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Sunday, October 26, 2008

The WT Structure

Kung Fu is generally taught in a relatively unstructured way. There is no ranking system - it's just the time put in, seniority and what sifu wants to teach you that day. Many in wing chun circles feel this is how wing chun should be taught, just like our ancestors. It is the Chinese way. Actually, this unstructured teaching method was one of the reasons why karate implemented a ranking system. Otherwise the quality of teaching was inconsistent. Some students knew more than they should and others less. Others missed out on complete sections and just thought it wasn't taught. Then comes the arguments of what system is right or best.

This is where the ranking system in WT comes in handy. It's not a measure of fighting skill, per se, but a measuring for one's own progress. What does erk me a little is that some think that because that a set curriculum does exist, somehow, it's less-effective or not as good as other schools that teach without a ranking system.

But I have to admit, in my experience, the ones that laugh at the structure are also the ones that show less than impressive wing chun. Why focus on what is wrong with a technician grade ranking system when, instead, it can provide benefits?

The technician grade system lays out the basic skeleton on how your progress SHOULD proceed. This at least gives you some idea of what to expect for yourself, from your teacher and where you want to be.

On the first day of school, what does your teacher give you? the curriculum for the entire semester - when are your exam dates, project dates, presentation, final exam, course material, etc.

Now imagine a school where the curriculum isn't standardized. There is no exam date, there is no criteria on how your project is marked, and there may or may not be an exam.

YOU tell me, which school would you want your kids to be enrolled in?

So why laugh at the ranking system of WT?

Until then.

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