An Interview With The Dai Sifu

      Wing Tsun in Denmark
      as told by Dai Sifu Allan Jensen - Chapter 1 
  -   Kapitel 1



____________    An Interview With The Dai Sifu    _____________________________

Dai Sifu Allan Jensen is a central figure in Scandinavian Wing Tsun and has often been called 'The Godfahter of Wing Tsun in Scandinavia' as almost everyone who teaches Wing Tsun in Scandinavia is either a direct student of Dai Sifu or is a student of students. There are only a few exceptions.

Dai Sifu has always been interested in martial arts. As a teenager, he did boxing for two years in Frederiksholm's Boxing Club.

Dai Sifu recalls the two-hour lessons as being quite rough, but great for getting in shape – they would consist of an hour’s warm-up followed by an hour of sparring. He liked it, but in the end the purely physical aspect of it all became too much for the young man. He was successful because of speed, but no matter how fast you are, it's impossible to avoid getting hit, especially when training partners start reading one's movement patterns. Even Dai Sifu's idol, Muhammed Ali, took a few hits throughout his career! The young man decided to save his brain and spend his time on something else.

Because as a famous Chinese proverb says: 'The greatest happiness in life is to hit and not be hit!'

Dai Sifu has always believed that there is a big difference between a martial art like Wing Tsun and combat sports like boxing and other ring sports.

Dai Sifu:

“There are basically two fundamental differences: Rules and circumstances. There are other differences, but these are the most obvious. Rules are the restrictions the participants must submit to. For example, in boxing it is not allowed to kick, use knees and elbows or tackle. It is not only what I must not do to my opponent, but also the calculations my opponent makes, and that determines how the training takes place. The training programs reaction patterns into the nervous system which are optimal for the application. I cannot consciously suppress my reactions and hope for success. You only get good at what you do often!
As for circumstances in combat sports, I know when it takes place and often who my opponent is, there is a cleared area, a referee, rounds, weight classes. And of course there is only one opponent. He cannot suddenly pull a knife or the likes. In the streets, assault is entirely different - there are no rules, and the circumstances are what they are. This is what Wing Tsun specializes in.”


Dai Sifu demonstrates Biu Dao from the Bart Cham Dao form


‘The greatest happiness in life is to hit and not be hit!’

Combat is fighting under rules and circumstances. Assault and street fighting are without rules and bad circumstances!
Therefore Wing Tsun!

‘The greatest happiness in life is to hit and not be ’


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Karate Festivities

Dai Sifu started Wing Tsun by accident. In 1976 he studied philosophy, and considered himself a quite intellectual young man (age 23). He was in town to see a movie in Nørrebro. The film was a French film which suited the exalted young man. However, as fate would have it, the French film was sold out, so Dai Sifu went further into the city to the nearby Colosseum Bio cinema. There they had films for a somewhat different audience and on this fateful night showed the film Shaolin Martial Arts. Dai Sifu didn't want to go home empty-handed and bought a ticket for the film that in Danish was very light-handedly translated into "Karate Festivities"!

Dai Sifu saw the movie and was hooked immediately! This is exciting! They also showed a trailer for the cinema's next premiere, Bruce Lee's " Fists of Fury", and that was it. "This is too crazy - it's just me".
At that time, the selection of martial arts in Denmark was small. You could train Karate, Judo and Jiu-jitsu, and Taekwondo and Aikido had just started. Dai Sifu attended some training sessions of what was offered at the time, but it was not what he was looking for - he wanted some Chinese Kung Fu!

He started investigating what people such as Bruce Lee had trained, and came across Wing Tsun for the first time. He decided, "That's what I want!". However, no one offered Wing Tsun traning and teaching in Denmark, at the time.

However, prior to the premiere of Bruce Lee's " Fists of Fury " in June 1976, Dai Sifu noticed a bulletin announcement - a Chinese Wing Tsun Grandmaster, Leung Ting would come and do a demonstration before the film's premiere at the Colosseum Bio.


Karate Tam Tam Video:
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Unfortunately, there are no videos of the demonstrations at the Collosseum Bio, but here is one from Kiel - same Tour/display 1976


Click Here


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Dai Sifu was ready for it and showed up for the demonstration before the movie and enjoyed 15 minutes of Grandmaster Leung Ting in action performing with his assistant Alan Fong, who at the time was a 2nd technician in the system. Once again, Dai Sifu was confirmed that this was just what he was looking for and he saw " Fists of Fury " and Grandmaster Leung Ting's display every single night it was shown. It was also announced that Grandmaster Leung Ting would give an hour and a half demonstration on Saturday, which Dai Sifu: quickly signed up for and attended - and spoke here for the first time with Leung Ting. This first time, coincidentally meant that Dai Sifu: would speak with Grandmaster Leung Ting before his later Si Pak, Keith R. Kernspecht. At a later date, Dai Sifu would mention this and point out that, according to correct Chinese culture, he would thus be Keith R. Kernspecht's Si Hing (big brother). This was however rejected on the grounds that Chinese tradition also required a Tea Ceremony, where a red envelope with money changes hands!

Dai Sifu:

“Of course, I wasn’t serious, but my Si Pak, Kernspecht has a sense of humor”!

At the demonstration at the cinema, Dai Sifu also noticed the mention of a place, where one could join Wing Tsun training sessions in Denmark – there was an address on the bulletin – Ravnsborggade 19. Sifu Sharif also viewed Grandmaster Leung Ting's demonstration display at the Colosseum Cinema. According to Real Kung Fu Magazine's article, Sifu Sharif had hit a pillar so hard it shook. Grandmaster Leung Ting said to Sifu Sharif : "That kind of strength is very normal in China!". The action resulted in Sifu Sharif becoming Grandmaster Leung Ting's student and representative in Denmark.

At the given address it turned out that there were two clubs. The one club run by Sifu Sharif was called Shaolin KungFu, and the other run by an Australian, who called it WC Kungfu (Wing Chun Kung Fu).

Dai Sifu didn’t turn to WC, but started his career with Sifu Sharif.

Dai Sifu:

Except that Great Grandmaster Yip Man would not register his club as WC, as he thought it was quite an unfortunate abbreviation, but as VT, later changed by the Grandmaster Leung Ting's to WT,as W is more correct in accordance to Chinese. But it was a coincidence that I entered the club on the day Sifu Sharif was teaching. I spoke to Claus, who was the 1st assistant to Sifu Sharif , and he told me that they trained Wing Tsun with their hands, but combined it with Karate kicks! With my level of knowledge at the time, it sounded very reasonable! A little funny story about the movie Karate Festivities is that about 25 years later, I had managed to find the film, which I showed to students at a Summer Camp in Bogense. Well, what can I say - they were - uhm - surprised and stared at me! Admittedly, it hadn't aged well!'

During Christmas 1976, Si Pak Kernspecht came to visit Denmark at the invitation of Sifu Sharif , who already knew him. Si Pak Kernspecht led the German Wing Tsun Organization (DWTO), and already experienced great growth.

It was Si Pak Kernspecht, who had originally invited Grandmaster Leung Ting to Europe, where there were exhibitions in Kiel, London and Copenhagen. There are recordings from the demonstrations in Kiel, but unfortunately none from the display in Colosseum Bio in Copenhagen. This was the start of the entire European part of Grandmaster Leung Ting's Wing Tsun. Great Grandmaster Yip Man who, having died 4 years earlier (1972), had been the first to open Wing Tsun to the wider public, which until then had been kept deeply secret, but it was still problematic if you were not Chinese.

Grandmaster Leung Ting was the first of Great Grandmaster Yip Man's students, who brought Great Grandmaster Yip Man's Wing Tsun to Europe and openly taught non-Chinese students. Among other things, this was possible as Grandmaster Leung Ting had a doctorate in English and was partially understandable! Bruce Lee also openly taught Wing Tsun to non-Chinese students in the US, which gave him quite a bit of trouble with the local Chinese! After Si Pak Kernspecht's visit, everything changed - uniforms, rank badges were changed to an embroidered 'flower' where the color indicated the rank, and the club now officially became a Grandmaster Leung Ting Wing Tsun school directly under the Hong Kong headquarters.


Dai Sifu explains:
Click Here



The original article from the Hong Kong magazine "Real Kung Fu", which describes GM Leung Ting's first visit to Europe in 1976

According to tradition, Wing Tsun was created by the Buddhist nun Ng Mui who was one of the five 'elders' in the Shaolin Temple. When the Shaolin Temple was burned down by the Manchus, the elders fled to form a resistance movement. Ng Mui was a Master of Crane Kung Fu and in her exile saw a fight between a Crane and a Snake!



It inspired her to create a new system based on linear attacks and rotation. She created a system that was Simple, Direct and Effective - and suitable for teaching the resistance movement. Her first student was a young woman named Yim Wing Tsun.
She taught her husband Ng Mui's system and when he was asked what Kung Fu system he trained, he replied that it was Wing Tsun's ( ie his wife's first name).
Therefore Wing Tsun!


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The First Good Years

It should be noted that although Si Pak Kernspecht had a great influence on the school and the training in Copenhagen, the school was still officially under the direct control of Hong Kong, as Grandmaster Leung Ting, as mentioned, was the Sifu of Sifu Sharif. The club in Copenhagen therefore still did not follow the student grades that Si Pak Kernspecht had introduced.

At the time, Dai Sifu was working at PFA in a student job every four weeks. Lars Lind also worked at PFA, and Lars and Dai Sifu became friends. Dai Sifu told Lars Lind about Wing Tsun, and he joined right away!

The monthly fee in 1976 was 100 kroner and there were training sessions twice a week for 1 hour. Sifu Sharif didn’t really mind the fee, as he had no desire to make money off it. Si Pak Kernspecht was of a different opinion and wanted the fee to be higher than the most expensive alternative, otherwise you would not be taken seriously!

The key to advancing at Wing Tsun was in Kiel with Si Pak Kernspecht, and Sifu Sharif would travel to Kiel to become more skilled and return to Copenhagen with new techniques for his students. As early as 1977, Dai Sifu was appointed his assistant. Lars Lind was also later appointed assistant. Wing Tsun outgrew the premises on Ravnsborggade and moved to larger facilities at Store Kongensgade 1.

The place offered 400 square meters of available space and there were approximately 150 students. Already at that time, Dai Sifu was attracted to the more technical details of Wing Tsun and represented this part, which attracted many of the club's members, as the other assistants at that time were more "brothers in battle". (But really good friends!)

Sifu Sharif wanted to expand and spread Wing Tsun to larger parts of Denmark, and therefore asked Dai Sifu and Lars Lind to open a new school. They therefore opened a school in a gymnasium allocated by the municipality in a suburb of Copenhagen. They continued to be assistants in Copenhagen and were trained by Sifu Sharif. However, they only had the club for half a year, as the municipality did not extend the agreement to make the gymnasium available. So Dai 's' first club was relatively short lived. However, this would change.


GGM Yip Man og Bruce Lee

Wing Tsun was kept secret for centuries and was kept within a very small circle, as it was - as we described it - a James Bond/Special Forces system that was too dangerous.
GGM Yip Man was the first to teach the system openly, but initially only to Chinese students. He got in trouble with the other students, when he taught Bruce Lee who was not pure Chinese but 1/4 German! The dam broke when both Bruce Lee and GM Leung Ting openly taught westerners!

Fun fact: according to Chinese tradition, Bruce Lee is Dai Sifu's Great Uncle! In Chinese: Si Pak Gung!


An early Escrima start with Sifu Sharif


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Dai Sifu:

'In 1976 we rented a space in “Henry Turner's Jazz Ballet Studio”, which meant that there were A LOT of beautiful young ladies, and as there was a Discotheque and Bar as part of the Studio, upstairs on Floor 1 there was always a party going on in the evening! This served as inspiration, when we got our very own school for the first time in 1992!

We had seminars with Grandmaster Leung Ting in 1979 and 1980. The seminar in 1979 was four hours long and Sifu Sharif was graduated to 2nd TG during the seminar. But in1980 the seminar was interrupted after an hour - it was clear that there was a conflict between Grandmaster Leung Ting and Sifu Sharif. It was very disappointing. It was as if Sifu Sharif had lost interest and there was no development. Both Lars and I considered going to Kiel and training under Si Pak Kernspecht, but that would cause problems within the organization. We didn't show up at the club much anymore, but when we did, we were directed to teach students - Sifu Sharif would start the training session and then go to the club’s bar. Occasionally, he would come onto the floor with a beer in his hand and a cigarette in his mouth and tell us what to do next! The interest was clearly no longer there!

Sifu Sharif is unfortunately no longer with us. He was from Iraq, Kurdish, and was a mechanical engineer by education. He played a big role in our lives and after he retired, we always sought his advice when serious decisions were to be made. When we considered joining the EWTO in 1984, he advised us not to. Sifu Sharif: “Kernspecht is only interested in money”. Sifu Sharif was not interested in money! Sharif, he wasn't interested in titles either - when I addressed him as Sifu, he always said “I'm not that old! I am Sharif or Ahmed.” We always invited him to our big events, but he only came to one - our 25th anniversary in 2001. It was a great pleasure to introduce him to the large audience.‘

‘RIP my dear Sifu'


Times were fierce in the 70s! Ravnsborggade 19, Floor 1 - 1977


GM Leung Ting and Sifu Sharif 1979 in Store Kongensgade. Dai Sifu: ”A fantastic seminar!”


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1983 - The Year Everything Changed

Sifu Sharif decided to stop. He left two training days to two of his other students, Mustafa and Preben, and the other days to Dai Sifu and Lars Lind. He then wanted to see which of the two teams could best run the school.

Dai Sifu:

'Lars and I only came sporadically to the club, because as I said before, nothing really happened there, but the funny thing is that we never stopped thinking of ourselves as someone who trained Wing Tsun, even if we only did it in private. Lars were there more often than me, but to get to the changing rooms and halls you had to go through the bar! It was too much for Lars, who mostly ende up having beer with Sifu Sharif. One evening, Lars called and said that he had been drinking beer with Sifu Sharif, and that Sifu Sharif wanted to retire and that we should take over. We could both see that it was the future of our Wing Tsun. I never saw Mustafa and Preben as serious competition, and they were not. That meeting in the bar was conclusive, and hence the saying: “The beer became our destiny”!

Henning Daverne started in 1982 on Mustafa and Preben's team. But he trained with one of our students, Jacob Rihan, and could see that there was more to be gained from us and switched. It was important because Henning Daverne played a big role in the expansion that soon followed.'


Group picture from the Christmas seminar 1983. Si Pak Kernspecht in red, Sifu Sharif in civilian clothes, and your favorite Dai Sifu in black and still with hair, on the left!


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During the Christmas of 1983, Si Pak Kernspecht came, held a seminar, and Sifu Sharif officially retired. At that time the club had moved to Tornebuskegade 1, where it remained until 1987. Si Pak Kernspecht spoke with Dai Sifu, Lars Lind, Mustafa and Preben, Sifu Sharif's home. He presented his organization and how it was run, degrees and seminars. He had wanted to work with Dai Sifu and invited him to the Easter seminar at Langenzell Castle in Germany in 1984. Dai Sifu took the evening train to Heidelberg and slept on the way down through Europe towards the first seminar at Langenzell Castle – the first in a very long line.

Si Pak Kernspecht's wife, Simo, picked up Dai Sifu at the station and drove him to Langenzell Castle. Dai Sifu stayed in the castle's only guest room as Si Pak Kernspecht's private guest, which did not go unnoticed by the other high-ranking German students. The same guest room where Grandmaster Leung Ting, René Latosa and Bill Newman stayed, when they visited. For this reason, there were Chinese books in the bedside drawer - probably Grandmaster Leung Ting's.

The seminar was a 5-day seminar. There was both Wing Tsun and Escrima. There were three hours of Wing Tsun training in the morning, a 30-minute break, then three hours of Escrima training, followed by a short break and then three hours of Wing Tsun training again – so a total of nine hours of training per day.

Dai Sifu remembers that during one of the breaks, while relaxing in the knight's hall of the castle, a German/Turkish student Sifu Emin Boztepe was spinning around the hall with chain thrusts and front kicks.

Dai Sifu was also introduced to Bill Newman, who led the European part of René Latosa's Escrima organization, which in Europe belonged to Si Pak Kernspecht's organization.

Dai Sifu:

“I invited Bill Newman to Copenhagen to give an Escrima seminar. Bill asked me if it was going to be a one off, and I replied “No, I want an ongoing affair!” Bill always stayed with me at my home, when he was in Copenhagen, and we developed a close friendship.


Langenzell Castle, EWTO headquarters in 1984, when Dai Sifu participated as a representative of Denmark for the first time. A landmark event for Wing Tsun in Denmark


Master Bill Newman with Dai Sifu and Lars Lind


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I stayed as my Si Pak's private guest at the castle. In the mornings before the start of the seminar of the day, I often walked with Si Pak Kernspecht in the castle's forest and had the opportunity to ask lots of questions.

After the seminar, Si Pak Kernspecht drove me to the train in his newly acquired Porsche Carrera, wearing a long leather coat, leather cap and goggles a la a WW1 pilot! During the drive, which took place at a very high speed, Si Pak simulated Fark Sau's at my throat, while yelling: “Kill”!

Si Pak Kernspecht said to me: “You can have a Porsche too”. When I laughed, he asked “Why the bloody hell not?”. I then had to explain that in Denmark you pay for three cars, when you buy one.

The red carpet had been rolled out for me, and I knew very well why: Denmark was not part of the European organization, but directly connected to Hong Kong, and Si Pak Kernspecht wanted to ensure that Denmark joined his organization. He didn't have to make an effort because that's what we wanted from the start.

A year after the Easter seminar at Langenzell Castle, both Bill Newman and René Latosa came to Copenhagen and held a seminar. On this occasion, Dai Sifu got his 3rd grade (had received 1st and 2nd at the Easter seminar) and Lars Lind, who had not attended the Easter seminar, got 1st-2nd-3rd. degree. Lars Lind was very fascinated by Escrima and even though he trained Wing Tsun for many years after this, the armed systems were already his favourite. Bill Newman subsequently became a very good and close friend of Dai Sifu, who recalls that one of the few things he regrets about the much later break with the European Wing Tsun organization under Si Pak Kernspecht was that he lost the frequent contact Bill Newmann.


WT Center company car!!


Seminar with Si Pak Kernspecht and GM Leung Ting - 1985. This time with a delegation from Denmark. Class photo taken in Castle Langenzell's, Knight's hall


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At the early beginning, other systems were also part of Si Pak Kernspecht's organization, e.g., Thai boxing. Escrima was invited to join the organisation, i.a. as Bruce Lee had also trained Escrima. Escrima thus became part of the EWTO (European Wing Tsun Organization). But then saw the two systems as very complementary. If it was unarmed, it was Wing Tsun and if it was armed it was Escrima. As a rule, the Wing Tsun people were not allowed to do armed training and the Escrima people were not allowed to do unarmed. The exception was at the highest Wing Tsun level, where Longpole - Luk Dim Boon Kwan and Double Knives - Bart Cham Dao, were already introduced. Despite the fact that René Latose was the supreme boss of his Escrima system, just as Grandmaster Leung Ting was of his Wing Tsun system, Si Pak Kernspecht was the boss of the European organization that had both of these systems. For all practical purposes, Si Pak Kernspecht was therefore the supreme body for the systems in Europe.

Si Pak Kernspecht and Grandmaster Leung Ting had a falling out with each other before Dai Sifu joined the organization. This was in 1980 and the break was a short break of about a year. There was one of Si Pak Kernspecht's students who had gone to Hong Kong and had been taught by Grandmaster Leung Ting and Alan Fong. The student came back to Europe and spread the word that Si Pak Kernspect had lied to everyone and that what he was doing was completely wrong. For this reason, Si Pak Kernspecht broke with Grandmaster Leung Ting.

Si Pak Kernspecht therefore traveled around to find a new figurehead for the organisation. He spokewith many of Bruce Lee's former students, including Bruce Lee's first American student, Jesse Glover, who came to Kiel and held a seminar. At this seminar, Bruce Lee's basic 7 attack techniques were shown, named "Bruce Lee 1.. 7.". He was invited again the following year and showed exactly the same moves. Quietly, someon asked, what would happen if something else happened in the combat situation other than what was showed with the 7 attacks showed. The answer was that he had never met anyone fast enough to be able to do something before attacking them - therefore there was no need to do anything else! At the time, it was described as "Attack WingTsun". Without further comparison, it is the irony of fate that today the Wing Tsun Scandinavia system is also referred to as 7 Structura.

Si Pak Kernspecht found his way back to Grandmaster Leung Ting after the short-term use. Grandmaster Leung Ting had invited Si Pak Kernspecht to a seminar in Spain. They had apparently met in the hotel corridor and Grandmaster Leung Ting had asked Si Pak Kernspecht to demonstrate on him, what he had learned from others in the past year. Dai Sifu recalls that Si Pak Kernspecht told him that he could not touch Grandmaster Leung Ting, and thus he became convinced of his competence and that Grandmaster Leung Ting was the future of his organization.

At this time, Wing Tsun in Germany had grown to approximately 60 schools but was still far from the size it would later have – namely 2,000 schools in Germany alone! At that time, seminars were held at Langenzell Castle, as there were often no more than 50-60 students. Later, large sports halls were rented to accommodate the many students for the seminars.

Si Pak Kernspecht recommended that Dai Sifu find two students to train with frequently. One student he only had to train with on the right side, and the other student he only had to train with on the left side. Thus, Dai Sifu would get to train both sides, and none of the students received equivalent training in both sides and would therefore not be equally good. Although this advice sounded attractive, it was never put into practice as Dai Sifu wanted to make his students as skilled as possible. Dai Sifu therefore chose a group of six students and trained with them two at a time.

Shortly before Sifu Sharif resigned, he had graduated Dai Sifu and Lars Lind to the 1st Technician degree. When Dai Sifu began to train under Si Pak Kernspecht he was told that under this system these competencies corresponded to the 6th student grade. Dai Sifu was offered to keep his technician degree, but only advance in the system, when the real level was suitable. Dai Sifu did not want that, but wanted full transparency and only to have the degree of his competence at the time. He therefore started under Si Pak Kernspecht with 6th student grade, but was assigned 7th and 8th student grade after the Easter seminar.

Dai Sifu recalls that despite later conflicts, Si Pak Kernspecht was always a fun personality to be with, and this often brought very good experiences.

At the subsequent seminar, where Dai Sifu was also picked up by car and stayed at Langenzell Castle, Si Pak Kernspecht subsequently asked if Dai Sifu would like Wing Tsun in Denmark to be governed by the European Wing Tsun Organization (EWTO) instead of Grandmaster Leung Ting's Hong Kong headquarters. Indeed, he would! Dai Sifu was well aware that the very positive special treatment he had received was due to the desire to get Denmark into the European organization. But it had not been necessary at all, as Dai Sifu wanted this to gain easier access to becoming more skilled in Wing Tsun.


GM Leung Ting's main work 'Wing Tsun Kuen' from 1978 was considered the Bible of Wing Tsun


Bruce Lee with his first American student Jesse Glover


GGM Yip Man with his student Bruce Lee. Bruce Lee was - and is - a big name in the world of martial arts. We weren't shy about capitalizing on Bruce Lee's name!


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In 1984 a contract was drawn up which Dai Sifu signed. Now Denmark joined the EWTO.

In the following many years, Dai Sifu frequently traveled to Germany to receive training. For a long period up to once a month at a time. Fortunately, he had a job in Denmark that gave him a lot of flexibility and freedom.

Often seminars were held during two consecutive weekends, so Dai Sifu stayed in Germany in the intervening week and had private lessons from Si Pak Kernspecht.

Si Pak Kernspecht also came to Denmark and held seminars three times a year. At that time, the seminars in Copenhagen were in four blocks of three hours - Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

From this period and several years onwards, nothing revolutionary happened in Scandinavian Wing Tsun, but a steady growth in membership from the 20-30 members in 1983 to 150 in the landmark year 1992. And of course, growth in knowledge.

To the question of whether this had been a life goal for Dai Sifu, he replies that he probably never set basic goals for his life but has been very convinced that doors open at times in life that you can choose to enter or not. Wing Tsun has been one of the primary doors in Dai Sifu's life that he consciously chose to enter. However, Dai Sifu had ambitions in life regarding Wing Tsun. This was more specifically to be the best technician, primarily within the Chi Sau area.

Dai Sifu:

“I didn't see Wing Tsun as something that would become popular, because in the beginning I thought people would mainly want to do high circle kicks and the likes - which I was quite good at in the beginning. But when I saw the growth in Germany and the growth here at home, my perception changed. There was an actual opportunity to be able to make a living from one's hobby. That I succeeded in doing so has been a great privilege. ”Come on - hit me, it's my hobby!”.

In 1984, Wing Tsun opened in Odense, started by Eric Lilleører and today managed by Morten Ibsen. Copenhagen became the main school in Denmark, because now there were two schools! Dai Sifu and other instructors from Copenhagen often traveled to Odense and held seminars. However, the graduations were always in Copenhagen when Si Pak Kernspecht came to visit.

In 1986, a seminar was held in Copenhagen with Si Pak Kernspecht and Sifu Emin Boztepe. Sifu Emin Boztepe had by then developed a system for floor fighting and taught this as part of Wing Tsun. This was before i.a. Brazilian Jiu-jitsu became popular across Europe.

Sifu Emin Boztepe became known as the Wing Tsun system's primary fighter when he challenged and beat William Cheung during one of William Cheung's seminars. William Cheung had received a lot of press coverage qua a relationship with Bruce Lee, and did not speak well of either Great Grandmaster Yip Man or Grandmaster Leung Ting. He made, among other things, open invitations to anyone who would challenge him. William Cheung claimed that he was the only one who had learned the entire system from Great Grandmaster Yip Man. In other words: According to William Cheung, Great Grandmaster Yip Man had fooled everyone else! William Cheung was very much in the martial arts press at this time, including old statements from Bruce Lee, where he allegedly should have said that to call himself the best Wing Tsun practitioner, he would have to beat William Cheung!

William Cheung left Hong Kong at the young age of 17, and for that reason alone, doubts can be cast on this claim that he was the only one who had learned the entire correct system. Additionally it was justified, when Sifu Emin Boztepe Boztepe won over William Cheung in a very short time.

When Brazilian Jiu-jitsu began to gain ground, Wing Tsun had therefore had floor fighting in the system for several years. Challenges therefore also arose when the Gracie brothers challenged Emin to a fight in the 90s. In the end, whoever, they could not agree on terms, rules (Sifu Emin Boztepe did not want any), place and press coverage. Sifu Emin Boztepe accepted the challenge but did not want to participate in a tournament.

In connection with Sifu Emin Boztepe's challenge from Gracie , Sifu Emin Boztepe called Dai Sifu and asked for back up from Denmark. Before the match (which ultimately never came to be), Henning Daverne, Morten Ibsen and Kenneth Kyhe went to training to act as seconds. Sifu Emin Boztepe was handling Sweden himself at the time, and Dai Sifu asked if he didn't have Swedish fighters he could use, but Sifu Emin Boztepe wanted the Danish Wing Tsun fighters by his side. Danish Wing Tsun already had a considerable reputation at that time.

Sifu Emin Boztepe also came to Denmark once a year and held a seminar.

In 1987, Martha, from whom the Wing Tsun school rented its facilities, moved from Tornebuskegade to Vesterbrogade 24b. And Wing Tsun moved with her.

In these years, several of the people i.a. Kenneth Kyhe and Jørgen Riis, who in the coming years would have great significance for Wing Tsun in Denmark, joined the club.

In 1990 Wing Tsun opened in Hillerød, managed by David Tvilling, who currently serves as the national coach of Wing Tsun in Korea, under Grandmaster Leung Ting.

The opening of several clubs in Denmark and Scandinavia followed, In the coming years, several clubs opened e.g., in Frederikssund, Lyngby, Helsingør, Slagelse, Århus and many other places.


Seminar with GM Leung Ting and Si Pak Kernspecht 1985 at the club in Tornebuskegade 1.


'No plan survives first contact with the enemy!'

Whoever can adapt the fastest has a huge advantage and that is the purpose of Chi Sau.
The Chi Sau training programs effective reactions directly into the nervous system so that when we have contact with the enemy there is no hesitation


'Plans are useless, but planning is indispensable!'

This is what the purpose of the Chi Sau training is and why it is so central


Lat Sau seminar with Sifu Emin Boztepe at our club at Vesterbrogade 24B in 1989.
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Si Pak Kernspecht experimented with two things as part of Wing Tsun, namely Lat Sau which he had invented as a dynamic training method and Wing Tsun Kickboxing. Kickboxing was very popular in the 80s and entering the sports world might entice more students to join. Fortunately, it was dropped as fighting under rules and circumstances is not compatible with the basic concept of Wing Tsun's. Lat Sau, however, was introduced and is still here, with modifications.


____________    An Interview With The Dai Sifu    _____________________________

1992 - The Year of the Great Breakthrough

During the 90’s Wing Tsun became more widely and frequently mentioned, often due to the at the time very atypical and harsh rhetoric presented by Wing Tsun. Wing Tsun was the "bad boy" of the Danish martial arts scene and the one the others didn't want to play with.

Dai Sifu:

“From the beginning, in 1976, we stuck our noses out, when it came to rhetorics and advertising, and perhaps the negative perception of us from other fighting systems' was not without reason. But we were small, new to the scene, and we did not exactly receive an open welcome from the small Danish martial arts community. And yes - why should they welcome us - we were already a massive competitor!

We were not without fault in the situation, but they were the ones who now opened up to us, and I really appreciate that.

I was contacted by the "Klassisk Kampkunstforening" (Classic Martial Arts Association) who wanted to put on a big martial arts show at the venue House of Sports.

In Germany, ''Budo Galla'' had started a few years before and Wing Tsun was the main star every time there, so I know why we were invited! But it was still a potential breakthrough for us”.

Dai Sifu attended many meetings with the other participating organizations and the plans were serious: lighting, music, Japanese drums, Kyodu and much more. Professionally set up, likely to be the breakthrough for Wing Tsun in Denmark. Wing Tsun had to do a 15-minute demonstration, and training for the demonstration that WT Academy was to present started right away.


Brochure from Klassisk Kampkunstforening


____________    An Interview With The Dai Sifu    _____________________________

Dai Sifu:

“We trained for approximately a month and had just under two minutes of exposure! A bit of panic set in as the date on which we had to make the display approached! We buckled down and got the 15 minutes organized! My plan now was to set music to the display. Music is emotionally effective in all situations, and I am not sure that the show would have had the effect it did, without it.
I filmed the show, put on music and the show was trained to the music so it was coherent. It was a total success in every way.”

Before the exhibition was over, in the spring of 1992, Dai Sifu was contacted by the organizers of a martial arts fair in Forum, who wanted to know if Wing Tsun was interested in participating. Of course Dai Sifu wanted it! However, it emerged that almost all other established Danish martial arts clubs had declined to participate, as the organizers reportedly had a relationship with Hells Angles. It was even announced that if Wing Tsun agreed to participate in the martial arts fair in Forum, then there would be a distancing from the other established martial arts clubs, and you would not be invited to the upcoming event at the House of Sports. In the end, however, it turned out that Wing Tsun could not be avoided.

Dai Sifu:

“The organizers of the Martial Arts Fair in Forum called me, and of course I agreed to participate. They came to the club, and we had a well-rehearsed display ready that we had created for the other event. We presented it to them, and I could see that they were impressed and that they thought they had found their stars! Ha, ha .... and - yes, they had! We were the stars!

When I told the other organizers of the Budo Galla at House of Sports that we were invited to participate in the Martial Arts Fair in Forum, I got a very negative reaction. They didn't want to participate because it was financed by Hells Angels, and if we participated, they didn't want anything to do with us. It was not an easy decision - a display in Forum versus the annual Budo Galla and recognition from the world of Danish martial arts. You must understand the time to understand the dilemma.
I decided that we would participate in the Martial Arts Fair in Forum, and if this resulted in negative consequences, then so be it - no one should decide what we can and cannot do.”

One evening before the fair in Forum, where Dai Sifu was working the evening shift, Lars Lind called him. Ekstra Bladet had showed up at the club. There was no one in the club, who wanted to talk to Ekstra Bladet, so Dai Sifu was forced to rush there. Ekstra Bladet wanted a story about how brutal Wing Tsun was, and Dai Sifu tried to tone this down and give a more nuanced image of Wing Tsun. The journalist ignored this (fortunately) and wrote the story about the "new" and extremely brutal martial art, Wing Tsun. It appeared in Sunday's edition of Ekstra Bladet with large pictures and the headline "Only one man left standing after training!".


Ekstra Bladet's article in color that got us the breakthrough at the fair at Forum


____________    An Interview With The Dai Sifu    _____________________________

Dai Sifu:

‘I was called by Lars Lind one evening, when I was working evenings at the PFA Computer department - Ekstra Bladet was in the club, and I must come straight away! - I threw myself in a Taxi and was at the club quickly. Henning and Abdul stood in the doorway and didn’t want to interfere, as they did not like Ekstra Bladet! When I entered the hall, there were wild fights with elbows and knees, etc., and a photographer from Ekstra Bladet stood on a ladder and immortalized it! Lars Lind came over to me and said that he had said all the harsh things, and now I had to try to tone it down! I tried, but luckily they didn't care! The best part was - DR was attracted! When I saw the article in Ekstra Bladet, my morning coffee went down the wrong pipe! The good thing was that it was in colors, which wasn’t standard at the time!‘

The day after the article was published, Danmarks Radio called Dai Sifu. They wanted to make a feature, as a prelude to the upcoming martial arts fair. Dai Sifu agreed to participate, and they agreed to film it the next day in Frederiksberg Garden, in front of the Chinese Pavilion.

Dai Sifu immediately started calling students, who could be part of the setup. Even with the short notice, over 20 Wing Tsun studens came to Frederiksberg Have the next day. The planned display for the upcoming martial arts expo was shown and filmed, and interviews were conducted.

DR's original idea had been to shed light on three different forms of combat: Judo, Tae Kwon Do and Wing Tsun. Wing Tsun supposedly being the ugly, brutal, and blunt form! However, the journalists' attitude changed 180 degrees. They became very pro Wing Tsun and did everything they could to make a good feature that shed a justified good light on Wing Tsun. The feature was shown on DR Sporten, right after the Champion's League Final.

Dai Sifu:

‘The journalist from DR asked us to do a mass fight that they could film. I told him that that's not what Wing Tsun is, but we have a demonstration, and we can do interviews, and I gave him a brochure. He turned 180 degrees and even asked, what kind of music we wanted to play! We were on right after the Champion's League Final, so there were a lot of eyes on it! How lucky can you be!! The Forum Fair was a great success for us, we were invited to do 1 show, but it we ended up doing three. I was interviewed live by DR and others, and there was a huge queue and chaos in front of our stand.‘


Martial Arts Fair at Forum – great media attention


Forum video klip
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____________    An Interview With The Dai Sifu    _____________________________

Dai Sifu's answering machine announced an intro class in May and allowed for potential students to ask questions etc. All inquiries were answered. May is not normally, when you expect many new registrations, people usually always join in the spring or autumn, so Dai Sifu did not expect a large turnout.

Dai Sifu:

“I was an optimist and hoped that 30 people would turn up. I had prepared a training program that would ensure that people signed up once they saw it. When I arrived at Vesterbrogade 24b, the whole courtyard was full, the stairs were blocked, and the hall was full. I had never seen anything like it, nor since. I dropped my program as it was impossible to carry out anything physical in the now limited space, and instead entertained the crowd, talked, and demonstrated with my assistant, Claes, for an hour and a half in the two square meters available. Fortunately, I had printed lots of registration forms and EVERYONE signed up – the people in the hallway and those outside! We went from 150 members to 350! In 1 hour!”

Wing Tsun rented the venue space from Martha Gardner's Jazz Ballet Studio in Tornebuskegade from 1982 and moved to Vesterbrogade 24b in 1987. In 1992 she moved to Nørrebro and the new premises had no room for Wing Tsun as the growth required a new independent venue.

Dai Sifu:

'It's great, when you just have to pay rent and are free of other administrative duties, but we had reached a size, where we now had to grow up and get our own. I looked high and low for a new locaition and found them at the old Havemann's Magasin at Vesterbrogade 76, 2nd floor, above Føtex. I contacted the broker to make a deal and he asked me how many square meters, we needed. I answered 300-400. He mocked me by implying that it was probably a small club! I didn’t want to put up with that, so I replied: What the hell? I’ve never been mocked like that!! We’ll take all 900 square meters!

And that was the beginning of the World's Largest Wing Tsun School! (Quote from Grandmaster Leung Ting!)


Anybody who knows where to find it?












Find us HERE


WT  Center  Copenhagen

Østbanegade 55  -  2100 Kbh.ø  -  +45 33313672


Allan Jensen
+45  20 88 83 71

Lars Murholt
+45  30 12 18 06


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