Mr. Sipin began his own training in the Martial Arts at the age of three, taught by his father Sid (Isidrio) Sipin. He currently holds an 9th degree black belt in the Filipino system of Doce Pares Eskrima. Mr. Sipin is one of the country’s leading proponents of this system.
He is a charter member, former President, Executive Board member and US Director of WEKAF (the World Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation). He had served as head of the rules committee, Chief Arbitrator, and Tournament Director of their biennial World Championships, as well as numerous regional and national championships, as well as a coach of the U.S. National Eskrima Team at the 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998, and 2002 World Tournaments. In 2006 he was the promoter of the WEKAF World Championships held at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort, where he introduced padded weapon fighting under his new “engagement” scoring system.
In 2012, along with other members of that organization, he helped organize the “GSBA”, Global Stick and Blade Alliance, becoming it’s first President. He helped to organize their first World Championships in Las Vegas, NV – USA, in 2012, and the 2014 World Championships in Rome, Italy.
In 2007, he was invited to Italy to teach various seminars during the European Championships. Instructors and students from Great Britain, Germany, Poland, Spain, and Italy attended training in the Filipino Martial Arts, Personal Protection (Hardened Target P.P.S.), and Defensive and Control Tactics (Training Solutions: Use of Force Options for L.E. and Security Officers). Since that event, Mr. Sipin has been doing annual training in several locations in Italy. Military personnel, Caribinieri, Police and Security Officers, Instructors and many students of all ages have attended training in everything from Rifle and Handgun Tactics, to the Hardened Target and Training Solutions programs, and the Filipino Martial Arts. Many of their people have completed Instructor Training in our programs, both in Italy and in the U.S.
Police & Security Training
As a 27-year police veteran (ret.), Mr. Sipin has a comprehensive background in firearms and tactical training. He became a full-time sworn Police Officer in 1979, and was recruited and certified to train other Officers in Defensive Tactics and other areas of Officer Survival in 1980. His career in Law Enforcement included Patrol, (on foot, in a squad, on a boat, and a mountain bike) Training, (5 years full time in the Training Bureau, over 20 years part time) Court Liaison Officer, (alternate for over 10 years) and 6 years as a member of the Crisis Response Unit. (SWAT Team)
Approved as a DT Instructor in 1980 by the then pre-eminent LE training organization, the Justice System Training Association (JSTA) as well as the WI DOJ, and later the American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers (ASLET), Mr. Sipin became an Instructor and trained other Officers in numerous areas, including:
- Firearms: Handgun, Shotgun, Tactical Rifle, Shoothouse
- Edged Weapons: Defense and Usage
- Riot Control
- Defensive Tactics: Empty Hand Control, Protective Alternatives, Handcuffing, Baton, O.C. (Pepper Spray)
- Tactical Response
- Vehicle Contacts
- Police Cyclist
- Traffic Law Enforcement
- Physical Fitness Training and Testing
- First Aid – CPR – AED
- Injury Prevention and Rehab
- Strength and Conditioning
Mr. Sipin is certified as an Instructor with the WI Department of Justice to train Law Enforcement, as well as the International Police Mountain Bike Association (IPMBA), Armament Systems and Procedures (ASP,) and several other training organizations. He is a Firearms Certifier and Trainer with the WI Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS), training Private Investigators, Private Security Officers, and other Instructors for State Certifications. He served for many years on their Firearms Advisory Board. Mr. Sipin is also an NRA Certified Instructor in Home Firearm Safety, Pistol, and Personal Protection in the Home. He is a board member of the Professional Association of Wisconsin Licensed Investigators (PAWLI).
Mr. Sipin also serves as a professional consultant and expert witness in several different areas. (See “Professional Services”)
Quality of Life Training
In addition to his experience in the Martial Arts, Law Enforcement and Security, Mr. Sipin has studied a broad range of topics that allow him to tailor the training of his students to ensure maximum fitness and safety.
He was trained and certified as a Police Physical Fitness, First Aid, CPR and AED Instructor, as well as a blood pressure screening technician and in sports medicine first aid. He was a long time member of the City of West Allis Wellness Committee. Mr. Sipin is an Instructor Trainer for the WI Department of Transportation for “Teaching Safe Bicycling”, and an Instructor for the League of American Bicyclists.
The blend of Martial Arts taught at Four Winds by Mr. Sipin and his staff emphasizes well-roundedness, involving students in Practical Self-defense, Tae Kwon Do, Boxing, Grappling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Ginastica Natural, Fitness and Conditioning as well as Specialized Police, Security and Civilian “Use of Force” training. This includes CCW, Tactics, and Continuing Education.
History of Four Winds
Thomas Sipin started training in the Filipino Martial Arts when he was about 3 1/2 years old, with his father Isidro Sipin. After earning his Black Belt in Traditional Taekwondo he started managing several schools in 1972. He left those schools in the mid 1970’s, starting Four Winds Martial Arts with the idea of combining the Filipino weapons with TKD. Gathering several other Instructors that had been managing or teaching in other schools and systems- including Black Belts in Judo, Kung Fu, Karate and students experienced in Collegiate Wrestling and Boxing, they started cross-training together, long before “mixed martial arts” was acceptable.
Starting side-jobs in security and as a “bouncer,” he learned that there was a big difference between success in the school and competition, and what worked against “non-compliant” and combatitive subjects on the street. Several Police Officer students perked Mr. Sipin’s interest in becoming a Police Officer. While in recruit school, he was “recruited” to become a Defensive Tactics Instructor, at a time when Policies, Procedures, Training and Legal Standards were becoming more important, and LE curriculum was quickly becoming more standardized. This in turn opened up whole new areas regarding the use of force, and training within the law.
In the early 1980’s, hearing about Doce Pares Eskrima, Mr. Sipin invited Dionisio Canete to Milwaukee. After spending time with Mr. Sipin’s father and conducting his first seminar at Four Winds, Canete stated the Four Winds students were as – or more advanced than any Eskrima group he had been working with in the U.S. Mr. Sipin went on to become one of the three prominent figures in D.P. Eskrima in the U.S., as well as a founding member of the World Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation. In 2003 GM Canete stated in an interview in “Filipino Martial Arts” magazine, “His students are one of the best groups in the whole world in terms of their skill, discipline and knowledge. They have cultivated a very strong environment of friendship and brotherhood”.
Continuing with all of the above: experience and training in the Law Enforcement/Security field, the Filipino Martial Arts (FMA) and Personal Protection have provided the basis for a philosophy and system that Mr. Sipin has taught to Instructors, Civilians, Military, Law Enforcement, Security Officers in the U.S., Europe and Asia.