Student Spotlight on Matt Hawkinson

My long-term goals in WingChun are constant life-long improvement.
— Matt Hawkinson

What I admire about Matt, besides his grounding presence in class, is that despite the full-time rigors of career and parenthood, he still consistently advances his WingChun ability. Thus, as a role model of self-motivation and ongoing training without excuses, I’d like to acknowledge our HQ Berkeley Assistant Instructor, one of my most long-standing students.

Matt is always positive.

Name: Matt Hawkinson
Graduation: First Technician Grade
Academy: HQ Berkeley
Instructor: Sihing Paul Wang
Hometown: Simi Valley, CA
Started: July 1998

How did you hear about WingChun?
Next door neighbor.

What got you to come to class?
I had always wanted to learn a martial art and what he showed me seemed very logical, which I found appealing.

What hooked you to WingChun?
Its practicality and realism.

Why do you currently do WingChun?
Infinite reasons including, but not limited to, Self-Defense, developing knowledge of and control over one’s own body, and the satisfaction of making progress in something you love doing.

What is your favorite aspect of WingChun?
My favorite aspect of WingChun is that all of its many aspects fit together and complement one another like a jigsaw puzzle. As you study WingChun and develop more insight into what WingChun is, then you can see more pieces of that puzzle and understand how each contributes to the whole.

How would you sum up WingChun in one word?

What is your favorite WingChun motto?
As I have heard Sihing Paul say before “Every thing is everything,” which is definitely my favorite WingChun motto.

Who is your WingChun role model?
Sifu Klaus Brand.  For anyone who has seen him there is no explanation needed. For those who haven’t, go to the next seminar.

What is your favorite section of the first Form?
Section 6, starting with left Gam Sao (Pressing Arm).

How is WingChun relevant to what your occupation?
The principal of forward motion is very relevant to the workplace. Take the initiative and make progress.

How do you apply WingChun in your life?
I try to be both strong and flexible simultaneously as I adapt and react to the events in my life. If the way is free, go forward to take advantage of any opportunities that arise. Just as in WingChun we economically use only the muscles we need to, so in my life I try to relax about things that I don’t need to be stressed over.

What are your long-term WingChun goals?
My long-term goals in WingChun are constant life-long improvement.

How would you improve upon WingChun?
Good question!

If you were to write a thesis on WingChun, what would it be?
I would choose to write about the “paradoxes” present in WingChun. Hit hard but stay soft, go forward even while moving back, be rooted and also highly mobile, and be all of these at the same time. I would try to show how it is possible that all these apparent contradictions can coexist in WingChun.

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