Martial Arts in Melbourne

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i’d like to ask all martial arts practioners out there, regardless of your skill level, where exactly do you train.

the problem with asking such a question is that sometimes the conversation shifts towards which martial art is better, or why certain styles of a particular martial art might be “incorrect”.

but i truely believe, its not the martial art. its the martial artist that makes the difference.

i myself have been doing wing chun for 2 years now (1 year at 2 different clubs), with no prior martial arts experience. i started when i first came to melbourne. and just within wing chun itself there’s so much variations and styles. its almost inevitable that certain people feel that their own style represents “true” wing chun.

i will avoid that entire debate by just simply asking all your melbournians out there, where you train, what you train, and why do you train at THAT place. (however i do want to mention that i spent 1 year at a certain club which i now know for certain to be a complete and utter fraud and waste of time. so do be a little cautious of where you go!)

i will start the ball rolling by telling you of the place i train at, the Melbourne Chinese Martial Arts Club. i’m doing wing chun there under sifu David Peterson. why do i go there? well for 1 thing, david peterson is the genuine article. he is an official student of Wong Shun Leung, who was, and still is, a very well respected wing chun sifu in hong kong.

but lineage aside, he is one of the most friendly, approachable and down to earth martial arts teachers you will ever meet. always approachable and answers any question, no matter how dumb ( and believe me some people can ask the dumbest questions when it comes to fighting ). he never puts you down. always eager to teach and repeat himself, even if he JUST explained an entire concept to someone else. he’s dedicated and self sacrificing, and he comes down himself to EVERY training. so you actually train with him, not one of his instructors (although he does have an instructor there to help with the class). and he doesn’t believe in charging exuberrant rates for training.

for caucasions, he’s one of you guys! for asians, he can speak chinese and cantonese (his day job is a chinese teacher at a high school).

i promise you i’m not getting commission for this. when you meet him, he’ll instantly gain your respect.

so tell me, where do you guys get your fight club on?

6 Comments so far

  1. adrock2xander (unregistered) on January 31st, 2007 @ 10:36 am

    Ok this has nothing to do with martial arts, but just my thoughts:

    What kind of blatant generalisation is this? Not all asians choose to identify themselves with being Asian. These Asians do not speak Mandarin/Cantonese/Vietnamese and what not.

    Many Asians are stuck in the time-warp called ‘old fashioned parents expectations you-must-speak-your-mother tongue vs modern world English-dominated world’.


  2. Ronny (unregistered) on January 31st, 2007 @ 1:07 pm

    hmmm ok take it easy rock.

    i merely wanted to talk about his command of the chinese language and the relevance of it i.e overseas chinese might feel that much more comfortable. although i have to admit in class rarely anyone (asian or otherwise) uses it. 99% of the time its in english.


  3. Ronny (unregistered) on January 31st, 2007 @ 1:10 pm

    plus i don’t think its too much of a generalising or stretch of the imagination to say that any CHINESE asians out there would be impressed, or at least give a slight tip of the hat towards any ethnically non-chinese person who has mastered the language.


  4. Neil (unregistered) on January 31st, 2007 @ 3:12 pm

    An Asian that doesn’t speak an Asian language? Ive only met 1 in my life and that was because he was adopted by white people. It would be very disadvantageous to not learn the language from your parents. Adrock, you are the Asian Al Sharpton.

    I’d love to learn a martial arts. Since Melbourne won’t allow for any defensive devices (taser, capsicum spray), the only thing I can use is a loud alarm (um no) or my personal fighting skills(not so good). Any suggestions for a good fighting skill(defensive)which would be useful after a few drinks?


  5. Simon (unregistered) on February 5th, 2007 @ 10:20 pm

    I train Aikido Kenkyukai (translation: Aikido research) with Ralph Pettman, 6th Dan. In Fitzroy Gardens, most mornings, incl Sun at 10am & Wednesday afternoons at 5pm, just south of the conservatory (there’s a Tai Chi group there on Sundays too). We’re kinda like them, but we roll around more.

    This style of Aikido is inspired by Takeda Sensei 8th Dan, who trained under Yamaguchi (who trained under O’Sensei). That’s the official stuff out of the way (short version: Takeda is cool, and beautiful. We like that). Other than that, it’s right at the spiritual end of Aikido. Very non physical. Lots of “find your own way” rather than heavy doctrine.

    Aikido (particularly kenkyukai study) is about neutralising an attacker without hurting -either- of you. All techniques are defensive (they start with someone else attacking you). However, I wouldn’t recommend it as a self defence discipline. It can be used for that, it’s just much quicker to take a specific self defense course, if that’s what you’re looking for.

    Aikido in general is (*cough* or at least, should be) collaborative, not competitive. You’re there to help each other learn, not to fight, physically, mentally, or otherwise.

    Aikido is really more art than martial, IMHO. Opinions vary, of course, and like I said, we’re right at the very soft end. Most Aikido is a lot more physical than us. Most martial arts are much more physical than Aikido.

    Mostly though, it’s about having fun. Anyone & everyone’s welcome. If you’ve done another art (or still are), great! If you’re just curious, great! No particular charge (the council hasn’t figured a way to bill us for mucking about on their lawn, so no worries there). Come along any time.

    Simon


  6. koto (unregistered) on February 6th, 2007 @ 1:00 pm

    just wondering, what was the place you said was a waste of time? i’m researching places to do some classes, and i don’t want to land there!



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