Summer has long since started in sunny Cyprus, but in the second week of August it was time for our annual WingTsun summer camp. This year at a brand new location. A secluded and virtually unknown beach just outside of Limassol.
The location provided us with natural shade from the limestone cliffs looming above us and small pebbles that compelled everyone to try even harder with keeping their balance (which fit in very well with the main topics of the seminar). This was topped off by the crystal clear sea which was directly beside us and provided all participants with a well-deserved swim and refreshment after training diligently in the Cyprus summer sun.
The seminar spanned 5 days, the number coincided with one of the main topics of the seminar, the 5 characteristics of movement, related to Inner WingTsun (iWT). All students (including myself) worked hard on improving their balance, pulling & pushing skills and understanding the key- concepts of iWT. Each day started out with theory, which gave the opportunity (to those who listened of course) to really grasp the core ideas of how iWT works. These principles were repeated every morning and then worked on practically for an hour or more sometimes.
Besides iWT the students worked on their individual student grade programs as many were just a few hours of training away from attempting their exams. Additionally Sifu Alex introduced some Chi-Gerk basics to all the students along with kick defenses that saw some of us flying through the air. Luckily the beach provided a great surface for falling.
After 5 days there were clear results that I as a teacher myself could see. Students had further developed their stance, balance and some even started using (inner) energy in their techniques. Another thing that improved with a multiple of students is their fighting spirit, which is just what they needed as the end of the 5th day was approaching. Which meant it was exam time. Action time!
I put on my gloves, put my mean face on and one by one was attacking the students that were taking exams with level appropriate attacks. Some were pushed to their limits, hitting but also getting hit themselves and getting tired by the constant barrage of attacks. They had to prove themselves to Sifu Alex. There were punches, kicks, takedowns, anti-ground fighting and a lot of heavy breathing. Everyone did quite well; I could judge this by the amount of times I was taken down.
Finally everyone that had taken an exam passed. The seminar, even though it was exhausting, had brought a smile to everyone’s face. Sifu received some well-deserved comments from students that claimed to have learnt a great deal, some even calling it an ‘eye opening’ experience. I most definitely had fun, and I think all participants would back me up on that. Now we’re all eagerly waiting for the next seminar and the next opportunity to get our WingTsun to the next level.