Introduction to the Principles of Siu Lim Tao Training
“How you train is how you will fight.” – Wong Shun Leung
The rate of progress of a student through any particular section of Ving Tsun Kuen will be different from that of other sections, or other students. You should not worry who is learning faster or slower. There is no point going on to something else until a satisfactory level is attained. To do otherwise defeats the entire purpose of learning martial arts – which is to obtain a practical skill, not a false sense of accomplishment. The ability to defeat someone trying to hurt you. As a teacher or senior student assisting someone to learn, or even just checking another student, you must ensure everyone is up to standard in the skills, because it is the skill that is necessary, not the level. Thus, the students should be at the same level of ability, even if some take longer than others. VTK is a complex and encompassing style. One student will go slower at a point in training, while another will go faster. At another time and level, the reverse will be true. The key, regardless of the student, is that the skill is being done well. Hurrying or allowing the student to advance when they are not up to standard is doing no one a favour. If the student loses a fight, is injured or even dies due to negligence in the teacher, this is more than simply a tragedy. It has a factor of culpability as well.
• The true essence of the art is in the core material and theory. These must be performed to a satisfactory level.
• VTK is a weapon, not a dance, not a game.
• There can be no excuses in fighting, so try not to have excuses in training
• The Pass mark in a fight is 100%, not 50%. To do well, you need to give 110%. Techniques should not just be ‘OK’ but as good as possible.
Ving Tsun Kuen should be learned in a friendly and cooperative atmosphere, dedicated to learning this martial art, with all the students cooperating with each other in order to bring out the best in each student. Students largely teach other students, with the sifu overseeing the whole thing and telling people when the next level should be taught, correcting errors, and maintaining standards. No student should teach the next level without the teacher telling them to, because to do so may be very bad for their future training. Only a qualified sifu knows when a student is ready for more.
You need fellow students to practice certain other exercises. The forms, while essential to learning Ving Tsun Kuen, are only PART of Ving Tsun Kuen. There is much more, including theory, partner exercises, drills, Chi Sau and so on. Ving Tsun won’t function at its greatest potential if the student doesn’t practice with as many other students as is possible. You need the ‘feeling’ of someone trying to move against you, and this feeling is different from person to person.