Hanshi Hans Haupt holds the unique distinction that he was the first Westerner to discover and to be initiated into the Tenshinkan Karate style (1976).
Currently, Hans Haupt holds the honourable title of HANSHI and has been awarded the honourable positions of:
World Liaisons Officer and Chief Branch Officer for Tenshinkan Karate.
Western World Chief Instructor for Tenshinkan Karate.
Chief Instructor for Tenshinkan Karate South Africa.
Hanshi Hans Haupt is currently ranked:
9th Dan in Tenshinkan Karate which includes Karate / Goshin-Jitsu (Aikido & Jui Jitsu) and Kobujitsu (weapons).
3rd Dan in Ryu Kyu Kobudo Hozon Shinkokai obtained under Kancho Motokatsu Inoue.
3rd dan in Shotokan Karate obtained before his trip to Japan. Graded under various Sensei’s including the late Enoeda Sensei in Crystal Park, London, U.K.
Hanshi Hans always had a lifelong obsession with Martial Arts and the East. He started with Judo training in 1958 and obtained his Black Belt at the Kawaishi Judo Institute in 1963.
He started Shotokan Karate training in South Africa in 1964. He stopped training when he reached Black Belt in order to complete his B.Com Degree at the University of South Africa (stopping for 2 years is a decision he regrets to this day).
He restarted Karate in 1970 and trained with Sensei’s Tony van der Laan, Ampie Pretorius and Stan Macaskill. Later he continued his training with Robert Kane, a Shotokan Instructor from Scotland (Robert Kane was known as the Scottish Bruce Lee).
Hanshi Hans then travelled to the United Kingdom to do Shotokan Karate at Crystal Palace under Enoeda Sensei. There, he once more graded successfully in Shotokan Karate under Enoeda Sensei.
Thereafter, Hanshi Hans decided to fulfil his lifelong dream. That of going to Japan to study Martial Arts with the Masters. He always had a passion for the East, their way of life and the mysteries of the Martial Arts.
Hanshi Hans left for Japan in 1975 where he lived and trained Martial Arts until 1977. Whilst there he trained under various famous Masters doing Kobudo, Jui-Jitsu and Karate.
In Hanshi Hans own words:
I heard about a Karate Master from the Northern part of Japan – in the Mountain Area near an ancient village called NIKKO. This Karate Master was from an ancient family of Samurai descent and he practiced a unique form of Martial Art unlike other Martial Arts.
I decided to go and look for him; so I travelled north to a small village called KUKI. Whilst I was walking the streets of KUKI, searching for the Dojo, a car stopped next to me and a Japanese man tried to speak to me. I understood basically that he was asking me in Japanese where I was going and if he could assist me.
With the few broken Japanese words which I knew, I told him that I was looking for a person named Kancho Mamoru Miwa, and showed him a paper with the name written on it.
To my surprise the man seemed startled and started talking Japanese which I could not understand. After lots of hand gestures I understood that he was the Kancho Mamoru Miwa who I was looking for.
Now this is what I call Fate or Karma. I went looking for a Sensei, a man stopped to help me and it happened to be the same Sensei I was looking for (Kancho Mamoru Miwa).
How strange is that! It could only have been my Destiny.
He then gestured that I get in the car with him. Admittedly, I was a bit scared as he could have been a Japanese mafia member (Yakuza) or some gangster out to rob me.
Kancho Miwa took me to his main dojo in Hasuda-Shi.
Kancho could not speak English, and I could not speak Japanese! So most of the way I tried to communicate in sign language and Japanese words read from my dictionary.
(At the time grammatically all wrong of course since Japanese are spoken totally different to English – but yet somehow we understood each other).
Eventually we arrived. It was a beautiful wooden dojo, even better than what I had imagined it would be. The dojo was situated next to a river which gave it a unique ambience and atmosphere.
Arriving there he made me take off my shoes to enter the dojo.
Here Kancho made me sit in Seiza form, (on my knees, feet folded across at the back, hands in the front hip/groin, back upright).
He indicated that I should watch the training. I had to sit in Seiza form for 3 hours, (that’s how long a training session was in Japan) without moving.
A Kohai stood watch over me with a Shinai (Bamboo Sword).
If I moved my Legs, Arms or Body he would hit me with this Shinai on the part that moved. I actually sat there in fear. Not knowing what to expect and feeling lost in Japan.
At this training session I saw for the first time things like –
1. Goshin Jitsu (a form of Jui-Jitsu and Aikido) done with Karate.
2. Tai Sabaki (a form of body shifting and avoidance techniques.
3. Suri Ashi and Yori Ashi (leg shifting techniques).
4. Tobi Techniques (jumping and shift jumping with leg & hand techniques).
5. Kaiten techniques (spinning techniques)
6. Knife Defences (48 and more different knife defences).
7. Ground fighting and grappling Techniques.
8. Dogi Uke Zuki Karate techniques (simultaneous block punch techniques).
9. Training Methods Unique to Tenshinkan called Kara Zuki / Happo Doza / Sonoba Doza / Kihon Uke Kime etc etc.
10. Weapons (Kon / Tonfa / Nunchaku / Kamma / Tekko / Sai / Katana).
What I observed there that night made me realise that I knew nothing about Martial Arts, and that what I have previously learnt was very little, and that this was what Martial Art is all about. I knew then that I wanted to learn Tenshinkan Karate with Kancho Mamoru Miwa.
After the training session, Kancho had a meeting with his senior instructors. This meeting sounded heated to me. Later that night, a Japanese man from the University of the city Omiya arrived. He tried to speak English to me (very broken and with much difficulty).
It was then I understood that I was the first Westerner to enter a Tenshinkan Karate dojo; but some of the seniors thought that I was a spy from another style. After much heated talking and explaining Kancho made a decision. He decided to give me a try, providing that I prove worthy of it. He also warned me that if I was not sincere or was a spy they would deal with me in the Japanese way. I was very frightened confused and apprehensive, I wanted to learn what I saw, and therefor decided to stay.
With pounding Heart I accepted Kancho’s offer.
Training started the next day at 5am. My fist job was washing the dojo floor and then cleaning the dojo walls, windows & everything. If Kancho found a spec of dirt I had to do knuckle push ups & bunny hops and other punishment (he always found something).
I also had to clean outside and wash dishes in the kitchen. I even had to wash Kancho’s car. After about 2 weeks of these chores, Kancho accepted me into Tenshinkan Karate for training.
He stripped me of my rank, (Black Belt) and gave me a White Belt to train with them.
I had to learn everything from the beginning. He told me to empty my mind and to absorb the Tenshinkan way with the concepts and principles which he was teaching me.
I had to regrade for each and every grade.
Training with Kancho was daily from 5am to 8am, then again in the afternoon from 1pm to 3pm & again at night from 6pm to 9pm (everyday).
I still remember the Golden Rule that Kancho gave me.
He said ‘there are 3 ways to become good in Tenshinkan Karate (or any other skill) that is:
 Practice and study,  Practice and study more,  Practice and study even more until perfection.
At the end of my time in Japan (living and training in Japan) I graded 3rd Dan with Kancho. My grading in Japan was the hardest test physically that I ever did.
I returned to South Africa in 1977 and started Tenshinkan Karate that same year.
I have experienced a lot and I have learned a lot.
In the process I gained a lot. It was the most rewarding experience of my life. (best thing I ever did for myself).
I can tell you many stories of things and experiences I had while in Japan.
Tenshinkan Karate became my life. I loved what I was doing and I lived it fully.
Tenshinkan Karate became the ultimate form of Martial Art for me as it combined all the Arts into one system. Tenshinkan Karate became my passion and dedication.
It has always been my goal to make Tenshinkan Karate known to the Western World; hence I wrote my first book, Tenshinkan Volume 1 – Beginner’s Training Manual. This book is the first in a series of books.
I also published all the Tenshinkan Kata’s in book form (White to Black Belt).
I then also produced and published all the Tenshinkan Karate Kata’s in DVD format.
(This is a series of 7 Kata DVDs).
As “Hanshi” of Tenshinkan Karate upon request of Kancho Mamoru Miwa, I helped in the development and system structure of the Style; and I was given the responsibility to oversee the implementation of a World System for Tenshinkan Karate which all Tenshinkan Karate branches world wide must adhere to (one system and same standards for all countries).
Academically Hans Haupt holds the following qualifications:
• Higher Education (Matriculation) Snr Level. (Cambridge System)
• National Production Engineers Certificate.
• M.I.P.E (Production Engineers Degree)
• A.T.C 2 (Advanced Technical Engineering Certificate 2)
• S.M.I.O.M (Organization & Methods Engineer)
• G.I.W.P (Graduate -Institute of Work Study Practitioners).
• A.M.I.P.M (Associate Member – Institute of Personnel Management).
• B.COM (Bachelors Degree – University of South Africa).
Hanshi Hans Haupt breaking a 1.5 litre Coke bottle. (demo at South African national championship).
The bottle must be broken with the bottom half remaining on the table while the top half is snapped off.
Hanshi Hans has an open challenge to any Black Belt to equal this feat.