It must be the heat.
Once upon a time there was the Wing Chun wars – WT vs TWC. It took many years but finally the calm came back. Yes, rivalries may still be there amongst lineages and styles but at least there is also a level of civilness until now.
Enter this style AWC which someone pointed out on FB. I came across this style before they even had a name. In those days whoever is the person behind it was harping about mixing Yoga and Wing Chun.
So finally the style of Yoga + Wing Chun = AWC has come together, become formalized and the first thing they try to do is to start a Wing Chun war or did they?
Well, if you read what they write on their blog it certainly sounds inflammatory. However, I would say that they have some valid points here. Its just the way they put it across that is basically saying that their AWC is correct and every other style of WC is wrong. I think this is the part that some people find hard to stomach.
What is interesting is that under Announcements on their website they actually wrote :-
“Articient is a research-based program rather than a lineage or school, thus we respect all existing Wing Chun and martial art schools. Because without them, no instruction could be handed down to our generation.”
So are they insulting everybody else because its their way of drumming up business or they are doing so because they genuinely feel that their approach is better?
I have to honestly say that after I watched their videos (there is a sample here right at the bottom of the page) I can only say the level shown by the demonstrators is like that of someone who has learned Wing Chun for the most 6 months. I would still give them the benefit of a doubt because without seeing the demonstration of their founder master I still can’t conclusively say that their style is good or bad or in-between.
The one thing I feel a lot of people having issue with aside from the claims of superiority is the lack of information on lineage and the fact that they charge US$1,000 to join. After looking through their website the latter is half true. Read what they said here carefully. So you see, its easy to jump to conclusions without reading first. And if you were like me, just read the comments on FB about them charging so high and never check the info then my understanding of the situation would still be the same. They sure do charge a lot for textbooks and videos if you read here.
They are asking people to pay them to prove that their way is right through learning by experiment. What would happen if a student goes to them and find that their way is wrong. Do they refund the money? What if the student’s way is right and by disproving them now they have gotten paid for getting the right knowledge – should they then pay the student?
On the question of lineage though they didn’t say whom they are from they did indicate that they have 3 major and 3 minor teachers but even then I wouldn’t worry too much about the lineage thing because I have seen too many instances of wonderful lineage that means little. So in this sense I can appreciate why they don’t mention lineage because I normally don’t either. As one of my teachers, Hawkins Cheung pointed out in relation to his case in that he has the skill so he does not need to bring up Ip Man’s name to sell his Wing Chun. But if you don’t have the skill then all the talk of lineage won’t save you either.
Some people on FB is mad with them and looking to challenge AWC. However, their response is quite interesting. Read here. Did you get what they are saying?
I will use an analogy to explain what I think they are saying. You go and challenge a chef to a cooking competition. However, instead of bringing out his wok and cooking up a storm and a hell of a dish to prove that he can cook what he does instead is to show you that his ingredients are fresh and looking good. Yes, he does not do any demo of cooking, just show you the freshness of his products and on that basis continue his claim that his cooking is better than yours.
Smart. Very smart.
But this is not the kung fu way.
The kung fu way is you say other people’s style is rubbish then be prepared that they will come and kick your butt. They have certainly stirred up a hornet’s nest beginning from Bullshido and the tremors have hit this FB group where the storm continues.
P.S. – little marketing spiel – to students of AWC – the E-Notes they sell are expensive and in their own words only a few pages. If you ever want to read something really substantial on a Ip Man Wing Chun approach that could easily give AWC a run for their claims even in a lab test then try reading The Ip Man Questions. And my videos showing what TIMQ is about is on Youtube and its free to watch!
P.S. 2 – anyone willing to pay US$1,000 for 5 hours of lessons by experiment I would be happy to offer my knowledge of Wing Chun too. Just email me for my Paypal account details 🙂