In the year 2000 after reading an article by kung fu instructor Sifu Rawcliffe in a leading martial arts magazine, I decided to see what Wing Chun kung fu had to offer. From the very first class I was hooked by the sheer simple effectiveness of the techniques and the scientific basis of the underlying theory. Since that first class I haven’t looked back. I now hold a level 2 BCCMA coaching certificate and regularly assist Sifu Rawcliffe at both the Hall Green and Solihull classes, as well as teaching my own classes in Redditch and Bromsgrove.
My journey through martial arts began many years ago at the tender age of five when I enrolled at the local Karate club and whilst my childhood training in Karate was short lived my passion for the martial arts had been lit. During my teenage years I gained a black belt in a style based on Taekwondo before my journey lead me to discover Muay Thai in my early twenties, a style which I studied for around five years before I found my true calling. Despite over 10 years in Wing Chun, my desire to improve my personal skill level is stronger than ever. I train daily at my home in Redditch, travel to Midlands Wing Chun Kuen classes across the region each week to train and have private training sessions with both Sifu Rawcliffe and a number of senior instructors on a regular basis. I also travel regularly to Hong Kong to attend classes run by Si Gung Ip Chun.
I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn Wing Chun from Sifu Rawcliffe. In martial arts being able to trace the source of what you are learning is important and I am proud to be able to say that through Sifu Rawcliffe we can trace our lineage back directly to Ip Man through his son, Si-Gung Ip Chun
As a teacher I draw upon my experiences of working as a professional coach, hypnotherapist and as a trainer in industry to help students to improve. I’m passionate about helping my students to learn at a pace that suits them and having been on the receiving end of a number of teaching methods over the years I understand well that everyone has a way of learning (and hence being taught) that works best for them.
Sifu Rawcliffe began his martial arts training in judo at the age of of twelve, in Harrogate North Yorkshire but he soon left to join the local Karate school where he studied for over six years. In 1979 fate intervened and he received a serious hamstring injury that forced him to stop training for six months. During this time he saw an advert in the local paper for a new Wing Chun school opening in a local hall so he went along to watch. After three years of intensive study Sifu Rawcliffe moved to Birmingham and in 1982 opened his first school in the Hall Green area where he still teaches today nearly thirty years later. In 1985 Si Gung Ip Chun conducted a seminar at the Birmingham school and Sifu Rawcliffe was so impressed with his ability and openness that he invited him back every year from then on to conduct seminars. During these seminars Si Gung would often spend several days staying at SIfu Rawcliffe’s home and it was following one of these seminars that Si Gung Ip Chun invited Sifu Rawcliffe to train with him in Hong Kong. In May of 1989 Sifu Rawcliffe made his first visit to Hong Kong, staying for six weeks and receiving intensive personal one to one training each day at Si Gung Ip Chun’s home. Since 1990 Sifu Rawcliffe has returned regularly to Hong Kong to train privately with Si Gung at his home or alongside his kung fu brothers at the public classes. Sifu Rawcliffe is the Midlands Wing Chun Kuen Chief Instructor, and one of only eighteen Wing Chun Instructors in the world (one of only three in the UK), directly certified as an Instructor and representative by Wing Chun’s Grandmaster, Ip Chun.
Ip Chun Si-Gung, the eldest son of the late Grandmaster Yip Man (Yip Gei-Man), was born in 1924 in Foshan, China. He began studying Wing Chun with his father when he was 7 years old. In 1962 Ip Chun and his younger brother Ip Ching , were forced to leave China for Hong Kong, where they lived with their father. He re-started his Wing Chun studies with his father, maintaining the Chinese tradition of passing down the Kung Fu skills from father to son. Master Ip Chun trained with his father every evening. In 1967 Master Ip Chun began teaching Wing Chun in Hong Kong with his father’s blessing and it is testimony indeed that some of those first students such as Ho Po Kai and Leung Chung Wai still train with him today. Today at over eighty six years of age, Master Ip Chun is one of the most successful Wing Chun teachers in Hong Kong teaching five days a week to individuals at his home or to small groups at the Ving Tsun Athletic Association, as well as teaching a class in Shatin once a week.