Before Peaceful Mind Wing Chun was a school it was an idea. It’s often unnerving how something one says as a teacher can last forever in the minds of your students, and it was my first student that helped come up with the name Peaceful Mind Wing Chun for the school. It went from advice from a friend, to becoming the mindset for the way I teach. Fighting with a peaceful mind enables you the best chance for success, and so it became how I taught martial arts ever since.
Do it with a peaceful mind became our HOW, but after some thought over the years I wondered about the WHY. Why did I teach martial arts? Why did I learn it in the first place? What I came up with was the desire for peace, both external and internal. Knowing you’re practiced in martial arts changes how you experience the world. When you no longer walk around afraid of other people, or what you may or may not be capable of, then all that’s left is peace. Alternatively, if you can keep a calm mind during something as chaotic as a fight then you will likely find it easier to deal with the stresses of daily life. “Do it with a peaceful mind” was our how, but our why became “to develop peace.”
Over the years I have explored martial arts with many great martial artists and my kung fu grew and adapted. I explored Tai chi, and Muay Thai techniques from the Wing Chun perspective, and even delved into exploring weapon systems like Eskrima, Arnis, and Kali with experts in those fields to compare and contrast with Wing Chun’s traditionally taught weapons forms with the principles from those styles. As I learned and explored together with my students over time, we couldn’t help but acknowledge how similar the different styles were and the principles they all seemed to share. Learning, testing, adapting and evolving, we understood Wing Chun better because we learned each new thing. Keeping what works and discarding what does not.
With a deep understanding of Wing Chun training and principles, each instructor at our school is certified as a Wing Chun teacher, but that isn’t to say that Wing Chun is the entirety of their martial arts experience. With backgrounds in Tai Chi, Eskrima, kickboxing and grappling, we have so much to teach students here that we decided to change our name from Peaceful Mind Wing Chun to Peaceful Mind Martial Arts. So that we could not only foster inner and outer peace through martial arts, but also to bridge the gap between martial arts styles. Acknowledging the useful bits of each of the martial arts and sharing them with other martial artists has also become what we are about now. From having a peaceful mind, to developing inner and outer peace, and now to developing peaceful relationships between other artists and styles, it really shows the progression of our martial arts mind set as a school.