Can I teach Wing Chun myself

Pick up and motivate

Personally, that's exactly what I enjoy a lot. I am always happy when I can fan the fire for WingTsun with a beginner:

  • Students are very enthusiastic at the beginning. This enthusiasm also infects me as a teacher again and again. I am happy that the student is happy.
  • When teaching, you can still see the progress at this stage of learning very directly. The steps are big and obvious, the learner hardworking.
  • Beginners keep asking challenging questions: Why is the movement performed exactly this way? How do I manage that ...? This makes me as a teacher have to think very carefully about how. As a result, I automatically learn a lot myself.

There are a few important points to consider in beginner lessons so that teachers and learners are happy:

  • It is important to pick up students from where they actually are
    If you as a teacher expect more than is available, this is overwhelming. This can lead to someone thinking at this early stage of learning that WingTsun is too difficult. The desire to learn evaporates and the WingTsun lessons may be immediately given up again.
  • The goal should be recognizable
    The connections must be directly understandable for the learner: Why am I practicing this? Where is it taking me? What is the medium term goal that I am working towards?
  • Set small achievable sub-goals
    A common mistake is showing too much at once. This only leads to disappointment - for the practitioner because they cannot put it into practice and for the teacher because the students apparently “do not understand” it. On the other hand, achieving small goals over and over again is enormously motivating.
  • Praise is important
    The achievement of partial goals can and should be confirmed. In this way the teacher recognizes the student's progress and this makes it worth the effort - in addition to the simple learning progress.
  • Please do not "correct broken"
    Sure, especially with a beginner, we can see a lot that could be done even better. Even so, it is important to stick to the part that the exercise relates to with the correction.
    For example: when practicing the punch, the movements of the arm and fist, not something else, should be corrected. "The punch is better now, but your feet are wrong“Is simply a turn-off.
  • No early correction
    It may only take place after the learner has been able to practice for some time. Nothing is more frustrating than being corrected before you've had a chance to try it out.
  • Give an explanation and a proposed solution
    Just saying “That's wrong!” Without further explanation makes you feel insecure and demotivated. Accordingly, our new student is looking for another leisure activity. If you give an explanation and, if possible, instructions on how to do it better, you will move forward again.

Try, experiment, experience

Learning to move is about trying out, experimenting and experiencing what is not possible - until it is possible. In short: it takes time. Remember your beginnings in WingTsun: How did you feel when you were in this phase of learning? Surely you will then also willingly give others the chance to learn and make mistakes.

Especially with people who learn slowly or with difficulty, it takes a lot of patience so that they can gain confidence in the thought: "I can do it too! ”Pressure would be out of place here.

Although we teach self-defense, the class is not about an acute threat. The student is with us in his spare time, wants to learn something sensible in a pleasant atmosphere and to meet nice people.

Varied teaching

I have been teaching myself since the 3rd SG and have learned a lot through teaching - at all levels. I noticed that there is a lot of knowledge, especially in the lower grades. The fact that I take a close look at it again and again and go through it with students has made a lot clear to me. I have recognized that the inconspicuous, the unspectacular contain a lot of essentials.

We have very different participants in our courses. Everyone learns differently or has different physical requirements. Our job is to ensure that everyone reaches their goal and always understands WingTsun a little better. Therefore the teaching methods should be varied so that everyone gets a chance. The better students understand what it is about, the more motivated they become.

In Switzerland, we have been able to take over the esa teaching aids for adult sports from the Federal Office of Sport (federal training for trainers in various sports) in WingTsun for a year now. Here it is precisely assumed that adults want to be taught with joy, fun and variety. In order to achieve efficient learning, the motto is "advise" instead of "correct", i.e. teaching as an advisory exchange at the same level and not "from above". This is not a traditional Chinese way of teaching, but it works much better for Europeans.

Teaching methods

1. Show and imitate

The trainer shows the movement and gives verbal instructions. This is the most common type of teaching with us.
People are used to imitating something, to reproduce as best they can what they see.

Here it is of course important that the trainer shows the movement correctly and knows exactly how it is going. Students copy very precisely - even the incorrect movements. Regular self-control with a mirror, video or your own teacher is therefore important.

Make sure that

  • the students can see you well (smaller ones to the front).
  • you only name the most important priorities depending on the level.
  • you show individual parts so that the student can better pick them up.
  • you show (visually), explain (acoustically) and physically guide the movement (sensory); because every student learns differently.
  • you impart additional knowledge.
    For example: How should your breathing be, where is your focus, how you can keep your balance, how you can improve the big seven skills or what are the biomechanical processes?

2. Deal with a topic together

Group work also works well for our lessons. There are different ideas and possibilities here:

  • Common task
    Students are given the task of doing a specific exercise in pairs or as a small group and helping each other. It is advisable if the partners are given the task of explaining the exercise to the other. This takes a lot of thinking and you are much more focused on the matter.
  • Role change
    Have someone play the instructor and examine part of the shape. Then the roles are swapped. The teacher observes the whole thing and finally gets feedback on what has been recognized and learned.
  • Individual task
    Working out a given task together. For example, the teacher prescribes a certain self-defense situation. The students should all work out a solution together or in several small groups with their current knowledge. The teacher is always there and helps if required. Finally, the strategies found are exchanged and their advantages and disadvantages are discussed.

“Tell me - and I'll forget.
Show me - and I'll remember.
Let me do it - and I'll keep it.

With this in mind, have fun trying it out! I am happy to be there for you if you have any questions.

Your Giuseppe Schembri

Photos: Hm