Sifu Gernot Redondo
Sifu Gernot Redondo
6th Master degree
School(s) in: Innsbruck
School Owner since: 1989
Consistent yet humane self-defense at all levels and for all situations, embedded in a perfect philosophical “path” of lifelong work on oneself. – That is WingTsun for me.
Why did you start with WingTsun?
Even as a child, I was always interested in self-defense. After years of martial arts training, I bought the book “Vom Zweikampf” and thought to myself: “If what the author writes is true, WingTsun is what I have always been looking for. After two days of lessons with GM König, at that time still 2nd teacher degree, I knew that WT is the right thing. Two months later I attended my first course with SiFu in Bregenz, which was to be followed by many more. The efficiency and assertiveness of his movements were tremendously impressive, the clarity and logic in his theoretical explanations fascinating.
Another factor was already at that time the professionalism with which the learning of the martial art WingTsun was made possible: a clear program for the students, regular opportunities to attend courses in order to acquire know-how as an “outsider” – like me. This not only in the technical area, because GM König explained to me already in our first training break clear concepts to found and develop an own working group and in further consequence to build up WingTsun to a sideline. Today, these proposals have become the complex leadership program, thought out down to the smallest detail.
Escrima as a weapon martial art was the logical complement to WT. The first course with GM Bill Newman was just as intensive as the one with GM Kernspecht, the enthusiasm for “stick crossing” immediately deeply burned in. Here, too, the efficiency of the fighting was simply impressive.
Why are you still doing WingTsun?
Both are in their essence “real” martial arts that allow and require working on yourself until your last breath, thus representing the path to personal perfection. Therefore, quitting is not an option for me.
In this context, however, is also the martial arts family of the EWTO, which by its very nature makes this constant development possible. How little only the individual can achieve and develop, in contrast to an organization that promotes everyone and gladly accepts impulses from the most diverse directions. The EWTO is really structured in such a way that every student carries the marshal’s baton in his knapsack in the Napoleonic sense. Gone are the heroes and lone fighters of my EWTO youth, stayed and grown up are the communally thinking teamworkers, who not only seek their own success, but also enjoy the success of others and like to support them.
The accumulated skills of all are the secret of success of the EWTO, developed under the leadership of GM Kernspecht, who has really never shied away from slaughtering sacred cows and much more, who always looks for his own mistakes, reveals them and is ready to start anew. Who exemplifies confidence in his own abilities as well as in the abilities of his students and thus enables the association to develop stably on a broad basis.
On every training course you meet training buddies who have become family over the years. Respect and consideration are the basis for practicing together, whereby you can then also hit each other properly without too much risk of injury!
Last but not least, working as a martial arts instructor is very fulfilling. It is a pleasure to work with people of all ages and to support them a little bit on their way in life. With the knowledge of growing defense skills, the courage to develop one’s own personality and to live a more self-determined life grows. To be able to experience this over and over again is a privilege of the martial arts teacher.
I have finally found time for Escrima again after many years of family leave. Being able to practice with this great team of instructors is just fun and the streamlining of the programs under GM Bill Newman with their turn towards true blade martial arts, gives Escrima a whole new flavor. Clear, direct and efficient movement of a wide variety of cutting and thrusting weapons. The functionality has grown extremely.
In this sense, it is also exciting for one’s own advancement to practice both martial arts, since over the years the movement and flow of power complement and strengthen each other.
What was your standout WT experience?
Of course, in these 28 years I had various encounters and experiences that I will never forget. The many courses at Schloss Langenzell, in Italy or Tenerife, the loving welcome in Vienna and Küsnacht with my SiHings, skiing with GM Bill in the Tyrolean mountains and the invitations of GM Kernspecht to instructor dinners in Italian restaurants remain unforgotten. Experiencing GM René Latosa in a small group, interpreting for GM Leung Ting in front of hundreds of students and being rewarded with a few minutes of private instruction are as much highlights of my EWTO time as the hundreds of hours spent with my students on the roads and rails on the way to the next seminar.
But my really outstanding EWTO experience happens regularly anew as soon as I go to seminars or courses, no matter where, and meet the most diverse teachers and training comrades there. The joy of seeing each other again, often after long years, the mutual trust and the sense of community are unbeatable! This “martial arts family” is what makes our association so special and outstanding.
What changed for you when you received the 1st HG or 5th MG?
In my first EWTO years there was only work and training, and so I also managed to complete my 1st teacher degree in minimum time. The preparation included, among other things, 1000 chain fist punches and 450 kicks on the wall bag as a daily workload! As a prospective WT teacher, it was also more or less mandatory to achieve this graduation as quickly as possible.
As a master of the WT there was only GM Kernspecht at that time. To be appointed master myself once was unattainable in my imagination.
So my graduation to the 5th MG in May 2009 was not only the fulfillment of a dream, but also a great honor and a great sign of confidence. That GM Kernspecht took over terms of my theoretical work into the teaching program, I felt as “icing on the cake”. To belong to the circle of masters in the EWTO still means something special to me, which represents responsibility and obligation to the association and its members as well as to myself in equal measure.
The most beautiful thing is the prospect of many more years of practice and development, as shown and exemplified by the grandmasters and advanced masters of the EWTO.
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