Interview with Wim Seeuws

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1. As a quick intro, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your school? When, where, how and why did you start practicing?

My name is Wim Seeuws and I started with Chinese Martial arts in 1992, after 8 years of Korean and Japanese martial arts. Since 2002 I commited myself entirely on Baji Quan. I met my teacher in China (2002) and we just had a very good connection. His focus on the practical side of Martial Arts was the same as my own. So I fell in love with the style from day one.

Currently I teach in Westmalle and Wechelderzande, total of 4 classes a week. One school is for adults and focus a lot on the practical side. the other school is just for children. They receive a solid base so they can grow further towards the other school.

I am a discipel of Wu Lianzhi and I’m trying to bring Baji practitioners together. For this we started the European Traditional BajiQuan Federation. I’m currently president of this organization.

2. What are the most common mistakes, or assumptions, you’ve encountered during your years of teaching?

Teaching, like learning, goes in differents phases and is also a learning curve you have to go through. First of all; you need to set a clear goal when you teach. This way you keep structure and your students can progress. If you want to give them all the different aspects to soon, they will not develop as good as you want them to.

3. Movies such as “Yip Man”, “The Grandmaster” and such are probably one of the reasons many people start to practice at some point. Since reality is mostly not matching most of these movie scenes, what are some key aspects a beginning martial artist should focus on?

Basics, basics and more basics. Bajiquan has a thin line between form and fighting. So it is easy to see the link. However, when you start, you get the most progress if you develop basic skills. All the rest will come when the time is ready.

4. How can Kung Fu be used in an educational, non martial arts setting?

I see in my childrens’ class that it can have a huge impact on somebodies live.

Introvert children overcome themselves by surpassing themselves in exercises. The fact that they can achieve everything, just as long as they put enough time and energy in it, is amazing.

5. The internet has completely changed our lives over the past 10-15 years. We now have access to lots of information (both good & bad) and connections like never before. How do you feel about this evolution and it’s impact on Kung Fu?

As long people know that they can’t just learn form clips, there’s no problem. If you have idiots that claim stuff because they are trained by youtube people…. well let’s say they don’t really promote our field well! 

6. What direction do you see Kung Fu or martial arts, as a whole, heading in?

I believe it will have its place in the West. Not dominant, but with its own public and supporters. For our federation we try to bring in the competitive element. We try to do this in a safe environment with good protection gear and little risk for injuries. So it might attract a bigger group.

In China it’s a different story. I think that in a couple of generation, several great martial arts will disappear because young people aren’t interested.

7. To end this interview in style, what is the best Kung Fu or martial arts advice you have personally ever received and what is the best advice you would give to our readers?

Don’t listen to people who tell you what you can’t do…. only listen to people that support you! Thanks to this mentality I have traveled half the world doing martial arts, had adventures and met legendary people.

The same people that told me that I was crazy putting so much time in my hobby are the ones that stayed home and did nothing. Listen to yourself!!!

Contact:

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