Chief Instructor - John Brogden

John Brogden is the chief instructor of Elite Wing Chun. He is a devoted student of master Ip Chun and is a fully certified instructor with the Wing Chun Ip Chun Academy (Hong Kong), the Ving Tsun Athletic Association (HK) and The Wing Chun Federation (UK). He is a founding member of the European Ip Chun Wing Chun Association.

John also has the privilege of studying with Sean Bardoe - experienced fighter, doorman, bodyguard, and senior student of master Ip Chun. John first met Sean in 2002 on a training trip to Hong Kong. Master Ip Chun, knowing that John was already good friends with Sean, advised John to spend as much time as possible training with Sean as his understanding and ability was second to none. Sean is a close friend of John's family and has presented many informative and excellent seminars at Elite Wing Chun.

John took a keen interest in Wing Chun in 1993 and began learning under the guidance of Alan Gibson, receiving regular private tuition. Initially, Wing Chun caught John's attention for three main reasons:

1) No time was to be wasted training inapplicable competition strategies and fancy impractical moves, instead all techniques and tactics were based on the reality of street violence as would be encountered when forced to fight.

2) Wing Chun was a fighting system based on science and reason rather than tradition, authority or revelation. The benefits were obvious: being grounded in the laws of nature and subject to the scientific method meant that any failing was a limit of the practitioner's understanding and ability and not a limit of the Wing Chun system. A true 'thinking man's' martial art!

3) The training environment was relaxed and informal, without kowtowing, false respect or admonishment for lateness or clothing choice. The class setting also maintained a constructive learning environment where it was frowned upon for students to slavishly support the advice of seniors and teachers, but rather, students were encouraged to check out the facts for themselves and after careful and thorough consideration to reach a conclusion of their own.

In 1998 John received certification from Alan Gibson to teach Wing Chun as a fully qualified instructor and opened his first club in Berkshire. In 2000, Alan presented John with the opportunity to organise and host a seminar presented by master Ip Chun, an opportunity which realised a dream. Master Ip Chun gave an informative and enjoyable seminar at John's club in Crowthorne and stayed with John for several days, visiting sights unique to the area.

Two years later in 2002, John and his students visited Hong Kong and China to be present at the opening of the Ip Man Museum where they had the privilege of participating on stage in the opening ceremony. A year later, again in Hong Kong, John had the honour of receiving master Ip Chun's blessing to use the Wing Chun Ip Chun Academy identity for his clubs back in the UK. In 2004, master Ip Chun presented John with the Wing Chun Ip Chun Academy Instructor Certificate during a special visit to Hong Kong to celebrate master Ip Chun's 80th birthday.

John is dedicated to promoting the effectiveness of Wing Chun through the rigours of reason, logic, analysis and evaluation in order to form solid judgements that reconcile scientific knowledge with common sense. He views Wing Chun as concept and principle guided and not a fixed system limited by set technique. He also believes that being grounded in the 'real world' requires Wing Chun to evolve as more knowledge is gained and as the enemy becomes more informed, cunning and brutal. Fortunately, this process of adaptation and enhancement is the reason that Wing Chun remains a relevant fighting force in today's ever increasingly malevolent and violent society.

John is vehemently opposed to the misuse of martial arts as a podium for charlatans and the irrational to preach dogma, impose ritual, teach myth and profess supernatural abilities. He says "At best this is insane, at worst it's irresponsible, ethically indefensible and downright dangerous when considering that it is real lives that are at stake when confronted with the reality of real violence".

To further his knowledge of Wing Chun, John regularly travels to Hong Kong to study with master Ip Chun and to train with his good friend and sihing Sean Bardoe. To better understand the natural laws underlying Wing Chun he also has a keen interest in kinesiology and biomechanics as well as the science of strength training methods pertaining to the development of speed and explosiveness.

"I absolutely adore Wing Chun and that's why I teach. I always aim for the class setting to be a place where students can feel at ease and be friendly with one another, while at the same time the highest level of skills get practised, analysed and memorised" (JOHN BROGDEN).


Our classes include students at all stages of development and beginners are always welcome. If you are interested in viewing a class or would like to start training with us, please take a look at training information to get involved!

NO competition... NO impractical Techniques... NO politics...