China 2019 Part 3

A True Priveledge

We had the privilege to have a seminar with Sigong a living legend and it was an unforgettable experience to listen to his guidance and see him practising Chi Sau. Sifu often mentions Sigong but to meet him in person was just incredible and a privilege. Sigong is 95 years old but remains fit, extremely powerful with such a sharp mind for his age.

Grandmaster Ip Chun revealed that when his opponent uses energy, he utilizes even less energy. The use of less energy against strength was the subject of the seminar. To illustrate this, Sigong asked Sifu to punch him (“Chung Kyuhn”). When Sigong’s stance remained opposite to Sifu’s, Sigong explained that to block Sifu’s Chung Kyuhn, using Taan Sau, requires more strength. Sigong then showed how by using Jeun Mah, less energy was required to block Sifu’s Chung Kyuhn.

A high level of experience is required to ensure the correct position is achieved. Sigong reminded us of the importance of sensitivity in order to feel the opponent’s energy rather than trying to constantly attack. I always assume that when practising Chi Sau the point of contact with my opponent should always be at the level of the wrist. However, and interestingly, Sigong specified that the forearm, from the wrist to below the elbow, is where most of the contact is taking place. He explained that having contact at the wrist level allows you to react more quickly to an opponent’s attack but reduces your ability to hit your opponent. On the other hand, the point of contact under the elbow allows you to be closer to your opponent, attack him and push him more easily. However, this position limits your ability to respond to an attack.

This seminar was truly inspiring and really motivates me to learn and improve my Wing- Chun skills. Both Sifu and Sigong are role models to aspire to.

by Assia Berry

Buzzing

Saturday began with the first of many great breakfasts. Breakfast quickly became my favourite meal of the day. Full up and jetlagged I waited outside the locked seminar room as if I was waiting for any normal Wing Chun class to begin, not fully appreciating the moment.

As I stepped into the room and it quickly filled with orange shirts, I instantly felt a distinct buzz. We had a few moments to appreciate this feeling before we all sat down, facing the opposite way to the door. When Tai-Sigong walked into the room, you felt it before turning around. The understanding and appreciation of lineage is something unique to Wing Chun that I have not known in anything else I’ve done in my life. To be with your teacher, their teacher and their teacher before. To see them chi sau with each other and to see them joke with each other is a special experience. I have not practiced Wing Chun for very long, but I don’t expect it gets more special than this.

That night I tasted what would be known as ‘Mango Drink’ for the first time. After this, life would never be the same.

by Naomi Clare

Most Special Day

Day 3 felt very much like the first official day of the trip. Having arrived separately from the main group, I was extremely excited to spend the time in Foshan with my brothers and sisters – for today was the day of the much-awaited seminar by our legendary Grandmaster Ip Chun!

Meeting Ip Tai Sigong is one of the absolute highlights of my life. Dressed in black, he warmly greeted all of us as he came into the hall we waited in, I was starstruck!! The most memorable moment in the seminar had to be seeing him chi sau with my Sifu and Sigong, and even though I’ve seen the Centre videos countless times, they didn’t hold a candle to the real deal – I was really amazed by the angles our GM held so effortlessly.

The other special part of this day was receiving a penalty from my Sifu while we were visiting Ip Man Tong. This penalty came suddenly out of nowhere, took me by complete surprise, and it involved 40 family members singing me ‘Happy Birthday’ in the middle of the gardens, followed by more singing at the dinner restaurant “SaJiao” Assia and I led everybody to afterwards. It was one of the most special birthdays, and I’ll cherish this one forever.

by Yelian He