I have spent 5 years learning Wing Chun, it is something I am very passionate about, and pursuit of Wing Chun and martial arts has been a focal point for me during that time.
I joined Lucas' school when I had been practising for 4 years, and was confident in my ability, as compared with other schools, I had received what I considered to be excellent training.
However, when I went to the Reading Academy, I found how little I knew!
Lucas and his students are, in my opinion, the absolute best Wing Chun has to offer. They all train extremely hard, with a focus and dedication that is rarely seen, but with excellent attitudes and great sense of humour.
In my short time with Lucas, I began to understand Wing Chun more, not by rushing through the forms and drills, but by learning how to adapt and improvise, to use Wing Chun as my tool, not being a slave to the system. Lucas helped me see Wing Chun as it should be, a system with flow and directness, but not rigid and inflexible. I learned that Wing Chun is a method of thinking, not just certain ways to put your hands.
Simply put, Lucas is the best Wing Chun instructor I have ever trained under, and my gratitude towards him and all the dedicated students at Reading Academy is beyond measure.
Thank you Lucas!
Luke Jelley | 28.09.2008
For almost 2 years now, I have been travelling 5 times a year from Paris to Reading in England to train a few days with Lucas and also with my Wing Chun brothers at the Reading Academy.
As a former student of the Reading Academy (I used to live in Reading and spent 7 months learning Wing Chun as a complete novice in 2001 and 2002 before I moved back to France), I already knew that Lucas is a very good and capable teacher who only teaches you what you need to practice in order to progress properly instead of giving you with more and more advanced things when you are not ready, which in the end will be counter-productive.
So, when I restarted training Wing Chun in 2006 in Paris with a few people claiming Nino Bernardo, and realized how rusty my Wing Chun has become after 4 years without practicing at all, one thing came quickly to my mind: why not get in touch again with Lucas and perhaps go and train in Reading from time to time ? That idea became more and more like something I had to do if I wanted to improve quickly as I was getting quite frustrated with my Wing Chun. Indeed, at that time, I was still able to remember some concepts, how things should look like and feel like, but I just couldn't perform. So I sent Lucas an email, and I was a bit surprised he still remembered me after all the years ! Quickly, after a few exchange of emails, I ended up calling him to catch up with the news of the Reading Academy, the people I used to train with and also to check about Lucas's summer seminar, which I was secretly hoping it would take place in Greece as I wouldn't have minded to combine training with some holidays in Greece. Unfortunately, it turned out that the summer seminar was going to take place in Reading... But I came anyway as it is not really the destination which matters but the journey and the people ! I have to say it was good to be back. Besides, I really enjoyed the seminar, the information delivered by Lucas, the people attending, their very good attitude and their skills. As I had a great time and fun, I told myself that I will try to go back as often as I can to have private lessons with Lucas.
So, that was how I took the first steps back training with Lucas and with my friends at the Reading Academy.
Now, 2 years later, if I have to describe our private training sessions, I would say that it's been and IS a lot of fun, with a lot of sweating and hard work too, but usually I don't really realize it until I get on the train back to Paris. Lucas usually starts a lesson by assessing and testing my structure and the energy I put in my arms through Chi Sao. Then he tailors the lesson accordingly and focus on what you need to work in order to fix the weakness and also to prepare me for the next time.
Everytime I come back from Reading I bring back a lot of details to pay attention to when I am training in France. These details are not only about the Cham Kiu form which I learned not long ago, but mainly about the basis, i.e., Siu Lim Tao form, structure, steps, hands, forward and spring loaded energy, etc., ... Lucas is not the kind of teacher who will teach you advanced stuff unless you have reached a satisfying level. To achieve that, you have to pay attention to and be aware of the details everytime you train. This is a job that no-one else can do for you.
This is thanks to that kind of training delivered by Lucas that my Wing Chun has improved so much during these past 2 years, and to be honest, it improved well beyond what I could have hoped for.
Besides having private lessons with Lucas, there is also another reason which incites me to go back to Reading: it is the quality and skills of the people training in the kwoon. Indeed, having good training partners helps a lot !! So, it is really nice to see that most of the serious people I knew when I started Wing Chun in 2001 are still practicing. They have improved so much and now help the new students (and me) to improve fast. To me these are signs of a very high quality training with a very good teacher and a good mentality. So I want to thank all of you guys, for kicking my butt in such a nice and friendly way, and helping me to improve my skills at the same time. You definitely earned yourself a free accomodation in Paris, just let me know when !! ;)
So, Keep up the high standards, keep having fun and see all of you soon.
Alain Nguyen | 22.06.2007
I've been a member of the Reading Academy Kwoon for almost seven months now, and would just like to say how much I've enjoyed my time there. The 'concepts' and 'ideas' of wing chun that Lucas teaches can be applied to any martial art. I've trained in karate now for nearly 16 years, and from my short time in wing chun, I already feel that my karate is improving by applying the concepts of wing chun. I strongly believe that in the long run my karate will be better for having trained in wing chun than if I concentrated all of my time on one art alone.
Now I've started the system, I intend to see it through to the end.
Simon Nell | 18.05.2007
I thought the Kali / Wing Chun workshop (30th September 2007) was brilliant.
I really like the focus on "not thinking" about what you are doing, and just get on and do it. I didn't realise how well you delivered the seminar until the Monday when we carried on what you had taught, in that evenings Kali class. As I played with the guys/girls that evening, more and more of the concepts began to pop into my head. All the details came out of the woodwork and by the end of the night I felt I had really gained from the seminar and also had a much better understanding.
I also really liked your approach to training Wing Chun. Standing there doing drills is one thing, but you put some real spice into the whole concept of drills and made them both fun and far more efficient.
Many thanks for a great day!
Dave Tilly | 08.10.2007