Since 2008, I’ve travelled to Germany half a dozen times. I’m grateful for these opportunities to do so. Without my students, colleagues or teacher, this would be impossible. They support me physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, socially, financially. No one succeeds, though each one must proceed, alone.
Years ago I realized that I wanted to seek a path, to master something, to become extraordinary. None of this is a big deal. I am not the first to dream as such, even among the thousands to have come and gone in this last decade of the IAW. However, the sheer reality of necessary resources invested long-term is another matter.
Currently, the London Olympics are in full swing. What I love about Olympians is their palpable drive, dedication and determination. They manifest a deep-seated, almost uncanny, desire to reach further within themselves to achieve beyond their limits and failures. Why do they train?
Perhaps egoic glory plays a part. But I think they can’t not train. It is a soul force which compels them so strongly that stopping is akin to death. All of us have this orectic spark of life, a verve easily quashed by banal existence if we don’t deliberately refuel it.
I also see it shine in the eyes of our students. When I go to Germany it is there. When I went to England it was present. When I visited France it met me too. When I teach in the United States it is here. And I gaze back, ablaze with the same light.
When a critical mass of alive people converge, a bonfire of shared purpose ignites. That’s one of the reasons why I fly to Germany, so my mind and body can be forged by this collective experience and emerge stronger. As blade sharpens blade, I thank my fellow WingChun brothers and sisters, particularly Sifu Alexander Lemuth, Sihing Igor Peic, Sihing Alexander Decker, Sije Nina Brandt, Sihing Marc Brandt, Sihing Ralph Dahl and Sihing Tobias Ries for their help on Sections 13-17.
After an amazing annual IAW Event (see collages below), Grandmaster Sifu Klaus Brand was gracious enough to schedule a full week of Private Lessons with me. We did nothing new but everything was renewed. I absorbed details that eluded my previous threshold of understanding or which I simply forgot. Frame by frame, I rebuilt the dimensions of Sections 1-10. Bit by bit, I reuploaded WingChun upgrades to my system.
Reflecting upon the daily instruction, I enjoyed dusk strolls past now familiar shops and streets. There’s a modest stream that rambles through the heart of Bruchsal. I’d pause on an overpassing stone bridge and observe the melodic current. Why does it flow? It can’t not flow. A stream couldn’t be otherwise. The nature of water, compelled by gravity, is just to move along. This persists often unnoticed but never ceases even while the busy city slumbers.
WingChun follows a course and, as with all human journeys, is ultimately insecure. Living adventures are thus both scary and exciting. You don’t know what unfolds the next second, let alone tomorrow. I have fears everyday. I have thoughts of giving up. I have questioned everything.
So far, despite untold challenges, I am unable to quit. Fortunately, no reason, excuse or obstacle has been too great to date. Yet nothing can be ruled out. But unless a global economic apocalypse aggravated by GMO famines, illuminati zombies, antichrist horsemen and multiple supervolcanoes unleash upon our most beautiful earth, I will continue to train, teach and travel to become better in and via WingChun.
I’d love for you to join me as we keep going forward together!