Because of Ralph's "broad perspective and wide open heart"
From studying Wing Tsun he encountered Chinese Culture.
After suffering one year and three months of imprisonment, Ralph Haenel was released with the help of the West German Government and human right organizations. It was in West Germany where he met Grandmaster Dr. Leung Ting and received further authentic Wing Tsun training.
2 years ago, he made the important decision to immigrate to Canada. He also began to set up Wing Tsun Kuen classes in Vancouver. Some people wanted to learn Wing Tsun Kuen and ended up in his classes through inquiries about instruction in the Vancouver area. Many Chinese were astounded to find an East German teaching Chinese Kung Fu in Canada.
Ralph mentioned that about 80% of his students are Asians and that he has more Asian friends than others. From studying Wing Tsun, he encountered Chinese Culture and Taoist Philosophy. This did also effect his worldview. For him the most important thing is to be able to have a broad perspective, allowing his heart to feel totally relaxed and to enjoy other people cultures.
Through the studying of Wing Tsun Kuen, he learned the importance of natural reflexes of the body in comparison to external forces.
He cited that: "students through the constant practice begin to wake up their body senses and able to recognize invading external forces and learn how to respond naturally".
So even though some people are weaker built, they can manage to defend themselves effectively.
He personally summarized the most essential 4 principles in Wing Tsun to teach beginners. Interestingly, he discovered Wing Tsun Kuen teaches how to respond to external forces. It uses the force of an incoming punch to his own advantage and marvelously dissolves the attackers punch into harmless situation.
Even Ralph expressed his praise that this amazing martial art system has been developed by women who relied on Ying and Yang principles by creating this fighting system!
In Ralph's (kuen/ boxing) instructor career, he encouraged female students to discover the power of Wing Tsun. 25 year old Elsie Chow came with her husband to learn Wing Tsun in the beginning. It became more and more fascinating to her. She plans to become a Wing Tsun Kuen instructor in the future.
If someone who has never seen Wing Tsun before, even for Chinese, it is difficult to imagine how this training could help to develop more control over your body. Or how the philosophy behind this system helps people to more confidence and understanding in life.
From Ralph's own life, one can discover how Westerners the using of one small aspect helps to personally experience the finer points in Chinese Culture.
These fighting principles can be applied in everyday life's. Ralph often receives invitations to speak at business meetings to show how these principles can be applied to business management. He even expressed that people learn to develop much more self-confidence in their life's and increase their lifestyle.
Even though East and West Germany have been reunited, Ralph doesn't want the hurtful past to put him in bondage. So he has chosen to reside in Canada and along with that he brought the confidence and strength that he has learnt from Wing Tsun Kuen.
He said that: "in the future he would visit Hong Kong, Taiwan and China to continue pursuit the deeper meaning of Wing Tsun" (Wing Tsun = Beautiful Spring or Eternal Spring).
Text next to the picture in the article:
Ralph Haenel standing behind Grandmaster Dr. Leung Ting - 1992 (left). Leung Tings most successful master student is Keith Ronald Kernspecht, head of the European Wing Tsun Organization and responsible for expansions. This eventually lead to the worldwide expansion of the Wing Tsun System.
This is the final portion of the 2 part series on Ralph Haenel and Wing Tsun Kung Fu.