Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between Wing Chun and other martial arts?

Wing Chun is unlike other martial arts. It is a very integrated system with many benefits. Wing Chun is:

  • one part highly effective self-defense for real world scenarios
  • one part a daily mental health discipline
  • one part healthy physical exercise
  • one part life philosophy
  • one part meditation

Unlike most martial arts, Wing Chun is not a sport. Wing Chun doesn’t compete in point-based tournaments or sports competitions. When it comes to the combat application of Wing Chun, we are focused entirely on self-defense. Practicing a martial arts system for self-defense is entirely different from a sport-based martial arts approach. Participating in tournaments and matches changes the way your mind approaches a self-defense situation. So our training is completely different than those martial arts you see competing in competitions. That mindset transfers directly to how you respond and deal with the realities of self-defense. Wing Chun is a guide that takes you through a never-ending pursuit of an ideal. It is both a martial art and a philosophy that becomes a way of life that encompasses the full mind, body and spirit. Many martial arts today lack this very necessary integration.

What sets you apart from other martial arts schools?

QUALITY – The phenomenal masters that have come before us have set a precedence. Because of them, we are able to offer a deeper understanding, exceptional quality and provide such meticulous detail in our training.
EFFECTIVENESS – This is self-defense, it works against real-world attacks. We train for practical application and providing street-proven realistic knowledge. You aren’t practicing to “participate” or “win” a competition or tournament. You’re training for what really works when your life is on the line.
CHARACTER – This is an ego-free school. Arrogant and pompous people are not welcome. Our school is about helping you, not competing with you. You just don’t find the kind of arrogant people you often find at other martial arts schools.
GENUINE – Authentic lineage, experienced instructors, fair prices with no long term binding contracts, a focus on sparring and handling all threats including take-downs. We also don’t charge for testing. We don’t believe in it. Despite the reason a martial arts school tries to justify charging for testing, it is simply not necessary.

What kind of time commitment is involved?

Committing yourself to your training is a requirement of The Dragon Institute. We recommend coming to class twice a week or more when available. We offer up to 8 different classes per week. You’ll also need to regularly practice drills and forms at home. (Private lesson students may differ based upon individual needs)

What kind of financial commitment is involved?

We have different options for the different classes we offer. Adults, Kids, Teens, Qigong/Tai Chi, etc. We ask you to come in and experience our class first hand. After that, we’ll discuss our tuition options.

How long will it take to get good?

You’ll notice a real difference within 3 months. We’ve had students successfully defend themselves on the street within 6 months. However, due to our high standard, instructor level certification takes a few years (depending on the student’s ability to apply). Only ability can determine your level. Ability is not determined by how many forms or combinations you can rehearse. Therefore we are very discriminating upon who we certify. (Please note only adults may earn “black belt level” certificates, we do not award children black belts).

How easy is Wing Chun to learn?

The beginning is the hardest part because you’re learning to think and move in a completely new way. There will be an adaptation period (called the dip) where you’ll feel awkward. The dip can last anywhere from two weeks to a couple months. Hang in there, with time, dedication, and guidance it will eventually feel right.

Do you have any age limits?

We have different classes for adults, juniors, kids and preschoolers. Our adult classes include many well into their 60s. Kids as young as 5 can start in our kids classes. Our junior Wing Chun program is ages 11 -15.

Am I too old for Wing Chun?

Wing Chun can be practiced with great benefit well into your later years. Its focus on efficiency and low kicks are practiced by students well into their late 60’s. Unlike other “hard” martial arts, you don’t tear your joints down. In fact, it has sometimes been referred to as the “old man’s art”.

What benefits does your kids program offer?

Our rewards system improves self-esteem. Our structured kids classes teach mental discipline. Our activities help channel aggression into a positive outlet. Our kids classes enhance assertiveness and teach lifetime self-defense skills. Kung Fu is one of the best things you can do for your child!

What benefits does your adult’s program offer?

True confidence in your ability to defend yourself. Our classes are a great way to become healthier, relieve stress, build discipline in your lives, develop shaper focus and build authentic confidence. Everything we teach is reality-based and can very well save your life!

How does Wing Chun work?

Wing Chun students defend themselves by using the simplest actions possible as well as leverage and angles to turn attackers’ strengths against them. Wing Chun is effective for everyone, regardless of size, strength or gender. It teaches smaller, weaker people to be able to overcome stronger, larger people.

Does your Wing Chun system have all the traditional forms and principles?

Absolutely. Our Wing Chun system includes all the traditional Wing Chun material as passed down through Ip Man (aka Yip Man), his senior-most Hong Kong student, Leung Sheung. Our school has the honor of continuing this amazing legacy through our Sifu, Adam Williss, as passed down by some of best practitioners in the Wing Chun world today (Kenneth Chung, Ben Der, Karl Godwin and Bill Graves).

Are you a fully-accredited Wing Chun school?

You can’t get much better than our credentials. First of all, our founder is none other than internationally acclaimed Wing Chun expert, Adam Williss (probably the most passionate Wing Chun man you’ll ever meet). For the last 24 years, he’s dedicated his entire life to Wing Chun… and it shows through in the quality of our program, system and instruction. But it’s the ability of our students which is noted by experienced martial artists and other visitors. We are members of Ip Man’s Ving Tsun Athletic Association in Hong Kong and proud affiliates of the Worldwide Leung Sheung Lineage Association.

Do I need to be in shape to join?

Absolutely not! Wing Chun training is geared toward the individual. Everybody trains at his or her own level, pushing a little bit more every time. There is no pressure to do things that your body isn’t able to do. Most students notice a increase in fitness, joint flexibility, and general strength after as little as a month.

Is our training good for self-defense?

Second to none! Our training program is designed to teach students what REALLY works on the street. Our Wing Chun training places a strong emphasis on giving students solid responses to real-world attacks, not for the ring, octagon or some other sports competition. Regardless of your size or age, the bottom line is that our methods work when it matters the most!

Is our training good for sports competition?

Wing Chun is not a sport. If you want to participate in sports competition, we suggest you chose another martial art that specializes in sports competition.

Do I need previous martial arts experience to start?

Nope. In fact, students with little or no previous martial arts experience tend to have fewer bad habits to break. However, if you do have previous experience, please do your best to “empty your cup” and come to us with an open mind.

Is Wing Chun good for women?

According to Wing Chun’s legendary history, Wing Chun is the only martial art to be created by a woman. It is geared for smaller or weaker individuals to enable themselves to defend against stronger or more aggressive attackers.

Is Wing Chun for everyone?

No. Wing Chun is not for everyone and we don’t accept all applicants into our program. Students must leave their egos at the door and humble themselves. Our school is built on good people and helping others. A good character, integrity and sincerely humbleness is required to become a student.

Is our training safe?

Student safety is a primary concern during all classes. Students are taught how to train intensively and safely with a partner. In addition, the completion of our basic training program reduces the possibility of injury to a minimal level.

What can I expect in the training?

The classes are fun and challenging! They are taught in a friendly environment where the students engage in a wide variety of drills, exercises and training routines helping each other in a family-like atmosphere. Beginner level classes consist of form training, footwork, drills and light sparring.
In class, students engage in:

  • Forms and Moving meditation training – energy development exercises which teach muscle memory, concentration, mental focus, and precision body movement.
  • Strength training – to build and improve your abilities to apply the powerful actions of Wing Chun.
  • Reflex training – used to improve hand-eye coordination and timing. Chi Sau – a training exercise unique to Wing Chun which uses tactile reflex development and muscle memory to “program” the limbs to react to contact with an opponent’s attack.
  • Analytic Sparring – a unique interactive approach to learning that breaks down fighting solutions
  • Sparring – application training where the student learns to use the movements of the forms, drills and chi-sau for actual fighting.
  • Footwork and kicking drills – provide for mobility and agility in attacking and defending.
  • Equipment training – Using equipment such as wooden dummies, sand bag training, wooden blocks and 4×4 platforms to help the students develop striking force, structure, energetic connections within the body, coordination, body conditioning, rooting and stance development, distance measure, angle orientation and just to improve general fitness.

Note: You will get bruised in our classes (usually on the forearms and shins). If you are looking for a kickboxing work-out where you do not get bruised, our training may not be right for you.

I am a student of another Martial Art organization, can I attend to learn some of your techniques?

The Dragon Institute is a private school for its students. Although we do not discriminate based on previous martial arts background or affiliations, we do reserve our classes for our student members. Because of this, if you are visiting from out of town, please contact us before visiting. Private lessons may be a better fit. Please also note that all new students in our group classes start as a beginner regardless of previous experience.

What should I wear? Do I need special clothing or equipment?

Wear comfortable clothing. There is no special requirement for intro students. All jewelry that can be readily taken off will need to be removed. Once you become a student, the uniform consists of an official Dragon Institute t-shirt, arm sleeves, kung fu pants and kung fu shoes. A groin protector (cup) and mouthpiece will also be need to be purchased to be used after about a month into beginning your training.

What should I do to prepare for my first class?

No preparation is needed. Simply contact us and we’ll help you from there.

Do you offer private lessons?

Yes, please contact us for more information.

What values do you profess?

We use martial arts as a way of life. We are deeply committed to meeting life’s challenges head-on, constant growth through facing our fears, taking ourselves out of our comfort zones, being truthful to ourselves and to others, seeking to constantly improve ourselves, focusing on priorities, having courtesy for others, being respectful to others – especially those that are different than us, serving the community, learning from those that have come before us, mentoring our juniors, having the passion and determination to work harder than others have the will to do, and many more. Our developmental journey through Wing Chun influences every aspect of our lives. The concepts, philosophies and training experiences bring about a refreshing perspective of life’s challenges- helping us deal with life’s situations in a whole new way.

Who is the Sifu/Head Instructor of The Dragon Institute?

Our founder is Sifu Adam Williss. His is the head instructor at our Dana Point school. Sifu Derrick Mansell, is the head instructor of our Irvine school. Both are legitimately two of the best Wing Chun practitioners in the world. Both have dedicated their lives to empowering and educating people of all ages through their Wing Chun classes, private training sessions, online Wing Chun training and seminars.

What affiliations, associations and accreditation do you have?

Our Wing Chun school is a representative of Ip Man under his senior-most Hong Kong student, Leung Sheung. We are internationally recognized under the Hong Kong-based organization founded by Ip Man (Ving Tsun Athletic Association), a proud affiliate school of the Worldwide Leung Sheung Lineage Association and the official representative of California for Bill Graves’ The System Wing Chun. We also have affiliations with Ben Der’s San Jose Wing Chun, Karl Godwin’s Seminole Wing Chun, Jesse Moon’s North Florida Wing Chun, Kenneth Chung’s Stanford University Wing Chun, Jonathan Petree’s Atlantic Warriors Wing Chun, Tim Faughn’s Wing Chun Fight Club and Wesley Lim’s Leung Sheung Wing Chun (Singapore).