What should I wear and bring to class?
Comfortable pants, sneakers and a t-shirt are ideal. If you’ve decided that Capital Wing Chun is for you, membership includes a full uniform (jacket and pants). Members are expected to wear their uniforms when participating in class.
We recommend that students bring a towel and water bottle with them. Intermediate to advanced students are encouraged to bring a mouth guard, shin pads and gloves.
All students are requested to leave their ego at the door, and bring a responsible and respectful attitude to class.
I’m not in shape, or I have a long term recurring injury or illness: can I still join?
The school’s teaching methods are tailored to suit each student individually regardless of your size, shape, or current physical state.
Classes start with a 20-30 minute instructor led warm-up which can be taken at your own pace. If you have any concerns with regards to fitness requirements, or you have an injury or disability please discuss with us how we can work around it.
We have students who are unable to weight bear, others who have had recent or permanently limiting surgery. Please discuss before deciding not to pursue a martial art.
If you feel that you’re not in shape please don’t wait to get ‘fitter’ before you give training a try. Training can be a path to fitness. The hardest thing about training will always be walking through the door – each and every time. Remember, the old cliche rings true: a black belt is simply a white belt who never gave up.
How old do I have to be to join?
Wing Chun focuses on precision and precision takes patience. We recommend students be at least 12 years old before joining the adults class. For children under 12 we run a kids class on Sunday mornings. See here for more info.
What is your grading structure?
Often when students enquire about grading, they are curious about the time frames surrounding the path to black belt, or whatever equivalent that may be. Advancement depends on a students’ learning style, consistent commitment to practice, exposure and repetition of training, previous experience, and aptitude for Wing Chun. While the focus of CWC is not on belts, rank signifies a mastery of a set syllabus.
With annual gradings and ongoing improvement it tends to take a consistent student about 7-8 years to attain the equivalent of a black belt (Grade 6).
A continuous assessment option for grading is also available.
As Sifu Jim Fung pointed out, Wing Chun is an art which is easy to learn yet extremely difficult to master. However, with persistence and determination, all students have the potential to reach that level. Wing Chun should not be looked upon as a rigid system to be blindly followed. It is flexible and adaptable to individual requirements as all true art forms are.
All martial arts were created with an individual or committee appointing themselves in charge. Those people then graded other people and are often above the grading system themselves. Capital Wing Chun has its own historical lineage that some value highly, but for others it is largely irrelevant. At the end of the day when it comes to legitimacy in a poorly regulated industry, prospective students must make their own educated decision.
If you wish to grade in any school or discipline, then ensure that you grade from someone whose technical form, philosophy and personality you respect. Or if not, you can ask your own questions about the legitimacy of your grade.
One – Yellow stripe
Two – Orange stripe
Three – Green stripe
Four – Blue stripe
Five – Brown stripe
Six (Level 1) – Black stripe
Seven (Level 2) – Black and Red stripe
Is Wing Chun a good martial art for women to study?
Absolutely. Capital Wing Chun has a number of female members in the school of all skill levels from beginner right through to some of the most highly skilled (Grade 7).
The origins of Wing Chun are historically attributed to a woman and as such the style is well suited for both genders. Wing Chun does not rely specifically on strength, its success is instead attributed to its use of scientific principles and logic to defeat opponents. There is an increasing emergence of formidable female martial arts practitioners and we pride ourselves on being a part of this.
Although some schools run gender specific classes or training, Capital Wing Chun instead encourages all students to train together to ensure members feel comfortable dealing with opponents of all shapes, sizes and genders. Statistically a female is most likely to be assaulted by a male and for this reason we encourage genders to train together. Having said that, please discuss with us if this triggers unwelcome emotions, and we will do our best to find an approach that works for you.
Is Wing Chun the most effective martial art?
If anyone maintains that their martial art is the ‘best’ in all scenarios we advise you to walk away immediately. Wing Chun, like all traditional martial arts, has both strengths and weaknesses and we are honest and upfront when discussing both.
One of the greatest advantages of Wing Chun is its economy of movement and longevity. It’s a style that can be trained well into someone’s twilight years and is able to cater for long term injuries. Good Wing Chun excels at stand up close quarter striking and trapping and is therefore extremely applicable in a street situation.
Whilst we naturally focus on the strengths of Wing Chun, we also endeavor to address any weaknesses by incorporating components of other styles which work to complement Wing Chun rather than replace it (an obvious example is Wing Chun’s lack of a ground game). This is done through an optional training stream and enabled via the experience and skill-sets of CWC members who are certified black belts (or equivalent) in other styles. At all times care is taken not to confuse Wing Chun with other skill-sets – and no, we don’t pretend to try and teach Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, nor anti-grappling for that matter.
Do you spar in class?
Yes we do. At CWC we complement the traditional Wing Chun chi sau (aka sticky hands) with sparring at different ranges from non-fixed positions. Training injury free is a priority of Capital Wing Chun and we focus on creating an enjoyable learning atmosphere – not a fight club. As you improve you may want to test your skills with more advanced students, which may include additional contact. This will be done at the student’s pace to ensure they feel safe. All due care is taken to avoid injury, however in the event of an accident CWC membership includes injury insurance.
I am currently or have previously studied another martial art. Can I still train at the CWC school?
Definitely. All martial arts have their strengths and weaknesses and those wishing to cross-train or branch out into a new style are always welcome in the school. Any skills and knowledge from other styles or schools will always be treated with respect. Capital Wing Chun does not demand students train exclusively at the school, it is instead left to the individual student to decide. You won’t find an insecure or closed minded attitude at Capital Wing Chun.
Does your school enter into martial arts competitions?
For example, a number of students at CWC compete in theNational All Stylescircuit. We believe that tournaments are a great way to pressure test one’s skills against martial artists from different backgrounds, and that respectful competition can foster good relations within the martial arts community. A Wing Chun practitioner is unlikely to be assaulted by another Wing Chun practitioner, the only way to train against another style… is to train against another style. There are restrictive rules in competition, but other styles can adapt, and so can we.
I have young kids and its hard to get to training
At certain periods in our lives children can affect the ability of parents and carer’s to attend classes. We are pleased to advise that our training venue has a child-friendly area in an adjoining room.
Additionally, the kids classes are run just prior to the adults class on Sundays. For many parents this means both kids and parents get to train on Sunday morning. The kids have the option to socialise with reading and toy activities while the parents train.
What's the difference between 'Capital Wing Chun - Practical Chinese Boxing' (CWC) and 'Practical Wing Chun' (PWC)?
First and foremost we do our best to support all our brothers and sisters in the often fragmented martial arts community. The lineage of a Wing Chun teacher will inevitably determine stylistic aspects of a class. Although the CWC instructor and several of the senior students also currently train under Sifu Anto Abramovic, the style taught at CWC is not Wan Kam Leung’s Practical Wing Chun (PWC). There is a stylistic distinction between CWC Practical Chinese Boxing (which incorporates freestyle aspects and the Instructor’s martial arts history), and Practical Wing Chun as taught by Sifu Wan Kam Leung. The style taught at CWC has its roots in the diverse teachings and expertise of Sifu Allan Graham, which includes traditional and modern PWC as well as Jim Fung, Yip Chun and Judo. The name Practical Chinese Boxing honours the Southern Chinese Boxing for which Wing Chun Kung Fu is named, and the CWC focus on effective (practical) self defence. If you wish to learn Wan Kam Leung’s Practical Wing Chun, there are some excellent instructors in Canberra who we are happy to recommend. None of the members of CWC are qualified in Wan Kam Leung’s style to teach it, nor are they authorised to do so.