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Sensei Hans

Sensei Hans Menck is the founder and head instructor of the Freedom School of Martial Arts. He started studying martial arts in 1980 and in a period of over 40 years 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 his own school and teach his own unique way, the Freedom Style aproach, or Freedom Martial Art.

The objective of his teaching is to set his students free by imparting 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.

The fundamental principals of martial arts are conveyed through the teaching of the four pillars, the individual arts: Intenal Style Gongfu, Capoeira, Muay Thai Buran, and Aikido. Freedom Martial Art includes an interdisciplinary sparring method which allows martial artists from any background to interact without injury, playfully testing and distilling the martial principals.

Sensei Hans now teaches live classes and Zoom classes from his home dojo in Pniel, South Africa, or reaches out to international students on his travels, mostly to Europe.


 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.

In 1997 Hans graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Stellenbosch. Since 1999 he worked as a design engineer in the automotive industry, traveling widely and training under many masters:


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


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)

In 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.