I Am Wing Chun is an organization founded by Rafael Gonzalez who with three decades of experience (and counting) has developed what is our curriculum. His background in various martial arts from an early age led him to understand the practical deficiency in those disciplines which focus on promoting students merely for the accumulation of techniques and information, rather than attributes and the ability to perform under pressure. Having spent most of his time under the classical Chinese system of Wing Chun (which means Beautiful Spring or Eternal Spring) and popularized by Bruce Lee and movie actor Donnie Yen in the Ip Man movies, Sifu Rafael has sought to expose the system to and interact with other disciplines in order to recognize and strengthen its deficiencies. As the saying goes, “He who knows his enemy, knows himself.” In other words, we will never know what we are going to face until we expose ourselves to it. That is why our curriculum, although it includes all the things you would see in a traditional Wing Chun environment, it also includes distinct methodologies, its own creeds, and a perspective somewhat different from what Wing Chun originally was.
Every combative conflict manifests itself in moments in which we can be alert or in which we can be taken by surprise. They can begin subtly or verbally. They can happen at long distance, short distance and clinching distance, and such conflicts can find us when we are standing or fallen/sitting on the ground. We happen to recognize that there may also be the use of blunt, bladed weapons and/or firearms.
That is why the I Am Wing Chun system is designed under only three modules, in which we discuss in each of them a combative distance: Long Distance (Module 1) Short Distance (Module 2) and Fighting Distance (Module 3). Each of these distances are worked eitherstanding or sitting on the ground precisely to be able to mold ourselves according to what we have already stated as the initial problem. In order to be effective in all of this, the I Am Wing Chun system uses methods to work on mental focus through the forms and patterns of Wing Chun (known as Taolu), exercises and routines for efficiency and physical conditioning, exercises to develop attributes such as balance, flexibility, speed and other aspects included in our ten pillars, the use of various tools for technical correction such as sandbags, the wooden dummy, classic weapons (long pole and eight cut blades), modern weaponry such as short knives and work with firearms.