International Academy of WingChun
What is WingChun?
WingChun was designed centuries ago in China during the Ming Dynasty. At this troubled time, in a world of war and chaos, invaders known as the Qing, overthrew the Ming Dynasty and established the last imperial dynasty in China. Some resented this oppression and formed groups of resistance fighters who wanted to return the Ming to power and restore peace. It was from this that WingChun was born.
Over the centuries WingChun Kung-Fu has emerged from the underground to become one of the most practical and formidable styles of martial arts available, known for its effectiveness in close-quarter combat.
Today there are many variations of 'wing chun' taught, with their roots from different linages. Our unique style at the International Academy of WingChun (I.A.W) was evolved by Grandmaster Sifu Klaus brand who has been developing his own traditional style for the past 3 decades. He is an exceptional martial-artist and a diligent leader who has worldwide groups and academies. WingChun is a Self-Defence style of Martial Arts which will develop your strength, coordination and combat knowledge to give you the confidence and skills required to defend yourself against a physical aggressor.
Below is a short video, Way of WingChun, from Sifu Klaus on his style of WingChun and a bit about its history and development.
What is the difference between WingChun and other martial arts?
There are many martial art schools in existence today, all offering a wide variety of benefits. It is important to understand what makes them all different and to choose the right one for your needs. You should ask yourself Why do I want to train martial arts? Is it to get physically fit? To practice the cultural arts? Or to improve your confidence? Once you have figured out your 'why' you can then begin to enquire at your local clubs and academy's to find out their own martial statement. Click here to read about the students that train and what their own why is.
To help you understand the different between WingChun and other martial arts I will compare it to the most common one, Karate. Karate is classed as 'combat sport' similar to Taekwondo and it will train the student on things like competition, sportsmanship and traditional forms (katas). WingChun is classed as a 'Self-Defense' martial art who goals and objectives are to optimise realistic defence scenarios, focus on practicality and to be as efficient in its movements as possible. It has many elements to its training which also include partner and solo drills, forms and weapons integration. It is designed to give you the knowledge and skills to be able to defend yourself in a real confrontation.
What will I learn in WingChun?
WingChun is a practical self-defence style of martial arts. You will quickly learn the basic skills required to defend yourself in a physical situation. WingChun has a wide range of techniques which includes punching, kicking, knees, elbows, forearms, shoulders, joint breaking, etc.
The characteristics of WingChun are economy of motion, directness, and practicality. WingChun can be very fast as a consequence of its emphasis on directness and efficiency. WingChun also uses the body's natural range of motion instead of high-risk, acrobatic movements, so not a lot athleticism and flexibility is required to learn. For these reasons, WingChun is regarded as a martial art that is highly useful for self-defense.
Our Grandmaster Sifu Klaus Brand has released some beginner tutorial videos to help new students learn the basic movements and to gain some understanding on how and why we move like we do. Below is the first one, click on his YouTube channel for the other installments, enjoy!
Grandmaster Sifu Klaus Brand
WingChun is a self-defence system. Contrary to expectations, the WingChun fighter actually attacks in self-defence. From early on WingChun Students learn a highly developed strategy and approach, with which they can control all conceivable attacks, and it is thus insignificant in what manner or how strongly an opponent attacks. In my system, differences such as gender and size do not even play the slightest role. The stress, familiar to every martial arts "sportsman," which leads one to have to react to "fake" or falsely interpreted attacking movements, drops away completely.
WingChun trains for every possibility that could possibly happen during a real defence situation. The simultaneous deployment and functioning of the hands, arms and legs are practiced within the framework of organized combat programs, even at the elementary level. The employment of the eyes and quick "reading" of the opponent is also a fundamental part of the WingChun lesson.
Timely and exact perception is extremely important at the beginning of a defence situation, and thus in the first combat programs the WingChun student learns how to "read" specific attacks, right up to actual contact. Only in this way can the entire body function as one unit, and the WingChun fighter is then in a position to end a defence situation within a few seconds. WingChun fighters are trained to be specialists in self-defence at all distances.
Physical requirements play a secondary role in this art of self-defence. Because of the highly developed understanding of contact and collision developed through Chi Sao (adhering arms) training, WingChun fighters can immediately adapt to any possible attack. The Chi Sao strengthens the muscles as well as the ligaments and bones. Furthermore Chi Sao trains one to think and act in combination. It identifies and trains various scenarios of contact with the opponent's arms, the goal being to free oneself as quickly as possible in order to proceed to a rapid counter attack. One begins, so to speak, with a contact situation - Chi Sao practice - in order to learn how to free oneself from this contact (the opponent's arms) as quickly as possible.
The most important rule in WingChun, and consequently the goal of Chi Sao training, is, in a logical way, not to remain sticking. Thus through the combination of the combat programs and Chi Sao training - and of course the forms, which perfect the implementation of each individual movement - an explosive and perfect mixture comes into being which transforms the WingChun student into someone who is highly functional and capable of defending him or herself with above average reaction speed.
Even after only a short amount of time, all parts of the body can react immediately and even independently of one another. Information paths are minimized, and this gives the WingChun fighter the possibility to quickly unmask (as useless play) the often employed "fake" maneuvers. There are no defence techniques in WingChun; in a defence situation we are concerned solely with the counterattack, that is to say, with one's own action. WingChun fighters respond according to the threat level of the current situation, yet WingChun does not partake in any absurd, martial arts sporting events and carefully avoids any rules or regulations, as these would only lead to a drastic limitation on one's ability to defend his or herself.
In spite of the realistic way of training, a distinctive feeling for one's own body, together with a traditional and responsible way of practicing, prevents injuries during class.
WingChun - a unique system, developed by Grandmaster, Sifu K. Brand, was completed in 1998 . On an individual and intensive path you will discover your possibilities and potential and arm yourself for dangerous situations, and newly acquired, real capabilities will strengthen your self-confidence. WingChun is the basis for your further development, which you yourself can freely and confidently determine. With WingChun you will learn both to defend and to assert yourself. Create freedom and independence by developing your abilities. For freedom is a fundamental right which makes out life really worth living, and any type of restriction leads to a limitation of our possibilities and achievements and in the end will cost us our health.
Learn to defend yourself. Call us to make an appointment for a trial lesson in one of our academies. There you can expect trained WingChun instructors who will help you to realize your aspirations.
We look forward to your visit!
Grandmaster Sifu Klaus Brand
Director of the Int. Academy of WingChun
Chief Instructor Greg Willis
My name is Greg Willis and I am the chief instructor of the International Academy of WingChun - Great Britain. I have been diligently leading my Caterham academy since April 2011. My passion for Martial Arts began with TaeKwon-Do in 1995 were I gained my 1st Dan Black Belt in 2001 under the instruction of Umesh Vijapura.
In 2003 left the ITF and began training a new martial art, Wing Tsun under the wider European Wing Tsun Organisation group. These we great building blocks for me into the world of wing chun and it wasn't until 2007 when I found the most complete and formidible systems of WingChun which was created by Grandmaster Sifu Klaus Brand known as The International Academy of WingChun. This style of WingChun was nothing like I had experienced before and I am as passionate about the learning and teaching this style of martial art today as I was when I first experienced it.
Since 2007 I have gained a 3rd Technician Grade, an Instructor Grade, a Student level in Escrima (weapons fighting) and jointly lead the IAW-UK with 4 other fellow Head Instructors. Most recently I have been promoted to chief instructor of the IAW, a position granted to me by Dai Sifu Klaus brand in May 2021.
Myself and my assistant instructors are talented professionals, who are passionate about providing the best Martial Arts tuition available to anyone, regardless or Age, Gender or Physical Attributes. We offer the guidance and support necessary for our students to reach their full potential.