On the weekend of August 18-19, Sifu Benny Meng traveled to Kansas City to present the VTM Yip Man Siu Nim Tau curriculum to a mixed group of martial artists, primarily Jeet Kuen Do practitioners. He was assisted by Dac Lam, a Wing Chun practitioner of several years' experience and Hung Fa Yi 2nd level student of Sifu Meng. This workshop also included VTM Siu Nim Tau Certification for Bryan Stevenson of the Mid-America Combat Guild.
Workshop group photo.
(center, l/r) Bryan Stephens, Benny Meng
Saturday's workshop began at 10:30 and didn't finish until 6:00, with a one-hour break for lunch. Sifu Meng first presented the VTM itself, its mission statement, and its latest research into Wing Chun History. Historical research information included discussion on Chi Sim Weng Chun and Hung FaYi Wing Chun. Much of this information is available in this month's issue of Wushu-Qigong magazine from TC Media (link to their site). Workshop participants asked a lot of open-minded questions about Wing Chun history, much to the surprise and delight of Sifu Meng. After the discussion on history, the workshop turned technical with an introduction to the Siu Nim Tau form. The VTM curriculum is based on the following six components: system overview, motions and techniques, forms and body mechanics, attributes, concepts, and tactics and applications. Each piece of the form was explained from these six points of view through lecture, physical example, and physical training. Before the end of the Saturday's activities, Sifu Meng demonstrated the HFYWC Siu Nim Tau and explained the differences. He also introduced the paradigm shift concept of Time and Space as taught in the original HFY lineage.
After the workshop, Sifu Meng had dinner at a delicious Vietnamese restaurant with Dac Lam's kung fu family in Kansas City. After dinner, Dac's classmate Chris took Sifu on a tour of Kansas City. During this tour, Sifu recalls a rewarding three-hour discussion with Chris on the topic of martial arts, Wing Chun history, and the lineage of Hung Fa Yi Wing Chun.
Out at dinner with Sifu Randy Li and members of his Wing Chun Kung Fu and Tai Chi family.
Sunday's workshop began at 11:00 and finished at 4:00. The second day focused more on the training exercises at the Siu Nim Tau level: from paak sau, to laahp sau, to don chi sau, and then to luk sau. Each exercise was explained from the six-point perspective introduced the previous day. Sifu Meng demonstrated chi sau with Dac Lam and also touched hands with several workshop participants. The workshop finished with an open discussion; Bryan shared a little bit on the JKD concepts during this time as well. After the workshop, Sifu Meng had dinner with several Kansas City martial artists include a Tai Ji practitioner and Sifu Randy Li, Dac Lam's Yip Man Ving Tsun Sifu.
Sifu Meng described the entire event as a very positive experience - the participants were overwhelmingly friendly and open-minded. He extends his sincerest thanks to Bryan and Dac for organizing the workshop and serving as excellent hosts.
Feedback from workshop participants
"Day one - good detailed information. Some may not like the history part, but I believe it is important to understand the totality of the art. Excellent technical information. Day two - great basics. Really got a better understanding of principles."
"I really liked the seminar, the history and theory as well as practice... We covered a lot! I do wish we would we would have spent a bit more time on straight punching. Again - THANK YOU!"
"I was only able to attend day 2 of the seminar. The explanations behind each piece of the form were very helpful. I would have enjoyed more time working on the basic stance and form before advancing into the drills. A wealth of information from a obvious expert. Thank you!"
"Very in-depth, exactly what we are looking for - more than techniques, principles live for ever. Come back soon."
"I wanted to thank you for travelling to KC/Independence to conduct the seminar/workshop over the weekend. I really enjoyed the time learning and training. I like your methodical, logical and practical approach in evaluating the systems."