Here in Sydney Australia there are more Wing Chun Schools than MacDonald’s, or it seems that way in any case, every week my Facepage is pushing me to like the page of someone else is offering instruction, in itself this is not a bad thing, the more people that get access to Wing Chun the better.
But there is another aspect that I do not think is very good.
Cherry Picking Students.
Guys that roam the city from school to school taking a bit here and a bit there but never really bothering to attempt cultivation.
Many people in Sydney know of me, they read this BLOG and they know that I run a very Westernised School with an open door policy, students from other Schools are allowed to train with me without being hassled to leave their current School, I am quite happy to have people drop in every few weeks for a slightly different perspective so I get my fair share of Cherry Pickers.
Recently two guys that claimed to have been training for more than 5 years with another well known School came for a lesson, seeing as how they where 5 year veterans of Wing Chun I asked them to show me their Chum Kiu, they said that they did not know it, I asked why not and they said that their School only did the First Form and Chi Sau so they had not been shown it.
So I asked them had they not heard of YouTube?
They then told me that their Instructor did not allow them to watch YouTube Videos.
I asked if they were training with their Father…. they did not get the Joke.
I started to examine their S.L.T. and their Chi Sau, everything was stiff, everything was strength and of course when I pointed this out it was suddenly all the fault of their Instructor and how he did not teach them enough or teach them properly.
I asked them “Has he never told you to RELAX”?
Oh Yes, all the time they sneered.
I asked them “Has he never told you to stop pushing and using strength”?
Again it was Oh Yes, often.
So I asked “Exactly why did you choose to ignore him”?
To cut a long story short they seemed to be of the opinion that the reason they were not very good at Wing Chun was all because of someone else, they did not seem to be over impressed with my summing up of their problems and even though I invited them to return at any time I have a feeling that I may not see them again.
I doubt that I will loose too much sleep over this.
The Hard Truth is that no one can teach you Wing Chun, only you yourself can do that, the role of the Instructor is to point the way, correct mistakes and give encouragement, the responsibility for progress is the Students and not the Instructors.
If you fail to inform your Instructor that you need some sort of new stimulus he will quite naturally think that you are happy with your training
And it is YOUR TRAINING!!
If for what ever reason the Instruction you are given does not make sense or is unclear ask the Instructor in question to give you a different explanation, if you do not know what it means to “RELAX” then ask.
If you are the type that expects to get quick results, and yes quick results are possible, then you need to put in the work, lots of it on your own time and not just twice a week, if you believe that you should be shown the Chum Kiu after a certain set time then tell YOUR Instructor instead of talking poorly of him behind his back.
With so many Instructors and so many Schools it is inevitable that some people will be looking to somehow jump the que, and get quite lost along the way.
My own concern about these Cherry Picker types is that in all probability there is someone out there complaining that I did not teach him correctly.