In the U.S., it takes most people 4-5 years to complete a basic Bachelors Degree. To get a Masters Degree, another two years is average. To attain the highest-level degree, a Doctorate (required to teach at most universities and to advance in many careers), the typical student invests 5-9 years beyond what it takes to get a Bachelors; 9-14 years of education in total. To legitimately become a sifu (martial arts master and teacher) of Moy Tung Ving Tsun (wing chun) Kung Fu, a student should be prepared to put in that kind of time and work – or more.
It’s said it takes 1000 hours to gain expertise in something and 10,000 to master it. If you put 40 hours a week into kung fu and take two weeks off per year – 2000 hours per year – in five years you will have 10,000 hours of kung fu. It you put in 20 hours per week, you’ve done the same hours in ten years. Even two hours a week of Ving Tsun Kung Fu is good, but someone who wants to develop their martial art to the highest level will work harder.
If your life is on the line and you need surgery, you probably want a doctor to operate on you who has a lot of experience – on top of the required education at a good school, which itself is a difficult achievement. If your freedom and finances are at risk in court, you probably want a lawyer arguing your case with a proven track record of wins, not just someone who just met the minimal educational requirements at a mediocre school, even though that accomplishment isn’t easy.
So, if you’re looking to learn potentially life-saving and deadly martial arts skills from someone for self-defense, and you want to be sure you’re learning the best information correctly, you want to learn from someone who studied the best kung fu and trained hard, someone who learned Moy Yat Ving Tsun Kung Fu and who developed their martial art the right way, like Grandmaster Moy Yat’s disciple Grandmaster Anthony Moy Tung Dandridge, or one of the more than 20 sifus in Moy Tung’s lineage.
It’s true that Ving Tsun Kung Fu is so powerful that, once you know the basic sequence of a form, basic details of a technique or the basic mechanics of a drill, you can show other people how to do these things, and, if they simply practice these things with the details that are taught to beginners in Moy Tung Kung Fu, they will develop a lot of kung fu, and they will be able to more effectively defend themselves in a real fight. It’s also true that a much more efficient and effective way to learn Ving Tsun Kung Fu – the best way – is to train hard, smart and respectfully under a qualified sifu, such as those on this list of authorized Moy Tung-lineage Ving Tsun Kung Fu schools.
Learning kung fu is hard work, and it takes hard work to even become an expert, but it can be done in 2-4 years. Mastering Ving Tsun and being a real sifu is even harder. Being a Moy Tung sifu means, among other things: Representing Ving Tsun Kung Fu correctly to the public; being responsible for other people learning the system and details correctly; and being honorable with the power you have as a sifu – among other great responsibilities.
Given the seriousness of martial arts training (you are learning how to kill people in self-defense), as well as the depth of Ving Tsun Kung Fu (you can spend a lifetime applying and learning from the Ving Tsun system, even after you master it), it’s recommended that students put in 5-10 years of training before taking on the responsibility. Someone with great character who works really hard could be ready in just five years – most people that become sifus do so within ten years.
After you’ve done three years of hard training at a Moy Tung Kung Fu school (over 20 locations around the nation), and have been accepted as a Moy Tung inner circle member, you can apply to the Instructor Training Program at the Richmond headquarters of the Moy Tung Kung Fu Association. As an inner circle member in good standing, you have the opportunity to do as much study and training as you want to do directly under Grandmaster Moy Tung in Richmond, VA, in addition to kung fu life and work. A student that wants to develop their kung fu to the highest level will take advantage of that opportunity. The opportunity and importance of RVA training is even greater for those in the Moy Tung Instructor Training Program.
If you’re not yet a Moy Tung-lineage student and have any questions about the value of that experience, see this list of Reasons to Train Moy Tung Ving Tsun Kung Fu, look through the rest of the information on KungFuRichmond.com, do the Ving Tsun Kung Fu Introductory Program at Grandmaster Moy Tung’s Headquarters branch in Richmond, VA or at any of the schools on the list of Moy Tung-authorized branch Ving Tsun Kung Fu schools, and then consider what you’ve learned and what’s available. If you’re already a student, consider what you learned in the Intro Program, and how it was taught – as well as the kung fu you’ve developed in your time training, and what you’ve seen is possible.
One of the great things about the Moy Tung kung fu family is how much inter-school and inter-generational training we do. Traveling to practice kung fu, and playing hands with a lot of different people (different sizes, backgrounds, ages and ideas) gives great perspective and really accelerates training progress. There are many Moy Tung students, grandstudents and great-grandstudents in Richmond, VA and the region – many have more than ten years experience, and some Moy Tung students in Virginia are sifus themselves. Sifus and students from branches in other cities regularly travel to Richmond cities for training. In other words, you will have the opportunity to play hands with a lot of different people.
If you work hard and develop your kung fu correctly, it’s possible to be certified as an instructor or even a sifu by Grandmaster Moy Tung with just two years of instructor training (a total of five years of training), but students should be humble and prepared to put in at least 5-7 more years (ten total), including working as an assistant instructor and then instructor in a branch. This means paying attention, working hard, taking responsibility, making your kung fu great and setting a good example for the other students – not lecturing, showing off or lording it over the younger students.
Also recognize that, even though they are important, time, money and hard work don’t guarantee being recognized as an instructor or sifu by Grandmaster Moy Tung – this honor is given when he sees it’s right, and it can be taken away. So, as a Ving Tsun student, you can know that, if you begin or have already begun your training at any branch on the list of authorized Moy Tung Kung Fu schools, you’re learning from someone who’s been through this kind of program and is accepted by Moy Tung as a sifu, and you are on a path that can lead to mastery of Ving Tsun Kung Fu, as well as a rewarding career as a Moy Tung sifu and kung fu school business owner – if you pay attention, work hard and do the right things.