Learn About WingChun
What is WingChun?
WingChun was designed centuries ago in China during the Ming Dynasty. At this troubled time, in a world of war and chaos, invaders known as the Qing, overthrew the Ming Dynasty and established the last imperial dynasty in China. Some resented this oppression and formed groups of resistance fighters who wanted to return the Ming to power and restore peace. It was from this that WingChun was born. Over the centuries WingChun Kung-Fu has emerged from the underground to become one of the most practical and formidable styles of martial arts available, known for its effectiveness in close-quarter combat.
Today there are many variations of 'wing chun' taught, with their roots from different linages. Our unique style at the International Academy of WingChun (I.A.W) was evolved by Grandmaster Sifu Klaus brand who has been developing his own traditional style for the past 3 decades. He is an exceptional martial-artist and a diligent leader who has worldwide groups and academies.
WingChun is a self-defence system and contrary to expectations, the WingChun fighter actually attacks in self-defence. From early on WingChun Students learn a highly developed strategy and approach, with which they can control all conceivable attacks, and it is thus insignificant in what manner or how strongly an opponent attacks. In my system, differences such as gender and size do not even play the slightest role. The stress, familiar to every martial arts "sportsman," which leads one to have to react to "fake" or falsely interpreted attacking movements, drops away completely.
WingChun trains for every possibility that could possibly happen during a real defence situation. The simultaneous deployment and functioning of the hands, arms and legs are practiced within the framework of organized combat programs, even at the elementary level. The employment of the eyes and quick "reading" of the opponent is also a fundamental part of the WingChun lesson. Timely and exact perception is extremely important at the beginning of a defence situation, and thus in the first combat programs the WingChun student learns how to "read" specific attacks, right up to actual contact. Only in this way can the entire body function as one unit, and the WingChun fighter is then in a position to end a defence situation within a few seconds.
WingChun fighters are trained to be specialists in self-defence at all distances. Physical requirements play a secondary role in this art of self-defence. Because of the highly developed understanding of contact and collision developed through Chi Sao (adhering arms) training, WingChun fighters can immediately adapt to any possible attack. The Chi Sao strengthens the muscles as well as the ligaments and bones. Furthermore Chi Sao trains one to think and act in combination. It identifies and trains various scenarios of contact with the opponent's arms, the goal being to free oneself as quickly as possible in order to proceed to a rapid counter attack.
The most important rule in WingChun, and consequently the goal of Chi Sao training, is, in a logical way, not to remain sticking. Thus through the combination of the programs and Chi Sao training - and of course the forms, which perfect the implementation of each individual movement - an explosive and perfect mixture comes into being which transforms the WingChun student into someone who is highly functional and capable of defending him or herself with above average reaction speed. Even after only a short amount of time, all parts of the body can react immediately and even independently of one another. Information paths are minimized, and this gives the WingChun fighter the possibility to quickly unmask (as useless play) the often employed "fake" manoeuvres. There are no defence techniques in WingChun; in a defence situation we are concerned solely with the counterattack, that is to say, with one's own action. WingChun fighters respond according to the threat level of the current situation, yet WingChun does not partake in any absurd, martial arts sporting events and carefully avoids any rules or regulations, as these would only lead to a drastic limitation on one's ability to defend his or herself.
In spite of the realistic way of training, a distinctive feeling for one's own body, together with a traditional and responsible way of practicing, prevents injuries during class.
WingChun is a unique system, developed by Grandmaster, Sifu K. Brand (2nd generation Yip Man). On an individual and intensive path you will discover your possibilities and potential and arm yourself for dangerous situations, and newly acquired, real capabilities will strengthen your self-confidence. WingChun is the basis for your further development, which you yourself can freely and confidently determine. With WingChun you will learn both to defend and to assert yourself. Create freedom and independence by developing your abilities. For freedom is a fundamental right which makes out life really worth living, and any type of restriction leads to a limitation of our possibilities and achievements and in the end will cost us our health.
What is S.A.T?
By Grandmaster Sifu Klaus Brand.
S.A.T refers to the ultimate applications from my complete WingChun system, as well as my Close Combat and Weapon Fighting Programs. So to speak, it includes the unlimited entirety of what the International Academy of WingChun has to offer. S.A.T is the essence of what I once developed and have been teaching for over two decades.
I think it is imperative that everyone, even at the outset of S.A.T training, is given the opportunity to exercise a variety of applications to accelerate the acquisition of functional skills.
Adapted to our modern times, the S.A.T is a martial art which from the start trains applications from all areas of Self-Defence. Even if unarmed skills constitute the major part it is a necessity to train the proficient handling of a stick, knife, palmstick and tonfa at the beginning of the curriculum. Only in this way is it possible to practice the prevention of stabbing, slicing and striking attacks in the first training units and to understand the purpose of each weapon. The skills in dealing with these tools especially train the coordination and efficient response of the participants.
Because of my military background as a German Army Ranger (Einzelkämpfer) and Instructor in the Army School of the German Armed Forces, in combination with my 49 years of experience in the martial arts and my work as Grandmaster and Founder of tough and uncompromising WingChun, Close Combat and Weapon Fighting styles, I asked myself how I could train a special unit or the staff of exclusive security companies to prepare them for their tasks. I have come to the conclusion that due to lack of time it is simply unnecessary for special units and security personnel to train our complete WingChun or Weapon systems with all their traditional facets. Since there was no need for a graduation system in S.A.T, I could remove all the classical elements while innovating my martial concept, to drastically reduce the training period. This created a new branch through which I can equip everyone with special abilities in the shortest time, completely independent of pre-existing knowledge. Ultimately, S.A.T also serves martial artists as training which helps them break free from the limitations of fighting sport. However, the construction of this branch even allows untrained non-athletes to gain a defensive capability. Everyone chooses how often and how much training is desired in S.A.T.With the S.A.T I start a new era of Self-Defence training at the highest level.There are no graduations or exams in the S.A.T. We train effective applications without a specific sequence or any limitations. The program includes unarmed applications, defence and use of a stick, knife, palmstick and tonfa, as well as control and locking techniques. All these are fundamental principles of Self-Defence training and thus components of the S.A.T Program.
What is Escrima?
Escrima is an essential part of advanced WingChun training. Without the knowledge of weapon fighting the pre-primary level and the technician grades can not be achieved. The attainment of these high degrees of WingChun requires a corresponding ability in dealing with simple weapons.
In our Escrima we teach the deployment of functional weapons from diverse cultures. Starting with the simple stick, lessons then move from the machete on to the various types of swords. We also incorporate training with knives, shields, even long pole and double knives (in the scene often misinterpreted as top secret), farther tonfa, palmstick and (for special bodily training) unusual weapons such as the battle axe.
What is the difference between this and other Martial Arts?
There are many martial art schools in existence today, all offering a wide variety of benefits. It is important to understand what makes them all different and to choose the right one for your needs. You should ask yourself Why do I want to train martial arts? Is it to get physically fit? To practice the cultural arts? Or to improve your confidence? Once you have figured out your 'why' you can then begin to enquire at your local clubs and academy's to find out their own martial statement.
To help you understand the different between WingChun and other martial arts I will compare it to the most common one, Karate. Karate is classed as 'combat sport' similar to Taekwondo and it will train the student on things like competition, sportsmanship and traditional forms (katas). WingChun is classed as a 'Self-Defense' martial art who goals and objectives are to optimise realistic defence scenarios, focus on practicality and to be as efficient in its movements as possible. It has many elements to its training which also include partner and solo drills, forms and weapons integration. It is designed to give you the knowledge and skills to be able to defend yourself in a real confrontation.
What are the basics I will learn?
Our Grandmaster Sifu Klaus Brand has released some beginner tutorial videos to help new students learn the basic movements and to gain some understanding on how and why we move like we do.
If you would like to learn more or attend a class then head over to the
Contact Us page.
Sihing Greg Willis - WingChun Instructor
My name is Greg Willis and I have been diligently leading my Caterham academy since April 2011. My passion for Martial Arts began with TaeKwon-Do in 1995 were I gained my 1st Dan Black Belt in 2001 under the instruction of Umesh Vijapura.
In 2003 left the ITF and began training a new martial art, Wing Tsun under the wider EWTO group. These we great building blocks for me into the world of wing chun and it wasn't until 2007 when I found the most complete and formidible systems of WingChun which was created and is still lead by Grandmaster Sifu Klaus Brand known as The International Academy of WingChun. This style of WingChun was nothing like I had experienced before and I am as passionate about the learning and teaching this stlye of martial art today as I was when I first experienced it.
Since 2007 I have gained a 3rd Technician Grade, an Instructor Grade, a Student level in Escrima (weapons fighting) and jointly lead the IAW-UK with 4 other fellow Head Instructors.
Myself and my assistant instructors are talented professionals, who are passionate about providing the best Martial Arts tuition available to anyone, regardless or Age, Gender or Physical Attributes. We offer the guidance and support necessary for our students to reach their full potential.
What are the WingChun Principles?
There are 8 WingChun principles that Sifu Klaus Brand has designed for all students to follow in all situations. These principles are are the foundations for all movements and mindset when training WingChun. The student will learn to apply these principles in class and will become second nature in the event of a self defence situation. These 8 principles also apply if you are armed with a weapon or not, it is the concept and action required to defend yourself.
1. WingChun has two types of attack: the attack to the body of the opponent (primary objective) or, first of all, to his arm position.
2. Defence is an attack against the attacking arms or legs of the opponent.
3. In combat there is always an Attacker and a Defender. The Defender must first repel the attack. A trained WingChun practitioner determines whether he can attack directly or must defend first and then attack. Directly responding to an attack (to the body) with a counterattack (to the body) can be described as a combative disaster.
4. Engage in Self-Defence without hesitation as soon as the Main Distance is reached. If the opponent initiates the attack you must first attack his attack (to defend) and then his body (to attack).
5. Attack from the outside or at an angle if possible and avoid attacking straight from your body midline because this is too easy to defend. Attacks from the outside cannot be ignored or displaced and can only be stopped with trained skill. You can attack straight only when the opponent displays no credible threat.
6. Never maintain contact with the arms of your opponent. Maintaining contact in combat is equivalent to stopping and is due to a technical misunderstanding.
7. Always use all of your available power to defend and to attack.
8. Never defend and attack at the same time. The defence and attack each require your full attention. If you are attacked you must put your energy into the defence and only when this succeeds can you start the attack.
What are the WingChun Mottoes?
Together with the 8 Wingchun principles, there are 12 mottoes that a WingChun student follows. The 12 mottoes provide concepts and guidance to the student when training and applying WingChun.
1. If you think you are too weak, you are.
2. Learn to believe in yourself and trust your teacher.
3. Always improve your technical knowledge and therefore your physical and mental flexibility.
4. Work on the power of your technique because only technical power is usable power and is decisive in combat.
5. Work on your speed without sacrificing power. Technique, power and speed are the cornerstones of WingChun.
6. Work on toughening your arms with steady and dynamic training.
7. Never let yourself be influenced by the movements of your opponent and never yield.
8. The exchange between defence and attack, as well as an understanding of the two combat distances of WingChun, is the basis of Self-Defence and all of our training programmes.
9. To fight you must have continual tension. Relaxed muscles are useless in combat.
10. Combat is not harmony. Do not fight if you do not have to. If you have to defend yourself, harmony returns only after the quick and successful end of combat.
11. The purpose of Self-Defence is to protect yourself, so do not spare your attacker whilst defending yourself.
12. Learn to defend yourself, to protect yourself from attacks that could endanger your health.