This school teaches a style of Chinese kung-fu known as Wing Chun: an art known for enabling smaller, weaker fighters to ... More
Philip Nearing School of Wing Chun (The)
This school teaches a style of Chinese kung-fu known as Wing Chun: an art known for enabling smaller, weaker fighters to overcome stronger, bigger and heavier opponents. Among its most famous practitioners was a young Bruce Lee, whose exploits applying the art are still talked about. Yet the practice and learning of the art is amazingly relaxing, fun, and gentle. This is the only school in Chicago and the best school in the Midwest teaching Wing Chun in its pure, undiluted form. Traditional Chinese breathing exercises (Qigong) are also taught.
It is very rare to find a dedicated full time martial arts instructor whose sole mission in life is the dissemination of his martial art to others. I am personally not an athletic or particularly talented individual in fact I have numerous physical limitations. Sifu Nearing’s teaching style is that more of a personal coach who expects more out of you than you may have believed possible, at the same time he has the patience for you to achieve the goal. Without fault he treats each and every one of his students in this fashion (this is probably why Phil does not have a large commercial operation). Phil is always very evenly tempered. In the two years I have practiced here, only once did I see Sifu become mildly agitated. A student was working on specific drills with me in an in-harmonious fashion. When corrected, the student became quite disrespectful of his Sifu. Even then, after further explanation of the exercise and the reason for harmonious practice, the student was allowed to continue to practice. In other schools it would not have gone so well (call your teacher goofy). What makes this place so special (besides the instruction) is the collection of students. Many of Phil’s students have considerable knowledge of other arts. All of them are friendly, helpful, and, want you to get good at your own practice. All of this is why Sifu Philip Nearing is truly an elite martial arts instructor. –ken C
The teacher claims 25 years+ of experience, but his teaching does not reflect this at all. He has some knowledge, but he witholds the key details of becoming good at this style of the arts. Much of the practical details are not covered. The teacher also has a anger management problem. He also tends to get rid of the type of students that are not scared of him, and expect mutual respect regardless of his hissy fits. The teacher tends to hide these traits fairly well at first. Just don't ever mention the word Goofy.
If you seek a traditional martial arts experience, the Phillip Nearing School of Wing Chun is an excellent choice. Sifu Nearing is one of the few professional full time martial arts instructors in the US. While always expecting proper martial etiquette Sifu Nearing teaches without being either overly uptight or unreasonably demanding. This makes for a pleasant training experience while maintaining a clear focus what is in fact a very serious subject. Group classes are made up of a mix of various skill levels from beginners to advanced. During beginner oriented instruction Sifu personally teaches basics to all beginners as opposed to just dumping them on advanced students. For all students Sifu Nearing works with each and every student in the class assuring that you understand the day’s lesson as well as helping you to go beyond your own limitations. For those individuals that wish to go beyond what is possible to teach in a large group setting Phil does make himself available for private sessions. I Have personally studied various martial arts most of my life including aikido for the last 13 years and with Sifu Nearing for over a year now. Phil is patient, thorough and very professional. Most important, Sifu Nearing's school is not a "Black Belt" mill, instead, it is a school dedicated to developing a strong foundation and ultimately a high skill level in Wing Chun. I can truly say that in the short time that I have been studding Wing Chun; if the need arose and I knew nothing else; the training I received from Phil would give me more than a fighting chance at a positive outcome. One last thing, I did find a video of this place on line.
It’s mainly about money at this particular school. So the teaching is designed to leave out fundamental details, and the student’s pays high monthly fees for 12 months for instruction really takes about three months. That’s lousy. If this school was ever featured on Youtube it will be clear to everyone that this school is overrated, and the truth would be very apparent. Anger management problems is something one would not expect from any martial arts instruction, and the footwork an important part of understanding this art was held back, and it seems this is done for business purposes. Students that are in shape and familiar martial art instruction may find this school somewhat of a rip-off. New students get the same redundant demonstration from the teacher. The one on one instruction one gets in the very beginning seems mainly designed to keep students coming back, but after this expect slow instruction, and most of the time spent in class being small talk and corny jokes.
Great Instructor! I never get the sense that Master Nearing holds anyone back. He does place a very high value on learning the technical aspects of the art before advancing into more demanding aspects of Wing Chun . I like being confident that I can execute Wing Chun when confronted. I joined his classes to raise my level of attacking and defending. If you want lower competency then I would say go to a lesser capable instructor.
When reading reviews I find some saying Mr.Nearing will slow you down and wont let you reach a higher playing field or things around the line of that. The fact is Mr.Nearing only will let you progress when you've let yourself progress, he's not just going to say, "yeah you are not ready for this but sure I'll over whelm you with everything."
My experience with Mr.Nearing is he is the real deal when it comes to wing chun. Mr. Nearing trained under Sam Kwok and if you know anything about wing chun you would know Sam is another one of the bests.
I've had great teachers who taught me a bunch of stuff at once and the fact is you never learn the real way to do each and everyone one of the techniques.
If you really want to learn wing chun and be good at it realize it is going to take time, and an instructor who actually tries to help you and not just say, "oh its okay you will get it next time buddy bud" If my instructor did that to me I would run because I'm here for the fact to learn self defense the correct way and I need all the help I can get.
I trust Mr. Nearing's 25 years in Wing Chun is enough to know what are the right and wrong ways to teach wing chun.
Anyone who critizies Phil Nearing's instruction is not grounded in martial arts. That type of person is part of America's attitude of let me buy this skill and give it to me NOW. After a few years in Phil's gym I can tell you the Wing Chun is taught very well. The lesson is something that stays with me and I understand it more and more as I attend lessons. The group of men involved all respect each other and help one another. This is the place to really learn martial art. Wing Chun is more than a lesson on martial art, I believe Wing Chun allows one to seek information about ones self. Pay no attention to negative comments..they come from people caught up in the "I can pay for it so I deserve it NOW".
I studied intensely with Phil for 5 years. Phil is a pro. He takes the art seriously and his a very high-level practitioner. If you dedicate yourself, you can become a truely excellent hand-to-hand fighter under Phil's tutelage.
Other reviewers have noted that Phil is reluctant to take any students through the entire program of Wing Chun. When I studied with him, he bragged about only having taught one other person the entire third form, and at that time, he had many people who had studied with him several years longer than I. This was an issue for many of his students and he lost several of them due to that issue. There was no issue with dedication, excellence or willingness to learn but instead there seemed to be an issue with releasing information.
With that said, Phil produced some awesome hand-to-hand fighters. He focused intently on chi sao in controlled, semi-controlled, and totally free formats. Chi sao was a staple of every single workout. Saturday sessions were completely full contact and stretched not only his students but students of other schools/disciplines that wanted to test their skills in an uncontrolled situation. I have visited every other Wing Chun school in the Chicagoland area, and there isn't one that produces students that perform at a level as high as Phil's students.
I would not hesitate to recommend Phil as a teacher or recommend his school as a place to learn Wing Chun and effective hand-to-hand combat techniques.
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