When Did You Start Wooden Dummy?

Hong Kong Pooey

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In our WT school you don't learn the wooden dummy until you've reached a fairly high grade, so I was wondering if that is usual and how long you guys had been training before you got to play with it?

To give you an idea of what I mean by high grade we have 12 student grades (they say this is about equivalent to black belt in other MA's) and 12 master levels, and you don't start the wooden dummy until master level 3 I believe.

I've been training ave. 1 x 2 hrs a week for about 8 months and got grade 2 after about 3 or 4 months so still a long way to go, but even my regular teacher who recently got master level 2 hasn't started on the dummy yet.

He's been doing WT for about 3 yrs I think, but he trained a lot more than 2 hrs a week, so I reckon it could take me 10 years before I get to a sufficiently high level to be introduced to the dummy.

Is that how it usually goes, how does it work in other schools/lineages?

Thanks in advance!
 

Takai

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The "ranking" system in our school for lack of a better term is much simpler. You are a junior for 2 years. You don't train on the dummy until you become a senior. (Sifu may use the dummy to correct problems for you but, you don't learn the dummy form until you go into the senior class) After Senior class you have Senior Instructor and Sifu. That's it.
 

yak sao

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I also train in WT. Like you I couldn't wait to learn the dummy. I had been shown a couple of drills by my si-soks but I didn't learn the Dummy form until after the Biu Tze form, which is fairly standard as far as the WT lineage and its offshoots go.

Some argue that the material is dragged out far too long in WT, in fact, many WC schools teach the material at a much faster pace. I think the answer lies somewhere in the middle. It shouldn't take 20 years to learn the entire system, but neither should you learn it in a couple of years.
 

StormShadow

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Preface: I practice WC. I've been show some things on the wooden dummy on a few nights when Sifu was not in the night class to teach. I have been shown parts of the first wooden dummy form by senior instructors and then we put it into actual practice. I have not been shown the wooden dummy form to practice it solely in class though.
 

geezer

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I also come from a WT background from back in the '80s. It took a long time to get the dummy form. If I remember right, I started after about 5 years in the system ...which is actually faster than normal because I was training directly under LT. I do think some material is stretched out a bit in LT's organization. I now train under an excellent instructor in a splinter group and am very content. Getting the entire system still takes a very long time (I still haven't finished the Bart Cham Dao form). However, there is such depth to the material, that I am in no hurry. I'd rather be good at what I know than "know" a lot and really stink!
 

Eric_H

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In our WT school you don't learn the wooden dummy until you've reached a fairly high grade, so I was wondering if that is usual and how long you guys had been training before you got to play with it?

To give you an idea of what I mean by high grade we have 12 student grades (they say this is about equivalent to black belt in other MA's) and 12 master levels, and you don't start the wooden dummy until master level 3 I believe.

I've been training ave. 1 x 2 hrs a week for about 8 months and got grade 2 after about 3 or 4 months so still a long way to go, but even my regular teacher who recently got master level 2 hasn't started on the dummy yet.

He's been doing WT for about 3 yrs I think, but he trained a lot more than 2 hrs a week, so I reckon it could take me 10 years before I get to a sufficiently high level to be introduced to the dummy.

Is that how it usually goes, how does it work in other schools/lineages?

Thanks in advance!

When i did YM wing chun, it learned it as I approached my black sash. I think I learned it around the same time as Biu Gee.

In Hung Fa Yi we've got a couple of dummy forms and a few weapon dummy forms too. HTH Long Bridge Dummy can be taught up front, the short bridge dummy I've learned the first 3 sections of. I think our Dummy parallels our form learning (sections 1-3 are SNT, 4-6 CK and 7-8 BG) but I've only heard that secondhand - Sifu has never brought it up.

Can't wait for the day I'm finally good enough to earn my way out of Siu Nim Tao.
 

J W

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I just recently started learning Biu Gee and the dummy, after about 2 years of training. Sounds like this is a bit quicker than in WT.
 
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Hong Kong Pooey

Hong Kong Pooey

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Many thanks for all your replies, I feel a bit better now :)

I must confess to being somewhat disappointed when I realised how long it would take to get to the dummy, as that was one of the things that appealed to me about WC in the first place. I liked the idea that I could practice technical stuff at home any time I want. And of course it does look cool :)

Just out of interest is it a WC invention or was it used in other forms of Kung Fu before?
 

WingChun

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Hey,

At my school it works like this:
Sil Nim Tao
Chum Kiu when your ready (9 months for most)
Wooden dummy when your ready (most people are a year or two at chum kiu)
Biu Jee when your ready (most people train for at least 4 years total before getting here)
Weapons when your ready (most people about 7 years total training)
 

WingChun

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I dont know what its like at your school, but at mine people train for at least 3-5 years before biu jee, and that's training min 3x a week.
 

Takai

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Many thanks for all your replies, I feel a bit better now :)

I must confess to being somewhat disappointed when I realised how long it would take to get to the dummy, as that was one of the things that appealed to me about WC in the first place. I liked the idea that I could practice technical stuff at home any time I want. And of course it does look cool :)

Just out of interest is it a WC invention or was it used in other forms of Kung Fu before?

The dummy is older than WC. It is just one of tools taken from the Shaolin Temple (if you follow that allegory). WC also doesn't the only dummy, look up a Choi Lay Fut dummy sometime.

As far as the time, I wouldn't be in a rush to learn it. If you aren't at the proper level of conditioning to start it then....it will really hurt. Don't get me wrong you get bruises when you begin regardless but before you are ready it is really bad.

We have a junior student that was told a couple times not work with the dummy. Sifu turned around one day and he was "working" leg drills before class. Sifu didn't stop him this time he just let him go for about 20 minutes. Took almost a week for the pain and bruises to subside.
 

geezer

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I dont know what its like at your school, but at mine people train for at least 3-5 years before biu jee, and that's training min 3x a week.

We learn SNT, then Chum Kiu, Biu Tze, and lastly the 116 Dummy form. Long pole is taught after Sifu rank, and Bart Cham Dao is typically reserved for the most advanced practitioners, approaching Master level. But then we have a lot of other material such as lat-sau and chi-sau "sets" that are learned along the way too.

Heck it's all just a means to an end. I'm sure there are many paths to get there.
 

Danny T

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Went instructing I use the dummy for basic positional drills often and from the beginning. Learning the dummy form first 4 sets begins after have a good base of chum kiu and continues through bil jee.
 

Shades

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In my school, my Sifu teaches the first dummy set very early in conjunction with Siu Lim Tao. We also use the dummy for many drills.
 

jeff_hasbrouck

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here's the thing with the dummy, your not ready. when you are you will learn. if you want to learn it early, ask a si-hing.

the dummy is basically all the shortcuts, bit without having all the foundation, you wont be able to understand let alone apply the techniques in the dummy without a firm understanding of all's the concepts, principals and theories of empty hand WT. that's why is saved for the last. Yes you can "work" with the dummy, and use it foe training lower level stuff, the the actual dummy curriculum takes someone with experience and ability.

I teach with the dummy (for level appropriate material) but I don't show meng-geng-sau or a lot of the footwork until wayyyyy later because when ANYBODY starts wing tsun they aren't ready.

The quickest way to dummy material is by training hard and diligently so your foundation is very strong. After you control you body and understand the concepts and theorom, the applications will come.

good luck in your training.
 
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