The Escrima school next door: Kiel

Since spring 2000, Thomas Kramer teaches Escrima at the WT-Akademie in Kiel.

When I started in 1993, the Escrima school in Kiel was not yet part of the WT school. I learned Escrima for around 2 years, then took a 5-year break. During this time the Escrima school in Kiel was taken over by Sifu Rainer Wagner and Sifu Frank Schmalz. After a while Escrima classes were dropped, and no Escrima training was available in Kiel for a longer period.

In spring 2000 Sifu Rainer asked me if I would like to take on Escrima classes in Kiel, and it has been a part of the Kiel WT school since November 2000.

What fascinates me about Escrima is that everybody can find what he wants in it. Whether he wants to learn a realistic self-defence system, improve stamina and fitness, overcome stress and engage in mental training, learn elegant movements and forms, improve coordination and body-awareness, take part in competitions or simply explore the art of armed combat.

Depending on my day-to-day state of mind, I can put all these possibilities together to arrive at precisely the right training for any particular day, then combine them to form a complete unit.

The Escrima school in Kiel was revived in November 2000, after Sifu Frank Schmalz and Sifu Rainer Wagner approached me in spring 2000 and asked if I was interested in teaching Escrima at their school. At present there are approx. 20 students learning Escrima.

We use various media for our advertising. An agency administers our homepage. Amendments, articles, timetables, photos etc. are simply emailed over and the site is updated.

We always have one or two articles or advertisements in the Kiel city magazine ”Station“, and at present we have a cinema advertisement running at the Cinemaxx in Kiel. We also distribute our flyers wherever we can.

This year we have carried out more demonstrations to the public than before, and will continue to do this on the basis of seeing and being seen.

We obtain a number of enquiries each week from the Internet site, while a few people (usually school and college students) respond to the advertisements in the city magazine.

It is too soon to say anything about the cinema advertising, as it has only just started and no results are known yet.

Public demonstrations ensure that we receive more and more exposure. Experience shows that very few come to see us immediately after a demonstration, but people tend to recommend us to others. We often hear ”I was sent by an acquaintance of mine who saw your demonstration“.

Lots of people come as a result of our entries in Yellow Pages or the telephone directory.

I organise the training itself as follows, starting with stick gymnastics and warm-up exercises. I then move to the individual student programmes and the applications for these grades, followed by striking exercises and stamina training.

My aim is to continue ensuring that my students enjoy their training and learn as much as possible. I would also like to find more time to train myself, expand the school in Kiel further and continue to have as much fun with Escrima.