By Lewis Budden | 26 October 2019
Manchester, the UK’s second city. Mainly known to the world for its rock bands and football teams, the city is now basking in the glow of the modern MMA boom. Many different styles are being practiced across gyms and Dojos within the city, yet Wing Chun is perhaps the most popular in the North West.
Over 23 various Wing Chun dojos are listed in the rainy city and whilst some are fresh institutions, many offer deep rooted heritage and varied training developed over generations.
The rise of its popularity may be down to the hybrid of extreme speed, control, power, and intellect, Wing Chun provides. Designed for physical protection but also as a mental exercise where the mind and body are no longer separate, and the only reaction exists.
While this may be the aim of Wing Chun over time, in the short term many side effects of city, living can be treated. From stress to anxiety, Wing Chun can provide the focus and outlet to ground you and give you an outlet, something clearly in high demand in the cultural capital of England.
From its traditional roots in Chinese culture to Shaolin Temple King Fu and to modern metropolitan living Wing Chun has a lot to offer, and Manchester has adopted this art form in many different ways.
In the heart of the city center near Manchester’s central library you will find Wing Chin Kuen, a Wing Chun class soaked in history with a direct link to the authentic roots of the art form. Lead by Master Moy, who’s Sigong (teacher’s teacher) is Grandmaster Ip Chun the martial arts school provides the knowledge of traditional Wing Chun and has students that have been training for the past 30 years.
Around the corner from the Palace Theatre you can find Ching Mo Wing Chun Centre. Which is providing something a slightly differed shade to the ever-growing tapestry of Wing Chun in Manchester.
Ching Mo provides intensive training camps as well as long pole training. Designed for advanced instructors and long term Ving Tsun followers, long pole classes are designed to develop the antient art that was used in combat hundreds of years ago, providing a truly unique experience for dedicated students.
Leading these classes is Billy Davidson who has been personally endorsed by Sifu Ip Ching and regularly travels to train with the Grandmaster in Hong Kong in order to keep the classes authentic and fresh.
There has been a 60% rise in Women practicing MMA in Great Britain in the last 2 years. Just off Charles St you will find a dedicated women’s only gym that offers not only Wing Chun, but self-defence classes too.
With a focus on increasing physical fitness and a winder understanding of how to defend yourself regardless of size, Ching Mo is providing a space for women to learn and be active in Manchester City Centre.
Art & Science
As if this wasn’t enough, the international ABMVT (Applied Body Mechanics Ving Tsun), organisation also offers a unique Wing Chun class, just outside of the city in Stockport.
Coach Ged Kennerk offers both public and private Wong Shun Leung Ving Tsu classes and has been since the early 90’s. ABMVT training offers course modules under direct guidance from Ernie Barrios who’s educational lineage derives directly from (Ip Man) Wong Shun Leung.
The main aim of ABMVT training is to focus on the core concepts of balance, leverage (the line of power/force) and targeting.
ABMVT’s training includes Siu Nim Tao, Chum Kiu, Biu Jee, Wooden Dummy, Pole, Knives, Single arm Chi Sao and more in order to develop body mechanics and offers complete clarity to your training.
The varied option of Wing Chun highlights how Manchester’s appetite for the art form continues to grow over multi-generations; and shows no sign of shrinking soon.