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Grandmaster GM Prof. Dr. Keith R. Kernspecht

GM Prof. Dr. Keith R. Kernspecht

10th Grandmaster degree

Founder and leader of the EWTO

School Owner since: mid 1960’s (teaching was initially a mixture of the best SV techniques of Karate, Kempo, Judo, Jiu Jitsu).

 

Motto:

My WingTsun: to defend yourself effortlessly and leave nothing to chance!

Why did you start with WingTsun?

A friend of mine was beaten up at school. And I didn’t intervene. Maybe that was the trigger. So I started with Asian martial arts. After trying different styles, I started looking for Chinese ones in particular. Then in London, I found pictures of Wing Chun in a Chinese magazine. So I went to China Town and found one, although it wasn’t easy because Wing Chun was still secret at that time. With a lot of patience I managed to attend the lessons of Joseph Cheng. There I was never allowed to train with anyone, only to observe. Joseph Cheng called me “thief student” because I was always watching and “stealing” with my eyes. It was he who finally referred me to Leung Ting in 1975.

Why are you still doing WingTsun?

WingTsun is my life. I like it. It was and still is my hobbyhorse.

What was your standout WT experience?

Actually, every time I teach. That is an incredible enrichment for me.
 Apart from that, I think a very decisive experience was when I saw Joseph Cheng defeat one challenger after another. And looked elegant doing it! That was what I wanted: to fight and play with the opponent. Effortlessly.

What changed for you when you received the 1st HG or the 5th MG? And how was it when you were appointed Grandmaster?

In general, I never thought I deserved it. I was always very critical of myself.
 When I got the first teacher’s degree, I received a gold plum blossom badge. I thought it was yellow and I had something like the yellow belt.
 By the 5th MG, I felt great. The stripes on my pants were wider now. That was super! I guess there was a bit of vanity at play. 
The 9th degree, the Man of Arrival was not important for me personally. I even received the 10th degree twice: in 2000 valid for Europe and then in 2012 without restriction.

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