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 to 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 weightbear, 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.

Age groups: Kids Class vs Adults Class

Kids Class: ages 3 – 13

Adults Class: 13+

Do you spar in class?

Yes we do. There is simply no substitute for pressure testing through sparring. 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 to minimise injuries. All due care is taken to avoid injury, however in the event of an accident CWC membership includes injury insurance.

What is your grading structure for adults?

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.


  • Zero
  • 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

What is your grading structure for kids?

The Little Phoenix gradings are run twice yearly and are during the normal class times.

T-shirts are earned by the kids and awarded by Kids Class Instructors. They represent the student’s experience (attendance) and application of the curriculum.

Kids Class members of Grey, Green, Red, or Blue Shirt who transition to the Adult’s Class enter the Adult’s curriculum as a Grade 0.

Kids Class members of Purple or Black Shirt who transition to the Adult’s Class automatically enter the Adult’s curriculum as a Grade 1.

  • Grey shirt: Entry level. Learning outcomes to be demonstrated include: Class orientation and respect for the school environment, improved coordination, body awareness and communication.
    Key Characteristics for Assessment: Focus & Attitude
  • Green Shirt: Attaining Green Shirt indicates that the student can remember and identify Wing Chun techniques and stance. The student can demonstrate understanding in basic punching, kicking and Wing Chun hand techniques; and can perform these techniques in a compliant training partnership with a classmate.
    Key Characteristics for Assessment: Focus & Attitude
    Recommended lessons to grade: 30
  • Red Shirt: Attaining Red Shirt indicates that the student consistently demonstrates an understanding of the fundamentals of Wing Chun, through application of basic punching, kicking and hand techniques; basic counters to arm and leg attacks; and demonstrates control and safe interactions with classmates.
    Key Characteristics for Assessment: Focus & Attitude; Form & Stance
    Recommended lessons to grade: 70
  • Blue Shirt: Attaining Blue Shirt indicates that the student can apply Wing Chun Centreline Principles through stance and stepping. The student can demonstrate competency & control in intermediate punching, kicking and Wing Chun hand techniques; is able to perform these techniques and counters against a cooperative training partner; and demonstrates confidence to defend oneself or others if need be.
    Key Characteristics for Assessment: Focus & Attitude; Form & Stance; Structure & Power
    Recommended lessons to grade: 110
  • Purple Shirt: Attaining Purple Shirt indicates that the student can apply Wing Chun Centreline Principles through stance, stepping, and pivoting. The student can demonstrate competency & control in punching, kicking and Wing Chun hand techniques; is able to perform multiple strikes and counters to intermediate arm and leg attacks in drills, and help classmates to do the same.
    Key Characteristics for Assessment: Focus & Attitude; Form & Stance; Structure & Power
    Recommended lessons to grade: 180
  • Black Shirt: Attaining Black Shirt indicates that the student can apply Wing Chun Centreline Principles through stance, stepping, and pivoting. The student can demonstrate competency & control in advanced punching, kicking and Wing Chun hand techniques; and is able to execute multiple strikes and counters to basic arm and leg attacks in free sparring. The student can also apply these hand techniques in Chi Sau.
    Key Characteristics for Assessment: Focus & Attitude; Form & Stance; Structure & Power
    Recommended lessons to grade: 250

Does your school enter into martial arts competitions?

Yes we do. Pressure testing outside of your own school can be an eye opening experience. Whilst some traditional schools avoid participation in formal competitions, at CWC we leave the choice of competing up to the students themselves. CWC will always strive to help each and every student achieve the goals that they hold for themselves, be it formal competitions, self defense, deeper understandings of the style, fitness, performance under pressure, and so on.

For example, a number of students at CWC compete in the National All Styles circuit. 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 (safety based) rules in competition, but other styles can adapt, and so can we.

See here for CWC results from the National All Styles Competitions.

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 everyone. Wing Chun does not rely specifically on strength, it’s success is partly attributed to its use of scientific principles and logic combined with forward aggression. 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. The only way to deal with ground fighting is to study a ground fighting style.

At CWC we also employ Sanda techniques which are particularly relevant to sparring and competition fighting. Board breaking & bag work are also a part of our grading curriculum to ensure that practitioners are adept at developing striking power.

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.

I have young kids and it’s 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 Sunday mornings or Tuesday nights. For many parents this means both kids and parents get to train on Sunday morning, Tuesday night, or both. 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. More recently CWC has included much of the complimentary Hong Kong & Mainland Chinese Wing Chun as taught by Sifu Adam Chan.

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.