Sifu Dan Anderson is a senior instructor and a  United States Law Enforcement Training Specialist. He holds the degrees of Juris Doctorate and Master of Business Administration. He is a conflict mediator and technical roofing expert. He is one of a small number of certified Wing Chun Kung Fu instructors in The United States. He trained under the late Senior Master Ron Heimberger who was a senior disciple of Grandmaster Ip Ching, the youngest son of Grandmaster Ip Man, the famous instructor of Bruce Lee, and heir of Grandmaster Ip Man’s legacy. Senior Master Heimberger passed away in 2008.

 

Sifu Anderson began his combatives training in 1977 under the direction of the legendary wrestling coach, David Edington, who trained a number of national champion freestyle wrestlers. As a child and teenager, Sifu Anderson constantly tuned his agility, strength, and footwork playing in the Rocky Mountains of the Northwest. He spent an inordinate amount of time climbing trees and steep mountainsides with the entertaining reward of a thrilling high-speed decent at the end. His final season of training under the watchful tutelage of Coach Edington was in 1985.

Sifu Anderson continued his agility, strength, and footwork training independently until 1996 when he began training under Korean Hapkido Master Kap Chu Lim. Master Lim was distinguished among Korean masters as having served as the hand-to-hand combat instructor for Korea’s most elite special forces, the Rock Patrol. Simultaneous to Hapkido training, Sifu Anderson also trained in Tai Chi Chuan with a local master.

In 1997 Sifu Anderson had recently tested for black belt under Master Lim when he was introduced to Wing Chun (Ving Tsun) Kung Fu by a fellow classmate in his Juris Doctorate university program. He had previously heard about Wing Chun from one of his classmates in his Master of Business Administration studies. That MBA classmate had previously been a United States Special Operations soldier in Cambodia until being permanently disabled from a near fatal combat injury.

When Sifu Anderson heard about the Wing Chun classes in his area, he immediately became interest in learning more. What he found was amazing to him, even now. One of the Wing Chun instructors thought it fortuitous to have an authentic Hapkido black belt available to throw combat style Korean kicks at the beginning students that were working on their kicking defense. Much to his chagrin, Sifu Anderson found that the Wing Chun beginners were easily defeating his kicks 9 times out of 10, and that was back in a time when the kickers only had a gymnastics mat or concrete floor to land on as they were easily pitched through the air.

Months after commencing his training in Wing Chun, Sifu Anderson found how easily the principles of authentic Ip Man Wing Chun were able to defeat typical ground fighting skills. After witnessing and experiencing how easily authentic Ip Man Wing Chun defeated kicks, ground fighting, and punches, he became a faithful practitioner focusing his hand-to-hand combat training exclusively in Wing Chun ever since. He has always been inspired by authentic Wing Chun’s ability to adapt and answer any conceivable fighting situation.

Properly taught Wing Chun is a blend of science, thought, and action. The late Senior Master Heimberger implemented training supplements to help non-Chinese students to get into the mindset of the ancient Chinese masters. These include readings from some traditional Chinese literature like The Great Learning and Mencius. He also included readings in traditional Chinese health and nutrition as well as anatomy and accupressure. These readings have proven seminal in helping students gain both a broad and deep understanding of combat martial arts.

Sifu Anderson strives to maintain the quality and breadth of understanding in his students, just as his Sifu, Senior Master Heimberger, did. When Grandmaster Ip Man died, numerous students of his proclaimed themselves masters or grandmasters even though they were not anywhere near master’s level. The vast majority of people claiming to do Wing Chun have very little actual Ip Man Wing Chun skill. For some unknown reason, hoards of those with little understanding still claim to do Wing Chun and then find themselves easily beaten by practitioners from other arts. These wannabes have earned the nickname “chunners” in some circles as a result of their lack of real understanding of fighting. For some reason, the wannabes feel compelled to post videos of their bad Wing Chun on the internet. This is disturbing to those few who really know Wing Chun. Sifu Anderson estimates that there are less than 24 Sifus in the world who really know Ip Man’s Wing Chun Kung Fu and there are 1000’s of pretenders. This situation unfairly paints Wing Chun in the image of those wannabes.

These days most martial arts are focused around competition. Their application of techniques and training methods have abandoned their roots and evolved into something very different from their origins. They train so that their instincts and reflexes operate within the confines of competition rules rather than the anything goes environment of live combat in the streets or battlefields.  For those that want to play in competition, Sifu Anderson has no problem with that, but the problem that has arisen is that most of the martial arts have also given up their philosophical, moral, and ethical roots.

Consequently, they have become breeding grounds for bullies and aggressors. Traditionally the Kung Fu Masters of China were considered an aristocratic class charged with protecting the country internally and externally. They were charitable, kind, respectful, peaceful, and public-service minded. A real combat expert has no need to try to be mean and push people around, instead a real master treats everyone with kindness and respect. The thought of bullies and their bullying is repulsive to a true master.

Sifu Anderson is committed to teaching as many people as possible the skills and attitude necessary to reduce or eliminate the effects of bullying in our society. He provides a variety of classes with income-sensitive tuition to those interested in eliminating bullying. He also provides training to law enforcement officers who want more practical effective options that do not require artificial bravado in order to accomplish their purposes. Sifu Anderson also provides hand-to-hand combat training to military personnel who want that additional edge when their lives are on the line.  There is a long list of over seas combat incidents where members of our kung fu family have saved themselves and their teams because they had deeply ingrained skills that were expressed in those fractions of a second when lives were on the line.

Sifu Anderson provides various classes for men, women, and children to learn the traditional warrior spirit that is almost lost to our modern society. He is dedicated to making a positive impact on the world in every way he can. The primary way to do that is by training as many people as possible in the traditional warrior spirit and skills so as to increase the number of ethical, honorable people who are able to stand for what is right and have the strength to back it up if that becomes occasionally necessary.

 

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