsh, and later the English, during the middle ages. These days’ archers usually prefer the modern shorter bow as used in the Olympics, as they make use of pulleys and cams to reduce the amount of force required to hold the bow at a full draw. I however prefer the simplicity and art of the historical longbow.
During training, I recall seeing and feeling many similarities between Wing Chun and the longbow, especially in regards to how the whole body and mind are used. Back then I could already see how Wing Chun could be used for improving skill in the longbow and vice-versa.
These days I still sometimes reflect on the longbow and on how I used to shoot it, or ‘loose the arrow’ as an archer would say. And I believe that anyone skilled in the longbow will already be using principles and ideas used by practitioners of our Wing Chun. I will attempt to explain this idea.
A longbow, like any powerful bow, requires a lot of force to draw it fully in preparation for loosing an arrow. A beginner will attempt to use the strength in their arms, resulting in strains and failure. Drawing a powerful longbow requires the use of the arms, shoulders, chest and back.
But drawing and loosing a longbow is much more than just a gymnastic exercise of using a connected upper body. You cannot simply draw, aim, and then loose. A longbow, unlike the modern compound bow as used in the Olympics, cannot be held in the fully drawn position for any length of time.
A modern bow can reduce the force required to hold by as much as 90%, so a bow with a draw weight of 100 pounds would require only 10 pounds to hold, whereas with a longbow it would still require 100 pounds to hold it at full draw.
This is why most longbow users will not hold the full draw at all. The loosing of the arrow is one flowing movement from start to finish. As soon as the full draw is reached the arrow is loosed.
But to achieve any quality of aim you cannot aim at the last moment of loosing. The aim starts before the bow is even drawn. And you aim with your whole body (including the undrawn bow). As you seamlessly draw the bow and loose the arrow, the aim remains the same throughout, even though the body and bow change shape. The aim and release must be one flowing event.
Even at the moment of release of the string, if you think about releasing it by consciously opening your fingers, you end up plucking the string even if it is ever so slightly. This plucking, at the very least, disrupts the flow or aim that your body and sub-conscious mind has just setup. I found that thinking about releasing the string messed up my body and aim connection before I had even released the string. Just from the nature of my thoughts, I usually knew I was going to miss my target before I had even loosed the arrow.
A simpler analogy to this method is throwing a stone. You can judge 
the targets distance and location, or aim, while holding the stone at your side. As you raise your arm to throw the stone you are still aiming at the target in the same manner. Baseball pitchers do the same. From throwing stones to loosing arrows, with practice you will find a very interesting concept:  you start to think less, you just look at your target and let your body aim and do what is required to hit the target.
Wing Chun uses this concept. We call it Siu Nim, or tiny idea. Meaning we let the primal part of the brain do the work, that smaller part of the brain that controls body movement. Whereas the front part of the brain, the thinking part, only needs to have the initial thought and then let the primal or instinctive part of the brain drive the body. In Wing Chun if we try to drive our movements with the thinking part of our brain, we do not move efficiently or naturally. To achieve correct movement in Wing Chun, first a need or thought such as ‘move my fist forward to a target’, is created in the thinking part of the mind. Then the thinking part lets go and allows the primal, or tiny, part of the brain do its job. At this stage the primal mind and whole body instantly aim at the target, while the thinking mind just watches - it is now simply a spectator. Through practice, the body knows what to do. Any interference by the thinking mind will only disrupt the natural body movement creating tension and conflict of motion and causing inefficient non-optimal results.
I still have my longbow and dozens of cedar shafts. I am now keen to see if my improvements in Wing Chun throughout all these years can be passed over to the longbow. Particularly, body awareness, tension release, and letting go of the mind. I think the most difficult part will be finding the hours to practice longbow without cutting into my Wing Chun training time.

Wing Chun - Traditional Kwoon Culture...
By Corey Slade (Pictured here with youngest daughter Claire)

…creating an efficient learning environment for
mutual benefit, wellness, growth and community.
 

First let me paint a picture for you in respect to a typical Wing Chun Kung Fu training session as we ‘Coaches/Leaders/Older Kung Fu Brothers and Sisters’ aspire to and as demonstrated by our late Grandmaster Chu Shong Tin during his 60+ years of coaching.
 
Imagine a place that was open for training for long hours. Where you could just rock-up and leave when it suited you based on your schedule, your personal proficiency, maturity and mood on a given day. The closest place I can think of is a 24/7 Health Club Gym.
 
The difference being though is that the floor supervisor is generally more akin to a community elder who guides the participants as often as not indirectly using the combined wisdom and power of the resident group.  Newcomers are always introduced and welcomed by the lead coach of course but it’s common from this point for them to be delegated to work with the more junior ranks. In this way the lead coaches’ energies are guarded (not expelled entirely on every new person that walks in the door) and directed/rewarded to the more senior/proven attendees. This also allows the lead coach to roam more freely, observe and gain a balanced perspective of newcomers and indeed the entire group and their needs. From time to time based on observations the coach may see a need to draw the group in together to explore an idea or entertain a certain theme or simply to practice a form/kata.


Essentially from day one you are not only being coached toward better Wing Chun skills but also to become a better communicator/partner/ person/community member!
Stay long enough, train often and you will work with brothers and sisters at all levels including the lead coach. This method of coaching guarantees that everyone’s skill and understanding is progressively challenged every single session based on your personal needs. The guidance provided is based upon the student’s greatest need/weakness and only changes when the partner identifies a greater need.
 
This way of training is a fundamental training platform only and is by no means the be all and end all but it does in my experience address more problems than it creates in the long scheme of things. Initially we may have been drawn to Martial Arts and Self Defense for practical reasons. In time however we understand that essentially the most important reasons for continuation are for personal wellness and joy upon which we can build personal growth without which we couldn’t sustain our service to the community.
 
It’s easy to be critical of such an informal coaching methodology, particularly within the ‘Fitness Industry’ where training generally is all about how much you can get done in 45-60 min’s.  I’ve also experienced authoritarian based coaching or should I say ‘Instructing’ whereby the Instructor runs every movement by the numbers like on a military parade ground. Don’t look sideways and don’t talk to anyone unless it’s the Instructor! There are definitely benefits to such training styles, for example a highly standardised knowledge transfer, and arguably quick learn times. However this approach works best when mixed with other coaching styles to allow a collective contribution and experience where interpersonal skills are developed alongside the physical.
 
In summary we should always try and allow at least some less formally structured training time within a session. This will allow students to unpack the teaching, to explore, make mistakes (they shouldn’t be treated like robots), and invite creativity and intuitive and natural movement and responses.

 
I’ll now leave you with 10 little ideas about what may enrich your coaching/learning environment;

  1. 1. Don’t wait for inspiration to strike, become the best coach you can and treat that separately and at least as seriously as mastering your specific sport skills. I don’t just mean going and getting a certification either. Commence every training session as a coach willing to serve the needs of others. Willing to really reflect on the best approach for the efficient transfer of knowledge based on the student’s personality before your own desire to impart your way or what’s trending! The fringe benefit here (and it’s a biggy!) is as you learn to convey concepts and techniques to others your own understanding and potential application improves beyond that achievable by mere physical repetition alone.
 
  1. PRAISE EVERYTHING – EXPECT NOTHING!. (FULL STOP) – No ‘if’s-but’s or maybe’s’. I originally came across this approach working with children having a generally shorter attention span and more primitive co-ordination. But after some years coaching I feel it maybe equally appropriate to apply the concept to everyone including adults for many other reasons. If you coach for long you realise that your expectations can get the better of you sometimes leading to frustration, even judgment and resentment. If you want a long, less stressful coaching career then use the old SANDWICH analogy of Praise (positive), constructive feedback, Praise again and then expect nothing and ‘MANAGE YOUR EXPECTATIONS’. This may also work the other way in that if your expectations are too progressive for a student then they may develop ‘Student Guilt’ whereby they discontinue due to their perceived failure or shortfall in your eyes.
 
  1. Listen - when growing up we received formal education on reading and writing but not how to listen. Yet when it comes to serving others (coaching), listening is probably one of the most important skills to have. You need to learn to listen with real focus, suspending all of your judgements and opinions. You also need to be listening not just to the words but also to the non- verbal signals such as body language.
 
  1. Be Present. Prepare yourself by cultivating mind/body integrity prior to every coaching session. In this way you will be truly open minded and present well in your approach to session and any potential challenges. Even if you are a senior or a hands off approach type of coach this should not be ignored as if nothing else it conveys leadership and earns student respect. Specifically this means strategic and logistic preparation in terms of lesson plan, theme, techniques, possible directions etc. Mentally and spiritually it means using visualization, breathing and self-awareness on the journey there to address your own stressors. Physically - on early arrival perform CV warming, joint and muscular mobilization through light stretching, foam rolling and mindful movement.
5. Return yourself and student to the beginning/basics often if there is a plateau or impasse developmentally for it is (at risk of sounding cliché) ‘WHERE GREATNESS IS FORGED’. Along the same lines don’t pressure yourself or feel pressured to progress a student if they haven’t grasped something to an acceptable level for fear of boring or losing their interest. Try looking from a different perspective or calling for others’ suggestions if stumped as a coach. This may seem like a coaching weakness at the time but will earn you much kudos/respect from the student as they witness you putting their needs before your own ego with a team approach.
  1. Identify ‘DOMINANT MOVEMENT PATTERNS’ that underpin what you’re trying to have your students achieve for your given sport. A Martial Arts (DMP) example would maybe include the foot or bodywork required to gain a more advantageous position but would not contain the finishing movement such as a strike or submission. Then engineer a variety of drills, exercises or even better games (fun things are always better absorbed) that can be performed safely in the warm-up period that encourage maximum repetitions. In this way you’re leading students specifically to the main body of your planned session creating a perfectly safe physical preparedness (reducing likelihood for injury). This all whilst providing a more effective vehicle to roll out potential subsequent layers of technique.
 
  1. Understand that aside from the ‘Sport’ skills it’s your responsibility as coach to also impart, import and/or allow the development of interpersonal and intra-personal skills at training sessions. After all most participants in most sports are not going to the Olympics right. Try a 5min chat sharing your own experiences or those of others that can benefit a student. For instance how to deal with a certain problem in their life away from sport. For example drawing a distinction between ‘Failure at school or with a job application’ vs ‘Failing to try’ will be invaluable. Be careful of not jumping on your soap box too often, invite others 1st and enjoy a fresh perspective (be the student), continually evolve your thinking and please don’t keep telling the same great War Stories over and over again!
 
  1. Edify those students with strengths in certain areas in front of others (and admit their superiority comparatively to your own skills). Apart from conveying your own security, this encourages all students to observe and identify for themselves their own strengths and weaknesses and those of their peers. It will hopefully assist them to become increasingly inter-dependent rather than dependent or independent.
 
  1. Use the 80/20 rule of coaching whereby a student is contained within an envelope of 80% success (max) and 20% failure (max) for most of the training session. Psychologically the student is not crushed and is buoyed by regular success but is also challenged enough so as not to be bored. However sometimes when you are certain they have enough personal resilience/intra-personal skill, have them crushed…! From a Self Defense perspective as you can appreciate this is very important to prepare them for potentially real life situations and so they may start learning to manage the ’in’ and ‘post’ fight emotional issues.
 
  1. Constructively Challenging is about not holding back but at the same time not destroying the relationship. Many people associate coaching with helping, which clearly it is. At the same time if the coaching never rocks the boat it just becomes another nice chat. Playing back contradictions is a great way of constructively challenging. For example: I hear you want to test for a new belt but at the same time you seem to be resisting the commitment to train your forms/kata which are a mandatory requirement to grade successfully.
My personal motivations as included within Bio for National 'Coaching Life' Magazine December 2015;
Master Fitness Trainer, Functional Movement and Lifestyle CoachClub Owner
A challenging childhood and a sports career stopping injury propelled Corey toward military life within the Royal Australian Air Force and martial arts training.  Since those early days he’s committed to improving not only his own, but the health and wellness of others. His current professional attention is directed toward developing a successful method of passing on effective self defense knowledge, specifically to children and women.

Mirror, mirror...
by Seth Piszczuk

The mirror seems to be a popular 'first big purchase' when establishing a new school. I’ve helped install a few of them (and cut up my hands nicely in the process).
 
Certainly there’s a lot of great things that you can use the mirror for, practicing form and techniques so you can see what you’re doing. Really useful for teaching a large group, kids especially where you can keep your eyes on the whole group at once. My favourite use of the mirror is to watch people train. Watching them indirectly seems to take the pressure off as opposed to having their coach hovering over them. I get to see people at their more relaxed best. When they see me watching they change…
 
Which brings me to my point.
 
When you’re watching other people, or know you’re being watched, are you really focusing on yourself? When so much of Siu Nim Tao training is about really feeling what is happening in your own mind and body, other people can be quite a distraction. I remember hearing Sifu Jim say he used to practice Siu Nim Tao focussing towards a spot he drew on the wall, he didn’t have a big mirror initially. Maybe that’s not a bad idea. How much time do you spend practicing form just by yourself, with nothing to distract you? Or are you in the habit of walking into the training hall and going straight to the mirror to train forms?
 
I personally feel that beyond the early stages where you’re still learning the movements, you should practice more forms without using the mirror. Get inside yourself and don’t try to see what you’re doing, feel what you’re doing, use your mind to do the form, not your eyes. If you want to check your movements film yourself, which is super easy now with smartphones!
 
I’m going to go face the wall and do some forms now…

Conference 2016 - Brisbane!
with Dave Somers

Hi everyone ! Here we are at the end of another huge year, so much has been achieved by so many within our family, and the year isn’t finished yet.
 
Apart from multiple classes each day and training and growing a new generation of instructors and assistants, my wife and I have been very busy with all of our other commitments to the family and Academy.
 
In June/July this year we proudly took Jacob and Sam (Assistant Instructors) with us to Hong Kong and Mainland China to maintain our bi-annual visits and introduce them to the origin of our family and culture.
 
In early October we attended Adelaide to participate and contribute at the Australian Wing Chun Federation’s (A.W.C.F.) Annual Conference. This was a great opportunity to meet and train with the most senior exponents of our lineage in the country.
 
Whilst we were there and representing our Academy, we were invited to the Annual General Meeting (A.G.M.) as a QLD representive and were nominated and accepted as the hosts of the 2016 Annual National Conference!!
 
We are honored and privileged to have this opportunity to bring the nation’s most revered exponents to our Academy to share in a Buffet of learning opportunities next year. We sincerely look forward to hosting a great event, a hard act to follow after the Uni clubs great job this year!
 
 (Tony Blencowe, Dave Somers & AWCF    President Seth Pieszczuk)
 
Whilst we were in Adelaide, we sort our accommodation at a hotel right next to our belated Sifu’s original International Wing Chun Academy (I.W.C.A.).
At this exact time, tradesmen were in the process of renovating it for the new owners and converting into their own branded dance studio.  The original signage was about to be recycled into the new owner’s logo, so we promptly made an arrangement with the foreman and financed a new sign so that Sifu’s original could be preserved for the future.
 
 Inside was a similar story, a hand painted mural that is well known by previous students of Sifu’s Academy.  This was framed a couple of years ago by the instructors who kept the Academy going in Sifu’s wake.  We convinced the construction team to preserve this too and arranged for some gyproc to be cut to size and placed within the frame so that they could utilize the space for their own montage of images whilst the original mural is safe underneath.
 
We are proud to announce that our beloved Master, Sifu Jim Fung’s sign is safe and sound at our Lawnton Academy with blessings from the senior generations of the AWCF.
 
I’m also pleased to inform everybody that our guest instructor for the Adult’s Summer Grading this year has been confirmed.  Richard Antonini, a life time exponent and highly respected instructor in Australia and Hong Kong, and also the current Vice President of the AWCF will be here on Dec 12 to assess our students and offer a small workshop afterwards for everybody.
 
Last but not least is the announcement of a graduation for our Sehings / Sejeis. They have all been working and studying hard...goodluck!

The AWCF Grading System
a Re-introduction

by Gary King and Seth Piszczuk 

The outline for an AWCF grading system was put together at the beginning of the Federation, however it has not been widely implemented or advertised up until now. Recently various schools and instructors have shown interest in how they can become part of the system and what is required for grading. With this in mind the grading system has been revisited and refined.
 
To those who have enquired in the past about grading, and have perhaps not got clear answers or direction on how to proceed, we sincerely apologise. We are now ready to move forward and we hope that this brief article explains the implementation and the reasons why it took a little while to get together.
 
As a broad outline the AWCF grading system is split into 10 levels. Levels 1-6 are focused on comprehension of the form sets of Wing Chun, specifically the unique concepts of force development, relaxation and 'Idea' as passed down by the late Grandmaster Chu Shong Tin. 
 
Comprehension of each of the forms is not simply learning the form itself, but a thorough understanding of correct application of body force throughout and the ability to pass this on to others. The intention is to ensure that the schools following our grading system are placing emphasis on the forms first and foremost, preserving what is unique about our lineage. 
 
Individual schools may choose to compliment the AWCF awarded grade with their own practical assessment on Wing Chun application according to the culture of the school, however the AWCF requirements are based solely on form elements.
 
The same pattern follows for each successive form up to Level Six. Further guidelines for what is required as understanding for each level is outlined below.
 
L1. Siu Nim Tao. Demonstrate correct body structure, unity and centre, joint rotations, and releasing tension. Bracing and pushing/pulling not tolerated.
L2. Chum Kiu. Correct turning and stepping with united body. Bracing/driving from legs not tolerated. Siu Nim Tao improvement must also be evident. If any movement is easily jammed at its starting point then Siu Nim Tao is not understood enough.
L3. Biu Jee. Demonstrate building/layering of multiple forces. If any movement is easily jammed at its starting point then Siu Nim Tao and Chum Kiu is not understood enough.
L4. Mook Yan Jong. Correct dummy form and all movements must utilise the empty hands form skills. Same tests as with prior forms but less tolerance for errors. 
L5. Baat Jarm Do. All chopper movements should be an extension of the body. Same tests as with prior forms but applied to actual choppers. Testing can be performed by applying hand resistance at the balance point of the blade.
L6. Luk Dim Boon Gwan. All pole movements should have the power of the body transferred fluently through the pole. Requires refined knowledge of the empty hand forms. Testing can be performed by applying relative resistance to the pole at various locations.  Incorrect form application will easily be jammed.
L7 - L10.  An improved understanding of all forms in comparison to prior level and a continued commitment to our lineage and the AWCF.
 
Assessment for achieving level rankings is multi stage. Specifically, no AWCF school or instructor can award an AWCF grade of Level 1 or higher independently. The AWCF has a grading panel, which is composed of its highest ranking participating instructors as well as others from various levels of experience to provide a broad range of input on assessments. 
 
A school or instructor may nominate someone for assessment to a higher level to the grading panel. The panel may then ask for some evidence of their understanding. This may be in the form of a written essay, audio or video presentation detailing their comprehension of the required forms and applications in respect to the art of Wing Chun from the lineage of Chu Shong Tin.
If the evidence presented shows the required level of theoretical knowledge the practitioner will then be physically assessed on the forms.  These assessments will form a part of each AWCF national conference, in mid Spring each year.
 
The Conference is the ideal platform for assessment as it is a meeting point for all within our lineage, ensuring that assessments are transparent. It also helps to ensure that those wishing to be assessed are committed to the core AWCF concept of sharing our art form.
There may be some examples where a student is unable to attend the conference, in which case the grading committee will nominate another time and place for the person wishing to be assessed to meet with one or more nominated committee members to assess.
 
One of the ongoing issues over the past several years has been the increasing congestion in the higher levels since the sad loss of our Sifu in 2007.
While the senior instructors have still been training and improving, they have not had a means to grade up.
So based upon the evidence presented through seminars delivered at each AWCF conference thus far, as well as seminars at various schools, the AWCF nominated and awarded the rank of Practitioner Level Five to Gary King and Richard Antonini.
 
A grading workshop/assessment will be held at the AWCF 2016 conference. This will be an opportunity for those interested instructors to participate in the grading criteria and assessment, right up through to and including the Sixth form, Luk Dim Boon Gwan.

- Miscellaneous Photos  -
Albert's Crew - (Adelaide) - Corey & mini-hulk (Tumby)
  

- Adelaide Conference 2015 -
Tug-o-War icebreaker!







 
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