‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’
I would like to begin my first blog entry by talking a little about the purpose of this website and how I started my Wing Chun journey.
Firstly I thank God the most merciful for giving me guidance and patience to achieve my goals so far. I thank my parents who have raised and nurtured me. I thank my wife who has supported me every step of the way.
I thank my SiFu Garry Mckenzie who accepted me into ‘The Wing Chun School’ (TWCS) family and taught me the complete Wing Chun system.
My passion for martial arts started from an early age. Jackie Chan and Jet Li movies sparked my interest and I was amazed by the feats they performed. Unfortunately, as a young boy I never had the opportunity to learn martial arts because my parents were on a low income and we had a large family. So the only martial arts experience I ever received was from mimicking fight scenes from Kung fu movies.
In 2008, I graduated from university and qualified as a Business Studies Teacher. I moved out of the family home, travelled, settled down, got married and had my first child. Once all the traditional life goals were completed, I began reflecting and decided that it was the right time to revisit my childhood passion.
Shortly after, I was introduced to Wing Chun after watching ‘Ip Man’ the movie. The film depicted to me the simplistic and direct fighting system that is Wing Chun. For months I researched into Wing Chun, going from sources on YouTube to looking at different Wing Chun clubs around London, hoping to find a place suitable for me. In early 2010, the search ended for me when I stumbled across ‘The Wing Chun School’. In my first meeting with Sifu Garry McKenzie, I knew straight away that he was the teacher that I’ve been seeking. I remember when I told him that I know the Cantonese language and he pointed to a calligraphy poem on the wall and asked me to read it.
Embarrassingly I didn’t know a couple of the Chinese characters at the time but I understood the gist of it. He then corrected me and explained it to me.
‘If you accept the responsibility of teaching someone for even a day, you have a life long commitment to nurture and teach him, as a Father would his son.’
I was so overwhelmed by Sifu’s knowledge and insight into the Cantonese language as well as Wing Chun Kung Fu.
SiFu then asked whether I wanted to exchange hands with his students to experience their expression of Wing Chun and I agreed. The first person I was paired up with was SiFu David Boungnang. Within seconds of the Bong chi sau, Sihing blasted me with a punch to the chest. I looked at him confused as to why he had hit me so hard. I then looked around and realised that these guys were not maliciously hitting each other. Their intensity and focus level was so high that I was the weak one who had taken combat too lightly. The experience left me in both shock and excitement. Shock from the overwhelming exposure of real combat and the excitement of embarking on a new journey.
After years of dedication to learning and practicing Wing Chun, I was given the permission to open my own branch of TWCS. On January 2014, I opened my first school in Peckham. In 2015, I visited Hong Kong/ Foshan, China with my SiFu and my Kung Fu companions. I was honored to meet SiGung Ip Ching and many others. In 2016, I opened my second school in Ilford and has since welcomed new challenges and opportunities along my journey; sharing my knowledge of martial arts as well as learning from people from all walks of life.
This website is mainly for the benefit of students from The Wing Chun School. My blog entries are to help share my thoughts and experiences in regards to Wing Chun training. However, the majority of my material can also benefit anyone who share an interest in combat sports/self-defence. Regardless of the style of fighting, ultimately we are all training to be better versions of ourselves and expressing our emotions in a combative art form.
‘There are many paths to the top of the mountain’