It is relatively common for a Sifu to spend over $150,000 acquiring their Kung Fu knowledge. For those who are not familiar with Sifu Fernandez, he is one of those people. He devoted the majority of his life to martial arts, WingTsun and developing his own system called WingTchunDo.
After devoting such a long period of time mastering any type of martial arts, it can be very tempting to try it out “in real life.”
However, in this post, Sifu Fernandez leaves us with a cautionary tale…
Let’s hear his thoughts:
“Often I am asked for advice about how to incorporate Wing Chun or Tsun training in a real fighting context. What do I suggest???
DON’T DO WHAT I DID AND DON’T BECOME A BOUNCER…
Why do I say this?
With many years of real life situations, I can say that first hand fighting experience has really made me grow in being more effective in WingTchunDo.
It also has many downfalls…. At least in my country, Italy, you can expect to run into issues with the law.
For example – For legitimate self-defense reasons, I was forced to face two aggressors in a night club…
To date, I have been in court trials for this case for the past four years…. I have pressed charges against the aggressors and unfortunately they also pressed charges against me.
It is four years of antagonizing mental torture having to present yourself in tribunals regardless of how innocent you are…
It does not matter, at least in Italy, how right you are or how legit it is to defend yourself against people who have criminal records.
If you ever encountered a similar situation, you have to remember the aggressors ALSO have the right to defend themselves in a court of law.
The judicial system in Italy is long, expensive, and requires lawyers. If you ever fall into a situation like this, the money you earn goes into paying your legal representation and legal fees. Even worse, it takes many days away from family and work…
Would you say this is the true price of learning Wing Chun? Would you say this is the price of learning how to use Wing Chun on the street and see if the system works?
I will say a most definitely “yes.”
The follow up question should be “is it worth it?” And “how else can you achieve similar results without risking legal action?”
If you truly want to bring your Wing Chun to the next level, I would recommend concentrating on MMA and/or creating full contact training situations. For example, while using defense gear and even adding weapons, train one against a number of opponents, with up to five people.
I truly believe this is the only way to learn without putting yourself in harm’s way or risking any legal action.”
I believe Sifu Fernandez raises a pretty interesting point. Regardless of what country you live in, you have to be careful of the legal consequences of your actions. Even if you are defending yourself, in many cases, aggressors may still reserve the right to retaliate with legal action.
When you are trading stories with your older brothers and sisters, many of them will bring up fighting situations that happened to them in their youth. Others will bring up stories about the old “Hong Kong roof top fights” and similar discussions. In today’s world, most of this is now illegal.
Which, for better or for worse, leads one to wonder about what will happen to the quality of martial artists? Even worse, should one bother to protect themselves in a threatening situation?
What are your thoughts? Do have have any self-defense stories to share?
One thought on “What is the price of learning Wing Chun?”
Well before gentrification, for ten years I ran a bar in Jersey City, just across the river from New York City. Physical altercations were a nearly daily ritual. Sad to relate, for all but two, nothing was to be learned from this experience. The most common event was subduing someone who’d had too much to drink. For most of these, the biggest concern was to prevent their injuring themselves. One exception was when a sober individual tried to club me with a quart bottle of wine. Instead of a high block, I quickly stepped behind him and delivered a shove. Combined with the downward arcing motion of the attack, this sent him to the ground. The other unusual situation was when from a dozen or so feet away, an empty pint of wine was thrown like a frisbee. By luck, this bottle just glanced off of my head.