As every year Sifu Guerman visited his home country Bulgaria this summer too. There in beautiful Balck Sea town Sozopol he and his students Evgeny Kolev and Manol Atanssov participated in the annual Wing Tsun Summer camp organized by his first Sifu and friend Master Stanislav Bagalev, 5 Level Wing Tsun and leader of EWTO-Bulgaria.
Here is the translation of the article published in EWTO-Bulgaria web-site, written by Sifu Bagalev and translated and edited by Evgeny Kolev:

EWTO-Bulgaria Summer Camp, 2015
Summer, Sun and the sea brought everybody back to Sozopol, a pearl-town on the South Black sea coast alluring with its mix of the past and present.

The annual summer seminar established itself as a tradition in its third year with people attending from all over Bulgaria – Vidin, Montana, Sofia, Plodiv, Ruse, Varna, Dimitrovgrad and Haskovo. The event was organized once again by Master Stanislav Bagalev, 5 Level Wing Tsun. It was also spiced internationally by the attendance of Sifu Guerman Atanassov, 3LT with few of his students from Chicago (USA). Sihing Borislav (1LT) from Belgium and friends who train and study in Germany added some extra flavour.

The daily three hour practice sessions were done in the open. The same tiny park in the new part of the town offered us a protective canvas from the scorching July sun, so everyone could work on their programs hidden under its big trees.

Sifu Bagalev split the group into four based on levels – beginners, intermediate, advanced and technician. The concept and main theme of the sessions was to define and find the elements, connect the centers and learn to maintain the connectedness during the movements – the different cycles, functions and applications, at different distances and with the right timing. The training started with individual practice of exercises based on the three major forms followed by partner practice of the internal Wing Tsun ideas as promoted by GM Kernspecht at the most recent Leadership Congress in Hockenheim, Germany.

This crucial and detailed approach to awareness of oneself and sensitivity to the partner was used in the transition of the programs for the different levels – Lat Sau, Chi Sau, weapons (staff and knife) and locking techniques. The technician level practice included the 2-7 Chi Sau sections. Each session ended with energizing stress-fit, pad and other fight programs.

Once done with the training in the park everyone moved closer to the water at the secluded beach The Golden Fish to chill but also practice some more. Sifu Guerman shared right there on the beach some of the basic Tai Chi concepts of tui shou (Pushing hands) applicable in the sensitivity concept of Wing Tsun. The principle of rooting had a new meaning in the sand and even more so after a beverage or two from the chill-out beach bar. It was amazing to see more than forty people relaxing, training, swimming, playing ball in the water or on the sand, all together.

Getting everybody from such a big group for dinner in one restaurant was always a challenge. Not so hard to fit us all in the bars and night clubs by the beach. The fast beats, dim lights, the laser beams on the sand, the sweating cocktails, all under the starred sky and by the gentle waves, should be partially blamed for the Deep House Wing Tsun which was spontaneously bursting on the dance floor and by the lounge couches. We just couldn’t stop practicing, learn and innovate the art that brought us all together. With 120+ bpm time flew unnoticed, with music and laughter sometimes taking us into the early sunrays of the dawn. All the kudos to the 24/7 bakeries, which helped some of us in the frustration of walking in circles on their way back to the hotels.

No Wing Tsun in Sozopol would be complete without visiting some other beautiful bays in the area for some diving and snorkeling around the cliffs and the rocks. Even some underwater Wing Tsun was attempted! The different sensations of the water buoyancy and resistance as one tries to punch or avoid a coming punch, all whirled in the noises of waves, bubbles and your own heartbeat right there in your temples. An unforgettable experience for everyone who gave it a try as well as for the bystanding (rather – byswimming?) fish and few shocked crabs hiding deeper for their lives.

The seminar went for two weeks, the second one offering the instructors the chance to practice and learn in a smaller group with Sifu Bagalev. Lots of organizational topics were also covered and plans were set forward for the 20th anniversary celebration of EWTO-Bulgaria in 2016.

Overall, concepts, ideas, moves and forms were checked, new ones introduced and learnt. Lots of people had also the chance to win their next certification. But most importantly – the sense of the Wing Tsun community was replenished with the warmth of the old and new friendships that keep us together as one. The strength of this community starts with the spark in each of us. Together with the sparks of those around us it builds the light of our individual school centers and all of them together make the flame of the organization.

International reunion of our Wing Tsun family to celebrate the 20th of EWTO-Bulgaria in 2016. Put it in your calendars. We are already counting down…