Whilst perhaps not as "chock-full" of activities as the previous year, 2014 proved to be yet another year full of significant events and achievements for 'WSL Ving Tsun Combat Science-Malaysia' including the continuation of the 'Wong Shun Leung: the King of Talking Hands' documentary project in collaboration with director/photographer John Little.
Following the completion of principal location photography just prior to the end of the previous year, work continued in earnest on the project throughout 2014, largely by arranging and obtaining interviews with prominent WSLVT instructors from around the world, as well as gathering archive footage & other memorabilia to be featured in the finished film. This work is still very much underway, with an anticipated release date of the documentary aimed for early in 2016.
The very beginning of the year saw the publication of an exclusive new martial arts reference book, 'Wing Chun Masters'. Compiled by author Jose M. Fraguas and published by 'Empire Books' in the USA, 'Wing Chun Masters' is a collection of interviews with 27 different Ving Tsun Gung Fu teachers, past and present, living and dead, from all over the world who are recognised experts in their field. Our very own Principal Instructor, Sifu David Peterson is included amongst those featured in this impressive volume, with his interview running some 24 pages in length.
March of 2014 saw Sifu Peterson, his wife Norintan, and assistant instructors Chua Jon Dep and Chuah Teong Yong travelling to Greenville, South Carolina (USA) at the invitation of Sifu Tony Massengill ('Efficient Warrior Wing Chun') and Sifu Jason Korol, where they conducted an intensive weekend of seminars and private coaching sessions at Sifu Korol's 'Greenville Academy of Martial Arts'. Instructors and students of various Ving Tsun lineages and practitioners of Jeet Kune Do and several other disciplines travelled from all over the United States to attend this very successful event, from which all proceeds were kindly donated towards the aforementioned documentary project.
In March we also celebrated the 2nd Birthday of the Seremban venue, with a combination of a full afternoon of training and workshops, followed by a meal together for everyone who attended. This attracted a large number of members from both venues, as well as some overseas visitors and friends of the school. As it also coincided with 'International Wing Chun Day', there was a great deal of enthusiasm shown by everyone present, making this a fantastic and popular event on the school's calendar.
In May, we were visited by our Sifu's WSLVT brother and Hong Kong action film star, Sifu Philip Ng who was in Malaysia on a film project being shot in and around Kuala Lumpur. Accompanying him and joining in the training was fellow actress and Ving Tsun aficionado, Coco Yuen. All those attending class at the KL venue on that day had a rare opportunity to meet and train with their Sisuk (younger Gung Fu uncle) and no one wanted the class to end that day, such was the fun being had by all. Over the next few months, in fact throughout the whole year, we enjoyed further visits from several other overseas guests keen to train at the school.
On a much sadder note, August of 2014 saw the passing of one of Grandmaster Ip Man's original students, Sifu Chu Shong Tin, much loved Sibak (elder Gung Fu uncle) of our Principal Instructor and close friend of the late Sifu Wong Shun Leung. Accompanied by both Jon Dep and Yong Chuah, Sifu Peterson travelled to Hong Kong on short notice to attend the funeral and pay respects to the family on behalf of all the members of our school here in Malaysia. It was naturally a very sad occasion, but one that was very important to attend and thanks must go to everyone for their patience during this unexpected need to cancel some classes.
On a much happier note, the next big event for the year was a trip to Rome, Italy, and to Odense, Denmark, to conduct seminars in both cities during October. This marked the second such trip to Rome by Sifu Peterson at the invitation of 'Omega Wing Chun' instructor, Sifu Archimede Tentindo, and the sixth such trip to Denmark on the invitation of his student, Sifu Morten Ibsen, head of the 'Danish Ving Tsun Federation'. Both events were very well attended and attracted people from all parts of the respective countries in which they were held, and from even further afield as well.
By far the very biggest event of 2014 was our school's participation in the 'WSL Students' Association International Seminar' which was held in November in the city of Hong Kong. This was the second such worldwide gathering of WSLVT practitioners, the first of course being the event that was held here in Malaysia in October 2012 at our very own Seremban venue. However, where we attracted some 110 guests from more than 10 countries, this event attracted more than 200 guests from all over the world, as well as virtually all the living 1st Generation students of Sifu Wong Shun Leung still teaching in Hong Kong and elsewhere. It was a truly historic gathering and sharing of information, with our contingent of almost 40 members (the biggest overseas group in attendance) extremely honoured to be involved and they represented the school admirably.
This then brought the year to a close, marking the end of the fourth year since 'WSL Ving Tsun Combat Science-Malaysia' was established in this country. Our name is now well respected in the local martial arts community, as well as held in high regard overseas. As always, none of our achievements or successes would have been possible without the dedicated efforts of all of our amazing members, and the loyal support of our dear friends around the world, so it is important to thank each and every one of you for your support and encouragement, as well as your hard training throughout 2014 as well as in earlier years. 2015 has already brought even more exciting things and the future continues to look great for WSLVT in Malaysia.