North Devon Wing Chun Academy – about the Instructor
My first experience of martial arts was in the form of karate at the early age of 7, where I attended a local school in Bournemouth. Unfortunately my family relocated to Winchester after two years, and so I had to leave karate behind. But I never forgot it. Over the next decade or so, I tried numerous martial arts in various locations (my family relocated every 3 years or so).
I was obsessed with all things martial arts and tried out all kinds of classes – from Aikido to Jeet Kune Do to Taikwondo. In the end I settled for both Wutan and Shaolin Kung Fu (I spent a few years training in both). But the truth was that none of these really captured the essence of what I was looking for.
In 2002 after a break of nearly 4 years, and at the ripe ‘old’ age of 25, I stumbled across the Lun Kuen Wing Chun Academy, in Poole, Dorset, where I met Master Steve Lyons. I was blown away. This was what I had been missing all those years. This martial art was exactly what I wanted – direct, quick and devastating.
And so began my Lun Kuen Wing Chun obsession. In 2005 I travelled with the club to Hong Kong and China, where we attended the 2nd World Wing Chun Conference. This really was the most incredible experience, and I was lucky enough to meet Grand Master Ip Chun and Grand Master Ip Ching (both Grand Master Ip Man’s sons).
Master Steve Lyons
I met Steve Lyons back in 2002, and I remember feeling very fortunate to have come across his Lun Kuen Wing Chun classes. I still feel privileged to have been taught by Steve – the guy is an expert in his field, and knows the Wing Chun system inside out. Steve is passionate about Wing Chun, his students and his school and I feel honoured to be in a position to teach the Lun Kuen Wing Chun system.
Steve still teaches at his busy academy in Poole – lunkuenacademy
Over the next few years I enjoyed my Wing Chun studies, training at least twice a week in class and every free moment I had every day. I also added a few months of thai boxing training to my schedule, and spent 3 years training in the Filipino Martial Arts (based around knife fighting, stick fighting and ’empty hand’ techniques).
In 2008 I met Former World Middleweight Boxing Champion Cornelius Carr through a mutual friend, and decided to give boxing a try. Boxing was like no other sport I’d encountered and I loved it. After training with Cornelius for a few years, together we decided to set up www.sneakpunch.com to teach boxing online & started our YouTube Channel, where we currently have over a million YouTube views.
Left Picture – 2015 – Steve filming with Corney for SneakPunch.com
Right Picture – Corney, Steve & Rachel (Rachel not only knows her way around the boxing ring, but is also an amazing Lun Kuen Wing Chun practitioner.)
Boxing is an essential skill when learning any martial art. In order to defend against a jab, cross, hook or even the increasingly popular overhand right, it’s important to know how to throw it. It’s also important to recognise body movements that indicate when punches are about to be thrown, so your defence is ready. At the North Devon Wing Chun Academy along with Wing Chun I will be teaching the basic boxing strikes and footwork as well as slipping, covers and parrying. All of these will help you become a more rounded martial artist and should put you in good stead for any self defence situation.
As you may have gathered, I am passionate about many different fighting systems and have been lucky enough to have been taught by amazing experts in their fields. I relocated to North Devon with my wife and our two children in 2014, which gave me time to think about my next step. I really missed Kung Fu and happened to be talking about Wing Chun (which I do a lot!) when a good friend of mine suggested I open up a school here in Devon. Which brings us up to the present moment and to the North Devon Wing Chun Academy. If you are interested in learning Wing Chun, whether you have done any before, or are a complete beginner, I encourage you to come along to our class North Devon Wing Chun Academy in South Molton and give it a go.