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Trainer Team

Chief-Instructor Vancouver Bio - Go to Sifu Ralph Haenel

All current members of the Wing Tsun trainer team Vancouver & Victoria

Bio - Sihing Dwight Epp, Read below

From the time I was a small child I have always been fascinated with martial arts, but it was not until I was in my twenty’s that I finally found the time to look for a club. It made sense to me that I should find an art that covered all types of fighting styles not just kicking, punching or ground fighting. I assumed that were I to learn just one of these I would be week in all other areas.

After a careful search of the local yellow pages I found an add for Tong Moo Do a Korean Martial art that featured a combination of many different styles combined to form the ultimate style, this art included many techniques from tae kwon do, karate, kung fu and hapkido. The school instructor Grand master Jung had a seventh degree black belt in Tae kwon do and had developed Tong Moo Do on his own. The class were fun and students received a very good physical workout but the classes were twice a week for an hour and I could not see learning this much material in such a short time it was time to leave.

I next decided that since Tong Moo Do had so many techniques that perhaps I could learn kicking and punching first in one school and later learn ground fighting. I found a tae kwon do school that was run by Master Yip in Richmond and joined, the teaching was excellent and the classes more focused then Tong Moo Do but I realized that Tae kwon do was not really geared to self defense since becoming an Olympic sport and I did not really want to compete. I stayed in tae kwon do for about a year and was quite sad when I realized that it did not meet my self defense needs it was time to move on.

It was then that I ran into a hapkido school run by master Michel Lok , this art was advertised as the Korean art of self defense. It looked good the classes were kept quite small and best of all they had Kicking, punching and many joint locks this looked like it would be the place. I studied Hapkido for almost two years but found the system to classical, which for me meant that the drills were all hapkido against hapkido I could not throw in a round punch or a choke into the drill because this would upset the format of the class, the other problem for me was when we did free sparing very little hapkido was used and it turned into a kick boxing match, none of the formal defenses worked and I grew very frustrated with this situation.

I decided that I would look one more time for another art and if it was not different then the others I would find another hobby. It was then that I remembered Wing Chun Kung fu, I had seen some people in my schools that had taken it and they told me that it was quite simple and very effective for self defense. I looked everywhere and visited as many Wing Chun Schools as I could find, I did not want to make another mistake so I was very cautious and took free trial classes wherever I could.

I finally decided on one and was just about to join when I was looking on the Internet one day and found realistic self defense run by Sifu Ralph Haenel, was I ever impressed with the web site. What impressed me the most was it had all the programs listed on the different levels of the style and what each level contained, this was finally it I tried a trial class and was quite surprised that Sifu Ralph went around the class and worked with everybody individually, also there were no mass drills just working with partners and trying to make the programs work.
This was very different then anything that I had ever seen before and I signed up as soon as possible. I have now been with Sifu Ralph Haenel for five years, this style of Wing Tsun has never ceased to amaze me with its level of simplicity and yet how challenging it can be to start to become proficient in the art. I have recently tested for level 12 and I have started learning the first technician grade programs these are truly challenging me and I expect that they will the rest of my martial arts life.

Sihing Dwight Epp,
12th SG Wing Tsun Kung Fu