Over the last few years, I’ve had the pleasure of travelling to Atlanta half a dozen times to mentor Sihing Ayron. It’s almost a second home for me now! After each visit, he has grown in his depth of understanding as a practitioner and capability to communicate as an instructor.
Starting anew with IAW WingChun after years in another style is a test of character and a challenge of will. As one of our main representatives on the East Coast, I envision Sihing Ayron continuing to mature in our unique art while inspiring his expanding student body. I appreciate the quiet diligence and admire the quick intelligence he demonstrates. These attributes will serve him well towards attaining the highest aspirations on the WingChun path.
Name: Sihing Ayron Johnson
Started: April 2003
Graduation: Pre-Primary Level
Location: Academy of WingChun Atlanta
Hometown: Marietta, Georgia
How did you find WingChun?
My dad enrolled me in Shaolin Wushu when I was in preschool or kindergarten. In the second grade, my family moved to another state and there were no other Chinese schools around. My dad studied wing chun in the past under a student of Lee Shing based in the UK. In 1990, he started learning WingTsun (WT) from Leung Ting and opened his own school. He taught me, and I loved coming to class.
I met Sifu Klaus Brand at a seminar in San Francisco around the late 90’s. There was something different about his personality and his approach to WingChun that intrigued me. Our local branch got upset with politics in WT and decided to join the International Academy of WingChun (IAW). Personally, I thought what I had learnt was only getting me so far in regards to actual fighting skill. I didn’t think the US head instructor for the WT style was that much better than I was, even though he had more knowledge than me. I was almost First Technician Level back then.
What got you to try a class?
I was introduced to the IAW when it started back in 2003. My dad was working in California and already had an introduction to Sifu Klaus Brand’s style. He was raving about all of the cool stuff that he learned from Sifu Klaus and told me to go check it out. I flew out to the IAW-US Headquarters to meet Sifu, all of the Sihings, and the students.
What made you decide to join?
When I first was introduced to the IAW, I thought that I had a good understanding of the concepts and a decent level of skill. Everything seemed a little strange to me since it was different from what I learned before. But I could tell what I saw was very high quality. Above all, everyone was extremely nice. I got nothing but positive vibes from the experience.
Why is training important to you?
I train to maintain my skill and work towards my goal of becoming the best I can in WingChun. I also want to be a good example for my students and make sure that they have quality skill. Finally, I like being proficient at something that very few people know about.
What are the benefits of WingChun?
WingChun can save you or another person from injury or death in a self-defense situation. It is also good exercise for the mind and body.
What makes WingChun unique?
I think is WingChun the most comprehensive style of self-defense.
Sum up WingChun in one word.
Describe your favorite WingChun idea.
I like the idea of attacking the attacking limb. Your defense actually attempts to cause pain to the attacker as opposed to blocking, dodging, covering up, or trying to dissipate force. The attacker will have to rethink his strategy because he is hurt every time he tries to contact you. I think this gives you a major psychological advantage since not many people expect it.
Explain your favorite WingChun movement.
I like Tsong Kuen (Thrusting Punch) and all of its variations because I think you would use it in almost every situation.
What skill do you need to most improve?
Define an ideal WingChun practitioner.
I use Sifu Klaus Brand as my benchmark.
What does it mean to be good in WingChun?
A WingChun practicioner must have a solid understanding of the concepts and can apply WingChun effectively.
What are your long-term WingChun goals?
I plan to go as far as I possibly can.
On what topic would you write a WingChun article?
Sifu Klaus Brand’s biography. I think he such an intriguing person.
What hooked you to WingChun?
I like the effectiveness and scientific nature of WingChun.
How do you apply WingChun to your life?
I believe that WingChun training affects your outlook in life. I find myself calm in stressful situations. My thinking is almost always about practicality and efficiency — how I can do things better.
How is WingChun relevant to your occupation?
My job requires me to think methodically. I find myself thinking 2 or 3 steps ahead and multiple things at the same time. I think that the technical nature of WingChun training helps me to do this.
Thanks for another great student spotlight, Sihing Paul. I enjoyed reading about Sihing Ayron, and his story upto the pre-primary level. I like when Sihing Ayron is questioned about what aspects he needs to impove, he replied with everything. Just shows what a fantastically committed individual he is. The way he responded to the second to last question actually reminds me of my philosophy.