Few enjoy exams. The rest detest Testing. Let’s balance these views.
Organized as an Academy, the IAW employs a regular schedule of performance-based evaluations: Testings. In the IAW-US, these are currently conducted every 6 weeks, or 8 times per year (see our Events page), either during 4-hour WingChun Seminars (held quarterly on the last Sunday of January, April, July, and October) or 2.5-hour WingChun Workshops (spread evenly between WingChun Seminars). Our curriculum is designed to progressively instill skill and the will to succeed in committed WingChun students. Goals are set and met, which motivates further development and higher achievement.
There are many ways to fall behind, but only one course to forge ahead. Quantity paves the path for quality. In other words, get better by doing more. Repetition by repetition, step by step, insight by insight, you improve in definite stages (with durations conservatively estimated at 33 reps/class and 3 classes/week):
Familiarity: 100 reps, 1 week
Proficiency: 1,000 reps, 2.5 months
Mastery: 10,000 reps, 2 years
No secrets, no shortcuts. Only consistent effort over time will create the results you envision. So what exactly does that look or, rather, feel like? In any unpredictable or challenging situation, you can connect to inner confidence. You quickly overcome insecurities and decisively change weakness to strength. You trust your senses. Thus, perception, decision, and action flow spontaneously, without intervening hesitation. This is the embodiment of mastery, which takes years.
Before then, as calculated above, proficiency requires 2-3 months, which is the average period between and competence required for Testings. Sometimes this timeframe is longer or shorter and depends on (in descending order of importance):
Attendance: Consistency and frequency of training is key
Amount: Some Programs have more material to digest
Ability: Focus, attention, memory, and reflection help
Thus, at least in the Basic and Middle Student Levels, 2-3 months is plenty to become good enough in the respective skill sets. That includes adequate performance of movements, plus sufficient grasp of their conceptual basis and practical application. Naturally, Upper Student Levels and Technician Grades may require greater diligence and self-motivation, attributes which must already exist or be nurtured as part of the aspirant’s character.
In short, Testing serves a dual – individual and organizational – purpose. For one, it is a feedback mechanism to directly check, rather than merely assume, that you really know what you should. This process illuminates areas you both excel at and fall short in, which defines specific points and encourages new directions for personal growth. Also, Testing guarantees that every student meets the overall standards (high, though universally reachable) set forth by the IAW. Each successful member represents and ensures our strength and reputation, which cultivates a source of pride in true achievement.
Although Testing may always remain a source of stress, it is a positive type that clarifies objectives and develops potential. Thus, go for it despite feelings of doubt and inadequacy. By doing so, these and other obstinate obstacles will be, must be, overcome. Meanwhile, the countdown to your next Testing ensues.
Good luck. Best, work.