New Year's greetings 2011

Dear friends, students and colleagues,
Owing to the paralysing and decelerating power of snow, I have been obliged to spend the last few days of the year like a hermit in my house in Kiel. And just as well, for it meant that I was able to concentrate fully on putting the finishing touches to my new book "Resistance is Futile!". (This is also a good excuse for the season's greetings that I failed to write or reply to).

My practical book "Resistance is Futile!", which has numerous photos, more than 300 pages in A4 size and is the first in a multi-part series, will already be published in the first few months of 2011.

Work on this new series of at least three volumes, for which the material is taken from my doctoral thesis on the strategy and tactics of WingTsun, will continue to have the highest priority for me in the coming year. The next volume in particular, entitled "Combat Logic", will at last provide us with the theoretical basis for the ongoing restructuring of our teaching programmes.

As you know, there are always two fundamental approaches when it comes to teaching a "martial art" that not only aspires to be an "art", but is also optimally suitable for the purpose of "fighting":

1. The Asiatic approach
2. Western science and adaptation to the present time

One can do one thing while not leaving the other undone, and my book series will attempt to do both:
The purpose of the major volume "Combat Logic" is to "create knowledge", i.e. establish the theoretical basis for the nature of combat and how – following the latest scientific findings – one can effectively and efficiently prepare for it. It is also intended to demonstrate that the principles of WingTsun are equal to the new danger potential on our streets: more than one attacker, kicks to the head if you lose your balance and fall to the ground, attacks with knives etc. Which requires that we do not use fixed techniques, but rather know, understand, "absorb" and apply the principles.
As a logical consequence, the first practical volume to appear does not apply techniques, but instead the theoretical findings of "combat logic", and shows what I consider to be the best preparation for what I call "real combat".
The final volume with the working title "Classic exercises, solo and partner forms" will concern itself in detail with the classical WingTsun that I brought to Germany 40 years ago. With all its forms (also the weapon forms), and especially the partner forms that are traditional to our WingTsun style.
Naturally the publication of these books must be accompanied by practical instruction on how to translate these principles into movement, and this will be at the top of the agenda for the coming year. How does one do principles? The new ideas I have been introducing in seminars and private lessons for a number of years will gradually not only become part of the instructor training programme, but also of regular classes.

To an extent this will require modified or completely new teaching programmes that make the goal attainable more rapidly and systematically for everyone, not only for the most talented. This should not disconcert anybody who is not resting on his laurels and taking a rest. WT is not a lifeless style written in stone, but rather a study that only ends on death. Standstill means regression. Change and adaptation to changing circumstances and new scientific findings are at the very heart of our WingTsun.
Strictly speaking this is not only quintessential to WingTsun, as WT in fact only reflects the nature of human existence. We must never allow our thoughts and actions to become fixed!
We must also give something back to WingTsun, which means not only imitating what our WingTsun forebears did, but finding what they were looking for.

Accordingly the year 2011 is set to become an exciting one, with plenty of new ideas, challenges and satisfying discoveries for us all!

Best wishes for the New Year from Kiel
Your SiFu/SiGung

PS: I am not (and never have been) on Facebook. Neither do I intend to join. So please do not take it personally if I cannot accept your invitations to do so. Let's just train together instead!