Frequently Asked Questions

Loukas Kastrounis' responses to some frequently asked questions. Please do not hesitate to write in with any additional questions that you wish to ask.

Q: What is Wing Chun Kung Fu?
A: Refer to the "About Reading Academy Wing Chun Kuen" page.

Q: How do I start training with the Reading Academy?
A: The Reading Academy of Wing Chun & Kali is a private and uncommercialized martial arts school which requires membership in order to become a student. To apply for an appointment / trial lesson at either the Reading School or any other of our many schools, please apply online.

Q: How long does it take to master Wing Chun?
A: To complete the system training 3-4 times per week, takes about five to seven years. To master it can take a lifetime. It is a system that develops according to the individual. If you enjoy something, you do not put a time limit on it. The less effort you put in to learn quickly, the faster you learn.

Q: I have seen a lot of photos of Wing Chun which depict only hands, does Wing Chun only focus on hands?
A: Definitely not. Wing Chun is a complete system encompassing locks, kicking, boxing and grappling, all based upon the straight line theory. However, you have to allow time to reach each stage - as the body matures, you move to the following level. Remember, the brain is very clever - it can understand quickly even though the body can not yet do it.

Q: How often do I need to train - I am very busy and do not have much free time?
A: Wing Chun requires two things: time and patience. Due to the busy life we all live today, we need to adjust and adapt in order to do things we like and enjoy. The Reading School provides fives days a week training, and the High Wycombe School provides two days a week training, so that you can adjust your training according to your time schedule. Students are not obliged to attended every lesson / training session but regular training is recommended in order to progress.

Q: Do I need to be fit to start training Wing Chun?
A: Firstly it is important not to confuse the fitness developed by weight training and the fitness developed by Wing Chun. The first form, Siu Lim Tao, provides internal training which also develops coordination, isometric training, prepares you for the fighting aspects and the fitness required for Wing Chun. Therefore you develop both your fitness and techniques at the same time.

Q: Does Wing Chun have a grading system?
A: No, but some schools do have grading systems. However, in our school we do not. If you look for grades, Wing Chun can be a grade in that you have the grade of having finished the system. From my teacher, I received one certificate of acknowledgment of having completed the system with him.

Q: What is the best age to start learning Wing Chun?
A: Any age is as good, provided you are ready to dedicate the time needed to train. Then again, in our school, we accept from 15 years old and onwards.

Q: Is Wing Chun suitable for both sexes?
A: Absolutely yes.

Q: What uniform do I need for training?
A: In the Reading Academy uniforms are not required. You can wear any clothes that you find comfortable to train in. Remember that the uniform and the belts do not make the martial artist.

Q: What is the difference between sport martial arts and Wing Chun?
A: Wing Chun is not a sport, but a system that prepares you for real situations. Because of this, it has no rules. However in training, common sense does apply as someone who is injured cannot train. 

Q: Is a trial lesson at the Reading School necessary if I wish to study at the High Wycombe School?
A: No. The appointment / trial lesson usually takes place at the location and school you have applied to start training with.

Q: What do you look for in the prospective student who applies to join?
A: Students are carefully selected upon attitude and character. Prospective students must apply online. There is a waiting list for new students and we are looking for students who wish to complete the entire systems of Wing Chun Kuen and/or Kali.

Q: Can a student at the High Wycombe School also train at the Reading School?
A: Yes. High Wycombe students can also attend training at the Reading School and are recommended to do so.

Q: How much are the training and membership fees?
A: The Reading Academy of Wing Chun & Kali has an annual membership and monthly training fees only, details of which are shared with prospective students once they have applied online.

Q: I have trained in Wing Chun before. Can I join the Reading Academy?
A: Yes. Beginners and advanced students are welcome to join the Reading Academy of Wing Chun & Kali. In the mind of a beginner, possibilities are endless; but in the mind of an expert, there are few.