This blog is here to signpost people to the Instructors page of our website which has been enlarged to include details of four of our senior students, Jon, Craig, Ziggi and Gavin. I want to recognise not only their abilty as wing chun practitioners but also the excellent work they have done in helping teach in class. You can click the link below to see a short bio of their training history in their own words, but I thought that I would add a bit here about how I see them.
In over 6 years of running the class, we must have seen over 200 new students come and go. Even if they make it to the second lesson, not many make it past a few months. What sets out our four from the rest is good old kung fu, which transales to 'hard work over time'. There are loads of reasons why you can miss a class, a busy day at work, weathers too hot, too cold, sport on the telly - the list goes on. Talent is important, but there is something else which sets them apart.
Jon is our oldest student, he came to our second class and was hooked from the start. Over 6 years he has pretty much been at class every week, probably managing 50 weeks each year. He is a busy school teacher, but unless is is forced to work late he will be in class on time with his notebook, readly to record what he has learned. I've never heard Jon complain, moan or have anything but a positive approach to training.
Craig stated in 2015,or the first 5 years he would travel to class twice a week from his home Ripon, which is on average one hour and a half drive each way. Although he had studied wing chun before he was happy to start again with us. Just before lockdown he moved to Sheffield so he could commit more time to wing chun.
I usually say to Ziggi that he does not need wing chun. He is naturally powerful and fast so why learn a martial art devoted to relaxed power? But Ziggi loves overcoming a challange. Shortly after taking up running he was covering marathon distances and recently he ran over 100km. When Ziggi puts his mind and determination into something it happens; he is a force of nature.
Gavin is at a time in life when he could give up work and learn to play golf. He had planned to retire a while back and move to Bulgaria, but... Instead he comes to class twice a week as well as having 3 or 4 private lessons. He is not a big guy but I've seen experienced teachers turn white once he has clamped his hands on them.
What these four have in common is the grit and determination to keep going. To train even when there are other demands, twinges and pains, when thing don't seem to be working. This is the true talent needed to succeed in any complex skill. For me that is what sets them apart and makes them true Sung Men. This is not to say that they are the best, or that they have nothing left to learn, far from it as all of us are miles from perfect. But, they have that key ingredient which can only blossom over the next few years.
So from me, a simple thanks for being part of the team.
Keeping you up to date with what is happening in class