FAQ

The Most Frequently Asked Questions

Do you train children / How old does my child have to be to join?

Ving tsun training is optimal for people who have patience, focus and are intrinsically motivated. We’ve found that the small, precise movements required to defeat a larger stronger opponent aren’t appreciated by children so they lose interest quickly. We recommend at least 15 years of life experience before joining, although exceptions are made on a case by case basis. We’ve had students as young as 13 and as old as 85 who have enjoyed attending our classes. Ving tsun requires students to be intrinsically motivated, mentally tough, and able to focus on the details for at least an hour at a time. These attributes generally start to show themselves in the mid teens. Prior to that the system would have to be compromised to make it entertaining so it can appeal to those with shorter attention spans and less developed fine motor skills.

What do I need to know to try my free classes or watch?

Calgary School: Classes run regularly, so just come in 15 minutes before any class and we’ll get you signed up. You can also call or email if you have any questions. Please bring a clean pair of workout pants, sneakers, and a T-Shirt. Once you’ve decided that ving tsun is for you, you can purchase the school uniform consisting of a shirt, kung fu pants, and Feivue shoes. Should cost about $80 for the full uniform.
Atlanta School: Your first free trial class will be on the first day of each quarter. Please sign up for your free trial class here.

What does it cost?

Calgary School:

As little as $15 per month. We have instructor programs, contracts and pay-as-you-go plans so there is a plan that meets your budget and schedule.  We run similar to other non-profit educational facilities – our motives are to teach and use revenue to improve our programs. This allows us to keep our prices in a range that anybody is able to learn if he or she wants to. Prices start at $15 per month and go up to $285 per month for personalized coaching programs.

Atlanta School:

The tuition is $550 per quarter and includes unlimited classes, access to the Master’s classes, and personal coaching sessions.

 



The Less Frequently Asked Questions

Questions About the School

Another school is saying they are the best. Which school is best?

We believe that best is a personal thing – what’s best for me might not be what’s best for you – and that’s just the natural order of things since everybody’s different. Most people believe, and want to believe, what they do is good or the best. We recommend you try out the other schools (or at least watch a class) to see which one is most in-tune with you and your needs. We offer a free 5 class trial so you have a chance to try us out. We have an objective article in our blog on How to Select a Martial Art School.

How long does it take to become a master?

By training diligently, you can become very proficient in only a few months. In about 6 months you will have enough of a toolset to be able to protect yourself. In 3 – 5 years you should be a certified instructor. Everybody is allowed to learn at their own pace, so the more you wish to train, the more quickly you will progress. In the first three months, we focus on building the core skills through drills. Without this core skillset, moving on to the next stage of chi sau (sticking hands) will cause difficulties. There’s a detailed article on this topic on our blog. The article is called Masters are Made, not Born

We also believe that mastery of any art or skill is a lifelong endeavour; it is not a destination or end-point. Many people claim mastery by comparing their skill to the skill of those who are new. We believe a master should compare him or herself to other masters. We also believe that mastery is not something that is bestowed upon oneself, rather something others (including your teacher) recognize. When other masters start to call you master, you are on the right path. How far a person continues along that path is up to them. We ensure students have the tools they need to go as far as desired.

Will I get punched in the head or thrown to the ground or bruised?

No, any injuries of any sort are not tolerated. We focus on training the skills you require to defend yourself. To do this does not necessarily mean you need to be attacked. With a training focus, we create an enjoyable learning atmosphere – not a fight club. We do not hit each other or throw each other to the ground or bruise each other – we train each other to have the correct response to a given situation. Eventually as you improve you may want to test your skills. We have a safe and enjoyable laboratory environment for these tests as well. This stage of your training may include contact at your comfort level.

I’m not in shape, can I still join

We will train you at your level of physical ability. You will learn the techniques needed to master ving tsun, and will practice them until they are perfect. This practice can be quite the workout depending on how vigorously you approach it. You will grow to have the skills needed regardless of your size, shape, or current physical status. We do have a 20-minute drills & techniques session at the end of class that normally gets the heart pumping, however, our classes are not cardio or fitness or spinning focused. Our focus is to spend our class time on improving your ving tsun skills (and the fitness required to make them work). We feel that you don’t necessarily need a skilled ving tsun instructor to help you do sit-ups.

Will I learn groundfighting or MMA?

Not really. It has been proven that somebody skilled in ving tsun can handle any practical situation. We strive to be proactive instead of reactive – we know how to prevent a situation where we end up on the ground.

We train for the following conditions:

  • There are no restrictions on your opponent’s techniques
  • The fight is performed on concrete, gravel, or an unknown surface
  • Your opponent may produce or pick up a hand-held weapon
  • There are no weight classes – your opponent could be any size
  • Your opponent’s friends may attack you as well
  • Your opponent is really trying to harm you
  • There are no judges or cameras

Ask yourself if being able to handle these situations is important when deciding between a real martial art and a sport/entertainment martial art?

Questions About the Style of Ving Tsun Kung Fu

Why do you spell ‘wing chun’ as ‘ving tsun’

The spelling indicates which style of wing chun kung fu is being taught. Grandmaster Ip Man’s style is spelled ving tsun. It is similar to the way there are styles of Karate, with Chito Ryu style being quite different than Kempo style. Although the essence is the same there can be quite the big difference in the way the techniques are applied. A generic spelling wing chun generally denotes only a loose attachment to any one style, some even have high acrobatic style kicks. The style name and family lineage is an instructor’s certificate of authenticity. We are proud to teach ving tsun kung fu as taught by Grandmaster Ip Man. Of those taught by Ip Man, only a few actually pass along those learnings, many preferring to become grandmaster of their own style.

Is ving tsun a soft style of kung fu? What’s the difference between a soft style and a hard style?

The difference is in how the style deals with an attack. A hard style will smash the incoming attack, hitting it with force to block. A soft style will redirect the incoming attack or evade. Hard styles block hard and hit hard, soft style block soft and hit hard.

Is ving tsun right for me?

Ving tsun, like any real skill, boils down to diligent effort led by a qualified instructor. The training is fun and challenging. You will require a desire to learn, improve and commit to results. To be good at ving tsun you will also have to relax the mind. If you become angry easily or are vindictive, then you will probably not find the ving tsun experience to be pleasurable. If you prefer instant gratification or result without effort then ving tsun may not be right for you either. If you want flashy superficial movements to impress others, ving tsun will not meet your requirements. We prefer effectiveness over aesthetics. We also may refuse membership to a person who intentionally degrades the training environment, causes intentional injury, or if he or she has ill intentions.

How do I tell if I’m learning real ‘ving tsun’, or if the instructor is an impostor?

Ving tsun is handed down from teacher to student, so there is no official governing body. This means an instructor who learned a variant style of wing chun (such as ‘Wing Tsun’) could be renounced by his teacher for failing to teach proper methods and then decide to (dishonestly) teach those improper methods as ‘ving tsun’. However, when learning real ving tsun each student will meet and have regular interactions with his teacher’s teacher. By keeping the sigung (teacher’s teacher) involved, each student can be assured their own teacher is passing along the right methods. In ving tsun we have a saying, ‘Everybody has a boss‘, so no matter how good your teacher may get, he remains responsible to his teacher to pass along the real ving tsun. If your teacher has not introduced and allowed you to train regulary with his teacher then your instructor may be concealing the fact that he is not certified to teach ving tsun. In this case, it’s buyer beware.

What can I expect in the training?

The classes are fun and challenging and are taught in a friendly comortable environment. Coming into our school is very much like visiting somebody’s house. We have a comprehensive and complete curriculum that covers all aspects of training for this great martial art. Ving tsun is easy to learn and works regardless of size, strength, or gender.

In class, students engage in:

  • Forms training which teaches concentration, mental focus, speed and power, precision and accuracy, and balance to name a few.
  • Coordination training is used to improve hand-eye coordination, reflexes and timing. It’s not uncommon for our students to be able to catch an accidentally dropped item before it hits the ground.
  • Chi Sau is a training exercise unique to ving tsun which teaches a student how to put their body and arms into auto-pilot so the body can react with the right response to an attack all by itself.
  • Integration Training: similar to sparring, this is where the student learns to integrate all their distinct skills into one cohesive system for attack and defense.
  • Footwork and kicking drills provide for mobility, power, balance, and agility in attacking and defending.
  • Equipment training: we use a wide variety of equipment including wooden dummies, heavy bags, sand bags, kettle bells, and more to help the students develop their skills.

 

Do you do any kicking

We do. Kicks are one of the tools we have, and like any technique it has its advantages and disadvantages. We will use a kick when the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Often, in our style, we don’t kick above the waist as there are too many disadvantages when a hand technique would have much the same effect. Remember that during any kick, you’re standing on only one leg.

Is ving tsun a good martial art for women to study?

You bet. Ving tsun was designed by a woman and does not rely on strength. It’s success is attributed to the way it uses scientific principles and logic to defeat strength. There’s an article on the blog that talks about ving tsun and how well it is suited to women.

Is ving tsun hard to learn

Not at all. The drills and training methods are simple to learn, easy (and even fun) to practice. Even the advanced techniques are taught using simple drills that can be practiced any time. Much like chess or the game of “go” which can be learned quickly, it takes time and practice for the depth to sink in and become natural.

I saw other wing chun schools doing spinning back kicks. Do you do those types of kicks?

No. We strive for economy of motion through efficient techniques. The other school was likely not ving tsun, but was instead likely a hybrid style made from many different martial arts. Some styles will use wing chun as their base, add in techniques from another style, and still call their new style wing chun. In these cases, it’s best to be an educated consumer and know the differences between original Ip Man Ving Tsun style and those with similar sounding names.

I saw another wing chun school that looked like a Chinese army boot camp with rappelling walls and barets and other paramilitary stuff. Will I get to do those types of things at your school?

No, you won’t find those activities at a ving tsun school, but there are lots of great places to train those skills if you want.

I’ve taken another martial art. Can I still do ving tsun?

Absolutely. As a matter of fact, Sifu Belonoha has taught many many black belts from other martial arts who are looking to learn a different skillset or supplement their current skills. Many other martial arts appreciate the methods and logic of ving tsun, and wish to learn them in greater detail.

What makes ving tsun different than sport or entertainment styles like MMA or WWE?

Ving tsun strives for efficiency. We train to save time, effort, and motion. By being economical in these three areas we have an advantage over styles that are not economical. We do not kick unless necessary, because kicking means standing on one leg. Who wants to do that in a real fight? We are not a sport or entertainment style like MMA.

We train for the following conditions:

  • There are no restrictions on your opponent’s techniques
  • The fight is performed on concrete, gravel, or an unknown surface
  • Your opponent may produce or pick up a hand-held weapon
  • There are no weight classes – your opponent could be any size
  • Your opponent’s friends may attack you as well
  • Your opponent is really trying to harm you
  • There are no judges or cameras

Ask yourself if being able to handle these situations is important when deciding between a real martial art and a sport/entertainment martial art?


Cost & Schedule

Do you accept credit cards?

Yes, we accept visa & mastercard.

Can I watch a class without joining or paying any money?

Of course. Come on by and introduce yourself during any class. We will be happy to talk with you and answer any of your questions.

Is there a limit on how many classes I can attend a month?

We have two classes three times a week – that’s 6 classes each week. More often than not we stay after class to train even more. If you have an active membership, you can attend as many classes as you wish.

What hidden costs are there?

There are no hidden costs. The tuition and uniform are the only costs. All costs are clearly outlined adn there are no surprises. You can even check out our plans right here on this website to see which one meets your needs.

Training Environment

When do I get graded?

The sash levels will go from red (beginner), through green (intermediate), blue (advanced), black (assistant instructor) and then gold (certified instructor). There is no extra cost for grading.

Calgary School: When you are ready for the next level, it will be awarded to you. There will be no formal test. We feel that with our hands-on approach to teaching the instructor will know when you’re ready for the next level. The belt system is the same used by all Sunny Tang Ving Tsun schools, so your rank will be acknowledged should you ever go to visit another school in our family.

Atlanta School: Tests are held in the last week of each quarter.

Will I be taught by sifu Wayne personally

Sifu Belonoha teaches primarily from the headquarters school in Atlanta Georgia and regularly visits all schools to ensure th equality stays high. Sifu Wayne has certified instructors at all schools so you can be assured of high quality instruction regardless of which location you train at. Sifu Wayne also arranges numerous events throughout the year where all students are invited to attend.

Will I learn self-defense

Yes. In the classes you will be taught the techniques, how they are applied, and will get a chance to practice them. However, it’s important to stress that you will be taught how to defend techniques based on principles. To illustrate, let’s say I teach you the counter to a technique. You will feel as if you are learning good self-defence, however what happens if you encounter a technique you haven’t practiced before? In ving tsun, we will teach the principles – if the technique moves in a circular motion, you move along a straight path to get to the opponent first. With this concept it does not matter whether you have previously seen a technique or not. By understanding the fundamentals of movement, you will also understand all techniques; you will know when to step in straight, when to rotate (shift) or when to sidestep. Since opponents and situations change dynamically, we teach the student to change dynamically to compensate. Our chi sau (sticking hands) drill teaches how to instantly and instinctively react in the proper way to any attack by the opponent. Real opponents do not attack with a single dedicated attack that leaves them in a compromising position when their attack misses. Some do, most do not. Chi sau prepares students for all situations, not just the easy ones. We spend 80% of our time learning real self-defence through the chi sau drill.

We train for the following conditions:

  • There are no restrictions on your opponent’s techniques
  • The fight is performed on concrete, gravel, or an unknown surface
  • Your opponent may produce or pick up a hand-held weapon
  • There are no weight classes – your opponent could be any size
  • Your opponent’s friends may attack you as well
  • Your opponent is really trying to harm you
  • There are no judges or cameras

Ask yourself if being able to handle these situations is important when deciding between a real martial art and a sport/entertainment martial art?

Is there sparring & tournaments

Yes. We use sparring to improve our distance and timing in an enjoyable, safe and challenging environment. Sparring and training for tournaments is optional, so if it’s not for you that’s okay – our curriculum is actually designed to teach real fighting (no judges, protective equipment, or rules). Sparring is one tool that some find helpful. In competition, we strive for top-notch performance and fair play. We don’t just compete to win; we see tournaments as opportunities to try and perfect our technique. We compete in a manner and with techniques that earn people’s respect. If we can earn respect, learn and improve; then we have really won. Trophies are not important and seeking to win them in a rules-based environment can actually deter from building skill if not managed properly.

When will I learn to use the wooden dummy and weapons

We have a well defined curriculum that ensures each person receives all the required skills. The wooden dummy is learned at black sash level. This normally takes 3-5 years to earn. Learning the wooden dummy earlier would be similar to taking a new skier to an advanced hill. The basic skills are not yet there to support the learning. Sure, they can make it to the bottom of the hill, but it will be considerably different than watching an experienced skier get down the hill. At our school, you can guarantee that if you are learning a skill, your supporting skills are top-notch.

Who is the most senior teacher?

Wai’s Kung Fu is run by Sifu Wayne Belonoha, author and internationally recognized authority on the art of ving tsun. Sifu ensures you are always learning and receiving the highest quality instruction from him personally. In the menu above, you can learn more about the instuctor.

Is there a beginner’s class?

Every class is a beginner’s class- because no matter what your level, there is somebody better and more to learn. In our school, most drills are done with a partner who’s more experienced than you. His or her job is to give you the attacks, energy, and tips you need to practice and improve. This way, you can become as vigorous as you wish within the context of the drill – because you know your partner can handle it and can teach. The drills are structured in such a way that when the senior is helping you improve, they are also training themselves. This creates a mutually beneficial training environment. Once a good level of competency has been reached, we’ll build on that competency by teaching the next set of skill-improving drills & techniques.

Miscellaneous Questions

Can I come by and purchase a signed copy of your book at a discounted rate?

Yes. We acknowledge that this question is a shameless plug, but … Come on by the class and purchase a copy of The Wing Chun Compendium directly from the author.

What cool stuff will I learn?

Ving tsun prefers practicality over superficial impressiveness. While ving tsun is like poetry in motion, it takes a skilled eye to appeciate it because of the subtlety elegance and small details involved. You will not learn any fancy Hollywood high-flying kicks or flowery movements. If your goal is to impress you friends, then ving tsun will probably not fit you well. However, remember Bruce Lee? If you want his handspeed, he learned it from ving tsun.

Do you have any videos

Yes, we have a YouTube channel where we post free videos. Additionally, you can download high quality HD instructional videos from the Wing Chun University at wingchununiversity.com. We also have a 9 Blu-Ray Disc set that covers all 108 steps in the system.