On 16 Jan 2014, we had our first batch of members to test for Student Grade (SG) Levels 1 and 2.
- Jennifer – SG1 and 2
- Randy – SG 1 and 2
- Barry – SG 1 and 2
- Julie – SG 1 and 2
- Will – SG 1
There are 5 parts of the WTK test and each part has a set of requirements that the members need to meet in order to move forward to the next grade level.
- Structure (i.e. forms)
- Footwork/Striking (i.e. stances, circle step, advancing step, passing step, etc.)
- Defense (i.e. squared shoulder bridge – attack into magnetic circle – circle step punch reaction, etc.)
- Sensitivity (i.e. indoor/outdoor block drill, chasing drill, lap sau form, etc.)
- Power (i.e. pad drills, etc.)
On 20 Jan 2014, we had our first batch of graduates!
During Graduation Day, we presented the members that met the grade level requirements their Rank Certificates. Afterwards, we covered each part of the test and focused on some of the movements/drills that needed fine tuning. Finally, we provided them with the requirements for the next grade level and trained on the SG3 Sensitivity drill (i.e. follow-up movements to the blocking drills).
We are really proud of all of our members. They have put a lot of time and hard work into their training and it showed during their test. Congratulations to Jennifer (SG2), Randy (SG2), Barry (SG2), Julie (SG2), and Will (SG1)!
Bill Ng’s Testimonial:
I started my Wing Tsun training when I was 46 years old. I was hesitant and a little embarassed to go to my first class. I have always wanted to learn Kung Fu, but I never had the opportunity to train when I was younger.
I still remember the first class I attended. All I did was stand in Character Two and kept chain punching during the entire class. I saw all of these younger students perfom free Chi Sau and I didn’t know if I will ever get to that point in my training. After class, I thought about not coming back because there was too much to learn and I thought that I was too old to start training in Wing Tsun. Eventually, I convinced myself that if I really wanted to learn, I should take that first step in my Wing Tsun journey.
After ten years and several hundreds of thousands of steps, I have received my 1st Instructor Grade certificate from Carson Wing Tsun Academy on 06Oct2013.
Testing for my 1st Instructor Grade level at 56 years old was a difficult task. I constantly trained my forms (Siu Nim Tao and Chum Kiu), Chi Sau sections (1 to 3), and application of the Chi Sau section movements during Lat Sau (sparring) in preparation for the test. In addition, I needed to work on my conditioning since I needed to have the endurance and stamina to go through 3 rounds of random punches, 3 rounds of WT vs. WT, 3 rounds of WT vs. Non-WT, and 3 rounds of multiple opponent (2 vs. 1) sparring. There were moments during the test when I thought that I couldn’t continue, but I dug deep and with the cheers from my SiHings and SiDais I kept moving forward and completed the test.
I would like to thank SiGung Carson Lau for coming to Chicago to test me for my 1st Instructor Grade level. It really means a lot to me that I received my 1st Instructor Grade level certificate from SiGung Lau. I especially like to thank SiFu Steve Chan for his support and guidance since YR2009. SiFu Steve helped me rebuild my Wing Tsun foundation and pushed me to keep getting better. I also want to thank my SiHings and SiDais for their support throughout the years. I wouldn’t be where I am without all of these people being part of my Wing Tsun journey.
Rob Meyer’s Testimonial:
First technician is such a milestone that once I got to 10th student level my training became focused on getting ready for that test. Passing 11th and 12th student programs was almost an afterthought; something that happened as part of getting ready for primary. In a sense, all of the student level tests are small steps toward first technician, but by the last two I barely noticed them.
I was fortunate that another Wing Tsun class opened up in my area; I could take an extra class each week taught by instructors who had taken their primary test recently.
In the final few weeks, my training shifted into fine tuning and avoiding injury. Injuries are not so easy to avoid though, as I took an elbow in the nose during light chi-sao sparring, and cracked a bone in my hand hitting a heavy bag.
Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth. – Mike Tyson
I had only seen the end of one of these tests previously. That day I was a volunteer for another’s multiple opponent sparring section. The details of what to expect were unknown, and the other technicians had different perspectives and experiences to share. Two forms, three chi-sao sections, and sparring against one and two opponents was all I needed to know.
The forms didn’t worry me; I’ve done them hundreds, if not thousands of times over the course of my training. I was also confident in my chi-sao sections, though I had less opportunity to practice them. The biggest challenges that I saw were chi-sao sparring and free sparring, and being able to apply the sections, third section in particular, in those situations.
I’m pretty sure I was less nervous on the day of my wedding than when I stood before Sigung at the start of my test. I hadn’t had an exam this important or with this much lead-up since my last finals at U.C. Berkeley seventeen years ago. And not only was there pressure to pass from my instructors and peers, but I had my wife and children were watching too.
Having the test after four hours of class was good; I’d rather be a little tired but warmed up than starting off cold, and my sparring opponents had been through the class as well. I was called up first, and Sigung thoughts were unreadable as I worked through my forms and chi-sao. I remember being glad that my chi-sao forms partner was someone I’d practiced with, and was predictable in his movements.
It’s funny that the part of the exam that caused me the most anxiety is also the part I have almost no memory of: the chi-sao sparring. There are the pictures, which helped to fill these memory gaps, but all I really remember is reminding myself to breathe.
My test continued uninterrupted into the outside attacker section. I was shaking with nervousness during my chi-sao sections, and my arms felt heavy and my head light. I was fortunate my opponent was another I’ve trained with often, and one whose style I knew how to attack. In my mind I had envisioned how I’d defeat my opponents, but it was blank as I turned to face my real opponent. I was aware of my “brothers” around me, the unreadable Sigung making notes, the photographer, and my youngest squawking in the audience. Without a plan, I fell back on the most basic of the WT ideas: when the way is clear, go forward.
I finally got a break between my single and multiple opponent sections while one of my peers went through the first phase of his test. My oldest son, who also studies the art, sat with me. I was tired, but relieved that I hadn’t embarrassed myself on the “easy” part of the test. I was acutely aware of the pain in my hand and that I twisted my ankle. Just in time for multiple opponent sparring!
It wasn’t until the last part of the test that I felt relaxed. I had my second wind, and was ready. And at last I was standing before Sigung, to see if I demonstrated what it took to be a first technician.
First technician isn’t an end, but a new beginning, an entry into an exclusive group of dedicated martial artists.
SiFu Ray, SiSok David and SiSok Allan would like to thank SiFu Carson Lau for the intensive Wing Tsun training from October 4th to 7th.
- Day 1: SiSok David took a private lesson with SiFu Lau to review his Chi Sau Sections 4 to 6 forms, learn Chi Sau Section 7, and go through Chi Sau Sections 4 to 6 applications.
“Thank you SiFu Lau for the private lessons and group seminar. During my private lesson, SiFu Lau trained me on the form of Chi Sau Section 7 and the applications of Chi Sau Sections 4 to 6. It was an eye-opener to understand how these Sections are applied! SiFu Lau can execute any of the movements from these Sections at will and showed me how the movements in these Sections are all connected depending on what force/pressure is coming/going to/from you. He didn’t just ask me to try and apply the movements right away. He had set drills focusing on how to apply a specific movement from a Section and once I can perform the drill properly, he would then ask me to try and apply the movement during free Chi Sau. It was a great lesson.” – SiSok David Williams
- Day 2: SiFu Ray took a private lesson with SiFu Lau on the form, principles and application of Wooden Dummy Chi Sau Sections 4 to 8.
“Thank you to SiFu Lau for his recent visit to Chicago. I am grateful to learn the remaining Wooden Dummy sections. The wooden dummy section training was a full body workout! Grueling, but very rewarding! The Wooden Dummy 7th Section was a killer! After years of hard work and perseverance, I have finally completed the empty hand system.
The next day, SiFu Lau’s seminar was a great review of 3rd through 5th Chi Sau Sections. There is always something to learn each time SiFu Lau comes to Chicago. Proficiency with 3rd Section Chi Sau applications is essential for free fighting!
The end of the day saw two new primary technicians, Rob and Bill! The testing was brutal, from forms to multiple opponents. They definitely earned it! I am looking forward to testing for my 3rd TG.” – SiFu Ray Jurado
- Day 3: SiFu Ray, SiSok David and SiSok Allan attended the group seminar at the CWTA Evanston Branch where SiFu Lau taught Chi Sau Section 3 applications, circle step footwork applications, and heavy bag chain punch drills. After the seminar, they helped during the 1st TG testing of Rob Meyer and Bill Ng.
- Day 4: SiSok Allan took a private lesson with SiFu Lau on the entire wooden dummy form. Later that night, SiSok Allan attended the group training given by SiFu Lau at the CWTA Northfield Branch, where they worked on the application of Chi Sau Section 2 and the chasing program of Chi Sau Section 1.
“I would like to thank SiFu Lau for teaching me all 116 movements of the Wooden Dummy form during his visit to Chicago. The focus of my training was on properly executing the movements and its sequence. Not only were the wooden dummy movements physically challenging, I also needed to concentrate on associating these movements to a specific count (i.e. Chai Sut Gerk is step 50).
Once I can perform the movements properly and in the correct sequence, Sifu Lau will go through the theory/principle(s) of each movement and then train me on how to generate both power and speed.
Not only is learning the Wooden Dummy form a significant milestone in my Wing Tsun journey, I am very fortunate to learn it from SiFu Lau who is one of the highest ranking Wing Tsun Practitioner in the world .
It was also great spending time with SiFu Lau going to different Chicago restaurants and landmarks. I always enjoy talking with SiFu Lau, whether it’s about Wing Tsun, family, business, etc. I look forward to seeing him again soon“. – SiSok Allan Sargan
SiFu Ray, SiSok David and SiSok Allan went to CWTA Toronto HQ on 16Aug2013 to attend the annual CWTA Barbeque, take private lessons with SiFu Carson Lau, and train with our SiHings and SiDais during the Black Shirt Class.
SiFu Carson Lau reviewed SiFu Ray’s Wooden Dummy form and had him perform it the first time with precise movements, a second time with precision and power, and a third time with precision, power and speed. SiFu Carson Lau then instructed SiFu Ray on the first and second sections of the Wooden Dummy Chi Sau form.
SiFu Carson Lau reviewed SiSok Allan’s Biu Tze form, and then had him warm-up on the Wooden Dummy using double Gaun Sau, Kwun Sau, and Jark Pak Man Sau. SiFu Carson Lau then instructed SiSok Allan on the first, second and third sections of the Wooden Dummy Form.
SiFu Ray, SiSok David and SiSok Allan attended the Black Shirt class where they had several rounds of Lat Sau followed by the intensive workout lead by SiFu Carson Lau.
The following day, SiFu Ray, SiSok David and SiSok Allan attended the Annual CWTA Toronto HQ Barbeque at the Bruce’s Mill Conservatory Park.
We would like to thank SiFu Lau for his continued support of Wing Tsun Kwoon and we also want to thank all of the students at CWTA HQ for a great weekend of Wing Tsun training and family fun!
We apologize for not updating our blog for a long time. There have been a lot of activities and events at Wing Tsun Kwoon during the past 4 months. We have created multiple articles on these and will be posting them during the next few days.
So let’s start off with an update regarding our new location at HiFi Fitness (www.hififitness.com ).
HiFi Personal Fitness is the largest personal training studio in the country. With over 30,000 sq.ft. of space dedicated only to personal training and small group fitness.
HiFi Fitness has the most cutting edge equipment available (Technogym, Freemotion, TRX and Powerplate) alongside old favorites like Kettlebells, Battling ropes, Sledge-hammers and Monkey Bars.
HiFi Fitness has two private studios available for group classes as well as a full array of Cardio equipment.
They have all of the ammenities of a healthclub without the expensive monthly membership fees.
We have been at our new space for 4 months now and we really enjoy holding classes at HiFi Fitness. The owners and staff are very accommodating and are genuinely there to support us in growing Wing Tsun Kwoon.
The HiFi Staff installed both our Wing Tsun wall bags and was as excited as we were in having a Wing Tsun wooden dummy at the space. In addition, they also gave us storage space for all of our focus mitts, kick shields, and gloves. We want to thank the owners and staff of HiFi Fitness for their support of Wing Tsun Kwoon.
Now that we are settled in at our new space, we invite everyone interested in learning Wing Tsun at our new location inside HiFi Fitness at 820 N. Orleans St. Suite 100, Chicago, IL 60610. We look forward to seeing you in class!
After several months of preparations, we held our first official class at Wing Tsun Kwoon on 18Jun2013. This is only the beginning of the next chapter in our Wing Tsun journey. We are very happy to have new students to guide in their own journey and share our passion for the art of Wing Tsun.
We would like to thank our SiFu Steve Chan (CWTA Evanston, IL) and SiBak Chris Mah (CWTA Northfield, IL) for supporting us in this endeavor and coming to the opening day at Wing Tsun Kwoon.
As part of their visit, they presented SiFu Ray’s official CWTA SiFu T-Shirt.
In addition, they gave us the poster and cards from our Wing Tsun brothers and sisters at CWTA HQ in Toronto. Thank you very much SiSok, Si-Hings, Si-Dais, Si-Je, and Si-Mui for your support and sending us these wonderful gifts for our opening day!
Finally, we would like to thank SiFu Carson Lau. Without his support, guidance and encouragement, Wing Tsun Kwoon would not be possible. SiGung greeted us on our opening day and said 桃李滿門 (“wish your students fill up all spaces in your class”).
SiFu Ray, SiSok David and SiSok Allan are humbled by all of the encouragement and support from our CWTA family. It is because of their continued support that help drive us to succeed. We thank you all!
If you are interested in training with us, please register for a Free 2-Week Trial and experience Wing Tsun Kwoon’s classes for yourself (https://wingtsunkwoon.zenplanner.com/zenplanner/portal/freeTrial.cfm).
Please help us spread the word by linking this blog post on facebook and twitter, or directly emailing it to your family and friends. We hope to see you in class on soon!