The transcript below is from the video “You Won’t Believe Why I Finally Quit Wing Chun” by Martial Arts Journey

Martial Arts Journey:

As a teen, I wanted to become the ultimate martial artist. I was watching loads of anime and martial arts movies, getting hyped every time the main character surpassed everyone else and beat the bad guys. I was also drawn to Eastern culture, wanting to live out the experience of being an Eastern inspired warrior. At the time, I was training Aikido like crazy, participating in both teen and adult classes, plus meeting my friends for extra training regularly. Yet, even that did not feel enough.

Martial Arts Journey:

Aikido was introduced to me as a defensive martial art, a practice where you wait for someone to attack and then redirect their energy against them. Yet, I was asking what if someone else is attacked in front of me, how will I be able to defend others without learning how to strike or attack myself. I decided to look for another martial art to complement my Aikido. Soon enough, I figured I found the perfect one; it was Wing Chun. It advertised itself as an offensive martial art focusing on attacking faster than your opponent, while constantly stepping forward. It seemed like the perfect match for my Aikido training.

I also clearly remember their cool website which had Chinese traditional music playing while in the background, on a Chinese bridge, two guys in traditional Chinese clothing were hand deflecting each other in a constant loop. I looked at those guys and thought one day I want to be like one of those guys; effortlessly fighting someone off. To put it simply, I was sold. The only problem was one of the vengeance classes was happening at the same time as an Aikido session. I realized that I would be able to attend only one Wing Chun class per week. That was also leading me to a daily training schedule which I wasn’t sure if I would be able to pull off but I just had to try.

Martial Arts Journey:

I arrived at my first Wing Chun class. I found a group of young guys wearing black sweatpants and white t-shirts led by a young man wearing all black. Black is my favorite color. So, naturally, I was wearing a black t-shirt myself. But as soon as I arrived, I was told that in Wing Chun only the instructor wears a black top. Luckily, they allowed me to train with them despite my choice of clothing. As the class began, I was introduced to a traditional Wing Chun solo form known as Siu Nim Tau which featured a collection of various moves performed on the spot. They were intricate and a lot of them seemed almost mystical. I fell in love with it right away. While there was a lot to memorize, I was complimented for my ability to take things in. I thought to myself my Aikido training is paying off. I’m now on my way to become the ultimate martial artist. I was also proud to present myself as a good student.

As the class ended, our instructor gave us a speech about another organization. It turned out the training place that I attended was called Wing Tsun, emphasis on the T. While there was another group in my country known as Wing Chun, emphasis on the C. It was described to me as an evil and fake bunch. And I was instructed to not look up their stuff online.

Martial Arts Journey:

Time passed and I felt my improvement but I was also frustrated that my Wing Tsun comrades were learning more by training twice as much as I did. In order to catch up, one day I decided to ask one of the senior members if he was interested in meeting up for extra training. Lucky for me, he was in. We started off meeting once per week to train on our own. With time, we met more and more often. Other members started to join us too and the group grew. That is until one day my main training partner came to me with a concern. He told me that he reached out to the Wing Chun organization, one that we were discouraged from looking into. He learned from them that in fact the Tsun organization is the evil one. It was explained to him that they were a money-making machine led by a master from a fake lineage.

We all became concerned that we were training in the wrong organization and decided to organize ourselves into a group that would be taught by a Wing Chun master, one who came out of retirement for us. We were also supervised by the main Wing Chun instructor of our country. From what we learned, he used to be a part of Wing Tsun himself but then eventually left them to form his own organization, one connected with other international instructors. Our group also continued to train on our own in a secret spot in the forest. All of us felt special. We considered ourselves an exclusive group of warriors training to become the best. But things were not meant to last.

Martial Arts Journey:

With more training, our desire for intensity also grew. Thus, we decided to add an element of sparring. We limited ourselves to striking to the chest area only. But that was enough for us to get a sense of competition as we kept the score of who hit who how many times. With a significant reach advantage and more experience in martial arts, I was able to dominate my training partners. While I was not bragging about it, I saw it as a sign that I was on the right path to become the ultimate martial artist. I kept inviting everyone to do extra training but somehow the enthusiasm of others started to dwindle. It became more and more difficult to gather up a group until one day I learned that they had a training session without me.

I was told that they just happened to be in the area and decided to meet for a spontaneous training without announcing it to others. Then, another spontaneous training occurred, one where I was not invited. I started to consider if my friendship with my fellow warriors was deteriorating but I wasn’t sure. I decided to just keep training and I put all of my focus on an upcoming Wing Chun seminar. It was supposed to be an event of our lifetimes; an international Wing Chun seminar led by one of the highest ranking instructors, with hundreds of students attending. Our whole group was hyped.

Martial Arts Journey:

As the first day’s event ended, I was looking forward to get to know more participants. I approached one group and started making a conversation. Soon, they turned the subject to discussing the other evil organization known as Wing Tsun. I wasn’t a big fan of this talk, so I moved on to engage with another group. Yet, soon enough, the subject turned out to be the same; a discussion on how fake the other organization was. The talk was also spiced with stories of how the main instructor of my country was betrayed by multiple instructors who abandoned him and formed their own schools. I kept moving to other groups but everywhere I turned, the subjects were the same; fake money-grabbing rivals and endless talks about traitors. When I had the chance to talk to the main instructor of the country, those seemed to be his main subjects too, even without me asking about it.

I couldn’t stop myself from thinking but the other organization is saying the same thing about you. And they are as passionate and insistent about it too. If both organizations are acting the same way, how does that make them different? After the seminar ended, I instinctively started training Wing Chun less and less, as my Wing Chun camaraderie with my secret forest training group gradually also came to an end.

Martial Arts Journey:

Years later, I decided to look up one of the Wing Chun websites to see what happened over the years. I found a lengthy description about the main Wing Chun instructor of the country. Here, I learned that he changed his organization again. Now, he was a representative of Wing Tjun, emphasis on the Tj. The website was also packed with articles about traitors instructors that “betrayed him” and moved on to teach fake variations of Wing Chun themselves. Initially, I wasn’t sure about quitting the Wing Chun organization. But now, it was clear to me.

I wanted to become the ultimate martial artist, better than everyone else but I made the right decision by choosing not to become a part of hypocrisy. I also realized that being a good human being is more important than being a good martial artist. If you want to see how I realized that I was wrong about Wing Chun’s efficiency and how I changed my opinion about it, click here. Thank you for watching and as always, I wish you to own your journey.




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