New Year's Greetings 2016
Dear friends, students and colleagues,
The year ahead will be a very special one for us – we are celebrating the 40th anniversary of the EWTO! And this milestone will be celebrated in superlative form over the Whitsun weekend in the Stadthalle in Hockenheim.
Many of you will have taken part in the 25th anniversary celebration held in the same venue 15 years ago, our largest ever event at the time. I am certain that 15 years on, we will once again be holding an unforgettable birthday party. The presence of over 100 WT and Escrima masters alone guarantees that this celebration will be a highlight in the history of the EWTO. I don't want to reveal too much, but I can assure you that never before has so much been on offer during an EWTO event as for this anniversary seminar, both in terms of the first-class speakers, the topics covered and the accompanying programme of events.
Those wanting to take part should register as soon as possible, as more than 70% of the available places were already taken by early December 2015 and the event is likely to be fully booked by the end of January.
My new book is also due to appear in time for the anniversary seminar. This approx. 500-pager will put together the most important Tweets which I have published in my Twitter account @GM_Kernspecht since 2012. In highly compressed form, the reader will be able to follow the development of our WingTsun into an inner style.
Going against the opinion of my mentor Professor Tiwald, to whom I am grateful for his decisive inspirational input, I started to use Twitter as a medium for the dissemination of new ideas and concepts some four years ago. With great success. I wrote the following about this on Twitter:
When I started to Twitter, my mentor Prof. Tiwald advised me against it. This is perhaps the only point on which was eventually proved right.
It is certainly possible to make a difference with pinpricking Tweets that provoke thought, offer another perspective, challenge and initiate change.
Otherwise Prof. Tiwald was right about everything he suggested to me. What a pioneering thinker! We owe him so much!
Yet Twitter has an enormous disadvantage as a social medium: it is not possible, or only with great difficulty, to retrace past Tweets one has found interesting. With the forthcoming book I intend to combine the advantages of a traditional medium with those of a modern one.
Another major new book is due to appear in 2016. The Escrima team around GM Bill Newman and his master students is working at full speed to publish a completely revised new edition of the long-awaited Compendium of Newman Escrima in this anniversary year.
However, the anniversary year will not only be marked by major celebrations and new books. Naturally we will also continue on our set path of tireless further development of our martial arts with the same strong focus as before. In just a few days we will be starting the curriculum for 2016 with our traditional seminar in Tenerife.
As in previous years, I am looking forward to giving intensive instruction to the team of EWTO masters and teachers, so as to bring "our WT" on with further major strides: a WingTsun that could not be more Chinese, and at the same time enlightened.
I am only able to devote myself so strongly to the further development of WT because my team under GM Giuseppe Schembri, GM Dr. Oliver König, DaiSifu Andreas Groß and DaiSifu Thomas Schrön relieves me of many duties so wonderfully.
The programme continues unbroken after Tenerife. In the German-speaking countries alone, those interested will find opportunities to experience top-class instruction practically every day: in classic WingTsun and in modernised WT for self-defence, i.e. also with "Anti-groundfighting" & grappling, in ChiKung and Newman Escrima.
Looking at the seminar calendar in the current WT World No. 39 makes me very pleased and proud of the extraordinary breadth and variety we have created together over the 40 years. In its breadth of coverage and density of information, the teaching, training and educational programme of the EWTO is probably unique in the history of the martial arts.
I am very much looking forward to adding another eventful year to this history with you all. And in my view the most important one! Because I know what I will be teaching. Try not to miss it!
Happy New Year