An outlook on the next EWTO year
After a few days of rest and relaxation with my family, I am looking forward to the new year with WingTsun and its many new projects. Here is a brief outlook:
WingTsun adapts itself to us – at any age
We have long known that both young and old can learn WingTsun. And that is precisely where the EWTO wants to offer more in future. While it is always the same WingTsun in terms of content, it is to be adapted to suit the student's age where the teaching approach is concerned.
The EWTO already recognised this a long time ago, starting with the age group of young kids. Here WingTsun is presented on a playful level, but with lots of emphasis on self-assertion. More action is allowed for adolescents, as good preparation for Saturday evenings in town.
The younger generation is well catered for by the current adult programmes, as even more fitness training is now available.
From next year the grandmasters Dr. Oliver König and Thomas Schrön will introduce the new "BlitzFight" department. Those taking part will be taken to the limit with a mixture of WT, iWT, grappling, sparring and corresponding exercises. This is where you can work out to your heart's content at a high technical level, with high self-defence relevance using modern training methods that avoid injuries and are great fun.
WingTsun teachers are able to take classes with Sifu Sabine Mackrodt if they wish to teach women. Afterwards, women-only groups offer the advantage of being able to train "amongst themselves". This is a help to beginners with negative previous experiences. They are much more easily able to take the step to effective self-defence.
Which leaves us with the older generation. But what do we mean by "older"? Some already feel "too old to learn something new" in their mid-40s, while others are still fit and alert in their late 70s.
Without defining precisely when "older" actually starts, there are methods that make WingTsun much easier to learn. One of them is senso-motoric learning, which directly addresses our physical perception and to a lesser extent our conscious thought. This leads to faster eye-opening effects when learning – also for young people, by the way.
Senso-motoric learning is helpful to any instructor and school owner. Anybody able to teach in this way automatically helps students who have learning difficulties. Progress is made more easily and quickly, and with no stress whatever.
Following very impressive pilot trials in Switzerland, there will also be courses in Germany and Austria in the near future. These are under the aegis of the WingTsun teacher and neurophysiotherapist Sifu Samuel Lutz, who has examined teaching methods for older people for more than six years and applies them in both theory and practice in his 60+ WingTsun group.
Traditional is modern – reinterpreting ancient knowledge
While GM Keith R. Kernspecht propagates iWT and instructs the higher grades, I have devoted myself to the role of interpreter. As an enthusiastic follower of classical WingTsun, I examine all the programmes in the light of new findings from iWT.
Many thanks are due to SiFu, as we are now able to give substance to many things that were previously only vague and couched in legend. The new findings really do help to understand WingTsun better.
Knowing what you want to practice is a start – but knowing how you can practice it is at least as important. In my courses and seminars in Switzerland I have long been showing what to pay attention to in the partner forms. It is important to me that my students can easily recognise the connections between WingTsun and iWT.
In the process the learning content depends on the level achieved to date: students are given as much as they can process with their previous knowledge. It is also important to guide the students so that they can perform exercises well at their own level. This makes learning and understanding easier, and brings positive learning experiences.
O for Organisation
The standard is already very high, yet Master Andreas Groß has always sought to raise the bar further. And he plans to do the same in the future.
A new EDP system has been developed specifically for the EWTO. It simplifies the procedures, so that students and school owners can have their needs attended to even more quickly.
The well-conceived registration system for seminars was first used for the grand anniversary event, and will become the standard in future. It combines organisation with communication – the exchange of information is electronic, and the registered person is always fully up to date and can be quickly informed about any changes.
The EWTO's EDP system has potential. It is to be expanded as school owner software to simplify all the relevant processes. Student registration will be childsplay for all those involved in the future. And students themselves will be able to keep up to date on the communication platform, directly check the validity period of their annual subscription, notify changes of address, etc.
Train the Trainer
Last but not least, the EWTO Leadership programme will be supplemented with new content. Online marketing will be developed further for business owners, and the subject of teamwork for instructors discussed. This will enable teachers to expand their knowledge of educational methods.
I consider this to be of absolute importance, because as teachers we continuously need new input and findings so that we can continue to teach with the same spirit and enthusiasm.
I am looking forward to starting the new year with all these projects, and above all I am looking forward to teaching you again.
Many thanks for your personal commitment to the EWTO.
I wish you a wonderful start into a year which promises many memorable events.
See you soon!
Your Giuseppe Schembri
Photo: André Walther