Meet some of our amazing instructors & staff!
Sifu James Heinrich - Master Instructor/Owner
Sifu James has spent the majority of his life training in the Martial Arts beginning with Kung Fu, Kickboxing and Shaolin Kung Fu before starting his journey in Wing Chun in 1990.
James co-founded Great Way Martial Arts with his Partner and Wife Esmeralda in 1993.
James achieved his Level 10 Black Belt and Instructor Certification in 1998.
James’s enthusiasm and gratitude for the martial arts and its’ community continues to grow year after year as does his commitment to the sharing the benefits of martial arts training.
These benefits are so vast and powerful and James wishes to share them so everyone can take advantage of them.
James is a full-time Career Martial Artist and Instructor as well as being a Husband and Father of three.
All of his children trained in the Martial Arts achieving their Junior Black Belts.
Instructors that Sifu James has trained to go on to open Martial Arts Schools in Canada include;
• Sifu Chad Smith – Vancouver Wing Chun
• Sifu Robert Rinas – Vernon & Kitchener ON. Breakthrough Martial Arts
• SIfu Jeremy Hoemsen – Victoria Wing Chun Punch Club
Esmeralda Heinrich - Student Manager/Owner
Esmeralda has spent her working life in Customer Service and Sales. Esmeralda co-founded Great Way Martial Arts with her Partner and Husband Sifu James in 1993.
It is her passion for the benefits of Martial Arts impact on all people and families that is served at Great Way. Esmeralda has a wonderful sense of humour and loves to chat and “catch up” with all of the students and families.
Esmeralda is dedicated and focused to making sure that everyone always has a positive experience at Great Way. Esmeralda has been instrumental in many aspects of Great Way’s growth including being BC Government accreditation for teaching children with Autism as well as supporting families getting subsidies through Jump Start Canada.
Esmeralda is a wife and mother of three who are all trained in the Martial Arts and have achieved their Junior Black Belts.
Sifu Thomas Wheaton - Head Instructor Mission Location
Sifu Thomas has spent the main portion of his life training in the Martial Art beginning with Karate and Jeet Kune Do before starting his journey in Kung Fu and Wing Chun in 1999. Sifu Thomas achieved his Level 10 Black Belt and Instructor Certification in 2005 under Sifu James’ instruction.
Thomas’ passion for teaching and supporting students of all ages is obvious in his passion and connection with students. Sifu Thomas has an unfailing commitment and belief that the Martial Arts will help and improve everyone's quality of life, whether through learning an art, improving personal fitness or increased self-discipline. Thomas is the Head Instructor of our Mission Location and Head Coach of Great Way’s Demonstration Team.
Sifu Thomas is a full-time Career Martial Artist and Instructor as well as being a Father of one.
Sihing Jesse Ulman - Instructor
Jesse has been training in Martial Arts beginning his Kung Fu journey in 2005 and has achieved Junior and Youth Black Belts and is currently a Level 9 Instructor Level 2.
Jesse is very passionate about teaching children in their journey and supporting our Great Way Community Members.
He is a full-time Career Martial Artist and an Instructor in our children, kids and teens programs.
He leads our Birthday Parties, Spring and Summer Camps as well as our outreach programs at the Rotary Centre for the Arts.
Jesse is also an Instructor in our HITT classes and Captain and a long-term member of Great Way’s Demonstration Team.
Sigie Erin Keown - Instructor
Erin has been training in martial arts for a lot of her life beginning with Karate and starting her Kung Fu journey in 2010 and has achieved Junior and Youth Black Belts and is currently a Level 7 Instructor.
Erin instructs full-time in our children, kids & teens programs as well as leading our Birthday Parties, Spring and Summer Camps as well as our outreach programs at the Rotary Centre for the Arts.
Sihing Aaron Hammer - Instructor
Aaron has been training in martial arts for most of his life starting his Kung Fu journey in 2003. Sihing Aaron has achieved Junior and Youth Black Belts and is currently a Level 8 Instructor.
Aaron admires and supports how Kung Fu helps participants to constantly grow and learn in mind and body and thought
Aaron is a full-time University student and instructs part-time in our children, kids & teens programs.
Gabriella Cimbaro - Customer Service Specialist
Gabriella has been training in martial arts for a lot of her life beginning her Kung Fu journey in 2007.
Gabriella has achieved Junior Black Belt and is currently Level 6 in Wing Chun.
Gabriella is a full-time University student and works part-time at front desk as our customer service specialist supporting the students under Esmerelda’s guidance and focused on making every student and families experience a positive one.
Sifu Spencer Hammer - Instructor
Spencer began his Kung Fu and Wing Chun journey in 1995 and achieved his Level 10 Black Belt and Instructor Certification in 2006 under Sifu James’ instruction.
Sifu Spencer loves watching and supporting how Kung Fu helps people developmentally and physically and grow spiritually and emotionally while benefiting from the other various benefits that the martial arts has to offer.
Spencer demonstrates a commitment to the martial arts and while keeping a balance of work and life as he instructs part-time in our Wing Chun Program as well as working full-time as an Assistant Manager for Save On Foods.
Sifu Spencer is a Husband and Father of Three. All three children have achieved Junior Black Belt at Great Way and his oldest son Aaron currently instructs part-time.