Instructor Degree III

Although we had been fulfilling qualifications for the Instructor Degree III (ID-III) over a period of time, I was surprised when Sifu Klaus Brand decided to confer it upon me at the Fall WingChun Seminar. Perhaps I should have noticed the incisive questioning and extra pressure during our presumably testing Private Lesson the night before.


With Sifu upon granting the ID-III on October 25, 2009.

The ID-III covers the teaching methodology of the Upper Levels, from 9th Student Level to the Pre-Primary Level. This includes the meaning of the whole First Section, Stick Defenses, Knife Defenses, and Alternative Defenses. It is personally motivating to move forward along the path of greater knowledge and ability with all of my diligent students.

Keep on the way.

WingChun Function Video

Sihing Paul Wang and Sihing Carl Hettiger demonstrate WingChun counterattacks.

WingChun Flow

Sihing Paul Wang and Sihing Gerald Roliz demonstrate part of the First Section flow.

Heading to the Headquarters

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.


At the HQ with Sifu Brand.

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.


After a great and grueling Combat Class.

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.


A fun and fulfilling class for Technician training.

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.


A small group Master Class with Sifu and advanced colleagues.

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.

OK in UK

Actually, it’s better than OK here in the UK. As the English might say, it’s been quite lovely. Or, I dare say, brilliant.


Every day we’ve trained for an average of 3 hours. That’s just trying to look the right (literally, rather than left) way before crossing traffic. Not to mention figuring out the coin denominations (bigger is not really better) and improving beer metabolism (as easy as for the locals as digesting water).


As for WingChun itself, we spent another 3 hours each day. Our art is the consistent worldwide, no matter what side of the street cars are driven on. On that note, it’s great to see more of our IAW-UK family. There are those I met in Germany during the 2008 IAW Event in Stuttgart. As well as many more fresh faces and new names. What is the same is the standard of quality, the passion for practice, and the gratitude in learning. The consistency of these values in the UK, Germany, and the US is just lovely.


Upon arriving in Tunbridge Wells on Thursday evening (after upon my arrival in Frankfurt on Thursday morning), we promptly quenched our thirst at a local pub, a converted opera house. That was an introduction to real Guinness, at least closer to the source than you can get in American supermarket aisles. Sifu was right about the tasty difference, but the cheery atmosphere also helped. Friday was a dynamic Technician Workshop for Pre-Primary Levels and above during which we covered main points of the Third and Fifth Section. Saturday we had a Technician Testing to check performance in Basics, Form, and Lat Sao for the the Technician aspirants. Sunday continued with a full four-hour WingChun Seminar for all students. Sifu introduced his latest Dan Chi methodology as well as many powerful applications for Student Levels 2-6. Besides the Technicians, everyone else attended not to test but just to train. It was great to see that kind of motivation.

iawukcastle022309We, including Sihing Ralph Dahl who I hadn’t seen since 2001 in California, will be here a couple more days to work with Sifu Ed and Sifu Tony, IAW-UK National Instructors. Then it’s back to Deutschland.

So see soon you there back here on this blog!

Take Care and Train Well,
Your Sihing