I’ve never even been to a kwoon, dojo, dojang, or any other kind of Martial Arts school in my life, but I love the martial art of Wing Chun and wish to learn it. But there is no school where I live, and I have been gathering information on it every day and practicing and putting to use that which I learn. I’m just wondering if it is possible to become a self-taught expert?
Reply from Rob:
I get asked this often and this is the gist of how I usually reply:
>> It’s plausible.
If you have zero martial arts or kung fu or Wing Chun background then it could be very tough. Kind of like learning to swim by reading a book or watching a video.
If you already have a Wing Chun background, then self-learning and self-study with quality instructional tools can help you accelerate, polish your rough edges, provide you with a tool to invest more training time.
In either case above, your improvement will be affected by your level of determination and the quality of the instruction.
For instance, I taught myself many things like basic computer programming and guitar. My daughter learned how to knit and crochet watching quality videos. My kids learned algebra and trigonometry by reading a high quality ‘self-taught’ math book. I have a friend who learned to be a very decent golfer by reading tutorials and watching quality training videos.
In a pinch:
If you must use a self-study tool because of circumstances, that’s a good start (better than nothing). Then, find opportunities to travel to the nearest kwoon for hands-on training and coaching. You may be able to work out an arrangement with the sifu to give you some kind of special deal.
If you go this route, start with quality self-taught instruction.<<
Quality self-taught instruction.
A lot of Wing Chun, kung fu, martial arts, and self-protection books and videos have good content.
But not many are designed to be self-taught instructional tools. So they often have many gaps or gloss over certain points because they’re not meant to instruct and teach, but rather to entertain and provide data.
These are not the same things.
And that’s a big deal. The difference that makes the difference.
My kids taught themselves algebra (they’re half-way done with algebra 2) and it’s not because they’re math geniuses, it’s because we bought a math system designed for self-teaching. Kids learn on their own without the need of a teacher.
Quality instruction. Either live or on your own. It’s possible. How far can you go? That’s up to you.
But you need to start strong.
I’ve collected a number of high-quality, self-taught Wing Chun instructional videos.
If you’ve been putting off training because you physically can’t get instruction… No more excuses:
Thanks for your question and seek the straightest path,