Trouble with my WC school

Discussion in 'Wing Chun' started by trolloc63, Feb 7, 2018.

  1. trolloc63

    trolloc63 White Belt

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    :(


    Forgive the long post, but I have some concerns. I feel that my Wing Chun (WC) school is a bit of a McDojo. I would like to share my brief experience thus far.

    To be clear, there is only 1 WC dojo in my area, so I have little choice. Anyway, I feel as if my school is more about the cash grab than anything else. I am paying $90 a month for an un-modified WC school. Moy Yat WC. There are also no pro-rated fees. If you start half way through the month, then you pay the full price. Also, the sihang (instructor) is regularly suggesting that I buy their merchandise and buy “funny money” for the sifu. I have heard this on multiple occasions. It is not an order, but it is highly suggested.

    The sifu is rarely in class, usually on the weekends. Instead, the sihang (spelling?) is usually the one that teaches the class. He is “not the model of fitness”, which is a nice way of saying that he has gusto. I have been cautioned more than once about providing tips to other students when it comes to training. I have a diverse but limited background in Aikido, BJJ, and Krav Maga.

    Needless to say, that I am somewhat frustrated with how things are going. While I enjoy what I am learning, I feel like I’m getting watered down WC. And the atmosphere is like a social club, and that is not why I am there. I’m interested in taking my WC and implementing some self-defense aspects to it.

    Penny for your thoughts?
     
  2. Anarax

    Anarax 2nd Black Belt

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    With matters like these you should always go with your gut. I've had these realizations before and in the end I knew it was best to leave. Based off your description it sounds like a poor school to attend. The heavy commercialism is almost never a good sign.

    Opposed to being dead set on training WC, try out other styles/schools in your area. It's more about the quality of the teaching rather than the style
     
  3. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    Well the money thing is your choice but the other stuff is unimportant. Maybe the instructor can't teach for whatever reason so gets his student to do it. As for being fat. Who cares he's a wing chun coach not a PT. lastly yeah of course you shouldn't be trying to teach other students different martial arts during class time it's not your club and not your place to do so.
     
  4. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Do MMA.
     
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  5. wckf92

    wckf92 Master Black Belt

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    Hi trolloc63.
    How do you know or feel that it is watered down? Are you comparing it to some other versions of WC you have seen? Just curious. Thx.
     
  6. wckf92

    wckf92 Master Black Belt

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    I'm sure you've done your research to make a statement like that but we always recommend giving us your location or general location just in case one of us knows of or has heard of an underground / unadvertised instructor in your area... food for thought Bro.
     
  7. trolloc63

    trolloc63 White Belt

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    As opposed to some of the wing chun masters I have seen on YouTube. Sifu Mark Phillips, Master Wong. But I really have nothing to compare it to.
     
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  8. trolloc63

    trolloc63 White Belt

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    I like in the US, in the state of Nebraska.
     
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  9. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    i never understand why people stay in situations they know they are unhappy with.
     
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  10. Snark

    Snark Orange Belt

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    They are both very nice guys, but they have both adopted outside influences into their wing chun, whereas Moy Yat is more old school... it might be worth having a look of videos from other branches of Moy Yat, to see how your school measures up.
     
  11. Martial D

    Martial D Master of Arts

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    Phillips is legit, Wong is... entertaining.

    Honestly, I would recommend you get what you can where you can, and test and analyze everything you learn to the best of your ability.
     
  12. Snark

    Snark Orange Belt

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    Phillips definitely has skills, no doubt, but he seems to have adopted I kind of Alan Orr approach of a more rounded almost MMA style of Wing Chun... no bad thing.. but it will not look like a Moy Yat form.
     
  13. PiedmontChun

    PiedmontChun Blue Belt

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    1) $90 is not unreasonable, certainly not for a school with rent to pay in a retail space. You need a decent amount of students to even break even at that price point. In metro city areas, it is not uncommon to see more. Even kids programs cost $90 where I live for monthly fees.
    2) The whole "not pro-rating" thing might just be more problematic from a billing company perspective, or lazy way of doing business, not shady in itself. When I signed a contract to train at a school, you picked the date you wanted it drafted, but tuition was for the whole month, not some arbitrary period of time based on when it is billed. I mean bottom line, if you know this is how it is done, then I would join up when a new month starts to make it cleaner and simpler.

    Concerns:
    1) If an instructor is rarely there, I think it really depends on the skill level and teaching ability of who they entrust the normal class instruction to. I have been in BJJ academys where the black belt instructor did not interact with the lower belts much and only taught limited classes, but it was not a big deal because he had MANY brown and purple belts that helped and were fully capable of instructing. He devoted a lot of time to those upper belts, trickle down training style. It made sense. In WT, I often learned more from senior students or an instructor other than my SiFu. I would be concerned if the SiFu spent so little time with his students that he was not familiar with their overall progress, or did not check on them and correct issues or bad habits.
    2) If it feels watered down, then trust your gut; it just might be watered down. Is there sparring? Is there chi sau / gor sau with actual pressure and intent? Or is it all forms and drills with no pressure. Different people land in a different place on how much pressure is needed and what should be emphasized, but if you aren't breaking a sweat at some point in a class, getting some bruises on your arms occasionally, eating a punch to the torso once in a while..... you aren't learning to fight at all. Sorry if that offends any who are more interested in just 'preserving the art' and not as interested in fighting ability, but it is a martial art. if you are physically capable of training hard, and you don't - I think you are shortchanging yourself.
     
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  14. TMA17

    TMA17 Brown Belt

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    Experienced something similar at a Moy Yat school in terms of “Kung Fu life” which had similarities you expressed. However I felt the quality of the WC was top notch in terms of attention to detail and structure.

    The TWC school is less serious and more focused on scenarios in fighting along with the incorporation of boxing elements.

    I went to a private lesson last night with a guy that studied in the Moy Yat lineage and it was the best lesson I ever had bc it was just he and I.

    The Moy Yat guys show you the structure and give you the attributes but will not turn you into a fighter. That’s up to the individual. And I don’t think that is a bad thing. We sparred at the Moy Yat school. Moy Yat is considered by some to be “cult like” but I felt the quality of the WC is very good. But there are likely bad Sifus in any lineage.

    If you’re looking to learn how to fight do MMA as DB said.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
  15. trolloc63

    trolloc63 White Belt

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    No sparring. As I said before, many students stand around and visit. All the fundamentals are there, but pressure testing is minimal. Maybe it is just me. I come from a BJJ/Krav Maga background. I'm there learning with determination, not to socialize.
     
  16. trolloc63

    trolloc63 White Belt

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    Becuz there is no other WC in my area. Then again, I may have to leave anyway.
     
  17. trolloc63

    trolloc63 White Belt

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    I think what I will have to do is learn as much as I can becuz there are no other choices for me. When I feel more competent with my WC, I can take it and make it my own.
     
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  18. PiedmontChun

    PiedmontChun Blue Belt

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    If you've trained other arts and are accustomed to more pressure testing, then you are mentally a step ahead of your training partners if this WC school is their only martial art training. Its not impossible to take what you learn there, principle and concept wise, and take it and make it your own. That's an uphill battle though.

    I really don't get the no sparring at all. Most all arts spar in some form. Its how you get better, or at least is a test on your ability. Chi sau'ing with little pressure, and never ramping it up is what will ultimately make WC just a cool parlor trick and not a fighting art.
     
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  19. Herbie

    Herbie White Belt

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    To the OP.
    Regarding providing tips to classmates. Yeah, stop that. If you're in a school where folks are interested in other approaches, and you've been there a while, that's fine. But nobody anywhere wants to hear the new guy saying, "well, in my old school, we did this..."
    Second, why are you so locked in on only learning WC? If the only WC school in the area is not a good fit, move on to something else. If you eventually try multiple WC schools and none meet your expectations, maybe your expectations of what real WC is, is not realistic.
     
  20. geezer

    geezer Grandmaster

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    What's "funny money"?
     
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