GM Giuseppe Schembri
GM Giuseppe Schembri
9th Grandmaster degree
Co-director of the EWTO
Master of Sport Pedagogy
National Instructor Switzerland and Liechtenstein
School Owner since: 1983
WingTsun is for me, the joy of working on yourself.
Why did you start with WingTsun/Escrima?
I was interested in China from an early age and therefore also in martial arts. When I was 8 years old, I saw the first KungFu movie in the cinema. When I was 12 years old, Bruce Lee’s first film came out. I knew then that I wanted to do that. When I was 13 years old, I wrote in school at career aspiration: KungFu teacher. At that time, I put all my pocket money into books and information about Bruce Lee. I even bought myself a suit. I bought everything there was to buy. I read that he was doing WingTsun. But there was no such thing anywhere near me. Finally I read in a magazine that SiFu Kernspecht in Kiel offered WingTsun. It was a report about Leung Ting. I knew then that I wanted to learn it. But I was still too young. I could only order the given books. But then I always received the newsletters and a calendar was also sent to me. When I was finally 16, I went to Kiel for the first time for the course.
It was the first time I went somewhere alone. So I had discovered the enthusiasm for WingTsun from an inexplicable interest in China.
Why are you still doing WingTsun/Escrima?
I want to pass on my knowledge. And WingTsun simply gives me joy. I see that I always progress – also or just by teaching. I like to share my knowledge as I have understood it. The aspect of self-defense for myself does not play a big role anymore. Sure, I know that especially for beginners self-defense is the main focus. But beyond that, there is much more.
I also like that I come into contact with so many people. If it was just about fighting, I don’t know if I would still be doing WingTsun. But it is about so much more. Nevertheless, WingTsun is first of all important for self-defense. But you don’t have to train for 30 years or more for that. One or two years was enough.
What was your standout WT experience?
When my students in Switzerland surprised me with a 5th master degree celebration at a SiFu course. They even gave me a gift of a trip to Hong Kong with an overnight stay at the Peninsula Hotel. That was a great experience. And totally surprising!
What changed for you when you received the 1st HG or the 5th MG? What was it like when you were appointed Grandmaster?
The 1st TG, today 1st HG, was the ultimate at that time. There were only a few people who had achieved this graduation. I was very proud. Even though I knew that now it would really start. It was a huge joy to have reached the teacher grade.
When I received the 5th MG, there were also not as many masters as there are today. It was a special graduation. It was clear to me that there was a lot of responsibility associated with it and that I had to work on myself even more.
The grandmaster title 9th MOA strengthened this feeling of having a responsible position even more. I realized that now even more people were looking to me and I would take on a great “role model” function. And this applies not only to martial arts, but to all of life. In a way, it makes you a public figure. For me, it’s also about teaching more than just fighting.
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