DaiSifu Michael Schwarz
DaiSifu Michael Schwarz
8th Master degree
National Instructor Luxembourg, Belgium (Walloon)
School(s) in: “Mother school” in Püttlingen
School Owner since: 1980
WingTsun is the combination of “fighting techniques” with the teaching and knowledge of health and energy and philosophies. It is the art of being able to fight without fighting – best of all: to win without fighting. And finally: defeat yourself – that is the greatest victory.
Here is a more detailed version of what WingTsun is for me: WingTsun is the name I use for what I teach my students today in three different countries.
The more accurate version would be like this: Until about 15 years ago, I would have said WingTsun is my life. It is the best system for fighting and it helps me to make my hobby my profession. But after almost 40 years I would like to differentiate. With WingTsun itself certainly no one can fight. It is not something I can hold in my hand to fight with. It is just a word, something abstract.
When I think of WingTsun, there is always the image of my teacher, GM Kernspecht. His teaching breathed life into the system. He taught me structure for decades and then he “opened doors”.
Behind every door lies a space that makes this system seem more and more multifaceted and complex. I learn or learned from other teachers who have nothing to do with martial arts, and it comes to more and more intersections. I am walking a path that I could not have walked without the inspiration of my SiFu, GM Kernspecht. Dear SiFu, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and hope that you will continue to teach me for many years to come.
Why did you start with WingTsun?
I’m a child of my time and the first movies I saw were the Bruce Lee movies. I learned judo and karate, a little boxing. And then there was someone who taught the style that Bruce Lee had learned from his teacher – that was Yip Man – Wing Tsun. Everything took its course …
Why are you still doing WingTsun?
I would like to list three reasons in this regard:
First, the association with the word WingTsun triggers so many things in me that it is not possible for me to get away from it so easily.
Secondly, I am a conservative, traditional person who still believes in values. Loyalty to my SiFu makes me stick to WingTsun.
Third, my students! First and foremost, those who have been with me for decades, who started with me as children and are still there as adults. Last but not least, the five people who stood in front of me in 1980 in my first self-directed training together with 35 others and are still my students today.
What was your standout WT experience?
I have experienced so many things with WingTsun. I don’t know what the most outstanding thing was. Maybe the fact that I came into closer contact with thousands of people through WingTsun? Maybe the feeling when I first gave my first independent training at just 19 years old in my newly opened school in front of 40 men – some twice my age? The fact that an inch punch I performed on a first sergeant gave me a “super life” in the armed forces? He had a big bruise on his chest for two weeks. The pride I felt when three of my students passed the 5th master’s degree? Or was it simply the moment when I sat for the first time with SiFu and Simo in the “tower” of Langenzell Castle – that was where the living room was in December 1983 – and we drank coffee and ate Christstollen together?
What changed for you when you received the 1st HG or the 5th HG?
I was still doing the 1st technician degree at that time and many years later the 5th practitioner degree. This was a differentiation that had logic and was also plausible to the students. The final exam, the third part, was a three-day course in October 1984 only with people who went on to the 1st Technician. Before that, we had already completed two three-day courses spread over the year. At the end I was pretty knocked out, covered in bruises, but happy. I had passed and that was something special for me! The only master there was at that time was SiFu with the then 6th PG – now 6th master degree.
15 years later I passed the exams for the 5th MG. It was for me the transition into a “new world”: About 20 years before I had started with WingTsun. At that time my declared goal had been the 8th student degree.
Finally, a note: I have always spoken only of WingTsun, although I have actively trained Escrima for over 20 years. Unfortunately, I can only do one thing half right in terms of time, but I don’t want to leave Escrima unmentioned. The most important thing about Escrima for me is my longtime friendship with GM Bill Newman, who was my guest at my home for several days twice a year for over 20 years. I enjoyed our time together.
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