Sifu Alex Wallenwein
Sifu Alex Wallenwein has been teaching Wing Tsun in Houston since 1988. His (former) 'Sifu' (father-teacher) is Dai-Sifu Keith Kernspecht, the head of the enormously successful European Wing Tsun Organization in Germany. His former Si-Gung is Wing Tsun Great Grandmaster Leung Ting in Hong Kong. However, Alex has not been formally affiliated with either the EWTO or the American organization of GM Leung Ting since 2004. He is now an instructor with Bay Mountain Martial Arts since early 2011. He holds a 3rd Level Technician (Instructor) Grade under the Bay Mountain Martial Arts Association headed by Sifu Simon Mayer.
History in American Wing Tsun
Sifu Alex' Wing Tsun career started in Germany in 1981, the year he emigrated to the United States. He found his first Wing Tsun instructor there in his Sihing, Curtis Dittrich, only months before his already planned departure to the US.
After settling in Boynton Beach, Florida, he brought Sihing Dittrich to the US because there was no one else teaching in Florida in these earliest years if Wing Tsun in America, but after only one year, his Sihing was forced to return to Germany for health reasons, leaving Alex to take over the group of students he had developed during his short stay. In 1983, during a trip to Germany, Alex had the first opportunity to meet and take a private lesson from his then-Sifu, Keith Kernspecht, at the famous Wing Tsun Castle near Heidelberg, Germany.
Started Florida Wing Tsun Branch
In 1984, Sifu Alex organized the first Wing Tsun seminar ever in Florida with Wing Tsun Grandmaster Leung Ting from Hong Kong. That seminar lasted for five days. In 1985, he organized a full ten-day seminar with GM Leung Ting, at which time he received his Primary Level Instructor rank directly from his Si-Gung.
He headed the Florida Wing Tsun Branch from 1984 until 1986, when he moved to Houston to attend law school. Since then, he has studied Wing Tsun under his second Sihing, Sifu Thomas Dolnitzki (RIP), his third Sihing, Sifu Emin Boztepe, and all along under GM Leung Ting whenever he came to the US.
1st Place at International Chi-Sau Competition
In 1991, Sifu Alex won 1st Place in his weight class at the first ever international Wing Chun/Wing Tsun "Chi Sao" Tournament in the United States, organized at the "U.S. National Chinese Martial Arts Competition" in Houston, Texas.
This was a historic event at which, for the first time ever, all of the major Wing Tsun Sifus of the world and their students set their silly sectarian squabbles aside and got together to organize Wing Chun/Tsun - wide event. The picture above was taken at the award ceremony. Sitting at the judges' table are (from bottom left to bottom right): Sifu Kenneth Cheung, Sifu Hawkins Cheung, Sifu Wong Shun Leung, Sifu Tsui Shong Ting, Sifu Leung Ting, Sifu Jason lau, and Sifu Augustine Fong.
Interestingly, the judges at that event ruled SIfu Alex' championship fight a "draw" and decided that he and his opponent should "split" first place - for largely political reasons. When his opponent complained and said there should be a real decision, GM Leung Ting invited the two contestants to "fight it out" in the bathroom of the hotel where the tournament took place. Sifu Alex' opponent declined that opportunity.
Quit the Leung Ting Organization
In 2004 or 05, Sifu Alex quit the Leung Ting organization and continued to practice and teach on his own. After enjoying this freedom from internal squabbles and organizational "politics" until 2011, he decided to join up with Bay Mountain Martial Arts under his good friend and "Si-Dai"(younger Kung Fu brother) - because there are no politics or squabbles in Sifu Mayer's organization. Zero. None. Period.
Sifu Simon Mayer, 4h Level T.G., has single-handedly built the largest local organization of Wing Tsun schools in the US (San Francisco-LA area) in the years since he arrived in the US from Germany in 1995. In collaboration with Dai-Sifu Martin Hoffman from Germany, he is now building a national organization in the US. You can read more about Sifu Simon and Dai-Sifu Hoffman at this page.
Sifu Alex' no-nonsense teaching philosophy can best be summed up with "It's Wing Tsun, so it better be real." In other words, he stays away from all pretenses - in teaching and practicing Wing Tsun, in martial arts in general, and in Life.
Learning Wing Tsun has to be challenging, fun, and exciting in every way. To be effective and to bring students to their full potential, it needs to be taught and practiced with a positive and carefree attitude in a relaxed setting - but there is no time for shooting the bull during class. Wing Tsun training should not be a debating contest.
Sifu Alex teaches what he knows. He never pretends to know what he doesn't, and he never holds anything back. If you can digest it, he will teach it to you. He prefers teaching in small groups because that's the best way to transmit the tactile and spontaneous reflexes that lie at the foundation of any Wing Tsun curriculum. You can call him at the number below to set up an introduction to Wing Tsun during one of our regular classes. Sifu Alex is also available for seminars to large and small groups of non-students who want an introduction into or some exposure to Wing Tsun Kung Fu, across Texas.