Developmental Dilemma - Which Sigung?

WingChunIsNoSport

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I've been studying under a Sifu for a while now who is very traditional and he learned under GM Ip Ching. But he isn't in it for the money. The only problem is that there is so much focus on the forms, rolling and chi sao (and dummy work) but nothing beyond this.

Also no kicks except the Chum Kiu and wooden dummy forms. No chi gerk, tan or bong gerk.

I have the opportunity to learn from another Sifu who was taught by GM Chu Shong Tin. I checked out the kwoon and it has a lot more equipment and just seems a lot more action-oriented, which is what I think I am looking for.

I already have received feedback from a very famous Sifu that GM Chu Shong Tin was one of Sijo Ip man's first and top students ever.

I've been told (more than once) that I may be learning what is called "old man Wing Chun" that does not focus so much on real self-defense. Which is fine if this is what one wants and maybe after many years you can handle yourself.

And this brings me to my main concern: I fear that I may be missing out on important things that could seriously help my progress and development.

What do you guys think. If you were in my position, what would you do? Anyone who knows, knows that traditionally it is a major deal to walk away from a Sifu and go to a other but I mean come on, this isn't 1950's Hong Kong.

Thanks for any feedback.
 

Xue Sheng

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I've been studying under a Sifu for a while now who is very traditional and he learned under GM Ip Ching. But he isn't in it for the money. The only problem is that there is so much focus on the forms, rolling and chi sao (and dummy work) but nothing beyond this.

Also no kicks except the Chum Kiu and wooden dummy forms. No chi gerk, tan or bong gerk.

I have the opportunity to learn from another Sifu who was taught by GM Chu Shong Tin. I checked out the kwoon and it has a lot more equipment and just seems a lot more action-oriented, which is what I think I am looking for.

I already have received feedback from a very famous Sifu that GM Chu Shong Tin was one of Sijo Ip man's first and top students ever.

I've been told (more than once) that I may be learning what is called "old man Wing Chun" that does not focus so much on real self-defense. Which is fine if this is what one wants and maybe after many years you can handle yourself.

And this brings me to my main concern: I fear that I may be missing out on important things that could seriously help my progress and development.

What do you guys think. If you were in my position, what would you do? Anyone who knows, knows that traditionally it is a major deal to walk away from a Sifu and go to a other but I mean come on, this isn't 1950's Hong Kong.

Thanks for any feedback.

They left teachers for other teachers in Hong Kong in the 1950s too
 
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WingChunIsNoSport

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They left teachers for other teachers in Hong Kong in the 1950s too
I never said they didn't, I mean how did Sijo Ip Man get all his students? But it was frowned upon and you would even get a Sifu going to another Sifu's school confronting them on poaching students. Even today my Sifu says "if someone already is learning and has a Sifu, they cannot call me Sifu because you can only have one Sifu. If he calls me Sifu then his teacher will take issue and ask me why am I letting me call me Sifu, am I trying to take his srudent...I would be happy to share knowledge as a Gung Fu brother but he cannot call me Sifu".

So if they let their Sifu know they are changing it's one thing but it would usually not be taken all that well especially by the students. At the same time it was a commonality for schools to fight other schools all the time and just hope their old classmates don't catch him slippin'.

That ain't gonna happen here. It would probably be more like "how do you like your new school".
 

redpanda

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I've been studying under a Sifu for a while now who is very traditional and he learned under GM Ip Ching. But he isn't in it for the money. The only problem is that there is so much focus on the forms, rolling and chi sao (and dummy work) but nothing beyond this.

Also no kicks except the Chum Kiu and wooden dummy forms. No chi gerk, tan or bong gerk.

I have the opportunity to learn from another Sifu who was taught by GM Chu Shong Tin. I checked out the kwoon and it has a lot more equipment and just seems a lot more action-oriented, which is what I think I am looking for.

I already have received feedback from a very famous Sifu that GM Chu Shong Tin was one of Sijo Ip man's first and top students ever.

I've been told (more than once) that I may be learning what is called "old man Wing Chun" that does not focus so much on real self-defense. Which is fine if this is what one wants and maybe after many years you can handle yourself.

And this brings me to my main concern: I fear that I may be missing out on important things that could seriously help my progress and development.

What do you guys think. If you were in my position, what would you do? Anyone who knows, knows that traditionally it is a major deal to walk away from a Sifu and go to a other but I mean come on, this isn't 1950's Hong Kong.

Thanks for any feedback.
Hey dude, I completely understand as have been in the same situation myself recently. Spent a long time training with my Sifu, and even after he moved areas I travelled way out of my way to get to him. I also cross train in a few other arts and it really opened my eyes to the fact that we never really trained properly with full resistance, and we also had the same situation where it became more about the art than the fighting behind it (which to be fair I also enjoy however at the moment I want the more dynamic aspects). I have been travelling the world for the past few months with a focus on my martial arts, and have been fortunate enough to train with some incredible sifus, and its really highlighted to me the various different ways things are done and that it can vary massively school to school.

My concern was finding someone back home that fit my needs, but I didnt want to hurt my original sifu by never coming back and leaving for another school. I spoke to a sifu I trained with in a camp and his advice was to just do it and find something that fits your needs. He travelled constantly and switched teachers a number of times until he found the one that clicked with him, and he is now considered a prominent and expert figure in our world.

I explained to my sifu that I wanted to explore a different side of Wing Chun, and although he wasnt delighted (it is money out of his pocket at the end of the day) like you say it is not the old school Hong Kong days and as loyal as you may be to your Sifu, ultimately it is you that is responsible for your own training and sometimes you have to make a change to improve. Personally I feel much better having done it and tested many different styles and teachers, and actually found more value in some of the stuff I did before as well as the new material.

Sorry for the long story but thats my thoughts- just go for it! Your Sifu will be okay either way
 

mograph

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Well, youre not a disciple.

It depends on your current Sifu. How well do you know him?

Mine (yiquan) is kind of laid-back, as we had a big banquet for his 90th birthday, and there were a lot of students there who had switched to other Sifus. They were quite welcome, and he (and I) was happy to see them.

So it depends on your Sifu.
 

geezer

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Definitely depends on the sifu. Most of the guys in my old association did not approve of cross training or switching instructors. I support it, but I ask my long time students to still keep in touch if they leave. A few have. But then I no longer teach publicly anyway. Just a few guys in a garage these days. :)
 

Kung Fu Wang

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Well it ain't that much but it's more "not self-defense but self-awareness".
Those terms have no meaning to me - self-awareness, self-cultivation, inner-peace, world peace, ...

To me, MA is as simple as:

- fist meets face.
- ground meets head.

fist_meets_face.jpg


head_into_ground.jpg
 

Kung Fu Wang

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if someone already is learning and has a Sifu,
There is a difference between student and disciple. In other words, you should have only 1 "disciple ceremony" in your life.

- A student can have many teachers.
- A disciple can only have 1 Sifu.

For example, you may have a

- WC Sifu,
- long fist teacher, and
- CLF teacher.

all at the same time.
 

geezer

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There is a difference between student and disciple.

- A student can have many teachers.
- A disciple can only have 1 Sifu.

For example, you may have a

- WC Sifu,
- long fist teacher, and
- CLF teacher.

all at the same time.
Agreed. I did bai si and became a "disciple" of my first Chinese Wing Tsun teacher back in the early 80's. I left his association decades ago, but he will always be my "Si-fu". My other teachers over the years I view more like coaches.

....Coach is a term that can also carry a lot of respect, and without all the baggage.
 

Mider

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It's your life, if you feel you will learn more at another school then go to that school. Go to as many schools as you want.

If your teacher frowns on that then that's his problem. The art should be taught for practical application not just forms but how they work
 

JowGaWolf

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Well, youre not a disciple.
Yep. This would definitely be a downside to being a disciple. Lots of responsibilities that come with it. The fact that it's a formal agreement, would make it a bigger issue. Much more is expected from teacher and disciple than is expected from a normal teacher student relationship.

For me personally I would train under more than one teacher if the opportunity came. I actually had the opportunity to be trained under a different Sifu, but couldn't see it through. Unfortunately it happened when my wife was diagnosed with cancer. I have a passion for kung fu, but I'll drop it or suspend it for the sake of family. Family comes first. Such is life.
 

mograph

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As far as I know, my Sifu is fine with all of his former students, if the banquet (that I mentioned above) was any indication. There have been other banquets, same thing.

There was one exception: one of Sifu's senior students once showed disrespect to him (I forget exactly how, except it was overt) in order to curry favour with an old rival of Sifu's so the rival would accept him as a student. The rival, to his credit, refused to accept the student because of the disrespect he showed my Sifu. In spite of the rivalry between sifus, the student crossed a line. I haven't seen him since.
 

hunschuld

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I learned directly from Yip Ching,I then learned directly from Chu Shong Tin. If this teacher really knows and understands Chu Shong Tin's method run don't walk to him and don't look back.
 
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WingChunIsNoSport

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I learned directly from Yip Ching,I then learned directly from Chu Shong Tin. If this teacher really knows and understands Chu Shong Tin's method run don't walk to him and don't look back.
Well I gotta say this is definitely intriguing and eye opening.
 

Xue Sheng

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I never said they didn't, I mean how did Sijo Ip Man get all his students? But it was frowned upon and you would even get a Sifu going to another Sifu's school confronting them on poaching students. Even today my Sifu says "if someone already is learning and has a Sifu, they cannot call me Sifu because you can only have one Sifu. If he calls me Sifu then his teacher will take issue and ask me why am I letting me call me Sifu, am I trying to take his srudent...I would be happy to share knowledge as a Gung Fu brother but he cannot call me Sifu".

So if they let their Sifu know they are changing it's one thing but it would usually not be taken all that well especially by the students. At the same time it was a commonality for schools to fight other schools all the time and just hope their old classmates don't catch him slippin'.

That ain't gonna happen here. It would probably be more like "how do you like your new school".

All I can tell you, that around he same time in Hong Kong, students went back and forth between Tung Ying Chieh's (Taijiquan) school and Yang Shouzhong's school. They also needed to make money, so they were not to picky. But It was not so much what the student said, it was what Tung Ying Chieh and Yang Shouzhong thought. Go back and forth and they would not consider you a student, and likely not take you seriously, and keep you at a distance. Commit to one and you become a student, then leave and go to the other, you may not be allowed back, or maybe you will, you just may not be taken seriously again.
 

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