Our Approach to Learning

As the name implies, East-West Wing Chun combines characteristics of traditional Asian fighting theories with Western methodologies toward training them. The Four Pillars of the approach include:

1. Synthesis of Traditional and Modern Training Methods

In discussing bong sao structure, we emphasize knowledge of muscle groups, alignment of bones, and angles of redirection

The building blocks of our training remain the same as many traditional Wing Chun schools, including forms and sticking hands training with an emphasis on stance, alignment, and fluidity. Indeed, the first year of training bears striking similarities to the approach of Sifu Lo Man Kam, from whom our method originates.

However, true to Sifu Lo's history of innovating training methods, our classical foundation is just a starting point to explore the Wing Chun system. In addition to adhering to classical approaches, we also embrace modern ways of training and conditioning. The goal is to produce practitioners who have a firm understanding of both traditional fighting theory and applied biomechanics.

2. Interpretation of Classical Principles to Apply to Modern Combat

The creators of Wing Chun probably did not face double-leg takedowns very often. However, the lift-sink idea from Chum Kiu and butterfly sword footwork provide strategies for coping with this particular attack

Created over 300 years ago as a means of defeating seasoned Chinese martial artists, Wing Chun Kung Fu is a system of ideas that can still be applied to modern-day combat. While principles such as Economy of Motion, Simultaneous Attack and Defense, and others remain constant, we seek to interpret them so that they can be used at all ranges of combat, against multiple attackers, in practical self defense situations, as well as in competitive fighting.

Abiding by the Art of War's idea of "knowing your enemy," we also learn the basics of other modern fighting systems such as Boxing, Thai Boxing, and Wrestling. By knowing these principles, we gain a broader idea of how Wing Chun works as a complete system. By being able to "feed" their attacks, we provide a more realistic means of testing our Wing Chun skills.

3. Flexibility, Experimentation, Experiential Learning

The Circle Drill allows the student to experiment with various techniques, to see what works for him

Understanding that all people differ in physical and mental characteristics and capabilities, we seek to make Wing Chun applicable to the individual. As the student learns the mechanics and ideas of the system, he seeks to make it conform to him. We shun a cookie-cutter approach to training, where all students conform to a single mould.

East-West Wing Chun relies on individual experimentation as we provide a framework for students to experience different types of fighting methods. It embraces flexibility in application and encourages free thinking and interpretation.

4. Attitude toward Training

Given the other three pillars of the East-West Wing Chun system, an open-minded approach to training is essential. We assume that nobody has all the answers for all people and situations. But through collective critical thinking, using Wing Chun principles as our guidelines, we can come up with potential solutions and test them through practice.

We encourage a relatively flat hierarchy, where our instructors are respected for their experience, aptitude for applying Wing Chun, and ability to transform questions into individual training methods. But no method or instructor is beyond respectful questioning.

All members of all levels of our approach are appreciated for what they bring to the table: personal experience. Other martial arts are respected for the questions they pose to our system.