LUNG FU MUN VING TSUN GUNG FU
DRAGON TIGER GATE WING CHUN KUNG FU
Authentic IP Ching Wing Chun School
I am Choying Huynh, a direct student of Sifu (Master) Dennis Moreland, 3rd generation of IP Ching lineage of Wing Chun Kung Fu. I've been training with Sifu Dennis since late 2012 and continue to take private lessons with my master. Learning and practicing kung fu takes a lifetime to master.
I teach the IP Ching's Ving Tsun chinese martial art and meditation.We honor IP Man's code of conduct. You will learn the IP Ching's way of Ving Tsun and how apply it effectively in the modern world.
My goal is to help you cultivate the art of self-defense, movement, better coordination, better reflexes, focus, speed and power. Our forms are built on both mindfulness and ability to connect to our body mechanics.
Our drills help train us in better reflexes and sensitivity. They allow our muscle memory to take over when we need to use it in self-defense. I guide each person in making the concepts of the art their own.
Our school is associated with my Master Dennis Moreland and his school West County Wing Chun (wcwingchun.com).
Why should you want to learn Kung Fu and integrate it into your daily life?
There are many reasons why people choose to train Kung Fu. Whether it is for health, self-defense or spiritual nourishment. In traditional Chinese culture, Qi (Chi) is believed to be a vital force forming part of any living entity.
Our body is a temple where our life resides, Qi (Chi) is what gives energy to life, its essence nourishes and sustains our being, spirit is the key that governs and controls life.
Based on this belief, training in Kung Fu, commitment and effort can greatly contribute toward a healthy life.
Developing your body physically is not only healthy, but a path toward self-discipline, mindfulness, and empowerment.
Fighting skills allow you to defend yourself, and increase your self-confidence. Self-awareness is also increased, allowing you to understand your strengths and limitations. The ability to help and assist others in your own home, community, and society.
My philosophy in learning and practice Kung Fu is to develop a framework, a state of mind that seeks to avoid confrontation, minimize stress and develop strategies for dealing with everyday life.
Meditation is training the mind. Mindfulness can be cultivated through meditation, a powerful way to expand your awareness. Being in a state of meditation means being present with what is.
Awareness of the breath helps focus the mind and brings you back to the present moment. Paying attention to the breath in the body as part of your meditation practice teaches you about whom you are in your body.
Meditation does not activate chi, it is a practice of mindfulness. Mindfulness is a key component of meditation that heightened awareness of the present moment. This includes awareness of your thoughts, emotions and physical body sensations.
In Kung Fu, the word “root” means to build a strong foundation. The saying “be rooted” is how well your entire body is able to connect with the ground, which is a misconception. In Kung Fu, rooting is tied to your stance and structure. When you’re rooted, you can deliver much more power without using force. The one who is rooted is in harmony with both internal and external energy. To become truly rooted, it takes a lifetime of practice and training.
Lastly, Kung Fu means hard work through repetition. It’s not a practice that makes it perfect. It’s a perfect practice that makes it perfect.
“A tree without roots is just a piece of wood” – Marco Pierre White
My Core Values and Cultivation
1. Harmony – When the mind, body, and spirit work together in a balanced flow of energy, it creates a harmony that leads to well-being in both our inner and outer worlds.
2. Sovereignty – A true sovereign is one who knows how to live in harmony with the natural laws of nature. Reclaim your own power by living in harmony with your own boundaries and responsibility.
3. Love – Love is everything.
4. Truth – Our truth is our understanding of our own beliefs and experiences. It consists of our discernment between the universal truth and human perception. Our truth changes as our beliefs and experiences change. Speak your truth, but know that not everyone speaks the same truth.
5. Freedom – One must be a sovereign being and be free from within. Freedom is where both the mind and heart live without fear.
6. Self-Worthiness – Believe in yourself no matter how much you think you have failed. How people see you and their view of others is based on how worthy they see themselves. Self-worthiness does not need validation from anyone.
7. Compassion – Give love, and love others without expectations; but it is also important to know that you can choose how you want to give love, without explanations. Giving back and helping others without a reason is compassion, too. Setting boundaries is compassion towards oneself. Do not let anyone shame you about why you should do something or not.
8. Gratitude – It is gratitude that brings us joy in everything. Even when things don’t go the way we want, gratitude will take us back to our present moment.
9. Forgiveness – Forgiving others is forgiving oneself. Everyone is doing his or her very best. Forgiveness leads to compassion.
10. Acceptance – When you fully understand and embody the nine values of harmony, sovereignty, love, truth, freedom, self-worthiness, compassion, gratitude, and forgiveness, then you will begin to accept everything the way that they are. Every person is perfect at their own human experience.
11. Joy and Happiness – Happiness can be created by external things, but joy is something internal. The present moment is filled with joy and happiness.
12. Wisdom – Wisdom comes from within. Knowledge alone do not give you wisdom. Understanding, learning, knowledge, and experience; applying all of these to life, can obtain wisdom. Wisdom is based on inner personal experience.
13. Health – Our body is our temple. Taking care of our body will take care of us as we age. Breathe deeply, Sleep more, eat less, drink more water, connect with nature, exercise.
From my Master Dennis Moreland
To all Members:
Most of you know that I starting working a project on the comparison of martial art systems as it relates to titles and responsibilities of both traditional and modern fighting styles. I feel that the being able to "buy rank", black belt factories, over commercialization of martial arts, and a world of instant gratification has plagued martial arts today, in particular, traditional martial arts. But it has made it's way into modern combatives and MMA as well. Nowadays most traditional academies rely on their given "Titles" and "Rank" then they do in their training. Thus, this is why most traditional MA is felt to be noneffective. There are other reasons as well: closed mindedness, ego, etc., but that is a topic for another project. Today I see "rank" and "titles" given out or paid for all the time, thus this "Paper Tiger" attitude as run from teacher to student, to that student's, student and so on. The "Title" or "Rank" has become entitlement, a label, an end goal, or badge of superiority instead of behavior, humbleness, hard work, passing on, giving back, and constant development of one's self. I have received great information from different martial artists across the world on this subject. Although my project is not finished yet, I feel that is most important to share with you the Chinese Kung Fu side of things, more importantly the Wing Chun side as we start into a new year. As you read this I want you think about what kind of student you are and what kind of student do you want to be.
The Kung Fu hierarchy is set up just like a family tree. This is also in Japanese arts, but a little different. Sigung (Garandmaster or Teacher's Teacher), Sifu (Teacher/Father), Si Hing ( Older Brother) Si Mui (Older Sister), Si Dai (Younger Brother. "Dai" should be used with a falling tone to signify "low"), Si Jie ( Younger Sister, again with a falling tone), Si Pak (Uncle that started before your Sifu), and Si Sook (Uncle that started after your Sifu). This family tree should be respected just as your own family. Your Si Hing will always be your older brother no matter if his skill is better or less then yours and should be treated as such, just as you would show respect to an older sibling even if you got better grades, a better paying job, or accelerated in sports more than them. In turn, the Si Hing should be nurturing and willing to share their knowledge with the Si Dai that they have learned from the Sifu, helping them develop into better students. An older sibling will guide or advise their younger brothers and sisters based on their life experience and what they had learned form their parents, help them become better people and avoid pitfalls they may have had along the way. Also, the older sibling, or in this case, the Si Hing would be able to share their unique take on things. As a younger sibling or Si Dai you would be very grateful for sharing the experience with you. I know myself growing up, I always felt like I got really cool insights form my Uncles and cousins. One because they were usually very funny people, but because it was something just shared between the two of us at that time. On the other hand, I was always sharing my quirky sense of humor and experiences with my younger family members and I did my best to help them if I could. These kinds of interactions make for a strong Kung Fu family. When you hear of a troubled child or adult later in life, often we hear that there was no, or not a very good, role model for them. Nobody was there to guide them giving the benefit of their experience and nurturing or maybe they come from a broken home with no support system and the older siblings are always in trouble or involved with drugs running their lives. This too can ruin or make for a weak Kung Fu family. What I mean by this is, the Sifu must be the support mechanism of the school, but if the Si Hings or Si Muis are not in, their skill will fall and set a bad example for the Si Dai. When the Si Hing or senior students are not in the class there is no one for the Si Dai or Junior students to look up to or to share that unique insight with. The Si Dai will feel alone in their training and unmotivated. Worse yet, when the senior students are irregular or erratic in their training, the skill drops away. Then, there is no example for the junior student. The Si Dai will say, "The Sifu has good skill, but the Senior students are not very good. So, the Sifu must not be a very good teacher." and will leave! Believe me, a junior student looks forward to any insight from their senior (and senior can be months or years ahead) just as much as a little boy looks to his older brother or sister. So, being a good Si Hing or Si Mui is a critical part of having a strong family and comes with a lot of responsibility if they want the Martial Family to succeed. Although the Si Dai is the "Life's Blood" of the school, keeping the family growing. It is imperative that the Si Dai are respectful and thankful for the Si Hings teaching to ensure that they, themselves, will become a good Si Hing. It is also both the responsibility of both the senior and junior student to motivate each other, to give each other that proverbial kick in the ass, if you will, when they get lazy or miss class!
So we can see from the above how the Kung Fu family works. Now I would like to cover the roles of the students and what the titles mean. There is Hok San, ToDai, and Dai Gee. We often hear the term ToDai used for student in Kung Fu. Actually my Sifu Ip Ching uses the term ToDai for all his students, but this can be very confusing to westerners. The term ToDai translates as "Follower" or "Disciple" and has more to do with behavior and actions versus a title. We all have heard the terms "indoor student" and "regular student". The general term in Cantonese for student is Hok San. Hok San has nothing to do with martial arts at all. Hok San just means student, but in our case Hok San means "regular student". Hok San is a crucial part of school especially if the school is a full time academy used to make a living. If you walked into your local Karate School, you would see a lot more white belts than colored belts. As you looked around you would see less and less colored belts as the ranks go up to maybe only 5 black belts. So the Hok San is the schools "Life's Blood" as long as they understand what it means to be Hok San. I talked to my Si Hing Wing Chen about the role of Hok San. I also asked my Si Hing Albert Chan and Si Dai Nicholas Wong. As expected, the answers were parallel. The responsibility of the Hok San is to be on time and make his/her classes, promote the school and Sifu, pay on time, and follow the Sifu. The Hok San is a general student, but we can see there is more to being a student then just signing up. Making your classes speaks for itself as we covered in the Kung Fu Family. Promoting the school and Sifu is just as important as paying class dues. If you are not helping the school get more students, then the school will eventually close. This is seen as a very selfish student; a student that is in it only for themselves. It's no different than a person that asks to join your table, eats your food and leaves with out helping on the tab. These types of students should be given proper direction or asked to leave. As far as our school is concerned, I have given a lot of promotions to help build the school with very little participation. The latest was the flyer competition. I know a lot of you took flyers and said they passed them out, but we needed photos for proof for the competition. I had 4. That's less than 1% of the total amount of students in the school. Paying on time is seen as a matter of respect for the Sifu and school. It also shows that you're an honorable person. Westerners have the "I pay, you teach" attitude and, to no fault of our own, living in a consumer driven lifestyle. I, myself, find it very disrespectful when students are continually late on tuition. The Hok San should also follow the Sifu. This doesn't mean just listening to direction, but do their best to attend functions and seminars both in and out of the academy and also to list and follow the direction of the senior students and train their best! Hok San might be a "regular" student, but still has a role to fulfill if they wish to be part of the academy.
That brings us to the title and role of the ToDai. Remember, title without actions means nothing! The ToDai is a "Follower" or "Disciple" of the Sifu. The responsibility for the ToDai can be vast and not to be taken lightly. ToDai and the Dai Gee are very similar, but as we talked in our Kung Fu family structure, the Dai Gee would be the "namesake". The ToDai is a very loyal student following only one Sifu in a given system. They are expected to assist the Sifu in daily teachings of the Si Dai. They are a crucial part of the development of the junior students, taking it upon themselves to assist Si Dai. The ToDai may not be the most senior, but they are expected to have a lot of talent. They must train beyond the Hok San to keep their skill up and lead by example. The ToDai is expected to spend a lot of time with the Sifu both in and out of the academy. The ToDai should also assist the Sifu on matters concerning the academy. This can be on promotional ideas, teaching syllabus, running of the association, seminars, functions or student matters. The Si Dai should report all matters of concern to the ToDai and then report it to the Sifu. The ToDai should make sure the Si Dai have all the information they need. If not, they should let the Sifu know so the Sifu can pass it on. The ToDai is like a right hand man to the Sifu. There may be more the one ToDai in the school. ToDai exemplify great leadership and humbleness. They should also show much support for the Sifu financially(tuition), spiritually, and conduct themselves accordingly both in and out of the academy. The ToDai should never stop learning. Even if they have "completed" the system, they should continue to learn from the Sifu's lifetime of experience, continue to refine and develop their skill making it their own. Another role of the ToDai is to network, promote their Sifu's Kung Fu, meet other martial artists and establish a good rapports. The ToDai is also to accompany the Sifu on all events both in and out of the academy. This includes seminars and martial art functions. Our academy will be requiring this for all that students that are, or want to be, ToDai. I can't tell you the amount of networking seminars I've done in the area with no assistance, only to to blindly have someone else's student to demonstrate with. The upside of that is I know what I teach works!
Finally, there is the Dai Gee. Unlike Si Dai, The Dai should be used with a rising tone to signify upper or high. For the most part the roles of the Dai Gee and the ToDai are quite the same. Dai Gee is the namesake for the kung fu family. There can only be one or very little Dai Gee that is appointed by the Sifu. When the Sifu appoints the Dai Gee, he can not refuse. It's not like Luca Bratzi and Don Corleone during the wedding scene of The Godfather. It's that the Sifu has so much faith in the Dai Gee that it's an honor to fulfill the role. The Dai Gee is not only a senior student, but is one of the highest skilled. The Dai Gee has spent an inordinate amount of time with the Sifu training during the class and in private. The Dai Gee assists the Sifu on every level. The Dai Gee is also a teacher themselves. There can only be one Sifu in the school, but there can be many assistants. The Dai Gee should train in all of what the Sifu does. I, myself, will not appoint a Dai Gee but will appoint a head Si Hing instead. Through my research and assistance of other martial art instructors, I've developed a Dai Gee training program. My biggest influences for this was my Si Hing Wing Chen and my Sensi Brandon Hetzler. Given some of my recent health issues and injuries got me thinking, what if something happened to me? There is no one that could cover all my classes. I have some students that could cover some, but not all so I realized I have no "namesake". So, the Dai Gee program is an accelerated learning program in EVERYTHING I do just as I have learned them. They will also be tested under the same people that have, or will be, testing me. The training program is a rigorous and in-depth course. This course is offered to only a select few that have been with me at least one year in any given system. If you are interested in the Dai Gee program you will be required to submit a letter on why you want to be enrolled in this course. Please note, not everyone will be accepted.
I hope this has clarified what the titles and roles mean. Take the time to think about where you are at and where you want to be. Together we can can continue to grow this academy strong.
Sifu (Master) Dennis Moreland