Black Sash Traditional Wing Chun
I’ve always trained in
one way or the other, weight lifting, cycling, swimming, boxing. All through
my teens I did various sports of one kind or another. I’d always
wanted to do a martial art and had tried karate but it didn’t really
Anyway I heard about Wing Chun
and thought that it might be more my kind of martial art.
It wasn’t until I went
to work in Brussels about 5 years ago that I actually found a club quite
near to where I lived.
Well to cut a long story short,
I went and had a look; I liked the club and the people. There was one
problem though, the lessons were taught in French, a language I didn’t
understand (even now) but the Sifu was patient and quite amused I think,
by a monolingual Brit struggling to learn Wing Chun and French at the
Well my Wing Chun progressed
even if my French did not.
My work in Belgium finished
and I found myself in Oxford and wanted to find a new place to train.
I had been looking
on the web and was intrigued by “The School of Martial Arts –
SOMA” at Oxford Brookes’ University, Oxford.
Some clubs can be very inward
looking and discourage people who have a different style or outlook from
I found SOMA to be
refreshing, it’s good to try other styles, and after all in the
real world people don’t stick to a script, they don’t always
punch in a certain way. They kick you when you’re on the ground
and sometimes even use illegal weapons (Oh dear…).
At SOMA it is these
types of scenarios that are discussed and replicated within the lesson!
They have pads, mats and bags
if you want to practice striking or cover ground work; also a Muk Chong
- "Wooden Dummy".
The Black Belt ‘students’
come from various styles (or none at all) and have different levels of
The club has a nice atmosphere,
the students laugh a lot, and the enjoyment factor seems high. Eddy our
Sifu does his best to make all welcome; it doesn’t matter to him
if you’re young, old, a black belt or novice.
He’s there to help everyone.