Wing Chun ranking system proposal.

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Greetings to my fellow martial artists but at this time more specifically to my brothers and sisters in the Wing Chun/ Ving Tsun family. As most of you probably know, Wing Chun, under the Ip Man family linage, never had and type of visible ranking system. Some schools have incorporated belts or sashes like other styles of Kung-fu however, that does not match anything the Great Grandmaster did. They only used t-shirts. I agree that there is a need for establishing a visible skill level system and have developed and proposed one to my federation, the International Applied Wing Chun (IAWC) System. I recently developed a ranking that uses 4 primary colors but also has subparts of the primary colors providing the Wing Chun system the latitude to use as many or as little as they desired but would set a consistent standard for Wing Chun world wide. Please view the You tube vid at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdCr...diAvTUA&feature=em-comment_received&lch=email and please feel free to email me your input. I want to see Wing Chun go to a whole new level worldwide and if that is going to happen, we must stop cutting each other down. A famous proverb says, "a house divided against itself cannot stand." nor will we as a martial art be able to stand, grow and improve if we continue to do likewise. The "PROS" far out weigh the "CONS" in incorporating the shirt colors. It will provide consistent skill standards to achieve the color of shirt the student is wearing making Wing Chun tournaments, skill testing, transferring to a different school and just providing a clear progression within the art a "WIN" for all WC schools. Thanks for listening and I hope to hear what you all think.
 

Cyriacus

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Yes. Wing Chun is a house. It must expand around the world as one united order. All hail the new world order.
Having ranks will totally do that, and wont at all divide the union even further based on what proofs those ranks.

:lurk:
 

WingChunIan

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Having a coloured T shirt does no more to prove your ability than a coloured belt or sash. They have no place in Wing Chun IMO and I would never consider introducing them. You learn what you are ready to learn when you are ready to learn it and are judged by your ability not by time served or the colour of your belt \ sash \ T shirt.
 
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Yes. Wing Chun is a house. It must expand around the world as one united order. All hail the new world order.
Having ranks will totally do that, and wont at all divide the union even further based on what proofs those ranks.

:lurk:

Cyriacus, thank you for your input. My heart is just to see the art grow to its greatest potential and if it's going to happen, there must be some structure.
 
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Ian, I fully agree. A colored shirt does not prove a person's ability just like we've seen in other arts where a person has a black belt and their martial abilities don't validate the belt color that they are wearing however, visible goals for students, consistency in teaching, having the ability to see progression and providing a "standard" of knowledge level that coincides the colors with a curriculum IMO would give schools a tool to use in how they train / teach their students. I also agree that each student's learning ability is different and that they shouldn't advance until they achieve what ever the standard is for that WC systems' curriculum. Thank you for your input.
 

StormShadow

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In my kwoon, we only have certificates that says you basically have a handle of the material of that level. There are no belts/slashes ect.
 
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In my kwoon, we only have certificates that says you basically have a handle of the material of that level. There are no belts/slashes ect.
Storm Shadow, thank you for your input. I am actually drafting up some certificate examples to show to my chief master to get his opinion/ input. I would love to dialogue with you on how your kwoon does it. I'm envisioning (for example) green shirt level knowing the 1st & 2nd forms (Sil Lim Tao/ Chum Kiu) Medium-Advanced level Chi Sau along with training drills and strengthening exercises. The certificate would start at green (in my system) and would continue on from there. The shirt and patches would be the associated with knowledge and their ability to apply the technique prior to that. Your thoughts?
 

Xue Sheng

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Name one Chinese martial art that has a universal ranking system that all follow or that has managed to unify anything

Now tell me how much the Chinese Duan system unified the CMA house....

Now tell me about how much all those Wing Chun styles out there that are not from Ip Man are going to jump on board the Wing Chun Unification band wagon...

Take your time..... I can wait
 

StormShadow

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Certificates that state you have a clear understanding of a certain level, I am ok with, I am not to found of belts/slashes or anything that can be leaned on as a trophy. People seem to gravitate to wanting to earn a certain belt/some clothing to parade it around and showcase it. It is my opinion that no one needs to know your level except for you and your sifu. Leveling should just be looked upon as progressing through the art and not become a factory of prestige for showmanship. As long as I am confident in my abilities, in my learning and practice, a clothing item does nothing more to validate me. It is merely for show. Which practitioners of wing chun should be humble. Granted that's a perfect world but I try to follow the principles in everything I do as much as possible.
 

Tames D

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A few years ago I proposed a universal ranking system composed of colored ear rings, to replace the belt system. Levels 1-5 would wear a colored ring in their left ear. When the 6th level is earned you would be awarded a pink ear ring to be warn in the right ear.
Unfortunately it was not warmly received and I suffered a severe beating in the presence of my lady friends.
 

Flying Crane

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I'm not a wing chun guy anymore, but I am a CMA guy. One thing that I really really REALLY like about my school is that we DON'T use a visible ranking/belt/T-Shirt system. It really goes a long way to keep the training clear of all that obnoxious stuff. It's better of without it.

There is no real unity out there in all this. Each school will simply need to stand on its own two feet. And that's perfectly OK, so far as I am concerned.
 

Flying Crane

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A few years ago I proposed a universal ranking system composed of colored ear rings, to replace the belt system. Levels 1-5 would wear a colored ring in their left ear. When the 6th level is earned you would be awarded a pink ear ring to be warn in the right ear.
Unfortunately it was not warmly received and I suffered a severe beating in the presence of my lady friends.

well clearly you were not up to the Pink Earring level, or you would not have suffered such a beating. Next time you'll know better. :uhyeah:
 

wtxs

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Cyriacus, thank you for your input. My heart is just to see the art grow to its greatest potential and if it's going to happen, there must be some structure.


Admirable intention indeed. In order Wing Chun to attain its great potential, the WC community as a whole must willing to SHARE their knowledge 100% ... with a bowl of popcorn and beer, I'm still waiting.

Far as for the "standard" concern, an governing body has to be in-place to over see its on-going implementation, now we're going to open another can of worm
 

StormShadow

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This is why I open myself to train with others of different lineages. It's all about obtaining and achieving YOUR personal best kung fu, not anyone else. If someone else has knowledge and a great way of doing something, I want to learn it. I, myself do not hold any false pretenses or egos regarding my or anyone else's lineage.
 
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Xue Sheng, thank you for your input. Unfortunately, I am not as learned of the Chinese martial arts history as you are and could not tell you what impact Chinese Duan had on the CMA house nor am na簿ve to believe that all the Wing Chun families, styles and systems will jump onboard to this idea. What I am saying is, if utilized properly, this can provide clear consistent progression of learning levels and can benefit the growth of the art. It can show affiliation and provide quality control/ oversight (QC). I recently retired after serving 30 years in the US Army, planned missions, had numerous deployments and unfortunately attended many memorial services but as a leader we always trained or soldiers to don't settle for status quo or "this is how it's always been done". Always look for ways to make it better and to give more than you take. That's all I'm trying to do and I welcome constructive criticism. When I started TKD in the mid 70's there were only 6 belts. Now there are 12-13 depending on the school you go to. A close friend of mine has a very successful martial arts school with a consistent 250+ students for the last 19 years and that's all he does. We both came from the same Moo Duk Kwon TKD background but both have expanded our knowledge into other arts. I questioned him on how they've changed from the old ways and how there are double the amount of belts now. I also expressed my concern about the quality of TKD each student reflected. He explained a hard reality that I know is true because I experienced it in the military. Society has become "less hungry" for martial arts and for most things that have a cost whether it be time, money or sweat. Many people are more "what's in it for me?" focused but still want to try. He said that he's adjusted teaching styles only giving the "old school" ways to those who show that they're hungry and show the potential and aptitude to learn. The others he teaches to their level pushing them to their abilities and provides confidence, physical exercise and classes to fit their 45-60min time block. The ones that stay for additional classes and are always seeking more, reap the benefits of the "old school student" (or old ways we're accustomed to) the others get what they put in but still benefit and are healtier and more productive citizens. As a leader my goal has always been to, by my example, inspire soldiers to set realistic goals, accomplish the mission (to include their mission in life), take personal responsibility for their actions, and always look for ways to improve yourself and your surroundings in spite of what others may say. I am merely trying my best to do that for my new found passion Applied Wing Chun Kung-Fu. Thank you again for your comments.~
 
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I agree. It will be a challenge. I don't know if the WC world is willing to "share their knowledge" but someone has to start the dialogue. Why not me? I'm used to dealing with people with a "CAN'T DO" , "SHOUDN'T DO" or "WHY DO?" attitude. I will do the best that I can do and hopefully inspire someone else to do more than I. Thank you again for the dialogue and constructive input. I look forward to more input from you.
 

yak sao

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My heart is just to see the art grow to its greatest potential and if it's going to happen, there must be some structure.

But we have structure. First SNT, then CK.........

As honorable a goal as it may be, we will never come together under one roof. That ship has sailed, or the toothpaste is out of the tube, or whatever metaphor works here.

I went away from rank some time back, but recently went to a club shirt that simply has wing tsun written in calligraphy over the left chest area.
As a short term goal kind of thing, I have different colors of calligraphy for various levels.
SNT level is a black shirt with white calligraphy.
CK level is a black shirt with blue calligraphy.
BT and MYJ are black shirts with red calligraphy.
Pole and knives are a black shirt with gold calligraphy.

It works in our little corner of the world...I saw no need to convene an international counsel.



https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wing-Tsun-Chinese-Boxing-of-Kentucky/392054967486652
 

WingChunIan

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I agree. It will be a challenge. I don't know if the WC world is willing to "share their knowledge" but someone has to start the dialogue. Why not me? I'm used to dealing with people with a "CAN'T DO" , "SHOUDN'T DO" or "WHY DO?" attitude. I will do the best that I can do and hopefully inspire someone else to do more than I. Thank you again for the dialogue and constructive input. I look forward to more input from you.
With regard to a common ranking system or codified syllabus I would disagree that "someone has to start the dialogue" it is a discussion that is not worth having as it adds absolutely no value other than to A) the suppliers of whatever merchandise you choose to mark your ranks B) those few individuals who are appointed \ appoint themselves to oversee the implementation by lining their pockets and boosting their egos. Sharing knowledge is not about ranks and grades it is about open exchange, seminars, training camps and gatherings that are lineage independent are vehicles for this to happen that can and do take place, unfortunately they are few and far between
 

Zero

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Ian, I fully agree. A colored shirt does not prove a person's ability just like we've seen in other arts where a person has a black belt and their martial abilities don't validate the belt color that they are wearing however, visible goals for students, consistency in teaching, having the ability to see progression and providing a "standard" of knowledge level that coincides the colors with a curriculum IMO would give schools a tool to use in how they train / teach their students. I also agree that each student's learning ability is different and that they shouldn't advance until they achieve what ever the standard is for that WC systems' curriculum. Thank you for your input.

I, as many, have witnessed this approach in TKD and karate. Belts/sashes/certificates do not by any means guarantee a consistency in teaching or a standardisation of knowledge between different schools/clubs/dojos. One blackbelt's ability in kumite, kata or just general ability can vary markedly to a blackbelt of the same style in another school/club. In fact you can see marked variations in the same club between those with the same belt (although if it is a smaller school with a good teacher this is less the case).

I did Wing Chun for a couple years alongside my karate (out of personal interest in certain ideas such as centre line - but I genuinely put a lot of effort into my time and training there) and at this school there was the use of blackshirts and you got a certificate as you progressed, ie si lum tao "mastery" (ok, hardly mastery...) etc. While I only comment from a couple years experience in WC, from what I saw there is really no need to add belt ranks and on a "global" basis and I fail to see how this in itself would "unify" the nobel house of WC. From my high school TKD days, that was a highly politicised style / "sport" : ) - just as polarised and political as WC is - and belts and uniform progression / gradings did nothing to allay this - and I really do not think this assists in the passing on and sharing of knowledge at all.

Openess, disengagement of ego and inter-training between sifus and styles and allowing one's students to do the same will propogate the arts and the dissemination of the knowledge they have to offer (but given the emotions involved, the money/business perceived to be on the line I don't see this happening).
 

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