I came across Sunny Tang Wing Chun Club in 2011 when I studied English as a second language in Victoria. From the first moment, I got welcomed warmly from Sifu Jim Kragtwyk and all of his students. That first impression of the club removed my doubts and worries about the language barrier I had.
I had some Wing Chun experiences in Switzerland before I started training in Victoria. Well, honestly, I thought I had some. When I started to train with my Kung Fu brothers and sisters I immediately was so impressed about their skills and knowledge of Wing Chun Kung Fu. Sifu and my older brothers and sisters were able to explain and show me the movements and the principle of Wing Chun very clearly without hiding any facts.
After two months’ training I had already more Wing Chun skills and awareness than after participating for one year at a Wing Chun club in Switzerland. I could train around ten hours a week, and that shows how much effort Sifu Jim and my older brother’s and sister’s put into Kung Fu. Everybody helps and supports each other even though there are issues outside of Wing Chun. I’ve never seen such a strong bond in any martial arts club I’ve ever been.
After leaving Canada I checked out some Wing Chun clubs around my hometown and there are a lot but I couldn’t find any one close to the skill and knowledge of Wing Chun Kung Fu as at the Sunny Tang Wing Chun club in Victoria. I left those trial lessons with a disappointing feeling that made me want to go to Victoria to train every year even though it’s just for a week. I have to point out that at Jim’s classes they pay much more attentions to correct forms, movements, positions, basic drills (good foundation), than other schools. Also at Sunny Tang Wing Chun you learn the whole curriculum.
Every time when I had visited I got stoked about the improvements of all of the students. Also, it’s nice to see how an awesome Wing Chun club attracts new members with great personalities. Thank you Sifu and all my sisters and brothers in Canada; you guys have made me to feel at home in Canada and also have created the desire to move there permanently.
I’ve been a member of West Coast Sunny Tang Kung Fu since 2011. My first visit to the club made an extraordinary positive impression on me. Sifu Kragtwyk took time from teaching to discuss Wing Chun with me. Students greeted me and introduced themselves. I’ve continued to enjoy the friendly and supportive atmosphere fostered in the club. Dedicated instructors guide training through a linear, uncomplicated syllabus with the support of senior students. Rewarding opportunities are provided for those that want to learn. Direct instruction is balanced with an expectation that I think about and study to achieve my own understanding. This makes it possible to train without ever feeling stale or unchallenged, and leads to many great “a-ha!” moments shared with fellow students.
Wing Chun has been the balance I have been looking for.
Being self-employed as a holistic practitioner, my schedule is demanding, my focus is often split and I expend a lot of energy giving to others. Wing Chun provides me with that much needed space for mental-emotional release as well as devoted and focused time on my own internal growth. In addition to the physical exercise, practicality and relative ease on the body, it has provided me with many fringe benefits including relieving benign positional vertigo and chronic anxiety.
It is a safe, tolerant and non-judgmental place for any individual who is interested in working on themselves and developing a relationship with their own personal kung fu. It is a safe and empowering place, to express myself and build confidence as a young woman of colour. It is also for me a discipline that comes closest to an active, moving spiritual practice. Wing Chun, not unlike my practice of acupuncture, is an art, a way of life, and a life journey and I am blessed to have crossed paths.
Wing Chun is, for me, an opportunity to get in tune with my own body. As a University student that also has to balance a full-time job, there was not much time for physical activity in my life. This was a less than ideal situation, and I found myself constantly getting sick for long periods of time. I’d always wanted to practice a martial art, and in the space between semesters, I decided to give it a try. I was instantly hooked. Between the excellent attitude of my Sifu to the host of supportive brothers and sisters at the club, I had found the balance I had been unknowingly looking for. I get sick far less, I’m happier, and I have much more confidence than I used to. Not to say that it is easy, mind you; training Wing Chun takes time and dedication, and I have much to learn. But, it is entirely worth it. Come join us!
I have been training with West Coast Sunny Tang for more than four years, an experience that has reshaped my outlook on life. I have seen others in the club exhibit similar changes, developing not only as martial artists but as confident, respectful people of character. I have had the privilege of meeting kung fu brothers and sisters from across Canada, all with similar attributes. The martial applications of Wing Chun (aka Ving Tsun) are phenomenal, our lineage and curriculum outstanding; of this I have no doubt. The gift to each individual of instilling a certain strength of character or perhaps enabling that which was already there to flourish, is even greater. I have experienced this growth, seen it in others and will continue to help give others what has been given to me. This is a kung fu family, not just a martial arts club.
Wing Chun is a simple and effective system for self defense / martial arts. Sifu Jim provides an excellent training environment and practical approach for learning this style of kung fu regardless of your age, physical size, or ability. The other students are friendly and helpful – we’re all friends here. Check out Youtube if you’re completely unfamiliar with Wing Chun (aka Ving Tsun, Wing Tsun).