The new year is well along. And already we’ve done a lot. We started off by officially inaugurating the United States Headquarters of the International Academy of WingChun in Berkeley on January 9-10, 2009. Six months of tough work culminated in a celebration of this next chapter with so many of you.
Opening night featured fun, family, friends, and food. As well as a raffle for special prizes like a WingChun hoodie, clock, poster, and gift certificate. Sharing the movement and meaning of our art during the intro demo was a nice treat. Several key points were touched upon, including the broader import and deeper significance of our name “WingChun” (literally “Praising Springtime, which I interpreted as “Loving Life”) and the classical saying “拳由心發” (transliterated as Kuen Yau Sum Fut and translated as “Art Starts from Heart”). The framework of physical, psychological, and philosophical scales of Self-Defense was presented as primarily practical. Then for the first time in the US, attendees witnessed the IAW Wooden Dummy (Mok Yan Jang 木人樁) set. With the rush of last minute preparations there was no time for a test run, so what you saw was really the initial performance. Luckily, the wood stayed on the wall!
On January 10, we held a series of three sessions, each focusing on one aspect of the WingChun training methodology. The Form Class covered the unique way we develop mind-body coordination, especially in terms of concentration of intent and control of relaxation. The Flow Class focused on using Lat Sao and Puen Sao to develop calm skillful interaction of speed, power, and energy between partners. The Function Class showcased simple, natural, and effective responses to a variety of neck, arm, and body grabs. Because the day flew by so fast, we must have, by definition, been enjoying ourselves!
Things continued to unfold with the start of WingChun Tigers children’s classes on January 17, the addition of Wednesday evening classes on January 21, my first WingChun Seminar at the Academy of WingChun Atlanta on January 17, and our first WingChun Seminar at the new IAW-US HQ on January 25. So on we go!