How to Teach Wing Chun
Martial arts schools are not like colleges. It's not like everyone starts and finishes on the same date, and everyone is expected to know the same material by the end of the year. People start at different times, and they have different learning curves. They will not all advance at the same rate, even if they DO all start on the same day.
So how do we teach martial arts? Do we go into each class with no idea or lesson plan, just teaching willy nilly and hope that our students become good at our given style? No. We still need an underlying structure, a curriculum that provides an outline yet is still flexible to be changed if the need arises.
Steve Grogan has been studying Wing Chun since 1995 and teaching it since 2017. Over the last few years, he has analyzed and condensed his approach to teaching in a way that hits up areas where most students struggle. He knows that new students need more than just theory and forms; they need proof that what they are practicing will actually work if they ever have to defend themselves.
This book shows new Wing Chun instructors how they can organize what might initially seem like a formless monster into a clear and concise curriculum. Odds are that even OLD Wing Chun instructors might find something enlightening in its pages.
***NOTE: Aside from all the knowledge in this book, you can get three FREE gifts. All you have to do is send Steve an email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Your contact information will NEVER be shared with any other party.***
Steve Grogan is the founder of Geek Wing Chun, which can be found on the internet via its main website, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.
Martial arts classes are not like college courses, for two
reasons. First, not everyone starts on the same day. Second,
there is no rigid syllabus for students to follow. You can’t
say, “Students 1 and 2 both started on 01/01/20XX, so therefore
they will both move on to Chum Kiu by 12/31/20XX.”
There are many reasons why students advance at different
rates. Here I list what I feel are the top three:
1) How often they come to class
2) How much they practice on their own
3) How quickly they pick up on things
The point I’m making here is that, due to the individual
nature of our students, there is no way to create a rigid
outline like we could in a college course. However, we still
need an underlying curriculum to guide us.
The problem we face that each student might reach the next
level earlier or later than classmates who started before or
after them. Therefore, the question at hand is, “How do we
develop an underlying syllabus?”
We must start by answering a DIFFERENT question: “What are
the main obstacles students face in martial arts training?”
Although people from all walks of life take up martial
arts, I’ve noticed three common areas where they all struggle:
1) Overcoming Fear: The biggest fear they have is of getting
hit. Many people worry they could get knocked out with one
punch. They fear “the unknown,” which, according to horror
author H.P. Lovecraft, is humanity’s greatest fear. From
what I’ve seen in my life, I agree with him.
2) Developing Reflexes: Students worry about reacting
properly, which is a legitimate enough concern.
3) Relaxing: Fear makes students tense up. Fear of what?
Well, Wing Chun is an up-close-and-personal style. It
takes place inside your “personal space,” and it’s hard
for them to PURPOSELY let anyone inside that bubble.
Now we have the three most common obstacles, which is all
well and good, but how do we get our students pointed on the
right path toward overcoming them? The answer is in the way we
teach them, and the drills we use to develop their skills.
You must pick activities that teach the principles without
making your students aware of it. Why not? Because new students
can easily feel overwhelmed. They have so much to learn: names
of techniques, forms, and so on.
Therefore, we need to reduce their stress by showing them
exercises that engrain the necessary skills in their muscle
memory in a subconscious way, so we don’t have to fill their
brains with lectures about theories, principles, and the like.
These are the concerns I plan to address in this guide, and
it all begins with something I call “the Rule of Three.”
Let’s start with that then, shall we?