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Over the years, several practitioners from within the Wing Chun Clan have referred to Grandmaster Stephen T.K. Chan as an eclectic who has altered the original philosophy of the Wing Chun School. But in Grandmaster Stephen T.K. Chan's own words, "There is no alteration from the original roots of Wing Chun Kung Fu within my instruction. All my techniques follow the practice of the Grandmaster and ultimately from my Master - Chow Sze Chuen. My system may seem to be different, but this is only due to the change in my stature at this time. As a youth I was much smaller and was trained by Grandmaster Chow Sze Chuen in his own skills which were based on his height and weight. I being of similar size was a perfect subject for Grandmaster Chow Sze Chuen to relate to. Now twenty years later and with a total change in my stature, I have of course had to make adaptations to allow the original techniques of Wing Chun to be effective in a taller and heavier individual. My school uses the centerline theory as a guide and always follows the ideology that as all individuals are made different, every body's personal skill should be conditioned to the capability of their ability, even if that means slight changes to compensate for the



2nd August 1997, Great Grandmaster Chow Sze Chuen sparring with Grandmaster Stephen T.K. Chan  
differences in their physique to mine. The only substantial difference within my school that could be thought of as not being mainstream is that my system utilizes more body movements in conjunction with striking or defensive skills and in general we rely extensively on kicking techniques. This may all seem to be different to supposedly original teachings. But then again

Grandmaster Stephen T.K. Chan demonstrates the Wing Chun Butterfly Knives' Technique.

after being a closed door disciple of Grandmaster Chow Sze Chuen, I can categorically state that what is assumed to be different is only the closed door teaching of Great Grandmaster Yip Man and Grandmaster Chow Sze Chuen.

As an example of the difference found in the instruction of Grandmaster Stephen T.K. Chan, "Chi Sao" which literally translates as "sticking hands" is seen only as a drill by traditionalists to stylize the techniques of a Wing Chun practitioner during sparring. To Grandmaster Stephen T.K. Chan however, the object of Chi Sao is to successfully tie up an opponents hands with one of the practitioners hands and render the adversary defenseless. This permits a strike to be executed by the practitioner's free hand. Not only will the practice of Chi Sao enhance a practitioners perception and reflexes, but it teaches the practitioner how to flow freely within a confined space. This ability to flow freely is an extremely important aspect of Wing Chun Kung Fu as it gives the practitioner a greater spatial awareness allowing him or her to refrain from the use of ineffective techniques.

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