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Sensei Hans

Sensei Hans Menck is the founder and head instructor of the Freedom School of Martial Arts. His martial art study began in 1980 and he delved deeply into diverse martial arts and opened himself up to the study of martial arts as a unified body of knowledge. He eventually found that the only way he could express himself fully was to create the Freedom School and teach his own unique way, the Freedom Style, or Freedom Martial Art, and its individual traditional root arts.

The main root arts are Intenal Style Gongfu, Capoeira, Muay Thai Buran, and Aikido. Sensei Hans studied all these arts with legitimate masters in China, Japan, Australia, Europe. He returned to South Africa and constructed a dojo for the Freedom School, active since 2020.

The objective of his teaching at the Freedom School is to impart the fundamental principals and techniques of the martial arts to such a degree that the students can conduct themselves with confidence, train independently and be creative in their expression.

Sensei Hans teaches live classes and Zoom classes from his home dojo in Pniel, South Africa, or teaches abroad on his travels, mostly in Europe.

Sensei Hans currently suffers from a hip condition which prevents him from high exertion, which means that he cannot show certain techniques to their full potential, but he is capable of teaching them, and that is what he needs to do to fulfill his own potential.

Sensei Hans has a degree in Mechanical Engineering and has worked as a naval officer, automotive design modeller, and even stuntman while supporting his martial studies and teaching, but since 2020 he has been focusing full time on teaching and self sustainability.


 Training History

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He started training judo at the age of 7, in 1980. At the age of 12 he changed to karate, which he practiced for 18 years, earning a 3rd dan in the kyokushin style.


Since 2000 he studied Aikido in France under Christian Tissier Sensei, under whom he received his 3rd dan ranking. He also trained for some months in Japan at the Aikikai Honbu dojo in Tokyo.


Since 2004 Neijia Quan (internal martial arts):

Baguazhang, taiji quan, xing yi quan and praying mantis kung fu under master Han Yan Wu in Beijing and master Liu Deming in Australia. Also Ziranmen and Taiji Quan under Liu Deming.

Swimming Dragon taiyi under master Li Yong Liang in Australia, and master Yu Anren in China (Changsha)

Shaolin Gongfu (wugulun lineage) under Master Wu Nanfang in China (Dengfeng)

Since 2012:

Thailand: he studied Muay Thai Buran under monk Kru Bah and Lai Leo (sword ways) under a Shan refugee from Burma, Adjan Jaa. Hans was the first (and perhaps the only) foreigner to learn the Shan art Lai Leo.

Capoeira under Mestre Saguin in Germany (Munich)

In Europe he also studied elements of Silat under Bruneian master Maul Mornie.

Sensei Hans continues his learning through self study, teaching, seeing his teachers when possible, and by keeping up with whats out there, but for all purposes he considers himself to be free.