Sifu Shaun Rawcliffe - MWCK Chief Instructor

Shaun began his Martial Arts training in Judo, at the age of twelve, though he soon left to join a local Karate school where he studied for over six years attaining 2nd Dan, before a chance meeting led to him begin studying Wing Chun in 1979. Between 1979 and 1989 he was fortunate to study with Sifu Stephen Chan, Sifu Brian Hook, Sifu Simon Lau and Sifu Samuel Kwok.




After more than three years of intensive study and training, mostly through private tuition, and having just moved to Birmingham, Shaun was given permission to open his first school. The first class opened in the Hall Green area in February 1982, where he still teaches today. From that first small group the Midlands Wing Chun Kuen has grown into a large family-like association both nationally and internationally with branches now operating throughout England, South Wales and Northern Italy.
In June 1985, Wing Chun Grandmaster, Ip Chun, came to England to give a series of seminars including one at the Midlands Wing Chun Kuen in Birmingham. Shaun was so impressed with his depth of knowledge and openness that every year between 1985 and his retirement from international teaching in 2002, Master Ip Chun gave at least one seminar, often two seminars, each year at the MWCK schools. During these UK visits, Master Ip Chun would often stay for several days with Shaun, giving him plenty of opportunities to practice and improve his skills. It was following one of these seminars in 1989, Master Ip Chun gave Shaun a personal invitation to come to Hong Kong to train with him; an opportunity that was not to be missed.
Shaun's first visit to Hong Kong in May 1989, lasted just six weeks, but it was six weeks of intensive one-on-one training at the home of Master Ip Chun. However, before he was allowed to begin training and was accepted as one of his students, Master Ip Chun took him to Fanling in Hong Kong's New Territories to visit Yip Man's grave and to pay his respects. All aspects of Wing Chun training and teaching were covered during these intensive training sessions and some evenings after their training, Master Ip Chun would accompany Shaun to meet other famous Wing Chun Sifu's such as Lok Yiu, Tsui Shun Tin, Leung Ting and Wong Shun Leung and Ip Ching to further discuss Wing Chun. At the end of his stay Shaun was made a permanent member of both the Ving Tsun Athletic Association and the Yip Man Martial Arts Association. The Ving Tsun Athletic Association also presented him with an instructor's certificate.
 With Sifu Ip Chun in Hong Kong 1990
Since 1989 Shaun has continued to return to Hong Kong at least once, if not twice a year, clocking up 30 trips to date and maintains a very close relationship with his teacher and his kung fu brothers. Each trip helps him to refine both his Wing Chun and his teaching skills, either privately at his teachers home, at the Ving Tsun Athletic Association or at Master Ip Chun's school in Shatin, New Territories, where he also trains with his kung fu brothers, most notably Patrick Leung Ting Kwok, Raymond Lo, Ho Po Kai, Law Kam Tak and Leung Wai. During one of those visits to Hong Kong, Master Ip Chun and Shaun visited Fatshan in China, the 'home of Wing Chun' where Yip Man lived before he fled the communist take Demonstartion at Ching Wu, Foshanover to settle in Hong Kong in 1949. There, Shaun had the opportunity to meet and discuss Wing Chun with several Sifu's including Pang Nam and Lun Kai, and visited the former homes of Leung Jan and Ip Man. Whilst in Foshan, Shaun and Master Ip Chun gave a Wing Chun demonstration at the Ching Wu Association as a prelude to Master Ip Chun starting a Wing Chun class at the University in Foshan.
Today, having trained under the personal tuition of Master Ip Chun for over 21 years, Shaun has attained and more importantly, maintained a high degree of mastery of Wing Chun. He is a senior representative for Master Ip Chun, a certified Instructor and the certifying officer of the Ip Chun Wing Chun Martial Arts Association; one of only eighteen people in the world to have earned and been awarded an instructors certificate from and be allowed to, officially represent Master Ip Chun. In addition, Shaun is a certified level 2 coach with the British Council for Chinese Martial Arts and a member of the National Coaching Foundation (Sports Coach UK).
SNT practice in Barbados
Shaun prides himself on the high standard of the Midlands Wing Chun Kuen's teaching and strives for perfection by continuing to visit and train in Hong Kong with his teacher. He continues to teach Wing Chun in the same manner that he was taught in Hong Kong (the same methodology used by Grandmaster Ip Man to teach his students, including his own sons), traditionally and informally. He now heads an international association but still refuses to teach Wing Chun for a living, preferring instead to concentrate on the quality, rather than the quantity of his students.
Training at each of the Midlands Wing Chun Kuen schools is on an invitation only basis, following an introductory course during which the beginner is assessed to determine their suitability for training, whilst the student has the opportunity to assess the class.
"Grandmaster Yip Man taught hundreds of students in his classes between 1949 and 1968, when he died in 1972 he left the Wing Chun legacy with his sons Ip Chun and Yip Ching and with his senior students including Lok Yiu, Tsui Sheung Tin, Wong Shun Leung, Hok Kin Cheung, Siu Yuk Men etc... Since then Grandmaster Yip Man's legacy of Wing Chun Kuen has now spread to all corners of the world. Sadly, however, as Wing Chun has spread in some cases much seems to have been lost in translation and its teachings misunderstood, not necessarily due to the teacher, but perhaps due to the interpretation of the students."
"It is Ip Chun Sifu's wish that the essence of Wing Chun Kuen as taught by him and his father be maintained and taught correctly so that his fathers understanding and knowledge be preserved. I made a promise to Sifu Ip Chun in 1989 that I would teach pure Wing Chun in the traditional manner, and that is what the Midlands Wing Chun Kuen stands for."
Sifu Rawcliffe

 
"Midlands Wing Chun Kuen" is the trading name of Midlands Wing Chun Kuen Ltd, Reg No. 07162974
"Midlands Wing Chun Kuen Ltd" Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (c. 48), All rights reserved