New Website Opens!

23/02/2009

After three hugely successful launch parties in Sydney, Gold Coast and Adelaide last Wednesday, I am proud to reveal the International Wing Chun Academy’s brand new website to the world!

This website is one of the biggest collaborations between all three of the Academy’s Headquarters, and has involved over 150 Academy members and staff nationwide. I would not hesitate to say that it is the first multimedia project to truly reflect the scale and diversity of the entire Academy.

Initial Web Development

Initial production of this website began sometime in 2004, when my father, Sifu Jim Fung, and I first sat down and started planning the structure and content together. It wasn’t until late 2007 that Simo Linda, Chief Instructor Richard and I approached Sydney web developer, Wiliam, to bring our very complex and specific website specification to life.

The first half of 2008 was spent considering homepage designs and planning the functionality of the website which would allow Academy staff and instructors to quickly and easily contribute to the website. This would ensure that the website always contained the latest news and events from not only the three State Headquarters, but also the branches.

With the basic structure of the website well into production, the next step was to create the content.

Film Pre-Production and Rehearsals

Wing Chun is difficult to explain with just photos and text, so we knew all along that we were going to have to film videos for the new website. The Academy has a very strong focus on the application of Wing Chun to realistic self defence, so we came up with the idea of filming a few realistic fight scenes to show Wing Chun in action. However, the idea wasn’t just to show classroom techniques outside in plainclothes – we wanted to do something new and exciting.

We decided to take a very cinematic approach to the realistic fight scenes and make them look believable – not just in terms of the Wing Chun techniques used, but also in terms of setting and dramatic build-up. Auditions and rehearsals began in the middle of 2008, with many students and instructors coming in on the weekend and after work to refine their techniques – and acting skills – for the cameras.

In the meantime, we faced the challenge of finding a production company that would be able to take a fresh approach to representing our art on film while ensuring high production values. After considering numerous high-calibre production companies, we settled with North Sydney-based Louder Than Words, and before we knew it, we were discussing storyboards with the director and producer.

Capturing the Art on Film

When making the films, our aim was not only to show the world something visually striking, but to ensure that we properly represented the art of Wing Chun Kung Fu. Several of the Academy’s Chief Instructors and I took great care to supervise the direction and editing of the films so that what was caught on film was not just exciting to watch, but was also technically correct.

Several days were spent on location in Sydney City and Chinatown filming the realistic scenarios, and at the Academy’s main Headquarters filming technique and classroom footage. We were quite surprised to learn that our cinematographer, Paul Warren, had been involved in a multi-award winning Indian film called ‘Phörpa’.

On-location filming was hard work, but nevertheless a lot of fun and very exciting for those involved. We came away with many interesting stories to tell, including one about a well-meaning member of the public who, after seeing the ‘thugs’ from the intro-sequence get punched and kicked onto bright blue crash mats in front of a sizeable film crew and several onlookers, thought that a real fight was taking place and called the police, who later came and asked to check our permits.

In between filming on location and at the Academy, the Academy’s seven Chief Instructors gathered in Sydney to spend a weekend in studio demonstrating their skills in front of the cameras. Their videos show a lot of impressive demonstrations of what Wing Chun is capable of at the higher levels and contain a vast amount of valuable information for more advanced students.

Still photography in Sydney was done over several days and nights in October and December by action sports photographer, Dan Himbrechts.

Once filming had wrapped in Sydney, film crews in Adelaide, led by Glen Pictures, and in the Gold Coast, led by CMP Film and Television, were dispatched to film sequences in and around Adelaide and Gold Coast Headquarters.

After viewing the films over and over myself and being overwhelmed by positive feedback following the screening of the films at the launch parties, I am certain that not only the Academy’s own members, but members of other Wing Chun schools will be proud of what those involved in the films have achieved.

Our Refreshed Logo and Emblem

You may have also noticed our new emblem and logo, both of which have been released in conjunction with the new website.

The new emblem is a modern take on a traditional uniform design which has been used by the Academy since the 70s / 80s. It is very much symbolic of how the Academy teaches authentic, traditional Wing Chun to modern-day students through modern training methods. The new emblem features vector work by me, and terrific dragon illustrations by illustrator and IWCA Gold Coast student, David Lovegrove. The emblem is the mark of Grandmaster Jim Fung's Wing Chun Kung Fu™.

The new logo, which can be seen to the top left of this page, was worked on by three separate design firms and numerous freelance designers before we decided to return to what students found most recognisable about the Academy in terms of design – the round emblem – and incorporate it with a professional-looking font face. The professional setting of the logo is intended to represent the professional delivery of the Academy’s casual and full-time courses.

The Way Forwards

This website is bound to dramatically increase the Academy’s online profile and visibility and attract many more visitors. Within the first 2 hours of being up, we received triple the number of unique visitors that we usually receive in an entire day.

However, the Academy’s website and refreshed branding is much more than just a promotional tool. It is a declaration to the world that the Academy is determined to move forwards, expand and continue to offer the highest possible standard of Wing Chun tuition available in the names of Sifu Jim and Sigung Chu for as long as there are students willing to learn this amazing art.

This was Sifu Jim’s dream, and through the highly appreciated commitment and dedication of Sigung, the Chief Instructors, the Instructors, Sihings, Sijies, students, staff and Affiliates of the Academy, this is already becoming a reality.

It’s a really exciting time to be part of the Academy, and we have many more events planned for the rest of the year. Content is still being loaded onto the website, and it will take the rest of the week for us to finish work on the ‘hidden’ sections of the website.

On behalf of the Fung family, IWCA Management and the Chief Instructors, I would like to thank all of those involved in bringing such an ambitious project to life.

Comments, feedback and press / media enquiries may be submitted directly to me via our convenient Online Enquiries System

Enjoy the website!

Tristan Fung

We are proud to be Australia's first and only carbon neutral martial arts organisation

find out more