On February 26, 2012, Adam Medhurst, a member of the United Kingdom branch of the International Academy of WingChun (IAW), became our youngest Technician at age 18. I remember meeting him almost exactly three years ago to the day during my 2009 trip to England with Sifu Klaus Brand. We have been in touch ever since via this blog and my Facebook.
He is an living example of patience plus diligence over time. Not many, regardless of age, continually invest in their chosen craft for the long-term. Adam earns my respect and that of his worldwide IAW family. Congratulations and keep walking the way of the WingChun warrior!
Name: Adam Medhurst
Academy: Kings Hill, Tunbridge Wells, Sevenoaks
Teacher: Sifu Tony Hollander and Sifu Ed Pettitt
Hometown: Sevenoaks, Kent, United Kingdom
Started WingChun: July 2001
How has your age affected your WingChun experience?
My age has benefited my experience because I started WingChun out of sheer curiosity when I was just 7 years old. With the right guidance, self-belief and courage to walk along this path of practice and progress, WingChun has been at the center of my life for a while. On the flip side, age is a disadvantage because of my lack of knowledge both as a student and as an instructor. But in time, I hope those skills will improve and flourish so I can reach my full potential.
In what ways have WingChun helped you grow?
WingChun has helped me grow both as a person and as a practitioner. I like the idea that you can take WingChun into daily life to help with challenges, and to focus yourself in times of uncertainty and danger. More specifically, WingChun has helped me grow through what I call the three C’s. Consideration. In WingChun, we consider the best way to perform a movement in one of the Sections or Applications. Confidence. A WingChun practitioner must build gradual confidence through training the solo Forms and partner drills. Courage. You need courage in WingChun to drive yourself towards your goals, no matter how hard it may feel.
Is there any advice you would give to young practitioners?
The advice I would give to any young practitioner training WingChun is to train to the best of your ability—so your best is better, then your better becomes your best. In plain English, never ever give up! Because if you do, you never know what you could achieve. If you stay planted on the WingChun path for long enough, you will realize that you can achieve so much. Believe!
Why is attending Regular Class important to you?
Attending Regular Class is important to me because I think everyone (including me) has a duty to maintain their standard as high as possible. Training three times a week at three different locations allows me to analyze my own performance and see weak areas where I need to work on. Attending Regular Class is also important because of other like-minded enthusiasts around me, who on countless occasions have helped me succeed in moments where I was confused or hesitant. This is another reason why I love the International Academy of WingChun, the sense of community and passion feels very strong.
How do you practice at home?
I keep it structured. Firstly, at the beginning of the week, I train exercises for the arms and legs. Then, I train the Forms during the middle of the week. Finally, I concentrate on Upper Level material towards the end of the week. I also check over my notes, which helps me refer to the relevant training.
Explain your favorite WingChun principle?
Principle #7 by Sifu Klaus Brand: “Always use all of your available power to defend and to attack”. In my opinion, this means giving your 100% to the attack and the defense; both are as important as each other.
What is your favorite Section of any Form and why?
My favorite section is Section 2 of the second Form, Tsum Kiu (Seeking Bridge), because of how devastating those punches look at high velocity.
Describe what aspect of WingChun you most enjoy training.
I’d have to say all of it! But the aspect I most enjoy is the Applications because it is a great eye-opener to see them performed in front of you while realizing how they’re incorporated into the Student Levels. For example, towards the end of Student Level 3 there is a Tan Sao (Spreading Arm) and Zam Sao (Sinking Arm) combination, which is then followed with a Wang Bo (Horizontal Step) and a Tsong Kuen (Thrusting Punch). Tan Sao and Zam Sao can also be used to defend a haymaker punch.
How did you hear about WingChun?
An advert in the local paper quickly caught my attention; it looked like a martial art to be used purely for Self-Defense. I had tried other martial arts before WingChun which were all sport oriented such as Judo and Karate.
What made you join the Academy?
I joined the Academy simply out of curiosity. I just went along and am glad I did so. What a system! The evolution from old styles to what it is now is beyond words. Sifu Klaus Brand has made the IAW a magnificent, global success.
Please share an inspiring moment from class.
When one of my Sifu’s or a Sihing demonstrates an Application or a Section with such power and clear functionality, I see something like that and feel very inspired. What would it feel like to be a Sihing or even a Sifu? Such questions provide me with colossal motivation. I call this the “wow factor” of WingChun.
How would you sum up WingChun in one word?
Name an ideal quality of a good practitioner.
What achievement are you most proud of?
1st Technician Grade.