The theory behind our grading structure

The Wing Tsun stages of development are based on the Taoist five elements  (fire, water, earth, wood, metal) come from the far Eastern philosophy of Taoism.


As our association is heavily based on the Confucius Virtues of the Chinese Phoenix we also apply these five virtues to each stage with the aim that as a person goes through the Wing Tsun System they also work on improving their character.

"Being a Martial Artist is being a Peaceful Warrior, without a peaceful mind you cannot be a warrior and without warriors, there can be no peace"


The elements represent the cycle of life and the cycle of the entire Wing Tsun system. The cycle goes back to the beginning when you reach the end. It is there to remind us that no matter how far we progress we should always remember where we began.

FIRE: This element represents the birth of Wing Tsun, which came from the tragic burning down of the Siu Lam Monastery by the defector monks, the rebel Lee Pai Sun, and the Manchu government in 17th century China. But also it’s the spark within us as a new student, which is the beginning of our learning and the representation of re-birth. A time to reinvent and improve ourselves. Beginner stages of learning – Siu Nim Tau is a reflection stage to look at oneself and try to understand ourselves better.  

WATER: This element represents water, and the water theory is the theory of fluidity, and water beats fire so it also represents the next stage. In wing Tsun the water is under a bridge, this represents the next stage – bridging forward to the second stage in learning Chum Kiu, which means, “seeking the bridge”. But it also is the bridge between a beginner and a master. Chum Kiu stage is to try to understand others, both with empathy or reading a dangerous opponent. It is the bridge between you and others, and the bridge between your beginner stage and master stage.

EARTH: This element represents soil the element that is needed for growth. Earth can bury water and is, therefore, the next stage of learning. The Earth element in Wing Tsun is a mountain as it holds some of the highest techniques and ones, which require the most amount of skill. Earth is Biu Jee, the third stage of Wing Tsun. Biu Jee is the stage where you must begin to master yourself but understanding that this task is never actually completely possible. Biu Jee has a saying “Biu Jee stays in the house” it is the most brutal of unarmed techniques. This is why it is accompanied with self-mastery, mastery of ego, fear, hatred and all dark emotions, the Chinese realised that training brutal techniques without focus on self mastery can turn the practitioner dark and there is a saying that many who arrive at the top who don’t focus on self-mastery will become darkened and lead astray by the thin air, and become blinded by their ego from high knowledge and destructive ability and they will be trapped up there forever. The challenge with attaining high skill in martial arts is developing kindness and responsibility for there is no greater discipline than to behold destructive power but without the desire to ever use it.

WOOD: This element represents growth from the fire of the sun, water, and earth-combined nature is born, trees are grown. This it the wooden dummy stage and long pole stage combined. Wood is grown from earth but requires fire (the sun), and water to do so. The wooden dummy combines all the best techniques of the 3 prior stages (Siu Nim Tau, Chum Kiu, Biu Jee). The wooden dummy perfects the movements and is a correcting tool for the movements. 
Long pole – interestingly in its origin combined metal and wood as it originally had a metal handle. 

METAL: This is the final element the 5th and the crown of the system. Metal comes from earth deep in the earth it is formed. The Baat Chum Dau is the crown of the entire system, it is known as the 8 bladed knives as it beats all 8 types of cutting weapons including the samurai sword. The most destructive, skilful and beautiful stage of the art. The Baat Chum Dau is known as the weapon designed for a woman. Both beautiful and deadly. Its movements come from Biu-Jee and there are many noticeable characteristics of the Biu Jee movements. But most interestingly, metal can be melted by fire and the theory is to always remember that you are still and always will be a student…


There are 10 student grades in our grading structure

4 Grades belong to Siu Nim Tau:

  • Forms

  • Basic Self-Defence

  • Lat Sau /Chi Dan Sau

  • Applications

  • Basic Sparring

4 Grades Belong to Chum Kiu:

  • Kicking Forms

  • Chum Kiu Form

  • Kicking cycles

  • Advanced Lat Sau

  • Chi sau sections

  • 5 stages of  a fight (puncher, Kicker, mixed and traditional, ground fight, Wing Tsun vs Wing Tsun)

  • Weapons defence

  • Multiple attackers

The two last grades:

  • Complete the 7 ½ sections of Chi-Sau

  • First part of Biu Jee form and basic applications

  • Free fight any previous stages

  • Advanced Weapons Defence




  • CHI GERK 1-4