5 Years of Berlin Siu Lam Wing Chun Pai
Who we are and why
2015 is a special year of us, as we are celebrating 5 years existence as Berlin Siu Lam Wing Chun Pai.
On Thursday, 2015/04/09 the celebration of our 5 year anniversary took place.
In this context, I want to shortly portray, how and especially why we're here.
When and how I came to Wing Chun
In 1997, I was 21 years old, a couple of old friends asked me, if we should once again do something together, as we haven't seen each other so often since the end of school.
So Steffen, Heiko, Markus and Pit, we went to a Chi Sim Ving Tsun school in Neu-Ulm and began with exercises of Siu Nim Tau, Daan Ci Sau and Laap Daa. We were received exceptionally cordially by our Sifu Jörg, and also by the Sihings Norman, Phillip and Michael and Sije Claudia. I want to thank you sincerely for that. Without all of you, we wouldn't be here today. But like most beginners, I didn't actually apprehend back then, what this was all about, but we were motivated and especially the connection to Shaolin and also the classic stances like Sei Ping Maa, Gung Bo elated my friends and me a lot. Sadly like so often, the interests eventually went in different directions and we lost sight of each other in 1999 and I stopped exercising as well.
A second attempt
But in 2003 I noticed that I am missing something and remembered my short experience with Kung Fu. These days I ran by pure chance into my Ving Tsun teacher Sifu Jörg Weidner and we got to talk. We agreed that I start again and so it happened.
From this time on the training was very intensive and it was there that I got to know my wife and my family. From the old people nobody was there anymore. The training changed a lot as well, as we were beginning with a new form that was exceedingly harder to learn. But after short time we already assisted in the training of the children and adolescents and in the training sessions of the adults, our Daa Saam Sing became legendary.
A stranger in Berlin
In 2007 I moved out of occupational reasons to Berlin and came only for a few days the year back for my family and seminars. So I started to look in Berlin for a Wing Chun school. I also looked about other styles of Kung Fu but finally decided to stick to Wing Chun. However especially in Wing Chun it failed because of the organisation.
So I met with Bernhard, who I got to know in Berlin, in the park and we practiced Ci Sau. Soon Bernhard brought his friend Michael with him, who brought Mirko. We were four. As the winter was coming and we didn't want to train in the snow storm, we rented hour-wise the rooms of a Capoeira school. We weren't very good but we practiced. However the only free time in the rooms was Sunday noon what soon didn't fit to everybody. In the park we would have met another day but now, we needed new rooms and we found a dancing school in Charlottenburg. Here we got to know an enthusiast of MMA. He explained us for the first time, that we weren't particularly good. Hereby I want to thank Björn who shook me up and showed me, that it's not the martial art but the practitioner who surivives or goes under. It was a painful and necessary lesson. And so, we started to train harder and more efficient.
After that we rented for the last time a dancing school in the Oderberger Street at the Prenzlauer Berg. Great thanks to Mirko who mediated the rooms. From now on our group grew permanently. I am thinking of Rene, Silvio, Frank, Jens and Lena and soon these rooms would be too small as well.
Berlin Siu Lam Wing Chun Pai at the Conrad-Blenkle-Strasse
In April of 2010 we moved into our own rooms at the Conrad-Blenkle-Strasse. We began with publicity and took part in neighborhood festivities in Lichtenberg with Kung Fu performances. In 2012 the first summer camp took place. This shouldn't be like a week of seminars but we wanted just to train together and get to know each other better in a different environment.
In 2013 I lived for three months in Hong Kong and could explore the martial art entirely new with my teachers Sifu Michael Tang from the Tang Family and Sifu Sam Lau, a student of Jip Man and since august 2013 we practice the Wing Chun of the Tang Family and additionally some parts of the Curriculum of Jip Man.
Great thanks to my wife and our talented and diligent students Max, Marius, Alex and David who held the school together in my absence and continued with the training.
Arrived back in Berlin ...
... we began to entirely reorganize our training concept and now have several groups, where we concentrate on defined contents to work more effectively on our martial art. It's still important to me that we don't see ourselves as an organization. Per definition an organization is an association of persons to enforce certain interests and goals. The organization has founder and and date of foundation plus a formally fixed membership. Likewise it has fixed rules that the members have to stick to.
The idea of an institution
We see ourselves more as an institution. Here rules serve to reduce insecurities. The rules can be passed on traditionally and if necessary created. This is about a guidance of the social behavior into a certain direction. This happens through norms and values that can be rightly called the essence of martial art. Fighting techniques are but a small part of it.
5 year anniversary
At the party of our five year anniversary we had a special live act. The duo Maria und Engel supported the festivities with real and feeling sounds. Several years ago the duo had separated and extra for our occasion they packed out their classics and maybe it will come to a reunion. Thank you a lot, it was a real pleasure.
Old classics could also be reinvented in our games like the famous Chinese egg walking with chopsticks. It was a huge amusement. I thank all of you. Without you nothing would be up here. Every single one of you makes us, what we are. Thank you a lot for that!!!
Training in the park
When the weather is nice the training will happen outside and especially the Saturday is perfect for that. We take on our tradition and it's always nice when people bring blankets and implements for the grill.