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Lessons I’ve learned from Wong Shun Leung

I’m honoured to get this chance to speak to my fellow Ving Tsun brothers and sisters. I personally don’t consider myself as the first generation student of our beloved Si Fu Wong Shun Leung.
I rather consider myself as the last generation of students of Si Fu because before me there have been a few generations of Si Hings that had so much harder and better training then me so they are in my opinion the first generation of students.
I’ve been asked to share something for the WSL VTMAA so I thought I might as well share something that might be of use for our next generation of VT practitioners
I’d like to share with you 3 personal lessons I’ve learned as a student and translator of Si Fu.

Don’t be led by dogma.
Prior to meeting my Si Fu Wong Shun Leung I’ve trained many years in the Wing Chun lineage of Wang Kui believing that this besides being the one and only form was also the most economical way of fighting.
This believe lasted until I met a grand student of Leung Ting and his Wing Tsun became the new religion that held the holy grail of martial arts.
Once I was accustomed to my new WT religion I was hired to translate for Si Fu Wong Shun Leung who showed me that the only way is your own way. That Ving Tsun isn’t a set of fixed rules between right or wrong but was a way of thinking that could bring you from good to great.
With the emphasis on thinking not on believing but by putting theory to the test and never let dogma limit the potential of growth.

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Hard work always beats talent if talent doesn’t work hard.
Something that was hard to grasp for me as a young boy. On many occasions the question has arrised who would be the predecessor of Si Fu and or who was his best student? Si Fu hardly ever answered this question and from time to time he would mention only one guy that had his level of skills but became a Buddhist monk and distinguished himself from all forms of violence.
According to Si Fu talent only counts when you are second runner up and wish to defeat the world champion of that time before you get to that stage never mind talent for it’s overrated.
This mindset only existed in my mind until I had the luck to train under the guidance of Barry Lee “The Machine” who gave me the physical understanding of this philosophy. Coming to the conclusion that what your head understands your body might not know. So keep training for training is the goal, and success is the result.

Impossible is nothing, I’m possible is everything
A quote from Muhammed Ali a fighter that Si Fu admired the most, when a boxing match was on the big colour TV that was placed in the school, you could see Si Fu would be totally immerged into the fight and actually experiencing the whole fight as he was fighting the match himself including the punching and appropriate cursing.
After training we would gather up with a group of Si Hing Dai’s to have supper at the nearby fish restaurant till late at night, one time I left the table for the bathroom and Si Fu said to the others; “this little dude will become great”, on which one of the Si Hings asked and thought that Si Fu meant great in the sense of Ving Tsun and maybe the “talent” that could replace Si Fu one day ( “Sai Lei” fonetic translation in Cantonese ) on which Si Fu replied, that I don’t know it will all depend on how hard he’s willing to train, but he’s going to be great (sai lei) because he uses his brains and is willing to take a risk.
This positive encouragement maybe small words of little significance to Si Fu but they meant the world to my selfesteem. This gave me confidence to dictate my own future and not what others told me what was right or wrong, it gave me strength to realize my own dreams no matter how crazy they may seem to the status quo. Success depends on the amount of Kung Fu (eng. translation hard work) you’re willing to put in, and when you work hard that’s when you meet luck.
Since luck only dances with those who are already on the dance floor, I hope we as a family will dance together as one and work hard to let Si Fu’s name and legend live on not only in theory and words but in great deeds that moves the human kind forward.
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May you inspire the next generation to become the abundant light source that Si Fu once was for us all.
With respectful regards,

Kwok Fei Wan

How I flipped failure into success

A fellow coach/trainer asked me how I dealt with pain being born "differently/with limitations"

Here's how I turned failure into success
Where life coaches and psychologists tend to find proper academical approaches and theory's on best practices and therapies.
Mine is more let's call it "pragmatic",  when I was young I didn't know any better I thought pain and exclusion from society was normal, just a part of life.
"Rock bottom is a solid foundation on which you can rebuilt your life".-   J.K. Rowling author Harry potter
Stop wining keep moving, was what mom always used to say.
Since we were poor back in the days, we didn't had much luxury the only way we could enjoy delicacy fruit as kids, such as strawberry's was to buy it when it was damaged or half rotten.
What mom did was just cut off the bad parts and eat only the good bits must say the taste was delicious!
So my suggestion in life, "cut off the bad parts and enjoy your fruit"!   Thinking or mowing about pain will not help you forward I'm afraid,  it certainly won't help you focus on the things you want in life.
So stay busy chasing your dreams while doing so you might forget about the fact that you have pain.
By chasing your dreams and overcoming each and every barrier that keeps you away from your dream, one can feel so much joy that it takes all the room and space away from negativity such as pain.
Dance or martial arts is a great way to find strength and inspiration on how to deal with the problems that life will throw upon you. Dance triggers your brain to be creative and martial arts strengthens your body, and the both of them lead to increased self esteem which is essential in life.
Off course no living being "gets used to pain" and yes I'm no super human I cry, I wine, I complain, and sometimes I am in agonising pain that's when I call in some help from the "outside" friends and relatives or literature from those who overcame similar problems,  to push you over that one obstacle you're dealing with.
But make sure you DO NOT surround yourself with like-minded people, when you're in a down and or depressed.
Always surround yourself with people that inspire you, and or brings out the best in you.
Perhaps harsh to say when you've got parents that try to protect you in avoidance of any pain that might occur to you whenever you chase your dream they  also have to be cut in some way or another. Or their influence on you will bring you to a hold.
A path with no obstacles probably leads to nowhere.
So end of the line, how to deal with pain…. physical or mental…..try not to think about it even though its crusiating hard, just try to make yourself stronger one way or the other.
"There are unlimited possibilities in any limitation".  - K. One
Like Buddha said "Pain is inevitable in life, suffering from it is a choice".
Yours truly,
Kwok One
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCHS6geSs-k[/youtube]

What makes a man a great dance partner?

13 years ago when I was a beginner I used to think that in order to impress a girl on the dance floor I had to do a lot of cool and neat tricks.
This idea remained until I invited my Ex-Gf ( a fabulous samba dancer ) to a zouk social on which she commented on my dancing " you dance like a robot " I can clearly see you're dancing to the music with your head instead of your heart.
Needles to say it hurt and felt like a "blow in the stomach", you all might remember a moment in your life that you were really proud of something you've worked on and expecting recognition but instead being smacked down with a brick.

That's the moment I was wondering what went wrong and why I was missing "the point".
Despite all odds, for being of extreme short stature, I was able to do all the combo's that I've been taught including the hoops, dips and tricks. I was able to do them smooth and effortless even with the tall lady's in my class so why wasn't I considered a good dancer?

"Tricks alone doesn't make a good dancer". - M. Causey

Research has shown that in social dance female partners prefer males that have a clear lead and strong basic step over those who have lots of tricks and complex combinations.

A good ( male ) dancer is someone that can give the lady comfort and feeling of safety and ease, clear guidance and support.
You'll recognise a great dancer by his ability to connect body, mind and soul and express the unity of oneness through movement in junction with the music.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/RzCRJbqQKls[/youtube]

 

 

 

Start small but dream BIG

Many years ago I had a dream: to improve what I loved so dearly Zouk.

In spring 2011 I  felt I had to had to put "my words where my mouth was" and start with my project the Zouk Masterclasses.

Dispite strong critique from mostly my best friends (who I admired as highly skilled professional dancers) I took a (blindfolded) leap into the unknown, believing that everything would work out fine. Started doing something nobody has ever done before, teaching things that didn't existed in the zouk dance scene. Not knowing whether  my work would be understood or accepted, I didn't knew what I feared more failure or humiliation.

Thanks to genius teachers such like Si Fu Wong Shun Leung, Si Hing Barry Lee, Sensei Ron Zoet, who gave me courage by believing in me, inspired me to go beyond my limits by showing me the virtue's of perseverance and success by continuous hard work.

Looking back at my journey I can clearly see that my strongest opponent lives in myself.

Wanted to thank Wilco de Groot for giving me the best birthday gift ever! A way to re-live really happy moments, memories of love, friendship and lots of laughter. Makes me realize what is truly precious in life.

Thanks to everyone who supported me and believed in me. Special thanks to Nayan de Abrew & Katharina Albert for making my travel around the world possible.

Thanks to the different teams who helped me during my eventsWing Poon for always being on my side, so I stay on track & keep myself together.
To all the teachers and fellow zouk lovers for making my dreams come true.

And last but not least my love Saskia Versluis for always supporting me even on crazy ideas that I find insane !!!!

Thank you all for making my world a great place.

 

 

The flashmob that changed the world

September 16th will go in to history as the day the world met zouk and therefore I met and trained the Zouk Dubai show team.

Despite the fact that dancing in public in the Emirates is not allowed the team risked severe punishment in order to share this unique way of dancing to the world.

Zouk dancing is already some twenty years around. Yet, very few people knew about it. This has now changed. On September 16th thousands of Zouk dancers in more than 98 cities from 37 countries have shown the world what Zouk is about.

Rio de Janeiro, New York, Tokyo, Singapore, Dubai, Kiev, Sydney, Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Berlin, Paris, Barcelona, Prague, and many, many more, have joined forces to create the biggest International Zouk flashmob in history. Never before has such a complex operation been pulled off on a pure enthusiam basis. There is no sponsoring, no companies have been involved. There are no commercial interests. All the people involved are volunteers. There is no other motive than the love for this dance.

STATEMENT:

Apart from showing the world how beautiful this dance is, we have shown the world that we can make this happen. People from many countries all over the world, from different cultures and backgrounds can work together for a common goal. It doesn't matter where you are from, what the colour of your skin is, your religion, the language you speak: we all speak the same language in the dance.

 

 

Making a movie

Did you also dreamt as a kid to become a "movie star" one day when you grow up? I remember  I did. But once you grow up you tend to forget how to dream.

Despite a harsh upbringing where there was no room or money for art, I couldn't resist to secretly pursue my dreams. Guess the proverb " Opportunity dances with those who are already on the dance floor" worked for me quite a bit literally.

in 2011 a film editor called Wilco de Groot contacted me through a mutual friend via facebook telling me that he saw me dancing in a Brazilian bar in Amsterdam with such beautiful women and mostly much taller then me, that he was mesmerised by my way of dancing, and that he wanted to make a documentary movie out of this, happy with the flattering I didn't took his offer really seriously, little did I know that one year later we would be travelling around the globe having the most precious time of our lives making this movie.

Although the movie " Dance of love" is not fully finished yet we did already made a trailer to share with you.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URRksVfjWUo&feature=share&list=UUxL6o9RTnqsq7ynmcEtdiXQ[/youtube]

 

Making another trailer for the movie "Dance of love"

For this we travelled to beautifull spain, Barcelona and interviewed international zouk star Olaya White, who shared her insights on why the world would become a better place if we all danced Zouk.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcIwvV7O3GE&feature=share&list=UUxL6o9RTnqsq7ynmcEtdiXQ[/youtube]

Just received an amazing review for the movie "Dance of Love" from renown brazilian dance magazine Dança Em Pauta

Kwok One Dance Company found a new residency @ ZenENzo studio's in Delft

In collaboration with www.zenenzo.com will have their permanent residency at the ZenENzo Dance Studio's in Delft at the Ampereweg 24. Further training and workshop sessions will be held here.

Kwok One Dance Company is happy to announce that in collaboration with the ZenENzo studio's & their highly skilled teachers such as Charlotte van den Reek new dance styles such as BeYOU Ballet, & BeYOU Ballet Body will be launched by the beginning of 2014. If you wish to stay tuned on the latest update like our Facebook fan page for more info on "Dansen bij ZenENzo you can like the ZenENzo Facebook page. Looking forward to see you all burning the dance floor. Dance is the shortcut to happiness.

Pictures

The shortest distance between two hearts is a dance. - Kwok One


  

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