Sifu Thorsten de Vries
Sifu Thorsten de Vries
6th Master degree
School(s) in: Hamburg – Sternschanze
School Owner since: 1998
For me WingTsun means not only self-defense, but also spiritual and mental development. Constant training and personal development on a mental level, with the goal of optimizing all skills and abilities.
Why did you start with WingTsun?
I was born in Hamburg in 1968 and grew up in the Dulsberg district of Hamburg. As a teenager, I had the feeling that I could not defend myself properly. I wanted to change that and therefore began to learn karate in 1986. Through an acquaintance I came into contact with Dacasco’s KungFu or “Wun Hop Kuen Do” in 1988. However, the emphasis in the lessons was more on improving fitness rather than the skills that were important to me in order to feel more defensible. I then sought out the WingTsun school of Sifu Roggenkamp in Hamburg-Bergedorf in 1989. My SiPak, Rolf Hellmann, impressed and quickly convinced me of the effectiveness and efficiency of WingTsun, so I signed up directly.
Why are you still doing WingTsun?
WingTsun has enriched my life very much. I look forward to the lessons every day. Although the perspective has changed from the student to the teacher role, which has not changed my passion to this day. WingTsun for me is change and consistency at the same time. WingTsun continues to evolve and improve and yet the “old” does not lose its importance. This is the reason why until today, after 27 years, I have not become bored. With the opening of my own school in 1998, I took on the responsibility of being the teacher for my own students. It is a great experience to see how the students develop in our schools and of course I also feel how I can always develop on my personal path.
What was your standout WT experience?
I could now list countless events, courses and lessons, many of which were outstanding. But I was really impressed by the sympathy of the WingTsun community at that time, on the occasion of the funeral of my SiFu Thomas Roggenkamp in 1998. Hundreds of EWTO instructors and colleagues had traveled from all over Germany to attend. This day remains unforgotten for me for several reasons. On the one hand, it was my 30th birthday on which the funeral took place. On the other hand, the ICE train accident in Eschede also occurred on that day on the railroad line between Hamburg and Hanover.
What changed for you when you received the 1st HG or 5th MG?
When I received the certificate for my 1st teacher degree in the year 2000, the circumstances were rather unspectacular, because the handing over of the certificate took place after a training course in a school gymnasium. This day became a special day only because I received the certificate directly from the hands of Grandmaster Leung Ting, who organized this course. In contrast, the setting for the awarding of the 5th MG was a very special honor. During the closing ceremony of the International Course 2015 in Hockenheim, I received the certificate on stage directly from GM Keith.-R. Kernspecht. That was a very special experience.
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