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2011 in Review

Monday, 23 January 2012 00:00
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This being the very first full year of life for ‘WSL Ving Tsun Combat Science – Malaysia’, it certainly turned out to be a busy and rewarding one indeed. As well as the establishment of the regular classes in Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya, early in the year also saw the 16th trip to the United Kingdom by Principal Instructor, Sifu David Peterson who conducted a series of workshops in London at the request of his student, Sifu Jason Gowan who runs the ‘WSL Ving Tsun London’ school.

Meanwhile here in Malaysia, we had this wonderful website constructed, placed on-line and maintained courtesy of the impressive talents of our dear friend, Mr Sengwai Ho. Unfortunately, we had to say goodbye to Sengwai part way through the year when he and his family migrated to Australia to begin a new life “Downunder”, but he remains a loyal fan of this group and continues to oversee the maintenance of the site as well as continuing his ‘WSLVT’ studies at our sister school in Melbourne.

Around the same time that Sengwai was leaving us, we also acquired our training premises in Seremban 2 and created our new uniform T-shirts, allowing us to truly have an identity and feel like a family. Whilst the shirts were relatively easy to have made, getting the new premises ready has proven to be far more difficult, having to deal with the bureaucracy that pervades life here in Malaysia. Hopefully, we have just about finalised all that has to be done in that regard, and we are now looking forward very much to the opening of our new home in Seremban shortly.

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Problems with training premises continued elsewhere when we were forced to relocate our Petaling Jaya sessions due to issues with the landlord there. In the process, we lost a few students who couldn’t drive the extra distance, but by and large, the shift to having all the Kuala Lumpur area classes in the venue at Old Klang Road has proven to be a successful one. This is largely due to the excellent support from all the members, most especially assistant instructors Jon Dep and Patrick Wache who were instrumental in assisting in the teaching of the members, assisting Sifu Peterson. As such, we were all sad to see Patrick head back to his native Germany late in the year, but Jon is ever-reliable in keeping things running smoothly.

During the year, it seems that there was always a visitor from somewhere in the world dropping by to spend time training at the school. They came here from Australia, Holland, England, France, Canada, Hong Kong and from around Malaysia, some staying for weeks at a time, whilst others could only attend a class or two. Some even made repeat visits, or have promised to do so again in 2012. It seems that our humble school is fast becoming a popular destination for ‘WSLVT’ devotees from far afield.

Not only were there those who travelled here to train, we were also privileged to have visits from prominent ‘WSLVT’ instructors, Sifu John Smith (Australia), Sifu Ged Kennerk (UK), and Sifu Rijie Kwok (Australia). Each of them generously shared their knowledge and experiences with all who were in attendance, taking the time to train hands-on with class members on several occasions during their stays here. We look forward to seeing them again, and several other talented instructors who have promised to head this way soon.

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Two of those guests were especially good for us by virtue of very kindly promoting us to the wider Martial Arts Community through the media, namely via YouTube and Facebook – Sifu Sergio Iadorola and the ‘Brooklyn Monk’ himself, Antonio Graceffo. Both of these very accomplished gentleman uploaded video footage shot in our classes and spoke very highly of what we are trying to achieve here. We cannot thank them enough and consider them good friends.

img_nanyang_siangpau_ReportWe were also given great exposure through one of the most popular Chinese-language newspapers in Malaysia, the ‘Nanyang Siangpau - 南洋商报’ who interviewed Sifu Peterson and Sifu Jon Dep in two separate editions of the newspaper a few weeks apart. ‘Bernama 24’ radio also featured Sifu Peterson when he was interviewed live on-air by evening host, Mr Gerard Ratnam for a one-hour prime-time segment.

The wider community also got a chance to learn more about ‘WSLVT’ and the school courtesy of an invitation to present a talk & demonstration for the ‘Columbia Asia Hospital’ at their annual “Woman’s Health Convention” held in Seremban. This was the second time that we have been honoured with an invitation to present at this event, and our presence there attracted a great deal of interest from both organisers and attendees.

img_wci_coverProbably one of the least expected highlights of the year was the front cover feature interview of Sifu Peterson in the fourth issue of Wing Chun Illustrated magazine. Whilst a regular writer for the magazine since its inception earlier this year, with two regular columns and occasional feature articles, Sifu Peterson was surprised and honoured to be given the cover spot by editor, Mr Eric Lilleør. Incidentally, this is the very first time that he has ever been featured on the cover of any Martial Arts magazine, despite being a prolific writer for virtually every famous MAs publication in the world since 1988.

All in all, 2011 was an extremely successful year for the school, with many other small but nonetheless significant events taking place that helped to gain benefits for the members and boost the reputation of ‘WSL Ving Tsun Combat Science – Malaysia’ in this, its fledgling year. None of it could have been achieved had it not been for the dedication and enthusiastic support that has been offered by the students and friends of the school since day one. Without that support, we couldn’t have done anything and we remain indebted to each and every one of you. Thank you one and all – here’s to an even more exciting year in 2012, the “Year of the Dragon” …and the “Year of WSLVT” too!!!

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