Grandmaster Jim Fung

23/02/2009

In over 25 years of operation (at the time of writing) in Australia, Grand Master Jim Fung's International Wing Chun Academy has established a reputation for maintaining very high standards in both instruction and the technical ability of the students who attend this renowned school. There are a number of factors that go into producing the quality that is apparent here.

When asked Grand Master Fung always refers first to his Grand Master, Tsui Seung Tin as the primary reason for his own teaching success. Any person with a serious interest in wing chun will be aware of Tsui Seung Tin as one of the four closed door students of Yip Man (the late Bruce Lee's teacher). During the time that Yip man ran his now legendary school in Hong Kong, Tsui Seung Tin was one of the instructors there and a senior to Bruce Lee. Grand Master Fung began training under Tsui at an early age and has continued his studies for almost forty years. He is the longest training student of Sigung Tsui and can train his lineage back nine generations to Ng Mui (the founder of Wing Chun).

Another reason for the high standard is the fact that the school has been going for so long and there are many instructors with a wealth of experience behind them. Grand Master Fung has made a point of teaching his instructors personally. he teaches unreservedly and demands a high level of commitment in return. Instructors at his academy are required to teach at least two times per week and must attend Grand Master Fung's classes to retain their ranking. As well as this they also pay more than the general students. The fact that there is still so much competition to reach instructor level and receive personal instruction from Grand Master Fung testifies to the reputation that Fung holds among serious wing chun practitioners.

When Yip Man began teaching in Hong Kong he caused a revolution in the kung fu world by teaching in a straightforward scientific manner explaining the technical principles of Wing Chun in terms of Western physics and biomechanics rather than traditional Chinese analogies. Grand Master Fung has continued in this way of teaching, deliberately demystifying martial arts and unlocking the power of 'chi' or as it is known in Wing Chun circles, 'thought force'.

Because Grand Master Fung's Wing Chun is a style that works, his students possess a genuine confidence in their abilities and the macho posturing and aggression which is so often found in martial arts schools does not seem to exist here. Brute strength is not an advantage in the Wing Chun style when it is done properly, so bullies quickly lose interest and never seem to make it past the early grades. Wing Chun is style that appeals to people on an intellectual level, and many of the Senior Instructors at the International Wing Chun Academy are professional people, such as doctors, lawyers, journalists, artists and others who enjoy using their minds. The atmosphere in the school is professional and friendly.

Yet another factor in the success of Grand Master Jim Fung's International Wing Chun Academy is the fact that it was the first martial arts school in Australia to be recognised by the government as a learning institution, allowing the Academy to offer its courses to both local and overseas full time students. Over the last ten years, the International Wing Chun Academy has had hundreds of full time students training up to twenty five hours per week. Grand Master Fung considers these full time pupils his closed door students and plans to continue the meteoric expansion of this facet of his school so that the International Wing Chun Academy will one day be like a modern day Shaolin Temple, full of serious students studying Wing Chun as a life time commitment.

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