21 YEARS IN WING CHUN
21 YEARS IN WING CHUN
As I write it's been 21 years since I first stepped down the stairs into the Manchester Street studio and got face to face with Wing Chun. Thanks to Sifu Kevin my life has changed from what certainly would have made most people shudder, to what I am now - much more skilled yet less likely to do severe harm. For those who remember my formative years and who helped me in my training, a very deep respect and a huge thanks. Your help was not in vain.
I started on Thursday 15 February, 1990. I had seen the TV demonstration above the stairwell in Manchester Street on the Tuesday before. On that Tuesday afternoon I was on my way to find an Aikido school, having done Aikido previously. The meeting with Sifu Kevin stopped my forearm in its tracks as did Wing Chun. Lucky for me...I was on the wrong track for sure until that moment!
Despite Sifu Kevin's ability I did have a test of my own though to see how real the system and its representative actually were. I was a street fighter and was very brutal, perhaps somewhat sadistic. My final question on that Tuesday afternoon was, "what would happen if I pulled out my gun and shot?"
Sifu Kevin replied saying simply that he would get shot. His answer was as steady and sure as any previous part of our conversation. There was no 'super man' or 'ego' drive in his response what so ever. From that moment I was born into the life science I now understand as Wing Chun and I count Sifu Kevin as one of my true friends.
I also count Andrew Hamilton-Seymour, Rapheal Tony Stowers, Max Blumenthal, Honte, Awatea Edwin, Edward Benton and Martin Cooke among those who had major parts to play in my early training. Those guys trained with me despite my thuggish street ways. Thanks! Thanks also to the people who are not mentioned but with whom I have touched hands.
I have been in the wilderness so to speak for many years but have trained deeply in my Siu Lim Tao. I did not really afford myself the access to the other forms that others have pursued but have trained to be formidable in every sense. This has led me to meet and train many people, each of whom has contributed to making me a better person; to them I give thanks as well. Red.
(Re-printed from original forum posting by Red with minor changes by permission Ed.)