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Master Sifu Jan-Holger Nahler

Sifu Jan-Holger Nahler

6th Master degree

School(s) in: Koblenz on the Rhine

School Owner since: 1992

 

Motto:

WingTsun is for me a philosophy of life transferable to many areas of life, which helps me to optimize my potential and gives me the opportunity to deal with challenges in a balanced way and, if necessary, to defend my personal freedom and my values with extreme consistency.

Why did you start with WingTsun?

As a young ambitious martial artist I once looked at a local WingTsun training and was not very enthusiastic about what I saw. They were training SiuNimTau and PoonSao and from my WingTsun-untrained martial artist’s point of view this seemed – to put it mildly – very stupid; because I couldn’t do anything with it and couldn’t see the sense and benefit of these exercises.
When I read the book “Vom Zweikampf” about a year later, it was clear: “This is what I want to learn – WingTsun, the ultimate martial art and self-defense”
I noticed very quickly that almost everything I had learned about self-defense in other styles before, was solved in WingTsun almost opposite and from my point of view much more systematic and intelligent. This pleased me very much and strengthened my conviction to want to master this style.

Why are you still doing WingTsun?

On the one hand, I can earn a weighty part of my living with my hobby and passion WingTsun. On the other hand, I still practice WingTsun because I am fascinated by being able to learn for life. WingTsun has not become boring yet. It’s a lot of fun to look at old things from a different point of view.
And the always fresh input of SiFu is an important aspect. Even if I have to admit that I often react a bit skeptical in the beginning, I can get involved with the “new” and in most cases afterwards I can say that the new insights and skills in our martial art bring us enormous steps forward in understanding and implementation.
 Another, always motivating point are my students and my colleagues, with whom I have been able to experience long lasting friendships and a good cooperation.
But also with those, with whom it came to a break, WingTsun often
helped me to recognize the situation as a mirror of own behavior and own thinking and thus to understand afterwards the own set causes.
 In this context, “respect and honor” also plays a particularly important role, as long as this is not abused as a one-way street.

What was your standout WT experience?

In the first impulse I am inclined to name the getting to know of various partly notorious WingTsun masters, who were dazzling and shining figureheads of the EWTO and with whom everybody liked to boast.
But when pausing and reflecting, something “less spectacular”, but sustainably considered, comes to my mind that is much more important: getting to know my SiHing Sifu Heiko Martin – today 7th MG – and thus being accepted into his school in 1989 and the still today trusting cooperation after more than 27 years.
He not only offered
us extremely entertaining WingTsun lessons, but also exemplified values and entrusted us with a maximum of freedom. Thus, we did not have to become conformist copycats, but were allowed to become independent WingTsun personalities with individual views and characteristics. He has exemplified the “We are Family” for me until today and I hope that I am able to carry this on at least to some extent with my own students. This is more important to me than some fleeting fame and quickly earned euros.
Also a big thank you to Sifu H-.P. Edel, whom I met in 2000 and from whom I learn WingTsun in an incomparable elegant way, which amazes, inspires and shapes me again and again.

What changed for you when you received the 1st HG or 5th MG?

The 1st HG was the absolute milestone for me. Whoever had the 1st teacher degree at the beginning of my WingTsun training, was already the upper banger and in my youthful ideas almost invincible. With the achievement of the 1st HG, the hurdle from being a mere student to becoming a respected WingTsun teacher was unmistakably overcome and the dream since the beginning of my WingTsun training was fulfilled – even if the total feeling of invincibility was disappointingly incomplete. But then immediately came the brutal challenges of the unexpected kind: I remember standing in front of the mirror and trying to tie the jacket of the traditional suit without instruction. In the meantime, it occurred to me that this must have been the creative KungFu test of patience.
Then between 1st HG and 5th MG was the Sifu title award at the 25th EWTO anniversary event in 2001 – another absolute highlight of my WingTsun career. The nomination for this hit me very unexpectedly and I was all the more proud, because I personally associate certain values with this title.
I was able to pass the
practical final exam for the 5th MG in Livorno in 2010 in almost one-on-one lessons with SiFu. Just like the 6th MG exam in 2016, the commitment required and the hardships to overcome were very great. So great, in fact, that many a time I thought of giving up and resigning. But in retrospect, of course, one is very happy and proud to be able to look back on what has been achieved.
If I now look back at the emotional feeling of these moments: the 1st higher degree – earlier still 1st technician degree – in 1995 was certainly one of the biggest ego push – comparable with coming of age – and therefore probably also the most important hurdle to overcome in my WingTsun life.
 The 5th and 6th MG have also been very important, but you also get older and look at things a little more settled.

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