During James' early career, a lot of challenges were issued against the style and it was a period of violence and ego. Wing Chun ended up fighting Wing Chun, and other systems also joined in the melee. Master Sinclair had no choice but to accept these challenges, as a senior student of his teacher. Master Sinclair has never instigated a fight of any kind in his life, and after 10 years of loyal training and full time teaching James was left with no option but to finally leave to seek a truer path for a martial artist and has never looked back. (Continued at Bottom.)
Lineages: 1) Yip Man -> Lee Shing -> Simon Lau -> James Sinclair 2) Yip Man -> Ip Chun -> James Sinclair
Continued from the Top:
After the challenge fights and a few years of almost continuous violence, James had contemplated retiring from the martial arts in a public sense. His long-term friend Master Wai Po Tang and private student Steve Lee Swift convinced James not to retire.
By 1979 James was recognized as a teacher of Wing Chun Kung Fu by the Martial Arts Commission of Great Britain.
In 1987 James was invited to meet Grandmaster Ip Chun at his birthday celebration meal. Ip Chun invited James to sit beside him at the top table and a long and interesting discussion was held. After the meal, James and his students were invited to a gym to Chi Sau with Ip Chun's students. There was a tense atmosphere and animosity toward James as he was the new face. James handled himself very well and this led to Grandmaster Ip Chun teaching seminars for James' students in Essex.
Following this period, James was receiving personal tuition from the Grandmaster at James' home. They built a good relationship, a relationship that is still alive today through James' students, who travel to Hong Kong as part of their own martial arts dream.
By 1989, James had formally completed the Wing Chun system and visited Hong Kong and China at the invitation of Grandmaster Ip Chun.
Grandmaster Ip Chun finally stated there were only his own idiosyncrasies that he could now teach James. He stated that James would no doubt develop, as his direction was correct. He wished James to spread Wing Chun to the best of his ability and registered James at the Yip Man Martial Art Association, even putting James under his own name on the family tree, although this was later withdrawn due to political interference. James continued to train and teach and has continued to keep out of the politics of martial arts.
During Master Sinclair's 30-plus years in martial arts, he has fought numerous semi-contact competitions, as well as some boxing, full contact and Thai training and sparring. James also fought many private martial art challenge matches with no rules.
In November 2005 Master James Sinclair revisited Hong Kong China for the first time in 16 years. James and his team of talented students made a very big impression, and as a result James has finally received the recognition many feel he deserved. He has been made a lifetime member of the VTAA and recognized as a Sifu in Wing Chun, despite no longer being under any Sifu. Grandmaster Ip Chun approved the awarding of the certificate and at the same time recognized James' own students for their ability by awarding them the certificates too.
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