Sharing Space with another lineage.

Discussion in 'Wing Chun' started by yak sao, Mar 17, 2019.

  1. yak sao

    yak sao Master of Arts

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    Over the years I have shared space with Tai Chi guys, Hung Gar guys and BJJ guys , and there's never been an issue.

    There may be an opportunity to share space in a Wing Chun school if it works out.
    Trying to decide if that's a good idea or if I'm just asking for trouble by bringing two separate lineages into close proximity like that.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple MT Moderator Staff Member

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    What are the other lineages sifu's like?
     
  3. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    I think it’ll only be a problem if you and/or the other teacher make it a problem. I don’t see how it should be any different than the previous places. So long as no one’s telling anyone they’re wrong, it should be all good.

    I’m not a CMA guy, so take that as you will. Being a Seido Karate guy, I wouldn’t see a problem on my end if I were to lease/share space in a Shotokan or Kyokushin school for example. They’ve got a shared lineage that split at different points. It would come down to the individual rather than what style they teach. There’s plenty of people out there who make great and bad roommates; it’s not limited to MA by any means.
     
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  4. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    Teaching/owning/running a MA dojo/dojang is a business, and major component of your way of thinking about it has to be geared that way. When I opened our first dojang it was partnership. I had little to no concern about the business/promotion side of the school, basically I was a silent partner of sorts. I was only concerned with teaching and learning TKD. Had my partner not been business minded we may not have survived those first lean years.
    Early on we also shared our space with an aerobics class. It was kind of cheesy having some of their stuff on the walls but nothing overboard and it paid the bills. I feel when sharing space in our environment there has to be very clear delineations; this is my class time, this is your class time. Then it is all about the quality of the class and the instructor. It should never be a competition between styles. If you are concerned about the other style poaching students that is something you need to talk through with the other instructor of there will be hard feelings. Sooner or later a student will migrate from one style to the other. Then it comes down how confident you are in the quality of your product.
    It can certainly work. You just have to be very thorough on laying the ground rules.
    • What is the purpose of doing this in the first place?
    • Are you getting back in to teaching?
    • Is this for profit?
    • Is this an opportunity for a better class schedule/times?
    • Is there a junior/senior relationship with the other style?
    • Are you financially prepared?
    • Do you have the necessary equipment?
    • Do you have a business plan?
    • Do you have a business plan?
    • Do you have a business plan?
    Yea, that last one is important.
     
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  5. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    As long as everyone acts like adults it shouldn't be an issue
     
  6. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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    TRAITOR!!!!!! :D

    The CMA school I currently train push hands at has the owner and head teacher and he teaches Long Fist, Taijiquan and Sanshou, another Chen Taiji teacher who is Chen, from a Chen family lineage, Another Wudang Taijiquan teacher and a JKD guy. And then in the push hands class there is me. All different lineages and they all seem to get along pretty well.

    It is the attitude and the feeling you get when you walk in the door of a Chinese Marital Arts Guan (Kwoon) that makes all the difference and where I hang out now has real positive energy.
     
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  7. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I completely agree with this. I could teach in the same space (even sharing students) with someone teaching a different style of NGA, or a different Aikido...if they could also accept that there are differences and not black-and-white right/wrong approaches. If the other folks (and you) are okay with questions coming up - which they will under this kind of approach - it should be workable.

    I was a little concerned about it when I went to talk to talk to the dojo owner of the Karate school I teach at now. She could have been very touchy about it, and not wanted someone teaching a different approach under her roof (I know some NGA instructors who wouldn't be able to set their ego aside and give up always being "right"), but she and I are getting along well.

    You seem humble enough to make this a good thing. If the other instructors are, too, this could be really good for the students (and maybe for the art?).

    Maybe try teaching a seminar together first. If you can present side-by-side, discussing differences and where you each have strengths and weaknesses without anyone getting pissy, it's probably workable.
     
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  8. yak sao

    yak sao Master of Arts

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    Interesting idea
     
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  9. yak sao

    yak sao Master of Arts

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    Please, we're WC practitioners. Have you ever known any of us to act childish?
     
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  10. ShortBridge

    ShortBridge Black Belt

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    I can't say that it would be a problem, but I could see it being weird.

    Assuming the sifu are cool and proper with it all, I can't see the students not comparing and contrasting and looking over the wall and wondering. It's usually not experts who can't get along on this point, it's usually people with 0-1 or 2 years of experience. Maybe it's a great social experiment to tease this dysfunction out in the open and see if you and the other sifu can help everyone rise above, but ... I don't know. I can see it being a problem.

    Sharing with a Hung Gar or a Danzan Ryu club or something would be much easier.
     
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  11. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't think the disagreement at <2 years experience is normal, either. I think it's a result of the way they are taught. If you tell them things are "right" and "wrong", they'll believe you for a while (and some will never change their minds). Then put two people together who've been told each other's approach is "wrong", and they'll argue.

    Take those same students, and teach them why something is done - including both the advantages and disadvantages - and teach them to think about the "why". Show them some variations you've seen elsewhere, and explain why you don't teach those (not just "that's not how we do it"). Now, put the same two students together who've been taught differently, and they're more likely to want to see how the other person does it, and why.

    I can't say for certain, obviously, but I've seen this in other arts. The more right/wrong talk there is, the more closed-minded the students are, and the more bickering they'll get into between disparate groups.
     
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  12. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes MT Moderator Staff Member

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    My gym has at least eight active BJJ instructors (brown and black belts) along with a few more senior ranks who don’t currently teach but might if their schedules change.

    If you randomly look at any two of us, there’s a decent chance that there will be as much difference between our personal styles as there is between representatives of two different Wing Chun lineages. We move differently, we may teach specific techniques differently, we have different focuses in our teaching and practice. The underlying principles are the same, but the specifics change.

    We don’t tell our students “my way is right, Matt’s way is wrong.” We tell them, “this is the way I want you to try this for now and this is why it works this way. When you are in someone else’s class, do it the way they show and try to understand why they are showing it that way. Then go out and spar a whole bunch and figure out which way works for you. If you find a variation that isn’t what we showed you but it works really well, come back and show me. Maybe it will be something I want to try.”

    I don’t see why this approach shouldn’t work for WC as well.
     
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  13. yak sao

    yak sao Master of Arts

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    Yeah, never been a fan of "we're right, they're wrong."
    I prefer the "this is why we do it this way"" approach.
     
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  14. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    Agree. I have seen an isolationist mentality by instructors in some schools so much so that it seems apparent they are pulling the wool and may not even know it. A confident, progressive school is going to actively teach new and relevant things along with the main curriculum. We have around a dozen BB's that teach in some capacity. Each has their own personality and teaching style. Some have experience in other styles or schools and I welcome the input. If for no other reason than to break up the grind that repetition in learning can create. It is fun to get outside the lines sometimes.
     
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  15. ShortBridge

    ShortBridge Black Belt

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    I don't really teach right and wrong, except on the lines of principals, but it is pervasive in Wing Chun. I guess it comes down to how well you and other-sifu can set an example and lead by it.
     
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  16. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    What?? I've never seen evidence of black and white thinking in the WC forum here. When does that ever happen? :angelic:
     
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  17. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Assuming the people involved are adults, or can at least pretend to be adults, why would it matter in the slightest who you share space with?
     
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  18. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    As long as students don't take both classes at the same time.

    When I started my UT Austin Kung Fu informal class, it was 2 hours class. The 1st hour was WC and the 2nd hour was long fist. After few weeks, all the students got really confused.

    The confuse started from the basic punch training.

    - Long fist punch requires punching arm and chest make a straight line.
    - WC punch requires there is an angle between chest and the punching arm.

    I don't think "cross training" should start when students are beginners.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2019
  19. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    It might create an interesting situation if all the students gradually migrate away from one teacher, in favor of the other.
     
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  20. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    Or one student from class A beats up one student from class B. Worse than that, one student from class A may tell one student from class B, "My teacher can beat up your teacher."

    Sometime even if you don't look for trouble, trouble will look for you.
     

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