Q-How long will it take to learn to defend myself?
A- Unfortunately there is no easy answer to this. How big, strong, fast, tough, in shape are you? Are you a man or a woman? Have you ever been in a real fight? And who will you have to defend yourself against, a drunk, a tough street fighter or mugger, or a gang with weapons? That being said most people show a significant improvement in self defense ability after six months to one year of serious training.
Q- Why do you say that wing tsun is one of the most practical arts for self defense?
A- So many reasons! WT relies on simple, fast, and powerful attacks like the straight punch, straight kick, palm strike, and elbow strike. Kicks are to the waist or below so they actually work on the street. WT relies on tactile (touch) reactions so you react much quicker and don’t have to think. WT does not rely on force or strength.
Q- Do you teach any non wing tsun techniques?
A- Yes, because I teach practical self defense it would be a sin not to include a few of the most powerful and effective techniques from boxing, Muay Thai, and Systema.
Q- Why do you only teach private and semi-private lessons?
A- I have found that space rental in my neighborhood is both extremely scarce as to days and times and also very expensive, more expensive than even parts of Manhattan. Since I don’t teach for a living, I have decided for the time being to focus on working with a small number of talented and/ or dedicated private students.
Q- Is it safe?
A- Safety is my prime goal. After all you don’t want to take a class or lesson to help you defend yourself and end up getting hurt in the class! I take safety so seriously that I became certified in CPR and First Aid.
Q- Do I have to be in shape to begin?
A- You don’t have to be “in shape” but should check with your doctor to get an OK first (just like any exercise program). But a lot of people have started learning when they were almost completely out of shape and got into terrific shape doing Wing Tsun.
Q- Am I too young or too old to learn?
A- I’m not sure about too young. Traditionally in Hong Kong you had to be 13 to start. I prefer to teach adults, 18 and over ( I may make an exception for a very mature 16 or 17 year old). You are never too old. Sifu Timmy Lee was in his late 60’s when he came to New York to teach a seminar and I watched him do chi sao with and crash all of the 20 and 30 year old technicians, who were all very good fighters and much bigger than him to boot!
Q- What should I wear?
A- You don’t have to buy a uniform. You should wear loose pants, and preferably a short sleeved shirt or t-shirt. You will want to bring, after the first couple of lessons, Kung Fu slippers or shoes, with smooth soles. You can get these in China Town, Flushing, or on line. You will also want to get some type of gloves, the MMA fingerless type gloves are good, and you can get these at sports supply stores, Target, or online.