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Editorial

Trainer Academy: From beginners to masters

Don’t be put off by the term ”Trainer Academy”. The classes are by no means intended only for instructors. It’s not only more advanced students who are most welcome, but also beginners who want to work on their student grade programmes.

I have now been a teacher at the Trainer Academy in Heidelberg for 20 years. This means that I actually began to teach there when the Trainer Academy had its home in Langenzell Castle. A long time, during which I have had the privilege to teach many different students from all over.

From Tuesday up to and including Saturday, classes are now held for all EWTO members in the present facilities in the Landfried complex on Bergheimer Strasse in Heidelberg from 9 a.m. to 12 noon and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. There are normally no classes on Mondays, unless special classes or seminars are being held. In these cases the times may vary, so that knowledge can be imparted in compact form. This is of course very important for school owners, so that their students miss as few classes as possible back at home.

But back to “normality“: my colleague Sven Weipert (7th MG WingTsun) regularly teaches on Wednesdays, and it is my turn on the other days of the week. We teach WingTsun in intensive small groups with different areas of emphasis which we adapt to the skill levels of those attending. There are no regular classes on some weekends, as there are wide-ranging special classes and seminars on a variety of topics. Students can find out the grade from which attendance is possible by consulting the seminar information in the EWTO calendar.

This normal rhythm is sometimes interrupted by special weeks during which specific grades receive input on their respective programmes. So-called student grade weeks are held specifically for WingTsun beginners. These intensively cover all the contents of the individual student grade programmes. Participation on these days is possible up to the current student grade plus the next one. It is possible to take the next examination directly in Heidelberg. The dates of these special weeks can be found in the EWTO calendar (https://wingtsunwelt.com/kalender) by entering the keyword ”Student grade week” in the search function.

Naturally the higher grades (HGs) and masters can also take part in these student grade weeks. When they do, we naturally teach the student grade programmes from the point of view of the teacher. They receive additional hints on how to teach the relevant programme to best effect. For advanced WingTsun students a programme week intended for candidates for the 1st/2nd HG, 3rd HG and 4th/5th HG is also held twice each year, so that as WT teachers they remain up-to-date with the programme contents and can intensify their knowledge. There are also so-called “weapon weeks“ during which skills in handling the WingTsun weapons (long pole and double knives) are taught depending on grade.

In earlier days, when there were not so many highly-graded WingTsun masters in the German-speaking countries, the Trainer Academy was the only training facility apart from the major Kernspecht seminars where examinations could be taken. This has fortunately changed for the better, but the high standard of training offered by the Trainer Academy in Heidelberg remains. From master level down to beginner!

I would welcome the chance to prove this to you in practice, and look forward to seeing you in Heidelberg soon.

Your GM Thomas Schrön
Photos: aw/mg