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2013 in Review

Thursday, 23 January 2014 00:00
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Another year has flown by in the history of 'WSL Ving Tsun Combat Science - Malaysia' and there are many milestones to be acknowledged and recorded in what has been a very busy twelve months for the School. Following the great success of 'The Gathering' held towards the end of 2012, there was a steady increase in the numbers of local and overseas students training at both the Seremban and Kuala Lumpur (Taman OUG) venues.

In fact, it should be noted that since the School has operated here in Malaysia, we have had guests from some 20 countries travel here to train with us, coming from Australia, Britain, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Holland, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Pakistan, Qatar, Singapore, Thailand and the United States. Some of our Malaysian-based students regularly travel from as far north as Ipoh, from as far south as Melaka and Johor Bharu, even from Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, East Malaysia!

Principal Instructor, Sifu David Peterson also did his fair share of travelling to teach 'WSLVT' during the year, commencing with a trip to the UK and Denmark in May, where he conducted seminars in conjunction with his good friend and Australia-based 'WSLVT' brother, Sifu John Smith ('Illawarra Ving Tsun School') in London and Manchester for the students of Sifu Ged Kennerk, Sifu Adam Cope, and coaches Adam Collins, Jason Gowan, et al, and in Odense at the school of Sifu Morten Ibsen, the Founder and Principal Instructor of the 'Danish Ving Tsun Federation'. Participants for these seminars even came from Bulgaria, France, Switzerland and the USA!

In June, there was a trip to Doha, Qatar, where seminars were conducted for an enthusiastic group of Wing Chun (Ving Tsun) aficionados based there, and in November, there were trips to Bulgaria and Italy, with seminars held in Sofia at the school of Sifu Stefan Kunev, and in Rome at the school of Sifu Archimede Tentindo. Whilst in Sofia, Sifu Peterson was interviewed by one of Bulgaria's national television stations, marking his first ever TV appearance in Europe. For the Rome seminars, surprise guests flew in from Denmark, Germany and Malaysia, making it a very memorable first seminar in that city.

On a much sadder note, Sifu Peterson also travelled to Hong Kong to pay his respects at the funeral of his much loved and respected Sihing (elder Gung-fu brother), Sifu Wu Chun Nam, who passed away in January after battling a long illness. Sifu Wu was the best friend and most senior student of the late Wong Shun Leung, a true gentleman and great exponent of 'WSLVT', and so it was with much sadness that we marked his passing. He is sorely missed by all who knew and loved him as a parent, student, friend or Wing Chun brother.

However, on a happier note, the trip provided an opportunity to spend time and train with many respected 'WSLVT' brothers, including Sifu John Wong Hong Chung, Sifu Jerry Yeung, Sifu Mark Wong, and action stars Sifu Philip Ng and self-professed 'WSLVT' fanatic, Nicholas Tse. The local tabloid press even took an interest, publishing a picture of Sifu Peterson training with the popular action star!

The trip also provided a chance to catch up with other good friends based in Hong Kong, such as Asian action-film expert, Bey Logan and Sifu Sergio Iadarola. Many important issues were able to be discussed during that brief trip, including further developments for the 'WSL Students' Association' and the upcoming documentary feature film about the late Sifu Wong Shun Leung which is being directed by renowned author, film-maker and Bruce Lee historian, John Little.

In fact, one of the other very exciting highlights of 2013 was the release of the '40th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition Blu-ray Box Set' of the Bruce Lee classic, 'Enter the Dragon' by 'Warner Bros. Entertainment' in mid-June. It featured another of John Little's projects as one of the exclusive special features - the mini-documentary 'Wing Chun: the Art that Introduced Kung Fu to Bruce Lee' - in which Sifu Peterson and two of our most senior members, Chua Jon Dep and Chuah Teong Yong, all appear, speaking about and demonstrating 'WSLVT' on location at the legendary Shaolin Temple in Henan, China.

In terms of other media coverage for the School, there was an appearance on the 'Bernama Today' breakfast TV show, broadcast nation-wide in Malaysia, an audio interview by Scott Moses for the 'Wing Chun Geeks' website, and a two-page full colour spread in 'The Star', Malaysia's most popular English language national daily newspaper. Just as the year came to a close, Sifu Peterson was honoured by being included within the pages of 'Wing Chun Masters' the latest book by prolific Martial Arts author Jose M. Fraguas, publisher of the prestigious 'Martial Arts Masters' magazine in the USA.

This nicely "book-ended" (pun intended) a year which started with the release of a 'Special Limited Hard Cover Collectors' Edition' of Sifu Peterson's renowned book, 'Look Beyond the Pointing Finger: the Combat Philosophy of Wong Shun Leung' which is widely regarded as one of the finest books in the Martial Arts genre and a "must have" for serious Wing Chun practitioners. He also continued contributing to 'Wing Chun Illustrated Magazine' with his regular column, 'Moon Pointing Finger', and with his bi-monthly reviews of Chinese action cinema.

Another important milestone took place in August, with the presentation, by Sifu Mark Wong of 'Pure Ving Tsun' (Hong Kong), of a certificate on behalf of the 'Wong Shun Leung Students Association' (WSLSA), officially recognising Sifu Peterson as a genuine 'First Generation Student' of the late Wong Shun Leung. During the year, Sifu Peterson was also presented with a certificate by the 'World Ving Tsun Athletic Association' in recognition of his appointment as their 'Regional Vice President' for both Australia and South East Asia. He was also greatly honoured (and happily surprised!) when Sifu Stefan Kunev and students of 'Ving Tsun Kung Fu Club Beimo' presented him with a certificate naming him 'Chief Instructor' of their school in Sofia, Bulgaria during his seminar tour there in November.

By and large, one of the most exciting events of the year was the visit to Malaysia of the man we have come to affectionately refer to as 'The Kung Fu Killah", film-maker Mr John Little. He arrived in November on a whirlwind five-day visit to shoot additional footage for the documentary project that he is putting together on the life and legacy of Sifu Wong Shun Leung, tentatively titled 'The King of Talking with the Hands' which is hoped will be released in June 2014. Interviews and action sequences were shot in and around Kuala Lumpur, Seremban and Melaka, adding to the exclusive collection of new and classic footage that is being assembled to create a two-part, full-length tribute to the late, great creator of 'WSL Ving Tsun Combat Science' (黃淳樑詠春拳學)

Of course, this review of the year that was 2013 would not be complete without mention of the great efforts made by all the training members of the School throughout the last 12 months. Without their constant support and passionate loyalty towards the School and 'WSLVT' none of these achievements would have been possible. They ARE 'WSL Ving Tsun Combat Science – Malaysia' and the School is indebted to them for all that they bring to it in terms of talent, dedication, enthusiasm and love for the system.

Special thanks must go to Sifu Chua Jon Dep for his incredible efforts to support the School, inspire his peers, and assist in the teaching and running of the classes, especially at the Taman OUG venue. Certificates of achievement were presented to Jon and several of the more experienced members of both the Seremban & KL classes recently, in recognition of their level of skill, commitment to training, and much appreciated support of the School. More such special presentations are planned during 2014 to other members of the School who are also deserving of recognition. Huge thanks go out to one and all! ...and now for even bigger and better things in the Year of the Horse!

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