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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.
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The practical strength training guide for Wing Tsun Kung Fu (Wing Chun, Ving Tsun) practitioners and fitness enthusiasts.
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Strength training for martial artists, espcially Wing Tsun/Wing Chun practitioners, a book by Ralph Haenel, with kettlebell training chapter.

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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

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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


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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



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Wing Tsun Kung Fu Vancouver Blog
Tuesday, 26 February 2008
2008 Jumpstart Seminar at Wing Tsun Kung Fu Vancouver
At the end of two exhausting seminar evenings; Edmond Chow and Sebastian Molnar working on only one training aspect during blind-folded Chi-Sau, to stay loose and relaxed while trying to feel direction, speed and strength of light attacks.

Thanks to all members of Wing Tsun Kung Fu Vancouver for a great seminar. Your motivation and dedication is always a great experience. Each one of our seminars features exercises around a unique topic. This one could be described as: "True function is born out of the intensity with which we train the basics!". Missed the seminar? We hope to see you next time.

I will keep it brief today. Brian Yam and Steve McMinn have written about both seminar evenings in their respective blogs. Check it out here:
- Brian’s blog at http://functionalwingtsun.blogspot.com, part 1 and part 2.
- Steve’s blog at http://stevemcminn.blogspot.com Read about part 1 written on Tuesday, February 19, 2008 and part 2 published on Thursday, February 21, 2008.

I have added 27 photos from the seminar at our online photo album. Go to www.realisticselfdefense.net/photoalbum/ The new photos are listed starting on page 13.

Congratulations to all members who received their well-deserved promotions!
Bojan Subotic, SG 2
Jennifer Deon, SG 2
Sascha Peters, SG 2
William Chau, SG 4
Dave Zraly, SG 5
Fred Lo, SG 5
Vasile Nuca, SG 5
Neal Marshall, SG 8
Mansun Lui, SG 8
Adrian Law, SG 8

And also congratulations to the members of the newly formed 2008 Technician Grade Team!
Sebastian Molnar, SG 12
Tony Leung, SG 12
Rob Grylls, SG 12
Edmond "Wooden Arms" Chow, SG 12
Siavash Panahandeh, SG 12
Philip Lee, SG 12
Steve McMinn, SG 12

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Posted by ralph haenel at 7:09 PM PST
Updated: Wednesday, 12 March 2008 11:51 AM PDT
Thursday, 31 January 2008
Find our Self-Defense Open House ad in the Spring 2008 Mind, Body & Soul magazine
Self-Defense Open House ad on page 21 in the Spring 2008 body, mind, soul magazine of the The Georgia Straight, Vancouver's News and Entertainment WeeklyInterested in Self-Defense? Find our Self-Defense Open House ad on page 21 in the Spring 2008 Mind, Body & Soul magazine of The Georgia Straight, Vancouver's News and Entertainment Weekly.
The first month of 2008 has come to a close and it's time to take a hard look at the progress of our New Year’s resolutions. Kick off 2008 right! It's the perfect time to get into a exciting new training routine.
What's the secret to keeping your New Year's resolutions in 2008? Don't go it alone! We at Wing Tsun Kung Fu Vancouver are looking forward to see you for our two week Open House event in February. Join us for a great workout. Four evenings of commitment-free training.

Wing Tsun Kung Fu is not just about self-defense, it’s about developing a healthy level of confidence, it’s about learning to successfully deal with stress scenarios, but it’s also about discipline, and balancing your work and your private life as well as a training routine that completes you as a person. Use the feedback from your classes as a positive boost to get through tough times at work, and yes, even at home.

All the information about the Open House, including address, map and photos of the school location, can be found at our special Open House web site at www.FreeSelfDefenseClasses.com.

No need to call ahead. Feel free to bring participating guests along. Join us during the following four evenings:
Monday, February 4th, 7-10pm, evening 1 of 4
Wednesday, February 6th, 7-10pm, evening 2 of 4
Monday, February 11th, 7-10pm, evening 3 of 4
Wednesday, February 13th, 7-10pm, evening 4 of 4

Find our ad on page 21 in the Spring 2008 Mind, Body & Soul magazine of The Georgia Straight, bring it to one of the open house evenings and receive a additional bonus!
Questions? Please e-mail me at
SifuRalphHaenel at aol.com

Click here to visit The Georgia Straight, Vancouver's News and Entertainment Weekly

Click here to go to the Mind, Body & Soul magazine of The Georgia Straight


Posted by ralph haenel at 9:49 PM PST
Updated: Sunday, 3 February 2008 10:25 PM PST
Wednesday, 30 January 2008
Sebastian Molnar - Salsa & Wing Tsun - Teaching is simply another way of learning.
video clip: Sebastian Molnar and his lovely wife Yukiko performing during a anniversary dinner in front of members of Wing Tsun Kung Fu Vancouver and their families.

Today I want to take a moment and introduce yet another member of the trainer team at Wing Tsun Kung Fu Vancouver. Sebastian is highly motivated, passionate and enjoys learning and teaching. But let his bio speak. You can find it at our special Open House web site at www.FreeSelfDefenseClasses.com, click on the tab 'Trainer Team' and scroll down to 'Sebastian Molnar'. Or click here for a direct link.

Another quote from Sebastian: "The other side to learning is passion." Enjoy reading his bio!

Find Sebastian's Salsa web site at: www.geocities.com/salsa_seb/

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Posted by ralph haenel at 2:49 PM PST
Updated: Saturday, 7 March 2009 3:23 PM PST
Friday, 25 January 2008
New Blog by Brian Yam: Grashopper 2.0 - Functional Wing Tsun Kung Fu
introduction of Wing Tsun Kung Fu at the Simon Fraser University (SFU) in Burnaby, British Columbiaphoto: with Brian (fourth from the left) and other demo team members after an introduction of Wing Tsun Kung Fu at the Simon Fraser University (SFU) in Burnaby, British Columbia in 2002.

I haven't forgotten about my blog entry from January 7th 2008. To be continued within a day or two!

Brian Yam is one of the long time members of Wing Tsun Kung Fu Vancouver, the first Canadian Wing Tsun branch. You have read about him on previous occasions here in my blog and you may have watched his Wing Tsun Kung Fu demo at a Open House event in early 2007. The video clip is also listed on our special Open House web site at www.FreeSelfDefenseClasses.com

Brian named his blog Grashopper 2.0: "Follow the path of one man's journey in his search for fully functional expression of the Wing Tsun Kung Fu system of self-defense."

The first entries have been posted and I am very much looking forward to many more. Check out Brian's blog at www.functionalwingtsun.com

Brian wants his blog to be a place to document his learnings, challenges, developments as well as his observations of the Wing Tsun Kung Fu system over the years. He plans on adding video clips and pictures to complement the message he is trying to put out. The blog will also contain information from a theory paper he was working on. I too think that the blog is a great alternative, in today's world a better form for Brian to present step by step the contents of his theory paper.

Especially for our members - Brian always welcomes your input, your recommendations as to new topics. He would like to receive your suggestions of follow-ups, certain topics. So, just talk to Brian in class.

Now let's have a look at www.functionalwingtsun.com

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Posted by ralph haenel at 1:19 PM PST
Updated: Tuesday, 29 January 2008 7:30 PM PST
Tuesday, 22 January 2008
Lunch & learn seminar at Envision Financial
Wing Tsun Kung Fu lunch & learn seminar at Envision Financial Langley, British ColumbiaThe photo features some of the participants of today's lunch break self-defense seminar at Envision Financial in Langley, British Columbia, made possible by Bojan Subotic, Director Technical Services. I was once again accompanied by Fitness and Wing Tsun trainer Steve McMinn (stevemcminn.com).

The introduction of the four Wing Tsun Kung Fu fighting principles and two practical exercises were well received and readily trained by everyone. The lunch & learn seminar also covered the application of the four fighting principles in an work environment. After all, stress in the work place, dealing with office politics is no different than the stress we face in a physical scenario.
The ability to position yourself well, instant mobility, flexible responses and reliable self-confidence, might read like part of the wish list when you apply for your next job. Self-defense doesn't start when punches are flying. Learn to be confident and aware of your surroundings to avoid problems before they even happen.

Attackers choose victims not opponents!

Contact me at SifuRalphHaenel at aol.com to arrange a lunch & learn seminar for your company. Discover the extended application of ancient Kung Fu techniques in a corporate environment. Enjoy an exciting and fun workout resulting in a positive motivation for your team.

Past clients include:
- University of British Columbia (UBC)
- Simon Fraser University Burnaby (SFU)
- Office for Indian and Northern Affairs (DIAND) in downtown Vancouver
- YMCA Vancouver
- German Canadian Business Association Vancouver
- Swiss Canadian Chamber of Commerce Vancouver
- Austria Vancouver Club
- Dunbar Community Centre Vancouver
- Yaletown Roundhouse Community Centre, Festival "The Art of Martial Arts"
- Dr. Shaklee Corporation British Columbia
- Women's Bank Society
- Toyota Chilliwak
- Windermere Realty Ltd.
- HomeLife Glenayre Realty Co.
- North Vancouver Citizen Patrol (NVCP & RCMP officers)
- Boy Scouts Vancouver
- Best Buy / Futureshop Vancouver

Also check the following blog entry: November 23rd 2007

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Posted by ralph haenel at 6:21 PM PST
Updated: Tuesday, 22 January 2008 6:24 PM PST
Monday, 7 January 2008
Looking back and forward, and everything in between - part 1
Members of our school show different self-defense applications, one of the demonstrations at our school's anniversary dinner in July of 2007.

Today a simple look back, a listing of 2007's special classes and courses at Wing Tsun Kung Fu Vancouver, the first Canadian Wing Tsun branch. Did you know, our independent Wing Tsun school is now going into its 14th year?

The annual beach class at Vancouver’s beautiful Kitsilano beach, advanced classes for the Wing Tsun trainer team, special topic and grading seminars, WingTsun-ChiKung and ‘Fit for Self-defense’ classes are part of our teaching schedule as well as bonus classes throughout the year.

The past year has been once again a very busy year. January 2007 started out on the 1st with a bonus class, followed by our first special topic and grading seminar the week after. In February we held the next class of the Wing Tsun Core Concepts course. The ten WingTsun-CoreConcepts are the backbone of our unique teaching method, the result of decades of experience. On March 9th the Trainer Team got together at the Golden Swan for a fun-filled yet intense power dinner.
The last day of March and April 1st was the date for our very successful weekend seminar on Vancouver Island, visiting two Wing Chun schools.
Several ChiKung classes were held in April, followed by a first ever Technician Grade Program Review Class on May 12th. The Technician Grades are the “black belts” of Wing Tsun Kung Fu.
After yet another special ChiKung class at the end of May, June started powerfully with our second special topic and grading seminar.

July featured a bonus Canada Day class and on July 7th our seventh annual beach class at Kitsilano beach, yet another bonus for all loyal members.
Another ChiKung class and finally on July 20th our big anniversary dinner with well over 60 guests, alos featuring several demos. The dinner has been a memorable event marking my beginnings in martial arts 30 years ago.

July 28th and August 4th marked the dates for our next Technician Grade Program Review Classes for many advanced members of our school. We have been reviewing step by step and in great detail the first seven Wing Tsun Chi-Sau sections. High level Technician Grades were working through the Biu-Tze Chi-Sau sections.

On BC Day, August 6th, yet another bonus class for everyone. You see, even if you occasionally miss some group classes, there are many opportunities throughout the year to catch up.

September 15th was the date for the members of our Trainer Team, a bonus class, at which we continued to work on the advanced Technician Grade programs.
Followed on September 17th by a ChiKung class. Don’t miss our ‘CorePower in Motion’ workout. Every single WingTsun-ChiKung features a different aspect, giving you many exercises for a train-at-home plan. This year we introduced very beneficial partner exercises to drastically increase your workout results.

And finally the year’s third and last special topic and grading seminar on September 24th and 26th offered yet another special Wing Tsun topic.
The following month presented a bonus class on Monday, November 12th the long Remembrance Day weekend, followed by Brian’s “Fit for Self-defense” class on November 26th.

As always, the school remained open throughout the holiday season in December.

Let’s look later this month at New Year’s resolutions and more.

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Posted by ralph haenel at 2:23 PM PST
Updated: Tuesday, 22 January 2008 6:26 PM PST
Friday, 23 November 2007
Benefit your employees! Lunch break self-defense seminars, a great motivational tool.
lunch break self-defence seminar on behalf of accenture.com at best buy and futureshopFollowing an invitation we held on Monday, November 19th a lunch break self-defense seminar on behalf of accenture.com at the Canadian headquarters of Best Buy and Futureshop. Some 40+ people attended the introduction to the self-defense system of Wing Tsun Kung Fu. Steve McMinn (stevemcminn.com) and Adrian Law of Wing Tsun Kung Fu Vancouver assisted the participants during their exercises and contributed to the enthusiastic atmosphere of the one hour self-defence seminar.

Previous introductions and lunch break seminars have been held at the:

- University of British Columbia (UBC)

- Simon Fraser University Burnaby (SFU)

- Office for Indian and Northern Affairs** (DIAND) in downtown Vancouver, **today the Department of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

- YMCA Vancouver

- German Canadian Business Association Vancouver

- Swiss Canadian Chamber of Commerce Vancouver

- Austria Vancouver Club

- Dunbar Community Centre Vancouver

- Yaletown Roundhouse Community Centre, Festival "The Art of Martial Arts"

- Dr. Shaklee Corporation British Columbia

- Women's Bank Society

- Toyota Chilliwak

- Windermere Realty Ltd.

- HomeLife Glenayre Realty Co.

- North Vancouver Citizen Patrol (NVCP & RCMP officers)

- Boy Scouts Vancouver

Looking for a way to broaden your employees' knowledge and interactive skills? Learn how to 'translate' fighting principles of a successful self-defense system into business principles! The one-hour session is generally held on-site in a conference room, cafeteria or wherever there's room. Send us an e-mail to arrange a lunch break seminar, an introduction to self-defense at your company.


Posted by ralph haenel at 12:01 AM PST
Updated: Thursday, 21 September 2017 2:46 PM PDT
Monday, 12 November 2007
"KUNG FU" Movie Open Casting Call in Vancouver on December 2, 2007
Are you the next Kwai Chang Caine? Kung Fu Movie Casting Call Vancouver by melissa & larkinAre you the next Kwai Chang Caine?

Legendary Pictures is producing a feature film based on the popular 1970’s television series “Kung Fu.” A couple of days ago I received the following e-mail:

My name is Larkin MacKenzie-Ast and my Casting partner, Melissa Perry, and I are holding an OPEN CASTING CALL in Vancouver on Sunday, December 2, 2007. We are looking for Asian and part-Asian males, between the ages of 20-30, with some Martial Arts or Dance background.

Please forward this email to anyone you know who may be suitable for the role. Please visit our website: www.kungfucasting.com for further information.

If you are an instructor or School/Academy Owner, please feel free to post this notice on any Information Board that you may have, to reach all of your students.

Thank you for your time, Larkin MacKenzie-Ast, Casting Director melissa & larkin

Kung Fu - The television series with David Carradine as Kwai Chang Caine

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Posted by ralph haenel at 2:56 PM PST
Updated: Monday, 12 November 2007 3:38 PM PST
Monday, 5 November 2007
Learning and teaching tools in Wing Tsun Kung Fu
wing tsun kung fu core concepts, learning and teaching tools in wing tsun kung fuGary Hughes, a long-time member at Wing Tsun Kung Fu Vancouver, has created the animation to the left.

The graphic gives you a visualization of the powerful 'shield' a Wing Tsun practitioner produces through hard training. Employing a aggressive yet protective forward movement, does the practitioner use his arms and legs simultaneously for attacks and defenses. Often are the techniques seen as the most important ingredient. Some, who have trained for a long time, may have discovered along the way the so-called technique-collectors or grade hunters.

Even a beginner realizes very early on in his/her Wing Tsun training, that a powerful structure has to be build. Let's look at only one example, your very first punch in this scenario. Imagine you are being attacked and you attempt to defend yourself, following the Wing Tsun concepts, by going aggressively forward, trying to punch the attacker.

- If the punch is too weak, nothing happens. The aggressor will continue to hurt you.
- If the punch is thrown out of the wrong distance, the effort will have been made in vain.
- If your footwork doesn't connect with your punch, a big part of your potential cannot be engaged.
- If you cannot maintain balance, your own punch might throw you off, on impact or while missing the target.
- If you are too tense, you will not be able to 'transform' your physical strength into actual striking power.

And a Wing Tsun practitioner finds out early on that only few decisions can be made, if at all, in the fractions of seconds a fight is about to explode. At an advanced stage in your education, your reflex-like responses will have to be employed instantly.
You need to stop, control or disable the very first attack and also take away space, time and opportunity for a successful second attack, driving the attacker into defensive actions. You want to use the moment of surprise and as the presumed victim you will have to turn the situation around by aggressively exploding 'into' the attacker, even if it is for just a moment, to give yourself the chance to run away, while the attacker is momentarily stunned.

The system of Wing Tsun Kung Fu offers us very clear instructions, which guide the practice of our four (empty-hand or weaponless) forms, as well as the partner exercises. Like a overlaying blueprint do the four fighting concepts, the four power concepts and their application in four dimensions, give us the necessary hints and tips for a great training.

Over the years I have seen many times that the assumption of failure has been blamed on the technique, or in order to improve performance one was seeking the next form, the next exercise, the next Chi-Sau section, in order to achieve success.

But as so often in life, the devil is in the detail. It's not about doing more, it's about doing it right. Well, I know that's easier said than done. Many martial arts masters have expressed it in various ways: "The path to mastering your skills is training basics, basics, and ... basics."

But to do it right, we need learning and teaching tools that enable us to reach successful results. My very own learning and teaching method has over the years formed a systematical approach, which I call the ten CoreConcepts of Wing Tsun Kung Fu™.

More about all that during the next days ...

As always, Thanks for taking the time to follow the articles in our blog. Keep coming back! I also very much appreciate your feedback and encouragement.

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Posted by ralph haenel at 2:47 PM PST
Updated: Monday, 5 November 2007 5:57 PM PST
Friday, 19 October 2007
Fit For Self-Defense - Wing Tsun form training
Above a few exercises of one of the most advanced Wing Tsun forms, the wooden dummy form, performed by Nilo Lida.

Health/Fitness/Strength training at Wing Tsun Kung Fu Vancouver: In my classes I often talk about the fact, that a Wing Tsun practitioner should not just be able to inflict pain (if absolutely necessary), but also know how to avoid and prevent pain.
Many of you have already made the experience, how many details one is discovering while practicing the Siu-Nim-Tau form over and over again. Sometimes wrongly interpreted as a beginners-only form, is the Little-Idea-Form of the Wing Tsun Kung Fu system also seen as a form of the master.
There are more than 430 muscles in the human body, which allow an enormous potential not just in the range of motion, but also in power development and the fluidity of motion. There is (almost) no part in our body without any function. But it is a sad fact that many people nowadays perform only a fraction of the movements their body is capable of doing, which leads eventually to a decrease in functionality and usability.

Our members have often heard about the benefits of the first form of the Wing Tsun Kung Fu system:
- exercising from short-term stretching towards long-term lengthening of muscles,
- increased mobility of muscles,
- better integration and usage of ligaments and tendons
- the learning of all basic techniques of our system
- breathing methods
- the benefits of an upright, yet deeply rooted, powerful and flexible stance
- amazing increase of punching power
- for many also a great form of meditation,
- a improvement in quality of life due to achieving a better range of motion, muscular balance,
… just to name a few points.

Almost every one of our ChiKung classes focuses on a different aspect of the form, even supportive and challenging partner exercises. The ChiKung Siu-Nim-Tau (SNT) form is probably the most valuable form of the Wing Tsun Kung Fu system. Beginning to understand the SNT form means:
- learning about the healing effects of the movements,
- target the relief of stress,
- conscious relaxation of the whole body,
- awareness of the use (or previous misuse) of muscles, ligaments, tendons, joints,
- special muscle extension and strengthening exercises,
- a physiological well functioning muscle structure, muscular balance,
- pain relief.

These are just a few points listing the value, meaning and contents of this extraordinary form. There is a Chinese saying in Wing Tsun: "Siu-Nim-Tau bad = Kung Fu bad"; which sometimes may take years to understand. Why? The more often you train the form, the more detail you pay attention to, the more you will feel the subtle changes in your performance.

Visit us and train with us during the next WingTsun-ChiKung class. Click here for dates of upcoming classes!

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Posted by ralph haenel at 12:01 AM PDT
Updated: Thursday, 18 October 2007 7:51 PM PDT

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