Kung Hei Fat Choy. 恭喜发财

“And we may ask ourselves, well, how did we get here”?

KUNG HEI FAT CHOY to all of you guys and all visitors.

A new year a new start, well that is the dream, but this year it is tinged with doubt due to the Pandemic.

There is always hope or there is nothing, but new starts lead us into thinking of the past period that we have just endured

The changes our school has gone through are many, and some of you do not know the full story.

Chinese New Year is our anniversary.

It was the first Monday of the Lunar New Year for 2010, the Year of the Golden Tiger, that we held the opening night of what is now Wing Chun Sydney.

On the first Monday of this Lunar New Year, the Year of the Water Tiger, we turn 12 years old, and we are only just hanging on.

I know that there are many schools in a similar perhaps even worse situation, many have already upped stumps and headed to the Pavillion.

In the wake of the ravages the school has suffered due to the ramifications of Covid-19, what was once a healthy 40 students and 2 schools is now just 8 of us in the Studio at the back of my home.

To paraphrase David Byrne…

“And we may ask ourselves, well, how did we get here”?

My Sifu, Jim Fung Cheung Kuen passed away in 2007, to many who trained with him this was unexpected.

Out of nowhere, we were rudderless.

His school, the I.W.C.A. was suddenly adrift and taking in water.

The consensus at the top was to keep on keeping on, but this was always a flawed IDEA.

There was no natural successor.

So the school’s 7 most senior students assumed control, the governance of the school fell upon what was at best a non-aligned, non-cooperative committee.

The writing may not have yet been on the wall but the signwriters Van was in the Carpark.

Skip to 18 months later, Wednesday evening after instructor training, in the Cosmo pub over the road from the Training Hall, most of the remaining Senior Instructors carrying on like Wednesday night was party night.

In particular, as usual, me complaining about the fact that the new school had nothing in common with the school our Sifu ran, the school we helped him build.

The ‘Old School”.

A good friend and long-time training partner Greg turns around to me and says…

… “For f*cks sake Derek, are you still going on about this? Either get over it or just leave.”

The chances are that Greg had responded this way to my non-stop complaints every Wednesday evening.

But this Wednesday, perhaps I had not drunk as much, I heard him.

I nodded.

I thanked him for his insight.

The next day, Thursday, I turned up to the sub-school I was responsible for in one of Sydney’s outer suburbs, a group that I had managed for the past 11 years, and gave the students the news that for me…

… the race was run.

To be expected the sub-school continued but a few months and a few replacement instructors later one of the more serious students, Sam, asked if I would be willing to independently teach a breakaway group he had assembled.

A group made up of the core members of the old sub-school.

12 students met with me to lay out their IDEA and asked if I would teach them.

It was a good IDEA, more importantly, it was not my IDEA.

On the first Monday of the Chinese New Year of 2010, we came into existence.

Wing Chun Inc. Began as 14 people with the same goal.

12 students, my wife Mandy, and myself.

The first few years kicked on brilliantly, and there was a moment when we were almost famous, 2 schools at different ends of Sydney and over 40 students.

Things change, life is tricky.

Today, of the 12 Foundation Members, only Sam is still on-board, which is fitting as it was Sam’s drive that created the whole IDEA in the first place.

Thanks to Covid-19 we are now just 8 people.

But we are the best 8.

In February 2010 we grew from 14 people.

We still have Sam.

We can do it again.

Rise up, get on board.





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