Sifu Danny Xuan's Christchurch Visit 16.01.2012
When possible I have always endeavoured to make welcome visiting Wing Chun Instructors, and in January of this year Master Clay and myself were invited to participate in the Wing Chun seminar hosted by Sifu Danny Xuan and his New Zealand student Zayid Jones.
Prior to receiving the invitation I had read the internet advertising of Sifu Xuan's impending visit and my first impression was of a slick commercial operation, so we were both pleasantly surprised to receive an open invitation to attend the seminar on the opening night.
At six in the evening we were joined by about a dozen others in the yard at Zayid's home. A mixture of practitioners from other arts attended. There were some from mma, Shaolin, boxing, a bodybuilder, some from Wing Chun. Sifu Danny looked in excellent condition and moved with an agility that belied his age. He kept Zayid busy passing him objects that lay about the yard - a brick here, a board there - to use as props to illustrate a point or two before getting the participants to try out various methods, thus I found a familiarity in the way that he taught.
I found Sifu Xuan's theory into the history of Wing Chun extremely fascinating. I had read much of his research on his website and found the evidence he presented not only believable but compelling. It was interesting to hear him expounding those ideas in person. I am sure he won't mind if I direct you to his website, wcats.com, where you can read it for yourself.
By 9pm the light was beginning to fade, and not wishing to take up time that Sifu Xuan should be spending with the other participants, Master Clay and I asked to be excused. But not before inviting everyone to join in a group photo, at which time we presented Sifu Xuan with a Patu carved by our own Wing Chun Instructor Rapheal Stowers. (Those photos can be viewed in the "Wandering Monks" album on the website).
Since the workshop I have been asked by a couple of persons to make comment on the veracity of Sifu Xuan's teachings and training methods, however it would not be possible to reach any reasoned conclusion since we only attended for some three hours on the first evening of a seminar that was to extend over some twenty hours, or four nights. Further I point out that just as I do not compare one student to another student I did not attend the seminar to make a comparison or pass judgement. If one wishes to gain some insight into Sifu Xuan's teachings they should attend his seminars and I leave it to them to form their own conclusions. I will say that some of his ideas and methodology were interesting.
Personally I found Sifu Xuan to be of generous nature, very open and genuine in his efforts to pass on his understanding of Wing Chun. I am in no doubt that those who attended over the course of the week were given more than their monies worth. I hope they took it in. It behoves one to listen when a teacher of Sifu Danny Xuan's experience and knowledge travels halfway around the world to pass on that experience, for little more than the price of the airfare, and I congratulate Zayid Jones for the effort he no doubt put in to bring his teacher to Christchurch. Kevin