« May 2009 »
S M T W T F S
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31


ralph haenel, hänelwingtsun, wing tsun kung fu instructor, author, publisher, self-defense expert Sifu Ralph Haenel, learning and teaching Wing Tsun Kung Fu since 1984
Changing lives, one punch at a time.
Contact me


Book "The Reality of Self-Defense!" by Ralph Haenel
Buy it Now!

the reality of self-defense! - book by ralph haenel, wing tsun kung fu instructor

The Reality of Self-Defense! by Ralph Haenel: buy this book on Lulu.com


On Sale Now!
The practical strength training guide for Wing Tsun Kung Fu (Wing Chun, Ving Tsun) practitioners and fitness enthusiasts.
Now with bonus chapter: Kettlebell training! INFO

Strength training for martial artists, espcially Wing Tsun/Wing Chun practitioners, a book by Ralph Haenel, with kettlebell training chapter.

The Practical Strength Training Guide for Self-Defense & Martial Arts by Ralph Haenel: buy this book on Lulu.com


On Sale Now!
Siu-Nim-Tau, a Wing Tsun Kung Fu form for WingTsun (Wing Chun, Ving Tsun) practitioners and fitness enthusiasts.
Training notes on the journey between Kung Fu Beginner and Master INFO

Siu-Nim-Tau, a Wing Tsun Kung Fu form for Wing Tsun/Wing Chun practitioners, a book by Chris Chinfen

Siu-Nim-Tau, a Wing Tsun Kung Fu form by Chris Chinfen: buy this book on Lulu.com


Coming 2016
Kung Fu - The Workout; an easy to follow result driven guide for beginners and fitness enthusiasts. INFO

Century old Kung Fu exercises for all fitness enthusiasts, a book by Ralph Haenel


Coming 2016
WingTsun-CoreConcepts, Beyond tradition and technique - training concepts for Wing Tsun Kung Fu students and instructors! INFO

WingTsun-CoreConcepts a book by Ralph Haenel - Beyond tradition and technique, training concepts for Wing Tsun Kung Fu students and instructors



Entries by Topic
All topics  «
Wing Tsun Kung Fu Vancouver Blog
Tuesday, 5 May 2009
Alfred's story or the 3 P.'s - Martial arts training, a way of life.
Werner Acker, Ralph Haenel, Alfred Ueck in Spring of 1986 in Rostock after WingTsun training in der Borwinstr. 35, Borwin Strasse, BorwinstrasseJust a few days ago I heard from an old student. We first got together in 1986, some 23 years ago. At the time in East Germany, martial arts schools didn't officially exist. Only state sanctioned and government organized wrestling, judo and boxing clubs, all geared towards a Olympic future.

Wochenpost Anzeige Ralph Haenel, 2500 Rostock, Borwinstr. 35, Borwin Strasse, Borwinstrasse Internet? YouTube? DVD's? Videos? Literature? Nothing! Starting at some point in the early 80's, I had the idea to publish little wanted ads in newspapers, initially searching for books about Judo and Jiu-Jitsu. Mostly older people wrote me about books and booklets they had found in the attic, which had survived world war 2. Over time the ads also worked as a means to find students. And Alfred from Neustadt-Glewe was one of the early Wing Tsun students.

Above you can see two of the newspaper ads out of East-German newspapers (Wochenpost) from 1986. 
 
What did one do back then, almost no one having a phone at home. Little story on the side: In 1980 I applied for a phone installation and still remember how in 1988 I got a postcard that currently my order cannot yet be fulfilled. So, no home phone, of course no cell phone, no e-mail or even fax. Now what? Alfred got in his old car, or did he even come by train? I have to ask. He drove from his town at least 1 to 2 hours to my place. Sometimes I had to work longer and wasn't home yet. Unsuccessful, he drove home again, another two hours ... and came back the next week. This was persistence. To do this for a couple of years, this is perseverance. To drive for hours, train for a couple of hours, and drive back home for hours, all that working full time, this was patience. The three P's!
And today I hear at times from prospective students that it is too far to drive from North Vancouver across the bridge into Vancouver.
 
How did we train? Again, books and videos or posters didn't exist. Whatever I had learned during the annual one or two meetings with instructors from the West, I started teaching the very next day. If you don't know, if and when you will see your instructor again due to political circumstances, if you have no way of receiving information or correction, other than training yourself, you develop a very different attitude. You learn to analyze your own training deep into the tiniest details.
 
We trained footwork for hours until the soles of our shoes had holes. We did chain punches on the heavy bag until the skin opened up, you heard the blood squishing between your fingers. Made for great conversation while meeting people in the city. They took one look at your face, clean and OK and then at your knuckles, and took at least one step back while talking to you.
 
Werner Acker, Ralph Haenel, Alfred Ueck in Spring of 1994 after WingTsun seminar I remember training sessions with Alfred. One day he "didn't want to leave". He sat outside the apartment on the stairs, but only because his legs were shaking that much, that he couldn't even take seven, eight stairs down to the house door. Another time he was so brave to order soup in a restaurant, after a tough training. After many unsuccessful tries he put the spoon down. The waitress came and asked if he doesn't like the soup. Oh, he was hungry alright. I never forget the look of the waitress after he told her that he temporarily could not master the spoon. I don't want to know what she thought of us.
 
Alfred probably still remembers my wardrobe?! In Germany you don't have wall closets for your clothes. I had one of those big old wooden wardrobes with big doors. It was hidden behind a curtain which hung all the way from the ceiling to the floor. Almost like an initiation, every new student got the inch-punch, flew back into the wardrobe, with a giant loud crash pushing the doors inside and often the curtain being ripped off the ceiling and burying the happy new Wing Tsun member on the floor in the wardrobe. Just picture that for a moment. Ah, good old times!
 
After changes in my life, living in Switzerland, West Germany and West Berlin, I again connected with Alfred. We trained for a couple of years, I did seminars in his school until I moved to Canada.
 
Alfred never gave up, although it took him ten solid years to advance from 12th student grade to his first instructor level.
 
Persistence. Perseverance. Patience.
 
This is how martial arts can shape your life, become a way of living.

P.S.: The two photos are exactly eight years apart. The black & white photo taken in the spring of 1986, still behind the "Iron Curtain". The second one in the spring of 1994 after a WingTsun seminar.
from left to right: Werner Acker, Ralph Haenel, Alfred Ueck


Posted by ralph haenel at 5:44 PM PDT
Updated: Monday, 23 August 2010 5:24 PM PDT

View Latest Entries

Blog Archives - Check it out!
Read Archived Topics
Wing Tsun and Fitness Books
Upcoming Wing Tsun and Fitness books

Add our blog to your RSS Reader: Add to any RSS service

Add to My Yahoo!
Add to Google

Support:
What is RSS?


Bookmark our blog: