Frequently Asked Questions (Wing Chun)
Students are encouraged to be inquisitive, and to respectfully challenge what they are learning. The below are commonly asked questions. If you would like more detail, or you have further questions, however, please let us know.
Q1 Do I have to be fit or flexible?
No minimum fitness level is required. While basic fitness and flexibility are advantageous, all kicks are delivered below the waist (or lower if practitioners are unable to kick at this height). Furthermore, no applications require major physical exertion (Wing Chun in fact relies on economy of movement). Techniques can also be tailored for students with particular physical limitations. Evergreen Hall Wing Chun Kung Fu lessons are therefore suitable for men and women or all ages, and of all abilities.
Q2 What should I wear?
For classes at the Ipswich Buddhist Centre, students are required to bring clean, indoor-only shoes every time they attend: the training room is a Buddhist meditation area. Other than that, clothes that are comfortable and allow free movement are recommended.
As Wing Chun is designed for direct street application, students are additionally encouraged (though not necessarily for every lesson) to wear what they would usually wear in order that they can better equate what they are being taught to its application.
There is a grading structure at Evergreen Hall, whereby students can train to become Assistant Instructors, Instructors and then Masters. We do not wear belts or sashes, however. This is to encourage students to train with those of all levels.
Q3 How do I address the teacher?
By their first name, whether they are a Master of Kung Fu, an Instructor, an Assistant Instructor, or a teacher ("Sifu"). Master Matt Robbins, for example, is simply known as Matt.
Q4 Is there any class etiquette?
There is some basic Class Conduct that applies to both Self-Defence and Wing Chun classes. Details can be found on this site.
With regards Wing Chun, at the beginning and at the end of each lesson, students "pay their respects" to their teacher; similarly, the teacher pays respects to their students. This is performed simply by clenching the left fist, and putting this fist against their open right palm; eye contact is maintained as teacher and student lightly bow toward each other. This is not a religious practice, but simply signifies that Wing Chun students and teachers are attending with the singular aim of learning how to improve themselves. This requires trust and respect. Students who consequently refuse to show respect to their fellow students - or their teacher - will be asked to leave. To this end, students are also required to pay respects to their fellow class members before and after they train with each other.
Students may additionally like to pay respects to the room in which they are to be training when they first enter, and again when they leave.
Q5 What is different about this version of Wing Chun?
Evergreen Hall Self-Defence Limited offers a principle-based Wing Chun system, and its grading structure is designed solely to support these principles. The grading system is also structured to counter the most common attacks students are likely to face in reality; it additionally emphases the importance of controlling an opponent, as retaliatory strikes may not always be appropriate. Evergreen Hall Self-Defence Limited's syllabus is unique, and is not available elsewhere.
Students are encouraged to be cautious when researching Wing Chun online. While there will be similarities between the names of Evergreen Hall techniques and many of the techniques within the Wing Chun systems around the world, the majority of that which is available elsewhere is from a different lineage, and the principles demonstrated may not be compatible with that which is taught at Evergreen Hall.
Q6 How quickly can I become a Master?
Students should train in Kung Fu to learn how to fully absorb its principles. A Kung Fu system is consequently a means to an end, rather than an end in itself. Students are therefore encouraged to focus on the present rather than the future of where their Kung Fu practice may lead them.
That said, Wing Chun Kung Fu was developed in order that an individual could master the system within four or five years of full-time training; for part-time students, becoming a Master will obviously take considerably longer. The more often students train, the faster they progress, but no guarantees can be given as to the length of time it will take them to complete a particular grading or position within the system.