20 years ago I had done Taek-Won – Do and stopped when I did my military service and went to university.
Now at the age of 40 I thought about starting martial arts again but could not see myself doing high kicks and jumps like an 18 year old one anymore. This kicks and jumps can be a lot of fun but are pretty useless as a means of self-defence. By chance I read about Wing Tsun and to my surprise found out that it has been taught for years in Malta. The timetable of the courses offered did not go along with my schedule. I called Mr. Joe Debono. We arranged for private lessons during my lunch break.
My original idea of learning ‘a bit of self-defence’ (Blitz) soon changed when I saw the difference between a few standard combinations of movements to counter standard attacks and Sifu Debono reacting to anything I could throw at him.
All my kicks and jumping was countered at ease. No hard and painful blocks but sequences of defined and fluent movements, rather ‘soft’ but deadly precise.
When seeing Sifu Debono practicing his art, the difference to Taek-Won-Do becomes immediately obvious. This is efficient and rational self-defence and not a sportive discipline. I was hooked.
One year later I am still looking forward to my twice-weekly lessons. And this is testimony to Sifu Debono’s patients and teaching skills.
The concept of Wing Tsun is quite different from most other martial arts. If you have practiced Karate or Taek-Won-Do be prepared for a bit of a shock. Your knowledge and abilities are rather a hindrance than an asset. You will have to unlearn and relearn basic stance, movement and approach. That is what I have been doing for the last year. But believe me – it is fun and an eye-opener in many ways.
My (then) five year-old daughter had the habit of not paying attention and falling over her own feet. I thought that a playful introduction into Wing Tsun might help her coordinating her movements better. Sifu Debono’s wife Simu Ruth Debono started teaching her in the class for juniors and my daughter would not like to miss a lesson.
She is certainly not falling over her feet anymore and has gained a healthy amount of self-confidence. She is still that cued and pleasantly shy little girl – but she is not scared any more.
Dr. Klaus Frey.
Why should you try Wing Tsun Self Defence System? First of all why not?
I have been learning Wing Tsun (WT) self defence system for just over a year and I have to say that it has been one of the best choices I have ever made. I have learnt that WT self defence is not only about physical protection but personally has also proven to be a form of ‘mental self defence’. There is no point in learning how to punch or kick if we can’t control our body, emotions and thoughts. Such physical and emotional conditioning can not be learnt in a ‘course’ since it is something that has to be practiced and developed on a regular basis, just like anything else in life. As a self confessed couch potato, I was always too busy to find time to start training and often feared that I would never be able to do martial arts as I wasn’t strong enough or good enough or that I would never be able to throw a man over my shoulder. WT is nothing like that and it certainly is not about how big or strong you are. As well as learning to keep myself safe especially for my son’s sake, WT brought with it other personal benefits. I now have higher energy levels and experienced weight loss (definitely a bonus!!!!!!!) I am more focused in many areas of my life and even have more patience! I even get to train with ex students of mine which is certainly at lot of fun…I think they enjoy it more than I do for obvious reasons!
It seems bizarre that it is only when I have been living in Malta for nearly 10 years that I have finally found the courage to join a self defence class. Some people asked why I felt the need to start self defence living somewhere so safe and even laughed at the thought of me doing moves just like Jackie Chan. But these are the same people who are often naïve about the meaning of self defence and the undesirable situations we may find ourselves in. They often have preconceived ideas of men in dark alleys or car parks like in the films, or a stranger offering you a lift home.
Growing up in a major city in the UK has made me all too aware of the dangers on the streets and being street savvy had always been a necessity. At university, females were encouraged to carry attack alarms and we were advised on how to stay safe when out during the day and night and even socially with friends. Coming to Malta for my holidays all my life, was always like a breath of fresh air knowing that you could safely walk down the streets and socialize at any time of the day or night, it was quite a contrast.
But today just ask around, I’m sure we all know of or heard about someone who has been the victim of domestic violence, intimidation, harassment or even bullying by people they know at home, school or even at work. This highlights that dangers are not only posed by strangers in stereotypical scenarios. Chatting to friends and even my students at work, I have heard stories about their experiences and those of their friends and it is unfortunate to hear that Malta, just like other countries is indeed changing, or at least we are hearing more about such incidents.
I’m sure the victims of such events thought that it would never happen to them, but who is to say what will or won’t happen to us, none of us can predict what will happen. However, we can be more aware of what is around us and how to take steps to either prevent such incidents or at least protect ourselves, after all prevention is better than cure. By starting Wing Tsun I made the conscious decision to take responsibility for my own safety and that in life I certainly do not want me or my son to be a victim, can you say the same?
“… I really enjoy the classes.
It’s very hands on, everyone is there to help each other, no big egos. Sifu and Simo are alwaysmoving around the class making sure that all studentsare doing their techniques correctly.
No one misses out, it doesn’t matter if you have taken on WT as a hobby or more seriously, everyone gets the same amount of attention…”
After studying another style of kung fu (a “hard” style) for two years, I stopped training for a long while because of work etc. A short while ago I finally decided to start again and began looking for a new style that would be more suited to me. I came across WingTsun in an internet search and decided to go for a trial session.
As soon as I entered the school I felt welcomed by the atmosphere there. Unlike what I was used to, there was no sign of egoism amongst the students who in fact were friendly and helpful, as was the instructor, SiHing Joe Debono.
I was immediately impressed by the “attack is the best form of defence” philosophy used in WT and how straight to the point each movement was. No energy is wasted in stiffness or fancy extra movements and the idea of learning to control your own strength before attempting to deal with that of others was completely new to me. I began to realize how unrealistic the “self-defence” that I had been taught before really was. In fact after studying for less than a month with SiHing Joe I am certain that I gained more technique and ability to defend myself than I did throughout the entire two years I spent at my previous school.
First time I visited Malta was in the year 2000 to learn a language. Before I left to Malta I visited ewto.de on the web to see if it is possible to practice also WT in Malta, and I found that there is a school on the island.
So I decided to call SiHing Joe. I asked him if it was possible to practice WT in his school. He said yes so I told him that I will be visiting his school very soon.
The school is in Mosta. It’s a big school with big windows. When you go in, you can hear the Chinese music, it is really Chinese atmosphere. It’s beautiful. I met new people. I had the chance to practice with SiHing Joe and with his students. I also had the chance to see what is the difference from the WT in Malta than that to our school in Switzerland. It was a good experience for me. I felt that I was very welcome. I was inspired and I am still. The start of training is similar, Siu-nim-tau and Cham-Kiu. I learn a lot in this school, because we changed the program. From Chi-Sao to Lat-Sao and more. Not just one thing the whole evening! It was a very good time for me. Every time I go to Malta I visit SiHing Joe. Because the training with him is more interesting especially when I do a private session with him personally! And the feeling to practice WT in a other country is very good.
I look forward to practice there again.
Thank you SiHing Joe
Greetings and take care
12 months ago I began researching the martial arts, looking for the most effective style available. Being of small stature and carrying an irreparable knee injury, I was keen to locate a style that:
would not rely solely on strength
would be practical with my injury
would be equally effectively in 30 years when I’m not as strong or agile.
Whilst comparing the styles, I was recommended to WT by a former police officer, As a result, I was confident that his views were impartial. He was very impressed with WT’s simplicity and effectiveness as observed at several demonstrations. At the same time, he had learnt that WingTsun organisation were serious martial artists who were serious about teaching WT. The comment that swayed me was that the best self-defence style needs to combine elements of evasion and avoidance and not rely on blocking force with force other than as a last resort. From what he had seen, WT did this best. It is now 9 months since I began, and I have just completed my 3rd Level. I’ve found WT to be extremely effective and well taught by patient, interested instructors. All members of the school have been welcoming and willing assist in the learning process. WT’s advantage seems to be the quality of it’s few techniques. It focuses on compact movements and simple strategy for self-defence. There is never a question about which technique is appropriate for a particular situation. I can master the techniques comfortably regardless of my knee problem, and have absolute confidence that as the years pass, I will still be able to look after myself using WT.
I recommend WT to anyone who wishes to learn extremely effective self-defence.
I was first introduced to Martial Arts in my school years practicing Tae Kwon Do. I was only a belt away from a black belt but I did some thinking and realised that going to classes felt like a chore, and that not only was it a chore but I was getting bored and it felt that this art had no more to offer me.
Still being a fan of Martial Arts, I stumbled across WingTsun on the internet and in magazines. My interest in WT was getting bigger, so one day I visited SiHing Joe DeBono at his school in Mosta, and I was impressed when I saw the demonstration, SiHing offered a free trial and half way through the trial I knew this is what I wanted to do. Wt to me is an effective system, which has plenty to offer me, I found SiHing Joe to be an approachable and a gentleman, and at the same time a very technical and impressive WingTsun teacher. After a while, I enjoyed WT and I am happy to be in the WT family.
My interest in martial arts was always to train in the most effective self-defence techniques available. I chose Jiu Jitsu and eagerly enjoyed training for over three years. After a few confrontations I realised that I was too happy to go to the ground instead of going there as a last resort. This situation made me an easy target for other aggressive parties, despite being in a position in which I was supposed to have the upper hand.
The results of such incidents weren’t worth entertaining. What I wanted was an art with the scope to fight at all distances, that could meet violence with equal aggression and wasn’t susceptible to the common attacks from other arts. After attending an exhibition and training for some time I believe that Wing Tsun certainly fulfills my requirements. The logic and principles behind WT are undeniable. Wing Tsun has helped my confidence in my defence abilities incredibly. I’m happy Wing Tsun is now my Martial art of choice.
My first exposure to the martial arts was in 1994 while. I learnt Tae Kwon Do for 4 years . It was great; it improved my fitness and was very good socially. I started training other style of Kung Fuand was training both arts for about a year and a half before stopping Tae Kwon Do and continuing with the Style of Kung Fu. I then looked around for something new and found KickBoxing. Luckily I saw SiHing Joe in a WT demo and checked it out. The scientific approach that WT takes to fighting was what got me hooked. It made more sense than anything else I had ever seen or read about. I love the way little parts of the puzzle drop into place every now and then. I believe that after training WT for 6 months I was much more capable of defending myself than what other styke had taught me.
I’ve now found my martial art and don’t have to look any further.
“Although fitness, not self defence, was my initial reason for starting WT, from the first class I felt significantly more confident in my ability to defend myself from an attack. I am happy to say I haven’t been disappointed on the fitness side either! After 9 months and 3 gradings I am still constantly impressed with how practical and intelligent this system is. It is based on an excellent understanding of body mechanics allowing a weaker victim to defend themselves successfully against a much stronger opponent. In addition, the teaching method in WT is very much “hands on”. The majority of each class involves contact with various partners of differing strengths and builds. This trains you to become familiar with the force and techniques used in an attack and to automatically respond effectively. These two points make WT the perfect martial art for women.
The atmosphere in class is friendly and encouraging. The instructors are extremely professional and safety during class is always a priority.
Try it, you’ll be hooked!”
I first started doing karate when I was 8 years old and worked my way to a higher belt. After leaving that style I studied other martial arts such as kung fu, kickboxing and tae kwon do. All these styles were exciting and interesting to learn but they didn’t provide me with the fulfilment that I really desired. In discovering Wing Tsun it provided me with the closure to all my questions about self-defence against realistic street style attacks. The beauty of WT is that you don’t have to be strong to be able to defend yourself against one or more opponents.
I was very nervous and intimidated in going to the demonstration performed by SiHing Joe Debono at the WT School in Mosta but when I was greeted by SiHing himself it was very welcoming. The demo and the one week trial period captivated me and I joined straight away. Wing Tsun has fascinated me through its history, philosophy and techniques.
I recommend WT to any serious martial artist who has a joy in learning a style that seems to have so many endless applications from basic simple movements and also recommending WT for the person who wants to increase their defence capabilities against a stronger opponent.