Trying to find out about a teacher

Discussion in 'Wing Chun' started by Humble Student, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. Humble Student

    Humble Student Yellow Belt

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    Hello everyone
    I have been trying to do some home work on a teacher by the name of Joseph Simonet. He claims to be a black sash in Wing Chun which is fine most people claim what ever they want anyway.
    However
    When I tried to find out who his sifu was. That was where the lead got cold.
    I was wondering if any of you have heard of this gentleman and help figure out what his background in Wing Chun is.
    And yes before I came on here I did do a google search before I came on here.
    But I thought I would ask those in the know.
    Thanks for the help.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

     
  2. Humble Student

    Humble Student Yellow Belt

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    Also in case he is not telling the truth, I was wondering if any of you know of a wing chun teacher in the columbia basin of washington state.
    Because I would really like to train in wing chun. And even though there are dvd's showing how to do things. I would much rather have a teacher.
     
  3. geezer

    geezer Grandmaster

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    I've run across references to Mr. Simonet over the years, most often in the context of FMA (Filipino Martial Arts). According to what I saw on google, it looks like he started out as a Karateka, and over many years has put together his own non-traditional blend of martial arts, drawing heavily on Wing Chun, Indonesian Silat, and Filipino arts (escrima/arnis/kali)... basically more of a "JKD-ish" approach than classical Wing Chun. That would explain why he doesn't identify a particular sifu or lineage in his biography. Nevetheless, he appears to have been practicing and teaching as a serious professional for a long time, so he might be worth checking out in person.

    http://kifightingconcepts.com/joseph_simonet.htm

    Now here's a few examples of some of what he's got on Youtube. First this:


    My observations as a classically traind WC/WT/VT guy: This kind of complex, choreographed sequence is very typical of Kenpo, but IMHO is contrary to the whole concept of WC which stresses super-simple and direct movements dictated by your opponent's energy rather than as a choreographed pattern. The other thing that jumps out is how buff Joe is. I admit I went through a phase like that too, but it sure didn't help my WC. Of course being strong is good, and all kinds of builds can do WC. It's just that Joe's build suggests a heavy emphasis on force, which might be something to watch out for.

    Here's a couple more clips that really show that "JKD-ish quality I mentioned:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gi2jzj2COa8&feature=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drBahddcdT8&feature=related

    In both, his forward-leaning body position is very un-Wing Chun-like and looks a lot like the old pics of James DeMile's "Wing Chun Do". Maybe that is his source? Still, he come's off as a pro and seems to have a good personality as an instructor. And then there's his demonstrating partner Addy Hernandez. She's reason enough by herself to watch some of these clips. Check out this FMA clip for example:



    OK that's my 2 cents. Anybody else got an opinion?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 24, 2014
  4. zepedawingchun

    zepedawingchun Black Belt

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    Good luck finding anything concerning Mr. Simonet's Wing Chun history. I have tried on several occasions with no luck. When you look him up in WingChunPedia, he is listed under Non-Yip Man lineage with Lineage as 'He won't say / unknown'.

    Possible reasons for not telling:

    1. He's ashamed of his sifu and doesn't want anyone to know.

    2. He won't tell because he doesn't want to get involved in all the Wing Chun politics between the Sifus, Masters, and Grandmasters. Therefore, he can call himself a master and no one can dispute the claim.

    3. He's not really a black sash in Wing Chun and just picked up bits and pieces here and there and it fools the general public.
     
  5. Carol

    Carol Crazy like a...

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    Mr. Simonet holds a very high dan rank in Tracy Kenpo (8th or 9th), so it makes sense that much of what he does looks like Kenpo. He has a deeper base there than in his other arts.
     
  6. blindsage

    blindsage Master of Arts

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    The Columbia Basin is a pretty massive area, where are you more specifically, and how far are you realistically willing to travel?
     
  7. mook jong man

    mook jong man Senior Master

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    What the hell is a black sash in Wing Chun anyway ?, I just hope it matches his handbag.Most people in Wing Chun are usually very proud of their lineage and only too happy to tell you who their Sifu was.People who can't or won't volunteer this information generally have something to hide , usually it is to hide the fact that they have not really trained in the system under the tutelage of what the wider Wing Chun community would consider to be a genuine Wing Chun master.
     
  8. chinaboxer

    chinaboxer Green Belt

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    rofl...i was thinking the same thing, but i have seen sashes and promotion with William Cheung's schools.
     
  9. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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    I know a student of 'Fong Chi Wing' and 'Fak Tak Ling' who isvery good at Wing Chun and now has his own school requires his students to wearuniforms and gives his students sashes for rank and he wears a black sash. And to be honest even though he is good I just couldnot take the whole sash rank thing in Wing Chun

    My Wing Chun sifu, student of Ip Chun doesn’t care what youshow up in and there are NO sash/belt ranks
     
  10. zepedawingchun

    zepedawingchun Black Belt

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    We use colored sashes in our organization. If you're going to operate a large school teaching to the general public, you most likely want or need something like belts or sashes for many reasons.

    1. You should have some sort of curriculum and thus skills for different levels. Colored sashes help denote the different skill levels.

    2. With colored sashes, it gives students something to strive or work for. The colored sash will then denote skill levels obtained by the student.

    3. Colored sashes can also be used to denote length of time in training.

    4. As many other arts (ie, japanese and korean) use colored belts or sashes, you would use them to make your school appear more mainstream to the public. In the USA, we've become accustomed to seeing belts and expect a certain look or custom such as uniforms or particular way of dress.

    5. Colored sashes can also be used as a way to illicit respect for certain levels of students in the school. But of course, respect should be earned and not openly given. Students seeing the colored sashes denoting level realize this or that student has skill.
     
  11. Brian King

    Brian King Master of Arts

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    Have not meet or worked with either Joseph Simonet or Addy Hernandez and know little of Wing Chun so my opinion will and should have very little weight. But for what it is worth, had a student of theirs come by and train with us for a Systema seminar or class (it has been a while and I cannot remember the exact circumstances) Good attitude and good skills, trained honestly and was polite. He represented his teachers well. Based upon the student, if someone was wanting to learn martial skills I would recommend checking their classes out, cannot comment on linages and all that.

    Regards
    Brian King
     
  12. geezer

    geezer Grandmaster

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    The first WC school I ever attended back in '79 was part of Sifu Fong Chi Wing's (Augustine Fong) organization. Sifu Fong is the real deal. Joy, aka "Vajramusdi", is one of his senior students. If they want to use sashes, perhaps for reasons such as those stated by Zepeda, that's OK with me.

    My organization follows the basic ranking system used by most other groups originally coming from LTs "WT": Baggy black "kung-fu pants" with a white shirt for lower ranks, grey for intermediate, and black for higher ranks. Instructors also have a red chevron stripe on their pants, etc. But my group in the park often just wears shorts or sweatpants and a T-shirt since there are only a few of us, and we know each other well. Besides, the older I get, the less I like dressing up in a cross between pajamas and fake 19th Century Chinese workers clothes. Still, if that's what my instructor wants, I'm willing to do it. As Zepeda pointed out, a standardized method of denoting your rank or level of experience is more of a necessity in a larger group or organization.
     
  13. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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    I have no doubt Augustine Fong is the real deal and I have no doubt that 'Fak Tak Ling' is the real deal as well. And I have no doubt the guy I am talking about in the above post is the real deal too. My point was that just because they are using a sash does not make them fake it just makes them different than what I am use to, or others may be use to. Heck Adam Hsu (not Wing Chun) thinks a ranking system should be in place in CMA in the USA today and Yang Jwing Ming uses one and even the Yang family uses one these days

    I tend towards tradition and there were no belt ranks in the styles I train most (Northern styles) and the Wing Chun I trained and the person I would consider my Wing Chun Sifu does not use any ranking system either and does not require any uniform, this is what I am use to so this is what I prefer, and I just get a wierd feeling in a CMA school with a belt/ssash ranking system and if I get that type of feeling I should not train thier..so I don't

    If someone uses a ranking system based on colored sashes that is their prerogative I just am not comfortable with that in a CMA setting, but that is just me.
     
  14. Eric_H

    Eric_H Black Belt

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    Having been in both types of schools - I think when you get a student base over 20-30 people you really do need it. Otherwise it's a bit of a cluster F keeping straight who has been taught what and what they should be working on. Ranks are nothing more than a designation of what pieces of the curriculum you've been shown and (ideally) a qualifier of skill in those areas.

    Technically, I have a black sash, can't tell you the last time I wore it or where it's located :)
     
  15. tenzen

    tenzen Blue Belt

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    I trained with joe on a few occasions. He is good and has a lot of power also. I believe. He comes from inosanto, so his wing chun wouldn't be what you would get from an actual wc school. Also I don't think his classes are sectioned off I think you just attend a martial arts class and you get what he gives that day with no distinction between the systems. So if your looking for wc look elsewhere, but if your just looking to train by all means go to his class you will like it.
     
  16. Humble Student

    Humble Student Yellow Belt

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    Thanks for all of the post. I too kind of thought that his WC background was kind of iffy at best. Not saying he may not be a good teacher or a good fighter.
    I am just looking for some one in my area or as close as can be to teach Wing Chun.
     
  17. yak sao

    yak sao Senior Master

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    Thommy Bholig is a Wing Tsun practitioner from Germany, and has recently moved to Washington state.
    I'm thinking it's the Seattle area, but I don't know for sure.
    He would be worth looking in to, I had the opportunity to train with him around 5 or 6 years ago and he is very skilled.
    I think his website is www.allanfong.com
     
  18. Vajramusti

    Vajramusti Master Black Belt

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    ---------------------------------------------------------
    I don't know who the wearer of the black sash is in your post. Fong Sifu does not use sashes in the same way as in a karate org.Many years ago beginners wore red sashes-then later at chum kiu level there were greens and then blues and the regular instructors in his school wore black sashes when teaching. For demos Fong sifu himself wore gold. Seniority is not by sashes but your start up date as a regular student-without reference to personal ability.
    Students in his classes often wear a T shirt identifying the school and Fong sifu's logo. Master Fong does not have branch schools. Schools affiliated with him often have their own shirts and logos. Master Fong has been my sifu since 1976. I have my own T shirt designs and don't wear a sash when teaching in Tempe.. Fong sifu has seminars in addition to his Tucson classes and once a year there is a reunion seminar and banquet in Tucson where connections, friendships and acquaintances are maintained..His website has a list of certified instructors who generally help teach in Tucson and recognized instructors who generally have their own schools or groups and take responsibility for their own actions. As Geezer points out Augustine Fong is the real deal as a kung fu person and sifu. Joy Chaudhuri
     
  19. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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    OK, well at this point I am starting to regret posting anything here because apparently I was not clear in my original post.

    I am not casting any aspersions on 'Fong Chi Wing' or 'Fak Tak Ling' or the person I am speaking of who was a student of both. I was simply using that as an example that you cannot judge a school by the presents of or lack of a ranking system. I come from a rather traditional CMA background, mainly internal CMA, and there were no ranking systems in any school I went to. The Wing Chun I trained most (and that was not much) was with a student of Ip Ching (and before this is misunderstood, I am not a student of Ip Ching my sifu is although I did meet Ip Ching many years ago I am rather certain he would not remember me at all). I did train briefly (one whole class) with the sifu I was originally talking about who was a student of 'Fong Chi Wing' and 'Fak Tak Ling' and he is very good but I am simply not comfortable with a ranking system in a Chinese Martial Art, sorry that is just me. Also at that time I moved 40 miles away from the school and both my new home and office were about 40 miles away, it was simply too far for me to travel, so I did not go back I would however recommend him to anyone in that area looking for a Wing Chun School.

    Now to clarify

    He was a student of Fong Chi Wing' (when he lived in Texas) and 'Fak Tak Ling' (After he moved to NY)
    And he is not claiming to be an affiliate of Fong Chi Wing he is simply saying he was a student of Fong Chi Wing. This student of Fong Chi Wing' and 'Fak Tak Ling' has a school and as far as I know it was 'Fak Tak Ling' that gave him permission to open a school.

    And for the record in post two in this thread (this is post 3) I said

    I am sorry for not being clear in my first and second post and I am sorry if I offended anyone... or it could be I simply should avoid reading anything on MT on Mondays...I tend to be in a bit of a bad mood on Mondays of late so maybe it's me... if so... again sorry
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2011
  20. Vajramusti

    Vajramusti Master Black Belt

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    FWIW, I would not go to Simonet for wing chun.

    joy123
     

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