Researching Wu Shu / Wing Chun Schools for Martial Arts

When I was in Uni, I took up Wing Chun and got a belt for it.  I regret not continuing it to see how far I could have gone.  After watching the recent Ip Man movies, I have been inspired to send the boys to learn Wing Chun.

After over-scheduling Gavin earlier this year with disastrous results, I have been very careful about selecting extra-curricular classes for him.  It has been an intense debate trying to decide whether he should do Chinese, Swimming or Martial Arts.  Of course there are many other classes we could have selected as well, like Tennis, but there are only so many days in a week, and only so many hours you can do something meaningful once you minus school, sleep, and all the other necessary activities.

Gavin has always been a bit timid and a bit of a couch potato so I wanted him to take up a sport.  Since I bought the Doman book on How to Teach Your Baby to Swim and have been working on it with Gareth, I felt confident I would be able to teach Gavin how to swim, too.  So Martial Arts it is.  Besides, in this day and age with the kind of stories you read in the newspapers, I think self-defense is becoming a more important subject for a child to take up.

I started researching Wing Chung schools in Malaysia when I came across a school promoting itself as being from “Ip Man’s lineage“.  The Grand Master at this school, Brandon Chan, was a disciple of Ip Chun who studied Wing Chun under Ip Man.  Well, why learn from somewhere else when you can learn from the Grand Master himself?  I was all for this school when I stumbled across a forum debate about “Ip Man’s lineage”.  The message was short and sweet: “there are many schools trying to ride on the recent Ip Man movies and are falsely claiming Ip Man lineage so be careful.”

After searching around a bit more, I was shocked to read that Brandon Chan had been arrested for trading license fraud.  See the youtube video below for more info…

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOG0nztX0Nc

Okay, so he got arrested.  Does that mean his school is bad?  Well, he got arrested for fraud, so what does that say about his claims to Ip Man’s lineage?  Do they still hold true?  Not according to Dancing Fist’s post in a Martial Arts Forum and more here.  So it looks like not only does he not have Ip Man’s lineage, his Kung Fu seems questionable at best.

Early this year, the Malaysian International Ving Chun Kung Fu Federation published an announcement cementing their ties to Grand Master Ip Chun.  So it looks like Brandon Chan’s claims have been certified – or have they?  Having a history of fraud doesn’t inspire much confidence even with paper evidence that could be easily forged.  What do you think?  Would you still study under Brandon Chan?

I looked up alternatives in the Wing Chun Ip Man lineage in Malaysia and found another instructor – Simon Hew.  He learned from Stephen Chan, who studied under Chow Sze Chuen, who was a disciple of Ip Man.  Unfortunately, there are no details on class schedules or fees, but I read somewhere that he charges RM150/month.  I’ve written to him to ask for more details so hopefully we’ll hear back from him soon.

If Wushu is what you’re looking for (not necessarily specifically Wing Chung), then perhaps Rumen Wushu might be up your alley.  If you know of any other Kung Fu schools in Malaysia that are open to teaching young children, please drop me a note in the comments below.

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of Figur8.net (a website on parenting, education, child development) and RightBrainChild.com (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

2 thoughts on “Researching Wu Shu / Wing Chun Schools for Martial Arts

  1. I understand what you went through. I too have a son. I can tell you up front wing chun is not suitable for kids. I would say 16 and above. It is better to start him off with Judo. The knowledge of breaking falls is more important.

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  2. Hi Lawrence. Sorry for the late reply. It seems I missed this comment entirely. My FIL, who also practiced martial arts in his youth, said the same thing. So now I’ve got my boy on Judo…

    I also read somewhere else that some forms of martial arts are especially not recommended for young children because they are hard on the joints.

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