Wing Tsun Training
Wing Tsun training includes forms, specialized partner drills, "chi sao" (clinging arms practice), and all phases of hand to hand and weapons combat.
Are You Tired of the "Same-Old Lame-Old" Martial Arts Training?
It's not a matter of "style" or system, but a matter of the nature of the training. In most systems, you simply stop learning after you reach instructor level.
In Wing Tsun, on the other hand, that's where you start learning for real. Before then, training is just a matter of giving you all the building blocks or "legos" you need. After you have assembled all of your legos, the "building" starts for real.
Once you make it to instructor level in Wing Tsun, you learn how to use all of those building blocks or movements and concepts reflexively, instinctively, according to what your attacker is actually trying to do to you.
Translated into Wing Tsun terms, you are an instructor once you have learned the first two (out of of three total) empty hand forms (called "Siu Nim Tau" and "Chum Kiu"), and digested the first four sections of "chi sao" ("clinging arms" training) that teach you to apply the movements of the forms and to combine them with basic fighting footwork. So far, you are at "primary" instructor level.
Next, you learn the third form ("Biu Tze") while completing the remaining three sections of Chum Kiu chi sao and polishing all of that to make it reflexive and smooth in a completely free fight. Now you're at second instructor ("Technician Grade" or "T.G.") level.
For 3rd T.G., you learn to apply the movements from the Biu Tze form in the five chi sao sections that go along with it, and making all of the above fluid and reflexive. You also learn the first few sections of the crucial Wooden Dummy Form.
To make it to 4th T.G. level, you learn the remainder of the Wooden Dummy form and the Chi Sao sections that go along with it. Finally, the program for fifth level contains the two weapons forms in Wing Tsun, the Long Pole and Double Broadswords, or "Bart Cham Dao". You have no completed the entire system, and you are considered a "Practician" instead of a "Technician". It's a whole new bowl of wax, now.
Of all the training regimens, the Wooden Dummy and Bart Cham Dao forms contain the most advanced footwork in Wing Tsun, but of course you learn elements of all of these "advanced" forms much earlier in your training because - after all - you are supposed to learn how to fight, right? There's no point in holding it back. There are only different contexts of the footwork that won't be taught until you have understood and mastered a lot of the other techniques.
Of course, there is also the famous "chi gerk" or clinging legs training in which you learn to defend and counter attacks to your lower body with your legs while you continue to fight with your arms "upstairs". To learn all of that should take no more than five years or so, if you train hard and show aptitude.
So, at the end of all that, are you "done" with Wing Tsun?
No. Not by far.
Once you make it through the whole system, you circle back to the first form, Siu Nim Tao, and discover that it was actually the "last" form in Wing Tsun (in terms of when it was developed) because it has elements of all of the other forms in it. It was just put "first" because that helps beginners get a foundation and a frame of reference for everything that is to come.
So, once you "finish" the system, you have only completed your first cycle, and you go back to Siu Nim Tau and recognize, for the first time ever, how much of the most advanced concepts in WT are already in there. From there, with your new understanding of what is actually in these forms and how to apply it, you go back through Chum Kiu and Biu Tze, the Dummy and Weapons forms again, and again, developing an ever higher-level idea of what these are really all about. Naturally, this time, it won't take you five years to get through the cycle because you have long since become an instructor yourself.
In the process of all this, you literally and truly make Wing Tsun a part of you. That process becomes an endless cycle. Every time you cycle through the system, you go one step higher - and higher - and higher still. It never stops.
That's why it's called "wing tsun". That Chinese name for this art can be translated into English as "eternal springtime" or "forever young" because, as long as you practice it, you will never stop growing. You are always new, and so is your ever brand-new, personal brand of ... well, some call it "wing tsun" - but in the end, it's always just you.
That is the Way of Wing Tsun. You are constantly learning to discover and then reinvent yourself.