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The most accessable dojo our of the list I have was the WCKF one, so, I went there first. They also responded to my inquiry the fastest, so I got them on my calendar first.
It is a small, very new Dojo, although, Sifu has been giving WCFK lessons from his garage for a time. His Sifu is in a few towns over, and both dojos go to seminars in a town that's about 1 1/2 - 2 hours away. It's a place I pass by regularly when I make my trips back home to NJ, so, it's not an intolerable distance to me. Sifu has been to China to train with the Shoulin Monks. Sifu came from other arts before deciding to go with WCKF, and is VERY aware of what a "real" fight is, having come from an area when you need to CYA. Sifu has also trained some in Aikido, and, has someone who teaches Aikido come for WC lessons as well. Grandmaster makes a few trips to the US annually, and, made the trip to come for the opening of this dojo a few weeks back. Grandmaster is in Australia, and, it is very nice to see that he supports his students, even those far, far away.
The "free lesson" was very salesy, which, I was expecting, but it was also very, very informative and gave me a much better understanding of what WCKF is. Sifu says they hesitate to call it a "style" as labeling it a style implies that there is a strict, set way to do something (which, is the case with the forms, but, not when actually sparring). Meaning, that there can only be one right way to execute a technique, which, can not be practical in all applications. As a technique, it definately "thinks outside the box" and I can see why some say it is the "technique to conquer all techniques" (I was glad, however, that Sifu didn't boast about it this way-- he never brought it up).
I really, really appreciate the physics behind it; granted, I am an analytical, left-brained person to begin with. The physics lends to very efficent movement- with my knowldge of anatomy and physics I was able to flesh out what Sifu was saying about enery transfers and the path energy flows.
It is definately an art with a dual nature, but this suits me. Though I'm not sure how much metative quality I'll find here. But do I need to be metative during a fight? Granted, Sifu was saying that part of besting an attacker is staying calm enough to think; which, is very true, learning how to stay clam in emergency situations made all the difference when I became an EMT.
I also like how one doesn't have to commit to a move very early on, it's very fluid and thus very responsive. I like how a block can very easily be changed to an offensive attack. I like how it's not an intuitive way to fight, so, not many people expect the resulting attacks.
I would imangine the techniques learned here could be a foundation of principles that could be applied in other disiciplines.
- ready stance is hard on my knees; might further aggrivate my stretched out tendons in knees (hyperextension due to being a field hockey goalkeeper).
- price. but, it's a fair price considering he rents a stand alone place. It's really not all that expensive, it's just more than what I could really afford/was planning on spending (unless I get a friend to join and sign a year contract, then it's almost affordable).
- I still question how much force I'll really be able to generate, but that would only be able to be determined after I'm well-trained enough to properly and most efficently deliver the strikes.