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Police and Special Forces

A judge who practices WT

“I was 42 years of age and had never practiced any form of martial arts when I was introduced to WT as part of an information event at the Saarland Supreme Court. The following aspects of WT convinced me: WT teaches techniques that enable even a non-sporting type to defend himself/herself against attacks by physically stronger persons, or at least to gain time to flee. This skill can be learned within a short time, even without intensive training. WT teaches one how to react to sudden attacks without panic. Today I am convinced that nobody would e.g. be able to keep me in a stranglehold successfully, and this applies to anybody who has started learning WT, even if only for 2 hours. The system is extremely suitable for physically weaker people, and particularly for women.

Ulrich Chudoba
Judge at the State Supreme Court

Chief self-defence instructor for the police

I first began to learn and practice martial arts at the age of 11, and still practice various martial arts/self-defence systems e.g. WingTsun (WT), Karate, Escrima, Jiu-Jitsu, Kickboxing and Hapkido.
Owing to professional needs and experiences I have concentrated very intensively on the self-defence aspect, and less on the sporting aspects that interested me in my youth.
During my time as a member of a special police unit, I was confronted with numerous dangerous and life-threatening situations. These experiences, together with my martial arts background – especially WT – have brought great personal and professional benefits with respect to self-defence. I see it as one of my tasks to pass this self-defence experience on to the participants in my training courses.

Advantages, effectiveness and efficiency of WT:

  • Easily understood, logical and internally consistent system
  • Effective and easily learned combinations that can be automated by continuous training
  • WT is in line with the anatomical circumstances of the human organism
  • It plays an important role for reaction training, coordination training, for proprioception and motoric learning
  • Development of e.g. striking techniques in partner and group exercises. One learns to evade attacks rapidly, attack specific targets and even anticipate possible counter-attacks
  • Preparation for unarmed combat, combat with weapon-like objects and real weapons
  • “Free-fighting” sessions in which coordination skills are improved
  • Realistic and versatile training methods
  • Reduction to effective and reality-based self-defence
  • Development of fast and precise movements
  • WT is an extremely dynamic, flexible, adaptable and variable system with respect to different situations, circumstances, actions etc.
  • Enormous importance is attached to role-plays and stress training to improve stress resistance
  • For certain situations, police officers in particular must be able to learn a few effective techniques within a short time. They must practice them in realistic situations and be able to apply them
  • Improved tactile, visual, auditory and kinaesthetic sensitivity
  • Mental preparation and self-protection are among the most important training goals
  • Training to maintain the capability for action in extreme situations and to improve self-assurance (stress training)
  • Correct behaviour, defensive action and training for serious encounters: every situation is different. A physical conflict can often be prevented or defused verbally (using speech) and body-language (non-verbal aspects). Should it still come to a physical confrontation, WT in the context of self-defence training can prepare for this
  • Deescalating, preventing or prevailing in a serious encounter requires the development of anticipatory skills. WT provides good opportunities to practice, develop and improve anticipation
  • Training to prevent a fight from occurring in the first place, right up to simulation of life-threatening situations (e.g. lying on the ground). Even in such extreme situations, WT offers possibilities for effective self-defence
  • The WT system provides scope for the development of tactics and strategies, which are of outstanding importance.

Jürgen Kestner
Self-defence instructor, German Karate Association (DKV)
Police self-defence instructor
6th Master level WT (WingTsun)
5th Dan Karate
3rd Dan Jiu-Jitsu
4th Dan Kickboxing
2nd Degree, Newman-Escrima
1st Dan Hapkido
2-times European vice-champion in Goju-Ryu Karate (1985 & 1987)

A police self-defence instructor

The WT system refrains from showmanship of any kind, and is very closely oriented towards realistic close-combat situations. Unnecessary movements, high kicks and time-consuming, complicated techniques are completely dispensed with.
In my view, the entire WT method is extremely logical in concept, and extraordinarily effective by virtue of its directness. The most outstanding features for me were the simultaneous nature of defence and counter-attack, which dispenses with the “strong” blocking techniques used by Karate and Jiu-Jitsu (with shock-like tensioning of the relevant muscle group), and the principle of (literally) tying-up the attacker’s arms. The fighting techniques and tactics are extremely flexible, versatile and completely take their lead from the opponent. Brute force (e.g. a powerful punch) is not answered with brute counter-force, but rather with intelligent, logical tactics and ingenious yet simple techniques. The opponent’s own strength is used for one’s own defence to a decisive extent. Feints and dummy attacks are identified by specially sensitising the arms (special exercises). There is no reaction to feints and similar ploys, thus saving energy. A WT fighter does not react until a genuine attack is launched. WT training is oriented towards realistic self-defence, and light contact is preferred during practice. WT methods and techniques are applied economically and effectively. Neither time nor energy are wasted on unnecessary movements. The entire method is based on logical theories that impress even “old stagers” in the Karate and self-defence world, and are thoroughly applicable to real situations. In my opinion WT is relatively quick to learn, and can therefore be applied in real self-defence situations within a very short time. WT training exercises both the muscular structure and the nervous system, thereby furthering physical fitness. The training intentionally refrains from time-consuming warm-up exercises, using its own, specific exercises and techniques to “warm up” the body and its organs. As far as I am aware, only really well-qualified experts in the WT system are permitted to act as instructors, many of them on a full-time basis. One can therefore expect a high quality of instruction. Instruction is held in relatively small groups, which ensures that the techniques and tactics are learned thoroughly. It is usual for the chief instructor to monitor performance regularly (both that of the students and of the instructors). The self-confidence and security provided by this relatively quickly learned method are certainly extremely conducive to preventing the premature use of firearms in confused and stressful situations. By providing security and confidence in one’s own physical superiority, it therefore meets major criteria in terms of police objectives (confident, calm intervention without fear).
In my personal view, WT is to be highly recommended for both police and border units.

Klaus Wucherpfennig
Detective Chief Superintendent

Detective Chief Superintendent in a mobile intervention squad following a half-year WT seminar programme

I am pleased to confirm that you familiarised us with WT during a six-month programme of seminars. All the six officers in our group are convinced that WT is superior to other methods of self-defence.
Moreover, your training led to an excellent feeling of physical wellbeing and positive attitudes.

Hans Schäfer
Detective Chief Superintendent
Mobile Intervention Squad VI, Group 17

Close combat instructor in the elite military unit“Special Forces Command”

The Federal German army’s Special Forces Command (KSK) has been operational since 1998. Since 2000 the close combat instructors have received their training at the EWTO Trainer Academy, Langenzell Castle.
As an addition to very intensive training in parachuting, shooting, demolitions and diving, unarmed combat skills play an extremely important role in elite military units. They always become very important when the use of weapons would be an excessive response in certain situations, or there is a risk of injuring uninvolved bystanders.
KSK therefore attaches very great importance to close combat training. On the one hand the use of appropriate techniques increases the effectiveness of the Command’s soldiers, and on the other their motor responses are improved by the constant, systematic training.
In the search for a suitable martial art, we first examined many of the existing fighting arts and sports. In the final analysis the WT concept proved to be ideal for our special requirements, and this has confirmed itself in practice in recent years. For this reason, close combat training based on WT techniques is an integral part of the training for the soldiers in this unit.
WT is particularly suitable for KSK by virtue of the following factors:

  • The techniques and principles can be flexibly applied in all close combat scenarios, both armed and unarmed. They harmonise well with the KSK’s combat principles, and in some cases even improve them.
  • WT techniques are logical in their application, and correspond to normal human behaviour patterns.
  • They require no acrobatics such as high kicks, and can also be rapidly learned by our soldiers.
  • They often correspond precisely to the movement patterns and procedures that our soldiers carry out in other activities, e.g. when handling firearms.
  • Systematic execution of the techniques has a beneficial effect on the motor coordination of our soldiers.
  • The special WT ChiSao training improves tactile sensitivity for combat.
  • As our soldiers are often confronted with poor visibility on their assignments, and frequently need to fight at short distances, their combat effectiveness is immensely improved by a highly developed tactile sense.
  • As WT is a combat system that can be adapted to any situation, it is particularly valuable for our purposes. In some situations the soldiers in this unit have limited scope for action. This scope is widened by WT methods – they are able to operate more flexibly and with less stress.
  • The close combat training can be logically structured on the basis of WT, so that the higher training programmes are the same as for the lower levels. This means that the advanced user applies the same techniques as the beginner, but in slightly modified form. It is therefore not important whether our soldiers are fighting with a tonfa or a telescopic baton, or without a weapon. They can also use these techniques with their firearms.

The main aim of the close combat training is to give our soldiers the ability to use alternatives to their firearms. This enables them to act with confidence to any situation.
There are different training programmes with different aims to develop this extended scope for action:

  • Weapon protection (= defence against attempts to grab a soldier’s weapon)
  • Military close combat “man to man” for special forces
  • Military knife-fighting for special forces
  • Use of different non-lethal weapons, e.g. side-handle baton or telescopic baton
  • Controlling, grounding, immobilising and searching an individual
  • Tactical self-protection
  • Special operational situations

Our close combat training is consistently based on WT techniques and principles.
Calw, October 2004

KSK close combat instructor

Police chief in the principality of Liechtenstein

Dear Mr. Schembri,
I would like to thank you for the one-day WingTsun self-defence seminar conducted as part of our internal training and further education programme. 12 instructors from our police department took part.
On the request of the participants, the focus of the seminar was placed on the aspect of “reasonable force”.
The seminar with its practice-related exercises was very well received, and was able to convince the instructors of the effectiveness of WingTsun for the police.

R. Brunhard, Head of Police

FBI (USA) Hostage Rescue Team

During the week of January 13 – 17, 1992, Special Agents (SAs) Douglas R. Kane and Michael R. Maurer attended a weaponless defense conference in Göppingen, Germany. It is my understanding that you along with several of my instructors conducted a two-day WT seminar during this period.
SAs Kane and Maurer have over 20 years of martial arts and law enforcement weaponless defense training between them. Both are experienced instructors in their respective disciplines, and readily identify useful and effective techniques.
Upon returning from Germany, they were extremely complimentary of your instruction, and advised they saw several techniques which would benefit our current training and overall mission.
WT was explained to me as a simple but effective way of controlling an individual without having to use unnecessary force. This appears to parallel our other training responsibilities, and is compatible with United States laws regarding reasonable force by law enforcement officers.
I hope to expose other operators of the FBI Hostage Rescue Team to this type of self-defence training in the near future.

Richard M. Rogers
Assistant Special Agent in Charge
Commander – Hostage Rescue Team

Letter of Thanks from the Interior Ministry in Widin (Bulgaria)

Elite unit “Fight against organised crime” – Widin
To the head of the EWTO-Bulgaria

Dear Mr. Bagalev,
We wish to thank you for the open seminar and the demonstration of the martial art of WingTsun. We found the seminar extremely interesting and useful, and are enthusiastic about the techniques and skills you demonstrated to us. We are likewise impressed with the anti-groundfight aspect and combat at various distances. We believe that this self-defence system could be very useful and important for us, and hope that we will be able to work together in the future.

3rd November 2011

Chief Inspector
V. Stefanov

A police commissar

“Your clear and realistic descriptions (in “BlitzDefence – Attack is the best Defence”) remind me of my time as head of a special squad for the prevention of street crime in downtown Frankfurt/Main, where I was also responsible for training. With adequate personnel numbers and good equipment, we were able to keep a lid on crime in the inner-city area between 1972 and 1985. We soon understood the “rules” of the underworld, and were able to show the still mainly German pimps and “big noises” their limits in our own way. For us there were no “no-go areas” where no police patrols dared to venture.

The methods employed by the thugs and other brutal scum was just as you describe it in your book. I have seen entire rowing teams come to grief in the train station area – and then some! Wrestlers also had little chance, owing to their sporting attitude.

The unfit and fat but brutal headbanger always won against the inexperienced, even if they were in really good shape. The single knock-out punch or trick etc. was always based on some form of distraction or deception.

The aim was always to close the distance so that the other party could be ruthlessly and cruelly destroyed! One particularly popular party-trick was to swipe a heavy glass ashtray across the face and then “win” by brutally kicking the victim as he lay on the ground. Every night we found ourselves interviewing these seriously injured, broken victims in the hospital emergency departments.

Based on my experiences in countless court proceedings, I can only confirm your comments on the legal aspects. Totally unrealistic TV series and action films also do their bit to make forthright and legally justified action against injustice more difficult. After all, self-defence is a natural right.

Bernd Pokojewski