I have had my fair share of critics and haters.
You might have your own doubts about me and my methods. That’s ok. I wanted to address some of these criticisms in today’s newsletter.
Have I sometimes been called a fraud?
Some traditional Wing Chun students and even teachers call me a fraud, because my Wing Chun style doesn’t look like theirs. I don’t blame them—if for many years I had followed one teacher only who was strict and didn’t encourage experimentation or self-discovery, I would be closed-minded too, and would say the same about others who did Wing Chun entirely differently from everyone else.
Actually, that’s exactly why many practitioners of Wing Chun hate Bruce Lee—he took Wing Chun and melded in other styles, creating his own: “Jeet Kune Do”.
So where do I stand?
I’ve studied Wing Chun in the Yip Man line (can’t get more legit than that), and I also teach some aspects of Wing Chun exactly the way I learned it, in the classical method. However, modern-day opponents fight with different styles and traditional Wing Chun just doesn’t cut it in many of those situations.
Are you a traditional Wing Chun person and don’t believe me?
Go and fight someone equally trained in Jiu Jitsu or Muay Thai and you’ll find out for yourself.
Like Bruce Lee said: “Be water, my friend”, or in the words of Sifu David:
“Don’t get stuck in your own form.”
“You’re too young to teach.”
There’s a bit of a myth that you need to be 60 years old with white hair, long eyebrows, and a flowing beard to be a master qualified to teach martial arts.
Fact is, many of the classical Kung Fu and Tai Chi masters who founded today’s timeless styles were in their 30’s when they first taught their students.
I admit that I look young—many people mistake me to be in my 20’s, when actually I’m in my 30’s.
Regardless, what makes a good teacher?
You decide: a high level of skill in martial arts and wisdom, or a high “level” of age?
“You should only teach what is Combat Tested!”
I’m glad you brought this up.
Absolutely, we teach ONLY techniques that are combat tested.
How do we know?
Because we end every class with a simulation of a real fight versus multiple opponents to test techniques that we trained in that day, right then and there. If it doesn’t work, we tweak it or try something else. If it works, we keep working at it and to improve it.
If students think of a way to do something better than what I show in class, they are encouraged to test it out. My philosophy in martial arts as well as other areas in life is that there is no single answer for everything, it is all a process.
There’s no magic pill—only hard work and smart work. You train, test and adapt. The world never stands still, it’s changing all the time, so you must change with it.
“Can’t you just offer training for free?”
Humans are funny—offer them something for free, and they often end up taking it for granted.
Now, you might think: “I’m not like that!”.
Ok, but consider this: What if through training with me, you mastered all the fighting techniques you dreamed of, gaining the confidence and self-mastery that allowed you to excel well above your peers in matters of health, home and career… Then a genie offered to buy all of that from you—the catch being you’d forget everything that you learned and gained.
How much would he have to pay you?
$10,000? $100,000? $1,000,000?
None of my high level martial arts friends would ever trade it for a million dollars.
People who are unwilling to invest in themselves value their money more than self-improvement and self-mastery. And to them, I say, fine—keep your money and keep your problems.
(On a related note: Yip Man paid what was considered a fortune during his time to learn Wing Chun from his master. Do you think it was worth the investment?)
“I don’t need you, I have youtube!”
YouTube is great—in fact, I teach on YouTube myself.
You’ll find lots of inspiration, passion and creativity there. Unfortunately, it’s also full of plain CRAP.
You have to be able to tell the difference between the crap and the good stuff. Unless you have experience, you won’t be able to tell. But here’s the bad news, and this may surprise some of you: Even if some YouTube “master” can do a bunch of fancy moves, that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to learn from him/her.
People often confuse “content” with “process”, thinking that if they watch 10,000 YouTube Kung Fu videos, they will magically know 10,000 Kung Fu moves. Yes, they provide lots of “content”, but they offer no “process” to practicing it, let alone applying any of it.
Without a system to properly practice and apply martial arts, it’s like learning to drive just from reading a book—simply knowing the traffic rules does not make you an experienced driver.
Are you a hater that just loves to complain, bicker and find faults in everything?
If you are, please unsubscribe from this newsletter, my youtube channel, unlike my facebook page, and please do NOT come to my classes. There are plenty of students that I’d rather invest my time and energy in that show proper respect and want my help.
If you want to be one of those respectful students then…