Si-Fu Peter Guy runs a successful Wing Chun school in Perth after completing the Wing Chun Correspondence Course.  Here he answers some frequently asked questions:

How long did it take you to complete the Wing Chun Correspondence Course?
I started the correspondence course late in 1997 and I had reached Level 10 in 2003. So overall about 5 years of training.

Did you have any trouble following the instructions in the books and
videos provided?

The videos are quite easy to follow. Basically if you train on a regular basis and try and not go too fast too soon, there isn’t a problem. Sometimes when you look too far ahead it can become confusing so I followed the Grading Structure and only trained for my next few levels.

How do the Gradings take place?
I recorded my Gradings on a video and sent it to Grandmaster William Cheung for grading. In the early stages I had a training partner throwing punches or kicks at me so I could demonstrate the techniques. As I progressed and learnt Chi Sao I had to teach my training partner the drills so they could be performed in the Gradings. I was lucky enough to be in Melbourne in 1999 so I did a Grading while I was there. For the video Grading I would pick a weekend and get a video camera set up and just go through all the Grading requirements. In a way it was good because when I played it back I could always see where I went wrong.

Did you travel to Melbourne while you were doing the course?
In May 1999 I took my first training trip to Melbourne. This was really the turning point of my training and Wing Chun future. Everybody who I trained with at the Melbourne academy was very helpful and assisted me with anything they could. After my trip to Melbourne in 1999 I wanted to
get back there as often as I could because the knowledge I would gain every trip was valuable to my training.

Did you attend any of Grandmaster Cheung's seminars while you were doing the course?
Yes. In January 2000 I attended the Summer Camp at Falls Creek and then the Warrior Training week at the Melbourne academy. I try to get back to Melbourne every year so I can attend more seminars. Grandmaster Cheung’s seminars are always very informative and what I would consider essential to all students at the academy.

What happened if you had questions while doing the course?
Usually I would send an email to the Melbourne academy and one of the Si-Fus would answer the questions. Sometimes I just called to get an answer straight away. Overall everybody I spoke to offered assistance whenever they could.

How did you train?
In the early stages I practised every morning for about 30 minutes on my basics. As I progressed I would practice in front of a mirror to see if my movements were looking correct. The videos were great too because I would play them and train along with them. I also had a training partner throwing various attacks at me and a wooden dummy to practise on. The combination of training in the air, with a partner and on the wooden dummy helped me improve my co-ordination and understanding of each movement.

Did you need to purchase any other equipment, books or videos while
completing the course?

Yes but I didn’t really need to. I mainly purchased other training videos, books and more uniforms. I got hooked on Wing Chun and had to know as much as I could so whenever a new book or video was released I had to get it.

How did the Correspondence Course help you?
Having to train by correspondence helped me with my understanding of all the techniques. I didn’t have anybody there saying “You're doing that wrong”, so I had to constantly analyse what I was doing and learn to understand why I was doing it.

What are you doing now?
I currently run a successful full time academy. There are 19 classes per week with students from 5 years old up to 65 years old. We have plans of future expansion and I now have advanced students who also one day want to run their own schools. Originally running the school was part time for me but I started to get too busy so I decided to make it full time. Now I travel to Melbourne on a regular basis for more training and seminars. Grandmaster William Cheung also visits Western Australia every year for training seminars.

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