Wing Chun University offers a wide range of video courses that cover the Wing Chun system from A to Z. For a while now, I have been meaning to check them out, mainly because Sifu Wayne Belonoha’s teachings interest me. You might know him as the gentleman who wrote the Wing Chun Compendium. If you are not familiar with this pair of books, they get into the nitty-gritty of the entire system, explaining everything you could possibly think of to gain a good overview of the system from book format.
The videos expand on the books, which he will reference at times. The main difference being that you get to see Sifu Belonoha explain it all, in person, in incredible detail. If you study Moy Yat Linage, or a similar lineage of Wing Chun, this is an EXCELLENT tool to have in your belt. It really helps in learning the system. I, personally, would go for the video before the book, I find it more entertaining and when my teacher is not around, watching videos is my preferred Wing Chun study method.
In this case I sprung for the Wooden Dummy course, which is the “black belt” level and includes long pole drills. The goal of the video is to give you an overview of the system and explain what is going on, not show you 101 cool techniques. I do not recommend getting this Wing Chun Wooden Dummy video if you are looking for vanity Kung Fu forms and attacks; rather it is a straight forward way to grasp what is taking place with each movement.
One of the things I really liked about the course is that Sifu Belonoha spoke a lot about how to control your opponent with the dummy movements. After each section of the form, he shows the applications AND he lists off a number of ways to perform them in a real life situation or in Chi Sau.
Another topic of discussion I enjoyed hearing about was how to control the explosiveness of your techniques. Often when you click around on YouTube and type in “Wing Chun dummy”, you see a number of different men and women beating the heck out of the dummy. Many want to show how powerful they are and pay no attention to whether they are doing the form correctly or not. In this case, Sifu Belonoha shows all movements very slowly and in a controlled way. Making sure you do not skip over the minor details that can make the difference in your Wing Chun training.
To date, I do not believe I have seen a Wing Chun video with higher quality. The sound, visual, everything was just great! This was clearly filmed by a professional group of people. Not only does Sifu Belonoha go into great detail when explaining the forms, the video footage helps support everything he says by CLEARLY showing you what is going on. When he showed complex movements, they always made sure to show the full body first, followed by zooming in on the hands, which is very clean and easy to watch.
If you are up to the Wing Chun dummy level this is worth checking out. It is a great reference that does not skip over any minor details. There are eight parts (nine if you include the long pole) to the video course and each section is around 20 to 30 minutes long. WCU also gives you the option of buying each course individually. If you want to check it out first, start out with the first section and see how it goes. I’m really glad I got a copy and it is definitely something I will reference back to. It is great to have something that explains everything and anything that has to do with the dummy in a clear format.