Part two of my WingChun trip continued at the IAW-HQ in Bruchsal, Germany. Things picked up even more with an additional variety of training topics. It was also nice to revisit my favorite fresh bakeries! German bread is a delectable treat. Currently, my favorite German word (one of only a few) is Vollkorn, which means “whole grain”, closely followed by Käse, or cheese.
Luckily, the time difference between England and Germany is only an hour, so jetlag was not an issue after our return on Tuesday night. On Wednesday and Thursday, it was a privilege to receive personal instruction as a private student of Sifu Brand. Our focus was the Puen Sao (Winding Arm) Sections 13 and 14 based on the Mok Yan Jang (Wooden Dummy) Set. In some styles, the Wooden Dummy is just another form. In our system, it is a distinct framework that integrates all previous movements in special contexts. It’s endlessly inspiring to see and feel how well thought out and put together our WingChun is.
Special Events I attended over the weekend included a Combat Class, Technician Class, and Master Class. The Combat Class was a dynamic affair with much falling, throwing, and, thus, getting back up. Soreness the following days was well worth the simple and fun reactions we covered against various grappling, takedown, and ground attacks. The Technician Class emphasized refining entrances to Sections 3-7. The compare and contrast format was very effective in differentiating the unique pressures and purposes of each flow. The Master Class went further and analyzed Sections 11-12 which apply the Biu Jee (Darting Fingers). Was nice to join this select group of Master Degree aspirants.
Speaking of which, it was helpful to have Sifu Alex Lemuth as a training partner, since, as the first Master Degree of WingChun along with Sifu Dirk Illig, his standard serves as a clear example and tangible goal. Plus, as a Leader of 8 IAW Academies, it was useful to discuss some business logistics with him. Besides, the always interesting Sihing Igor Peic and friendly Sihing Alexander Decker were also pleasant to watch in action. I also enjoyed finally meeting Sije Nina Wortmann and Sihing Marc Brandt, the WingChun duo from Mannheim. Too bad I had to leave the day before the WingChun Seminar at their Academy. We’ll have to get a report from Sihing Gerald Roliz, who was in Germany for a few days as well. Finally, my continuing studies also included further practice in the IAW weapon art, Escrima. Specifically, we worked on numerous coordination concepts and functional exercises in the Serrada and Dos Manos programs.
Overall, the dedication and passion all the students demonstrated was truly motivating. Something that I’ll bring back with me. To that end, after a picturesque ride through the German countryside on the Deutsch Bahn (German Railway), I boarded a little less lovely flight home.