All are wel­come

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makes up Malaysian so­ci­ety, so the ses­sions are con­ducted pri­mar­ily in English.

The stu­dents range from pri­mary school chil­dren to se­nior cit­i­zens look­ing to add a spring to their step – Peter­son ad­heres to the prin­ci­ple that no­body should be turned away pro­vided they are will­ing to learn and demon­strate ded­i­ca­tion.

The classes are run in a unique fash­ion ac­cord­ing to Peter­son, who says, “In Aus­tralia, my classes were al­ways around 50-50 with re­gard to Asians and Western­ers, so the bal­ance is only slightly dif­fer­ent over­all.

“My method of teach­ing here in Malaysia has also re­mained the same: a mix­ture of for­mal, struc­tured train­ing ses­sions, and in­for­mal ‘Hong Kong-style’ train­ing ses­sions.

“I be­lieve that this blend of in­struc­tion brings out the very best from the stu­dents and with over 40 years in the mar­tial arts, some 36 years of that as an in­struc­tor, this blend has proven to de­liver the best re­sults.”

Ac­cord­ing to Peter­son, Wing Chun is easy to pick up, but takes a life­time to mas­ter, and with even over three decades in the art, Peter­son is con­stantly shar­ing knowl­edge with col­leagues the world over.

Within weeks of be­gin­ning, one can ex­pect to utilise cer­tain key skills in real life sit­u­a­tions, but to progress be­yond that re­quires a sen­si­tiv­ity to one’s body and one’s mind that is not preva­lent in other styles of mar­tial arts.

At its essence, this is due to Wing Chun’s unique­ness as a con­cept­based art as op­posed to one where sys­tems of ex­e­cu­tion are pre­de­fined ac­cord­ing to sce­nar­ios.

“In a real fight, you don’t know what your op­po­nent is go­ing to do,” says Peter­son, “and in Wing Chun, we let the op­po­nent show us how to hit him.”

The best anal­ogy would be that Wing Chun pro­vides the prac­ti­tioner with a set of tools, and it is then up to him or her to put those tools into prac­tice given the sit­u­a­tion at hand. For this to be suc­cess­ful, phys­i­cal and in­tel­lec­tual com­pe­ten­cies have to be de­vel­oped.

This re­sults in an art that is con­stantly evolv­ing ac­cord­ing to each per­son’s body and mind, which in some way ex­plains the mul­ti­tude of lin­eages of Wing Chun that ex­ists to­day.

The fu­ture of Wing Chun is bright in Malaysia at this mo­ment. Peter­son speaks fondly about his stu­dents and the school, stat­ing: “We even proudly rep­re­sented Malaysia on the in­ter­na­tional scene by en­ter­ing a small squad in the 2012 Ip Man Cup In­vi­ta­tional Tour­na­ment held in Foshan, China, in Fe­bru­ary of that year, re­turn­ing with a bronze medal for our ef­forts.

“Most re­cently, we ap­peared in the doc­u­men­tary Wing Chun: The Art That In­tro­duced Kung Fu To Bruce Lee, again proudly rep­re­sent­ing Malaysia and Malaysian Mar­tial Arts to the world.”

In ad­di­tion, Peter­son says, “We’re even do­ing our bit for the Malaysian econ­omy, with a steady stream of in­ter­na­tional visi­tors from all over the globe who are now reg­u­larly com­ing to Malaysia for in­ten­sive train­ing in WSLVT for pe­ri­ods up to two to three months at a time. Malaysia is quickly be­com­ing a key desti­na­tion for Wing Chun in­struc­tion and that is some­thing that I am very proud to be a part of and to pro­mote.”

With his in­ten­sive sched­ule of over­seas sem­i­nars, there have been stu­dents from all over in­clud­ing Pak­istan, Bri­tain, the United States, France, Qatar, In­done­sia, Aus­tralia, New Zealand, Canada, Ja­pan, Sin­ga­pore, Croa­tia, Den­mark, Italy, Ger­many, Hol­land and even Hong Kong com­ing to Serem­ban to train at Peter­son’s school.

Lo­cal stu­dents have ben­e­fited from this in­ter­na­tional ex­po­sure, and with the train­ing and in­struc­tion of such cal­i­bre and renown avail­able, the art of Wing Chun can only grow and flour­ish in Malaysia.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit wslwingchun.my.

Peter­son demon­strat­ing the chum kiu form to ju­nior stu­dents from iNTi col­lege.

Peter­son work­ing with a French stu­dent who trav­elled to malaysia specif­i­cally to train with him in Serem­ban.

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