Easter seminar 2003

For more than three years the head of the international WingTsun family, GGM Leung Ting, has been working intensively on a worldwide standardisation of the WT teaching programmes. Over slightly more than 30 years he has been successfully able to make the WingTsun system of his teacher Yip Man and its then revolutionary, innovative teaching concept known throughout the world, making the International WingTsun Association the world's largest professional martial arts organisation.

Since the principles of WingTsun need to be flexibly applied by the individual, it is very understandable that numerous interpretations of the original teaching approach have developed over the decades. Moreover, WingTsun is a living system which undergoes continuous further development under the guidance of its Grand Masters. Regular updating is therefore a necessary though, in view of the size of the worldwide WingTsun family, also laborious undertaking on which GGM Leung Ting embarked together with his Master student GM Kernspecht with the introduction of his private tutorials in 1999. These enable the greatest possible number of teachers and instructors to be systematically and directly acquainted with the "state of the art" in WingTsun at first hand.

For those teachers and instructors who had not yet had the opportunity to take part in GGM Leung Ting's tutorials – as well as for all student grades – the Easter seminar was the best possible way to update their state of knowledge. Assisted by high-ranking WT Masters such as Sifu Andreas Gross, Sifu Thomas Schrön, Sifu Bernd Wagner, Sifu Giuseppe Schembri, Sifu Hans-Peter Edel, Sifu Peter Maull and Sifu Heinrich Pfaff, GM Keith R. Kernspecht was able to explain the new aspects in the teaching programmes in every detail.

Whatever their grade, the main emphasis for all the participants was initially on the first section in Chi-Sao, which contains the basic fighting movements. GM Kernspecht demonstrated and explained all the changes in the new, standard version. Even though a few participants may at first have feared that they would have to jettison what they had learned to date, everybody quickly realised that the principles of WingTsun always remain the same. In fact only a few sequences of movements have undergone minor changes to ensure more rapid learning progress. Those who had diligently practiced the old programme were quickly able to incorporate the new variations into the familiar sequences. After a short period of familiarisation it became clear that the new programmes not only represent an organisational standardisation, but also a further development of the previous teaching programme for even more efficient learning.

As GGM Leung Ting has meanwhile also been teaching the most advanced programmes in his tutorials, the higher Technician grades were likewise able to learn and practice many new aspects. GM Kernspecht was kept extremely busy satisfying the great thirst for knowledge, especially since he also had numerous Technicians to examine during the seminar.

As in WT, a process of standardising the teaching programmes in Escrima has also been under way for some time in collaboration between GM Bill Newman and his most advanced students. This tireless effort has certainly borne fruit, for Escrima is attracting more students than ever before and the "old stagers" are also continuously improving their performance levels.

The EWTO Easter seminar is one of the highlights of the seminar timetable. There are only very few other opportunities to spend a whole week learning and training under the guidance of the Grand Masters and so many highly graded teachers. The onset of spring, sunshine and ... the Easter bunny also do their bit to ensure a happy atmosphere.