Make friends with understanding, affection and Wing Chun.
Martial Art is the art of stopping conflicts: our first priority in the pursuit of Wing Chun is not to hurt the opponent's body, but to win the opponent's heart.
Don't be afraid of making mistakes, including, of course, mistakes in English. The more mistakes you make, the faster you improve yourself.
It doesn't take a genius to learn Wing Chun well (because Wing Chun itself is a genius); it only takes a persistent and passionate worker.

Students’ Letters and Replies

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21


1

Dear all,

First let me tell you something about the Carnegie Hall in New York. It’s the place where only the best (or the most privileged) musicians in the world can have the chance to perform, and it’s said that if you want to become one of them, you have to practise, on top of your ingenuity, at least a total of 10000 hours (over the span of about 10 years), perhaps with a bit of luck as well.

It took me about half of the total number of hours mentioned above to learn from my Sifu for nine years (until he died), but that doesn’t mean that I’m half as successful as the great musicians in the world, mainly because I am not very talented in learning Wing Chun (although I sometimes pointed out to you it may not take a genius to learn Wing Chun successfully because Wing Chun itself is a genius). Anyway I pride myself on my achievements in Wing Chun.

Now back to business. I am writing to say a premature goodbye to all of you for I’ll most probably be going back to Hong Kong (for good?) with my family members in half a year’s time.

I have been pondering rather painfully over what time I should tell you this unhappy piece of news. Initially I thought I was going to tell you a few weeks before my departure, but, as a responsible Sifu, I have finally decided to tell you now, on the following grounds.

First there are realistic considerations. If I tell you this a long time before my departure (as I am now), I have to take the risk of its doing some harm to your morale and (admittedly) to my income. But after careful consideration, I still want to do so because I don’t want to see a minority of you wasting your time and money to continue learning Wing Chun. As seen in the attitude of some students during this long holiday, they would rather take a break and enjoy themselves than double their efforts on Wing Chun. I have always said that you should never expect to succeed in Wing Chun if you don’t have at least some passion for it and regard the learning of Wing Chun as one of your top priorities. Therefore you may seriously consider quitting Wing Chun now if you only learn it for leisure or for fun. Please tell me by email if you have decided on quitting.

On the other hand, there is the Wing Chun Proficiency Certificate to think about. It’s really one of my biggest wishes that some of you will be able to finish all the tests before I leave and get the full certificate, preferably with flying colours. Please work very hard on it from now on, whether you can finish all the tests or not.

Finally, at this point of time it is difficult to tell what’s going to happen to our classes. Of course the last thing I’ll do is to close all of them. Your Sisuk Tim Wong could be a suitable replacement. And Ah Tak may be another good option, if he is willing, but it’s very likely that you have to pay (a lot?) more because he’ll have to sacrifice his engagements in Hong Kong.

Anyway I am hoping for the best possible outcome for our classes!

Best regards,

Roland


2

Hi Roland!

Firstly I will admit this is sad news, but there is an old saying us Westerners use and it goes like this: “nothing lasts forever”. I guess everything has an end; that is just life! But be assured the memories you will have left myself and your devoted students will last forever, as our memories cannot be taken from us. You have left me with an unending chapter of a journey into Wing Chun that I aim to pursue till my body says no more, and in this time it is my wish to pass on your teachings to as many willing participants as possible.

As for our friendship I’m sure we will keep in touch for many many years to come! Things don’t always turn out the way we plan as what happened with my training having to cease due to my ill health, but it has not stopped me enduring through my illness to continue to practice what my body allows me to and the teachings you have imprinted in my mind.

I wish you and your family a graceful return to your homeland. I would like to thank you deeply for teaching me the most untainted and undiluted version of Wing Chun that exists to this day and in this age. This in itself is a rarity and a unique opportunity as far as I’m concerned, as my extensive research into original teachings of the art led me to you. I have been honoured to be one of your students, and you supplied me with the strength and will to fight through my illness. For this I’m eternally grateful!

Much respect to Sifu Roland!

Kind regards, your most devoted student

Dallas

Hi Dallas,

I am deeply moved and feel flattered by your every emotional reply to my premature farewell email.

Indeed I don’t deserve your very high level of praise to me, because I was only carrying out my duties as an instructor, except that I always did my job whole-heartedly, and sometimes went a little out of the way to teach you even faster, on top of what I call “rocket speed”, on your request.

You said you have learnt a lot from me, but actually I have also learnt a lot from you. I remember once you came to our class and demonstrated your wonderful “Donny Yan-style” Continuous Centre-line Punches (which were arguably faster than the punches of Donny Yan) and all those present responded directly with a big Wow. That was of course the result of thousands of hours of painful training.

Besides your enormous passion for Wing Chun and your extreme perseverance to practice Wing Chun, I particularly admire your fighting spirit, which is shown in your attitude of dealing with the different kinds of persistent diseases that tortured you in recent years (sorry you may not want me to mention it, but I think it can produce good effects). You said you have learnt to live with the 24/7 pain resulting from the diseases, which in my opinion takes super-human mentality to do so.

Of course our friendship will be forever wherever we are! In Hong Kong I will always remember your never-say-die spirit, whatever job I’ll do, and treasure for the many years to come your encouragements and the memories of all you wonderful students of Wing Chun.

Keep in touch!
Best regards,
Roland


3

Dear Sifu,

While I am not happy that my Sifu of the great art of Wing chun is no longer going to be around, I am happy that you have made the tough decision for you and your family. I truly wish you a very happy return to Hong Kong and hope to come and visit you sometime in the not too distant future!

Reflection on our time together always brings me a big smile. All these Saturdays we spent together training hard and debating all things Wing Chun. Many of those days resulting in me nursing cuts and bruises from the hard and real style of training that I will never forget.

I will always appreciate the way that you discussed and taught all topics Wing Chun and never held back any secrets. The sign of a true Sifu who really does believe that “turquoise can come from blue” (By Roland: Elliot is referring to the Chinese proverb, “turquoise comes from blue but is better than blue”). I feel that many of your students would have had the opportunity to become turquoise if they had a little more time (and some a little more dedication. Myself included.)

I hope that you continue to teach on your return to Hong Kong as it is so apparent that your passion and love of Wing Chun will always be a part of you. There are many people that still need to benefit from your teaching and I hope you continue to give them that gift.

I will not be available on Saturday however I would like to take you out with Jordan in the coming weeks for a special dinner. I will call you to arrange this over the weekend.

Truly wishing you every success and happiness,

Your student,

Elliot

Hi Elliot,

It definitely gave me a big pleasant surprise to receive an email from you, one of my best turquoises (if not the best one) from the blue (but not out of the blue).

Please don’t mind my answering your email privately, as I have done so with several other students after my public reply to Dallas, although in fact I very much want to send this email to every student. You know I always TRY to be fair to everybody.

Thank you for your appreciation of my generosity in teaching Wing Chun without holding back anything (in spite of my inadequacies in Wing Chun). Indeed it has been an unforgettable experience teaching you and Jordan, an experience with blood, sweat and tears (remember you broke one of my front teeth only one year after learning from me)! It was most of the time excitement and joy, but sometimes not without some frustration, in teaching you Wing Chun, because you are more “quilo” than a quilo: frank, honest, always inquisitive and full of energy, but sometimes a bit impulsive.

Anyway it is your immense interest and passion for Wing Chun (as clearly demonstrated by the fact that your eyes sparkled with amazement when you first saw your new Wooden Dummy) that has brought you great success in it. To be honest, I was a bit disappointed when you, for some reason, rejected my invitation of taking part in the Foshan International Wing Chun Tournament. On second thought maybe it was just my ego that initiated the invitation, and actually your heroic fight against multiple attackers outside a bar has already done more than enough to make me proud of you.

Hoping to meet you and Jordan in Australia and Hong Kong occasionally and looking forward to having dinner with both of you very soon!

Best wishes to your future career (including Wing Chun)!

Roland


4

Dear Sifu,

Theresa and I like to wish you and your family the very best in your future in HK. Myself, just like Dallas, was surprised of the news. I’d like to express my sincere thanks for treating me as one of your close door students and it showed by your true no-hold-back teaching.

Wing Chun to me is much more than a deadly, close combat martial art form. More importantly, the art has a reflection of life and it expresses the personality of the practitioner. The WC art has taught me to be ‘level’ minded and of emotions; i.e. not to fear or be afraid of opponent’s strikes and the effect of over excitement on striking the opponent. Not getting angry if being striked; no malice intention on striking back.

As a passsionate teacher, whom always taught from the heart, you look for the same qualities in your students. A personal quality not seen in many.

Your leaving will be missed, but I guess ‘one door closes, another opens’.

Best of wishes, Sifu. I think what this means is that I now have to plan my future holidays to include a stop-over in HK for a Chi Sau.
Regards,
Tuan

Dear all,

Since Tuan has written an open letter to me I would like to answer him only briefly here, as I can always talk with him about anything in depth during my regular training with him.

Tuan has over-rated himself by saying that he is a close-door student of mine. In reality he is an out-door student, because he always fails to block my kicks and gets kicked out of the door!

Joking apart I am always impressed with this “Wing Chun-maniac’s” obsession with Wing Chun, demonstrated by his getting up at 3:30 a.m. every day to practice this art, and his so-called highly sophisticated philosophy about Wing Chun (if you ask me, instead of talking b******t the first thing I’ll do is to hit somebody at the nose or the groin). The only philosophy (or theory) I have for Wing Chun is that the best Wing Chun should be like water (imagine your opponent feeling like being surrounded by water in doing Chi Sau with you). Anyway I totally agree with Tuan that Wing Chun can open the door to other areas in your life.

To conclude, I definitely have great pleasure in having Tuan as my student, judging from his passion, determination, attitude, and physical and mental abilities.

Up to now I have answered all the emails concerning my departure privately (except the first email from Dallas). In fairness to everyone if you think that it is a good idea to make public your email and my reply (including the past ones) please tell me by email and I’ll be happy to do so.

Here I want to repeat my wish of seeing (all of) you tomorrow (29-1-11).

Best regards,

Roland


5

Dear Sifu Roland,

That is very sad news but I’m sure you have been thinking about this for a while so I don’t think it would be respectful to convince you otherwise.

Personally I have really enjoyed coming to your classes and learning from you. I think you are a wonderful Wing Chun teacher and I would love to continue learning from you. It is highly unfortunate that you have to return to Hong Kong.

I wish you all the best in Hong Kong and I will try to progress in Wing Chun as best as possible to learn more from you before you go.

If there is any way you can stay, please consider it Sifu.
Sincerely,
Edward

Hi Edward,
It’s wonderful of you to have said so many nice words about me and I really appreciate your genuine kindness.
Anyway you should understand that it is very difficult for me to separate from my family (especially when you are a personal friend of Amy) otherwise I will get a divorce!
You are one of my most outstanding relatively new students and I’m sure by the time I leave you would have progressed to the advanced level of Wing Chun.
All the best to your Wing Chun career!
Roland

6

Dear Sifu,

I feel upset that you are leaving Sydney but on the other hands, I feel happy for you that you are going to stay with your family since Family is most important to me too.

After a long struggle, I am sorry to tell you that I am going to quit the Wing Chun lesson because of my own reasons.

Thanks for your past teaching without any reservation and I believe everyone feel the same as well.

Wish you a happy life in the future, all the best to you and your family.

Best Regards,

Daniel Cheung

Hi Daniel,
I’m sorry that you have to go since you are such a keen learner of Wing Chun.
Please try to come to the Yum-cha on Saturday.
Best regards,
Roland

7

Dear Sifu

I’m very sorry to hear that you are leaving. I started my Wing Chun classes last year and have enjoyed it very much. I thank you for all that you have taught me. You’ve given me a new hobby or career as you described it earlier to pursue. I know I have skipped many classes to due sicknes, injuries, exams and my long holiday but I still enjoy Wing Chun. During my holiday I haven’t found much time to practice but I’ve been catching up on missed practice on my return home.

I have just come back from China, and will be attending the saturday class on the 29th. I like Wing Chun a lot and will not be quitting. After your leave, I will try to find another replacement class.

Thank you for all that you have taught me. I wish I joined Wing Chun earlier but I’m glad to have you as my sifu for this short amount of time. I hope I wasn’t too hard to teach with all my bad positioning and forgetting my centreline.

From

Jacqueline Chen

Hi Jacqueline,
I am actually very unwilling to leave my students, especially those favourite students, including you. But I have to return to Hong Kong with my family.
You always have very good learning attitude, and your form is not bad at all given you have learnt for such a short time. In fact you can still succeed in Wing Chun within the next half a year, with a lot of hard work of course.
I hope I can find a good replacement for you, and you don’t have to go to another class.
Best regards,
Roland

8

I know its a bit late but will be absent from today’s class, busy day at work tired me out.

Also am sorry to hear that you will be leaving us Sifu. Still I am grateful for having the chance to practice Wing Chun under you and hope to make the most of the remaining lessons.

David

Hi David,
Thank you for your very nice words.
You can still make very great improvement in the next six months if you work very hard on your Wing Chun.
With best wishes,
Roland

9

Dear Sifu,

Honestly, to me, this can only be good news! Because the fact that you are coming back means I may soon learn under you again (this is of course if you still would like to teach). Selfish as I may be, I have been looking forward to your return since Amy told me about her decision in coming back to HK for good. Life has become busier and busier for me, but one thing that I must do one day in my life is to learn the wooden dummy moves. I really hope my learning will recommence on your return!

Of course you might have lots of plans when you arrive at Hong Kong, but may I just let you know that a few of my friends have already expressed interests in learning Wing Chun. In case you are planning to teach, I am sure they will be interested in joining a class like the ones we had in Sydney.

Keep in touch, and take care on your side, Sifu.

Regards,
Heman

Hi Heman,

Yes, I’ll have some plans when I return to Hong Kong, including a very big plan about Wing Chun.

Attached please find all the relevant documents (in both Chinese and English versions) concerning the plan, which I would like you to peruse and give me some feedback on, whenever you have some time. Actually I am asking people in Hong Kong to design the relevant website for me.

If you are so interested in learning Wing Chun from me, you may try to form the first group of mine in Hong Kong (and you had better hurry up, because once all my groups are full I won’t take in new students). As you can see in my documents, I will be teaching new students in Hong Kong (starting August?) absolutely free, on some special conditions. But the size of each class should be at least 20 students, including the one you may want to form.

To help with recruiting members for your group (if you are really serious about it), you may ask them to watch my 5 videos on Youtube (by searching “Roland Kong”). Meanwhile, please don’t tell other people about my plan (except those who may become your classmates), including my Wing Chun students in Australia, because I think time is not ripe yet.

Regards,

Roland


10

Dear Sifu

I’m very sad to hear this news while I am in HK. Even though I am not your longest or best student, I feel like I have learnt alot from you already. I have thoroughly enjoyed your teaching style and kind attitude to your students. I will greatly miss our lessons together. You have left me with a positive way of learning Wing Chun as well as to life! I hope to see you when I return.

Alan

Hi Alan,
It’s really very kind of you to have said so many nice words about me and I know that you are sincere about them too.
Anyway you should understand that it is very difficult for me to separate from my family otherwise I will get a divorce!
You are doing very well with Wing Chun and I’m sure by the time I leave you would have progressed to the advanced level of Wing Chun.
Enjoy your trip and all the best to your Wing Chun career!
Roland

11

Dear Sifu,

Opening my emails has given me a great shock this week, realising that my one and only sifu will be leaving Australia. Although I have only just started learning this year, it has been one of my longstanding passions over many many years. Being able to start learning Wing chun from you was like a dream come true. From the very first day, which was not too long ago, I was very excited to embark on my Wing Chun journey. It is sad to hear that I will not be able to enjoy years of teaching from you, but I understand that it must have been even harder for you to make such a big decision. Although I am not sure what my future holds for me in Wing Chun, I wish all the best to you and your family – I can only hope that I will be able to pursue Wing Chun in the same direction despite your absence.

I hope that in the short time remaining while you are still in Australia, I can make the most of it and learn as much as I can from you. I intend on continuing to attend your classes every week and working as hard as I can. Once again I wish you and your family the very best, and I will be seeing you tomorrow.

Thanks in advance for all the expertise you have offered and for what you will offer in the coming weeks!

Jonny

Hi Jonny,

It’s really very kind of you to have written me such a touching email. But since I still have a lot of emails to reply to I can only give you a short reply, unwilling as I am to do so. That of course will not to any extent affect my heart-felt appreciation of your kindness and goodwill.

In spite of you short history of learning Wing Chun, you have given me the impression of a very humble and hardworking student, with a lot of passion for Wing Chun. Together with your “huge” size (which is definitely an advantage for Wing Chun), I am quite sure you will make a great achievement in Wing Chun, on condition that your dedication persists.

Keep up the effort!

Best regards,

Roland


12

Dear Sifu,

I have just returned and is surprised to hear that you are returning to Hong Kong. When will that happen? What will happen to our classes?

Thank you for teaching us your Wing Chun skills without reserve. I hope you all the best back in Hong Kong.

Best Regards

Tai Lee

Hi Tai,
Please finish all your emails and you’ll understand everything.
Thank you for your kindness anyway.
Roland

13

Hi Sifu,

Even though I’ve only just started learning from you, I am very grateful to have met you. You have introduced me to one of the most amazing chinese martial arts and you have led me into the door.

Anyway I am not writing this email to say goodbye, because unlike others, I think it’s too early to say goodbye. Like you said, there’s still half a year to go and I hope to learn as much as from you. Unfortunately you cannot give me private lessons but hopefully coming to more classes in a week can subsidise for that.

I thought of writing this email to show I am a good student…I’ll leave goodbye until it really is goodbye.

See you at class.

Regards,

Andy

Hi Andy,

It’s really very kind of you to have written me such a touching email. But since I still have a lot of emails to reply to I can only give you a short reply, unwilling as I am to do so. That of course will not to any extent affect my heart-felt appreciation of your kindness and goodwill.

From what I have observed in you in our classes, you definitely possess the potential to have great success in Wing Chun, because you have quick hands and you are good at analyzing what is required of you for any Wing Chun move that I teach.

If your dedication persists I am sure you will make great progress within the next few months.

Best regards,

Roland


14

Hi Sifu,

I am unable to come tomorrow. I will return after the Chinese New Year. I will cherish the opportunity to learn from you between now and your final departure despite of other commitments.

Regards,
Alvin

Hi Alvin,
Thank you for your support. See you after the Chinese New Year.
Regards,
Roland

15

Hello Sifu

This is Ben here.

Firstly, as you might realise, I have been unable to return to training as I hoped. I have damaged a tendon in my right arm and it is very difficult to do hard exercise. I am trying to manage it but I don’t know how long it will take.

I wanted to thank you for all your time in training and sharing your knowledge. I know I am a poor student but I appreciate the opportunity to learn from you.

Hope to see you before you go.

Ben

Hi Ben,
I really hope that I can see you before I leave because you always have in me a very good impression.
Meanwhile, take good care of yourself!
Best wishes,
Roland

16

Hi Sifu,

I’m terribly sorry for the incredibly late notice, but I won’t be able to make it to Wing Chun today. It’s my best friend’s 21st celebration and throughout the week I had thought I’d be able to make it in time after Wing Chun class, but as he’s changed the venue to the northern beaches and making it into a lunch instead of dinner celebration, it’s hard to get to in time after the class today. I’ve only found out this information yesterday. I’m also sorry I was not able to let you know earlier.

I still have your book! it’s a great read to know some history of Wing Chun, and I’m really sorry I cannot give it back to you today. But will definitely do so next Saturday!

With regards to your previous e-mail about leaving to Hong Kong, I am heartbroken to see probably the most talented sifu here in Australia leaving, but at the same time I know your choice is the best for you and your family.

I know I may not be as committed as many of your other students, but going to Wing Chun and practicing Wing Chun with Eddie really makes me feel like I can pursue something skillful in my life. I’ve grown up to be engaged in many different sports like swimming, gymnastics, ballet, ice skating, playing the piano… and hoenstly the list goes on, but not one of them did I really have the passion to excel. But with Wing Chun I feel that the whole sport of it has a new meaning. I’m not only doing it for fitness sake, or plain interest, or even for a competitive nature, but it is something I can use to defend myself. I also want to pursue the values and skills that I can learn from Wing Chun like being calm, but still focusing your energy; or trusting your sense of feel and touch and produce quick reflexes and many others.

I am sorry I do not spend the hours needed to successfully master the art of Wing Chun, but If you allow me to stay in your class for the next months that you’ll be teaching it, I will do my best to show you that I am committed to learning Wing Chun.

Kind Regards,
Abbey

Hi Abbey,

It’s really very kind of you to have written me such a touching email. But since I still have a lot of emails to reply to I can only give you a short reply, unwilling as I am to do so. That of course will not to any extent affect my heart-felt appreciation of your kindness and goodwill.

I really understand that your attendance at our class does not reflect your dedication because you have numerous commitments. On the contrary, I am sure about your strong passion for Wing Chun and you are quite talented in it too, as seen in your performance in the Bonus Quiz. That was absolutely amazing for a Wing Chun beginner!

Anyway, I’m sure that you’ll achieve great success in Wing Chun as long as you try harder!

Best wishes to your Wing Chun career!

Roland


17

Dear Sifu,

It’s been really sad after hearing that you will be departing from us. It was always a pleasure in class learning one of the most (if not the most) original form of Wing Chun from you, not to mention the jokes that you’ve made along the way trying to keep the class fun and entertaining. You have definitely inspired my interest and passion for this sport and, Wing Chun will definitely be something that I am looking to pursuit throughout my life.

Sorry for slacking off during these few months as I have challenged myself by enrolling into 2 Actuarial exams this semester. Along with my other commitments, I have been struggling to make it to your class (as I think I might have overloaded myself). So after a long time of consideration, I think I will take a break from your WC class until the exams are over.

Again, sorry for being a bad student. However, I promise I will be a good student when I return and that Wing Chun will surely be something that I will be pursuing for the rest of my life. In the mean time, I will try my best to practice the normal forms regularly.

Best wishes to you and your family. Hope you will have a fantastic Chinese New Year!

Kind Regards,
Daniel Leung

Hi Daniel,

As I said I “called it a day”, please excuse me for replying to your email privately.

Although you have learnt only for a short time, you have given me the impression of a good Wing Chun student, inquisitive and serious in learning and with a lot of passion for Wing Chun. So I am pretty sure that you can always learn and practice Wing Chun on your own initiative and you stand a good chance of succeeding in Wing Chun.

As for your Actuarial Exams, I definitely understand the importance and difficulties of them as my elder daughter has undergone that stage. Therefore you should now totally devote yourself to them and later to a great extent devote yourself to Wing Chun.

Best wishes to your exams and your future career (including Wing Chun)!

Roland


18

Sifu,

I never thought it appropriate to be sending a ‘goodbye’ email when you are not leaving Australia yet. After much consideration I have decided to send an email of rather…. praise. Or a premature goodbye as you put it.

I have been learning from you I think give or take a year now. And yet, during this whole period of learning I have not even once regretted coming to learn from your class. In fact, I have enjoyed every minute of it.

Before coming to learn from you, I was keen to join a class from any art. I felt it was necessary for me to do so as I now travel alone to and from school everyday, and on certain occasions I do so on holidays or weekends. And travelling often through areas that are infamous for being home to many ‘bad’ people, I was keen to make sure I would be able to defend myself if the time called for it.

I was at first skeptical about Wing Chun, seeing that the class did not hold as many members as other proper schools. But after going to a few of your demonstrations, most of my doubt had gone – the rest eliminated after the first few lessons. I not only believe that Wing Chun is a great martial art, being very practical and effective (unlike some other arts, renowned for being fancy but horrible in a real situation).

Not too long ago – maybe 3 or 4 weeks ago – a time nearly called for me to defend myself. I was at an ice-skating rink at Baulkham Hills when a large Lebanese family consisting of more than 10 members attempted to pick a fight with us. Despite our efforts to avoid the small boy (he was rather round, and looked about 6 years old) who was provoking us, he was making every effort to undermine us – throwing ‘snowballs’ at us, trying to trip us… Unfortunately for him, but fortunately for us, while trying to trip my other friend there, he fell himself – on his face. To be honest, I’m glad he didn’t trip me. That day was the first time I’d ever been ice skating – so I was still a bit shaky on my feet.

In an attempt to deter him (I have no idea what my friend was thinking), my friend tried to scare him off by calling my OTHER friend a pedophile. — Probably in the hope that the kid would associate “pedophile” to “bad” to “run away”…. Yeah. Didn’t turn out well. He started swearing at us and when we skated away to ignore him, he invited his entire family to join in on the fun. We were thinking things like, “…a 6 year old trying to pick a fight with us? And using the ‘f word’?…” etc etc.

His cousin (also very round, quite an unstable skater like me) then proceeded to swear, shout, call us names, push us, etc. while probably 30 people just looked on. She really was trying to pick a fight. My friend tried to reason with her to no avail, and she was clearly asking for a fist from one of us. After a bit, she told us to “**** off” and “not go near her cousin (that 6 year old round kid) again”. But that boy still followed and tried to provoke us, resulting in us telling one of the staff in the rink. That boy got a really good mouthful from the supervisor (thank God).

My other friend later admitted that his adrenalin was rushing, and to be honest, so was mine. I felt that this really was a time where my Wing Chun ability might have been tested – in an ice skating rink. I never would have even dreamt of the possibility. But thankfully, we did not physically fight and nobody was hurt, although my friend who was being provoked was quite shaken up I think.

So you see, it’s times like these where I really appreciate learning Wing Chun from you, Sifu, and truely understand why I am learning martial arts. I’m sure that I will be even more thankful in the future if a similar situation arises.

I feel very sad to know that the day will come when you will cease to teach Wing Chun here, and even more so knowing that it may very well be a long time before you return to this country.

I will do my best to improve my ability in Wing Chun as much as I can while you are still here – I know that this opportunity to learn martial arts from such a great and caring Sifu may never come again.

I’m pretty sure that when the day of your departure approaches, all of your students will send more emails, cards, texts, etc. We’ll all be sorry to see you go. And don’t worry, we’ll all throw in money to buy you a nice dinner :)

If you feel it is appropriate, you may forward this email to your other students. I don’t mind if this is made public.

Thanks Sifu. Keep up the good work!

Regards,

Zackary.

Hi Zackary,

Thank you for your respect and trust of me as your Sifu to have written me such an emotional personal email. But as I have already “called it a day”, I can only give you a brief reply in private, as I have done in the same manner with two other emails that came “late”. Sorry about that.

In my opinion you have done the right thing. To learn Wing Chun you not only learn the skill and force, but also the mentality to deal with dangerous situations, which includes how to avoid trouble in the first place. But one great advantage of a Wing Chun expert is to stay calm in face of danger (which you did not do so very successfully considering your relatively short history of learning Wing Chun), and to handle your attackers boldly and skilfully if you really have to take them on.

Anyway given your diligence and passion for Wing Chun you stand a good chance of improving all your weaknesses. Maybe you ask your friends to learn Wing Chun with you (in our classes or privately training with you) so that you all develop confidence in defending yourselves.

Best wishes to you and all your friends and relatives!

Roland


19

Hi Sifu,

Sorry for the late reply. I haven’t had much of a chance to go on the internet lately due to moving.

For Ah Tak’s visit, I would prefer the two Saturdays, 5/3 and 12/3 and in that order of preference.

I guess in a way my learning of Wing Chun from you has ended prematurely as I am no longer in Sydney to attend classes, which is a big shame. However, I hope to make it back for as many as possible until your departure. Although, unfortunately, I am unlikely to be back in Sydney for another 3 weeks or so as I still have a lot to take care of here.

Happy Chinese New Year to you too. Hope to be back for class soon.

Christine

Hi Christine,
I know that it’s hard for you due to your personal circumstances.
I also know that you have the heart to do your best with Wing Chun.
Just keep up your efforts.
Best regards,
Roland

20

Sifu,

Thank you for the last few months of teaching and support. It has been great few months. You have indeed introduced the wonder of Wing Chun to me and I don’t think I can ever give up now. I believe Sisuk will become a good Sifu but unfortunately it will still be different from learning from you. I think you are a great Sifu and your great insight and passion into Wing Chun has influenced many of us. I will always regard you as Sifu. I hope that you can remember me and if I ever visit Hong Kong in the future, please take some time to see me, teach me more Wing Chun and allow me to demonstrate how I have improved.

Best of luck with everything.

Regards,

Andy

Hi Andy,
Thank you for your very nice words and I am really moved by your sincerity.
To be honest, I think you are one of the very few outstanding students of mine in spite of your short learning history. It is because you have a lot of passion for Wing Chun and have been working hard on it (as promised in the email you sent me half a year ago) and I am sure you are paving your way to achieving great success in Wing Chun.
Of course you are always welcome in Hong Kong.
Keep in touch.
Roland

21

Dear all,

It’s with some outburst of emotions and thankfulness that I am writing this email, only minutes after coming home from the farewell dinner and reading the beautiful and moving words from your thanks cards. And suddenly I have realized what a “painful” decision I have made to go back to Hong Kong – it is already giving me quite some pain on the thought of having to leave you wonderful people! But as I have told some people (a bit exaggeratedly), I’ll risk a divorce if I insist on staying in Australia! Therefore that seems to be the only decision I can make.

Anyway I regret not having the chance to talk with each one of you tonight (of course it’s a bit difficult to do so with so many people around), and I’ll treasure your cards till the end of my life.

It’s always sad to say goodbye, especially to people with so much kindness and affection. My experience with you all will form one of the most important chapters in my life and perhaps the most unforgettable part in my memory.

Anyway I’m pretty sure that Tim will be a very good substitute for me, helping you a lot with your discovering the beauty of Wing Chun and improvement in Wing Chun (with a lot of hard work on your part of course).

Finally, all the very best to all of you in everything, and I’m waiting to see you guys winning the world with Wing Chun!

With a lot of love,

Roland

Dear Sifu,

It’s nice to hear from you even while we’re on holiday. You’ve taught us so much, not only about Wing Chun but also how to approach life with commitment, determination and hard work. Your teaching and work ethic is inspiring. We’re sad to see you go and we can’t wait for your next visit.

In the mean time we’ll continue to train hard and remember your words of wisdom.

Thank you very much Sifu!
Edward and Abbey