The 8th Rank grading taken by Sifu Alex Istari, Sifu Antony Antoniou, Sifu Rony Ganguly and Sifu Marc Thompson, was a gruelling and exhausting 4 years of training. One had to polish their wing Chun fighting skills and develop power for this historical grading (the first ever in the 25 years history of SAS Martial Arts Academy)
Mainly the grading consisted of the Lok Dim boon kwan and Bart chum Dao the pole and knives of wing chun. They all had to show the art of wing chun with precision, essence, direction and power. Demonstrate the forms, than pole attacking the knives, demonstrating their wing chun gates and counter strikes. A spiritual part of the grading was overwhelming when they had to show creative and artistic story telling with the butterfly knives to their choice of music. Finally set fighting routines and free style fighting with weapons were shown to the selective family members and lucky invited guests that were present over the weekend. Master Andrew Sofos invited high ranking 7th Dan black belts from Wado Ryu Karate and Jujitsu and both masters were very impressed of the standard and honoured to witness such an event, Master Andrew commented that all four sifu`s have been training with him for over 15 years and was proud and honoured that he had such dedicated and loyal instructors within the academy.
The Wing Chun Pole
The first formal weapon of the SAS Wing Chun system of Kung Fu is the “Six and a half Long Pole” form. The long pole form is well-known as Luk Dim Boon Kwun. Others know this form as “Dragon Pole”. Because of its weight, when practitioners train themselves in the Six and a half long pole form, they train and strengthen their arms and more specific their punches become more forceful and their legs, wrists, and back learn how to apply energy and also, the practitioner understand the empty-hand skills better. The length of the wooden heavy pole can vary, we at SAS use 6ft pole for drill training and and 8ft pole for our pole form.
Wing Chun Butterfly Knives
The Butterfly Knives or Butterfly Swords or “Bart Jarm Do Faat” as they are well-known, is the last level of SAS Wing Chun Kung Fu system. Bart Jarm Do Faat is the ‘eight chopping knives technique’ and they took that name because the knives chop really. The Butterfly Swords are also known as Yee Jee Seung Do (“Parallel Shape Double Knives”) If the practitioner want to learn the Butterfly Knives technique, he must be taught the eight sections and the eight methods to conquer completely the technique of the knives. We have many drills and set patterns to learn first before one undertakes the actual form.