Remembering Dean Hersche

Dean Hersche



On June 21, 2011 at the age of 47 our Head Instructor and Founder Dean Hersche passed away. Dean was a man who changed many lives and inspired scores of students to become better people. 

Dean will forever be missed by all of his students, friends and family.


I still miss you huge Dean.
Not a day goes by I dont think of you.
So many great memories.

Love ya buddy.
One day we will meet again.


I worked with Dean for many years. He always talked of his wife and all of the students that he taught. Dean you were taken way to soon.

Dean I didn't really know you, but you were an inspiration to me when I'd see you at the gym. May you rest in peace my friend, and I'll keep "upping up"

Marko "Budday"

I dont know how to say this but for the last few weeks i feel like dean has reached out to me from up above. Even though I only trained at the academy for a few months a long time ago, Dean made a huge impression on my life. One day a few weeks ago I had a dream about him and since then I have made a few smarter decisions in life. I don't know how and I don't know when, but I have made the decision to return to the academy. Dean has touched the lives of everyone there and I know that by going back he will be back in my life. I wish I could have got to know him better in my time at the academy but I'm also glad to have just known him at all. May he rest in peace

Jake Brown

A startling thing happened today. You may remember me as the guy from Fords that lives on Pike Creek. Dean and I took the sailing lessons and you launched your kiyacks here a few times.Dean was a friend of my brother Gary back in school and I was closer to Darrels age so we knew each other a long time. When we ran into each other years later we had much to talk about and lots of good stories from the old days.
Back to today, I was at work at Essex Engine in a new area of the plant. I picked up some cardboard off the floor and there was a pay stub on the floor. It was Deans stub from Plant 1 ( Annex) across town. What are the chances of that, it getting there and me finding it. I will keep it, if you want it contact me.
I hope you are doing well, I miss Dean so I can only imagine how much you miss him.

I have known Dean since his early teen yrs. He & his family, were like our family and we truly miss him..He was one of a kind..Sincere, caring, loving, and truthful...I have great memories of all our Mexican vacations and family times with him.. I just wish we had more time with him or could have been there more for him when he needed us but wouldn't say anything.I pray for him and for Loree..she is the tiny little "strong force" that will keep him alive in our memories..I did remember him in the newspaper for his first anniversary but his memory will never fade from our hearts and minds....God Bless Dean, Demil, and together...till we meet again....Shirley & Gary...

Dean, when I was under your mattial arts leadership I learned a great deal about bjj, martial arts, life in general, and my inner being. You have inspired many people to great levels. You will be sorely missed my friend! I am truly sorry for your loss Miss Loree!

Vincenzo Aliberti

forever missed amazing teacher and leader.

I knew dean for many years at ford motor co. One great guy he will be missed very much

It is hard to believe Dean passed away, My family found out when we received Miss Loree's letter.Our heart goes out Miss Loree and the whole family. Dean was great instructor and great person, I guess we lost an angel to heaven, RIP in Dean.

Angath Maan and the Maan Family

July 7th, 2011
Dear Loree,
We just received your letter in the mail...Brad does not yet know. We had NO idea. We are so very sorry and shocked to hear about this tragic news. We never imagined...Please know how sorry we are that we did not go to the funeral. We would have been there in a heartbeat.
Alex and I both loved the quiet, confident leadership that you and Dean offered to countless young students. There was a family atmosphere and acceptance of one another that Brad and all of your other students have shared and enjoyed. If there is anything that we can do to help you out at this difficult time, please ask. We can watch your puppy, make meals, phone calls to your name it, anything. Please know that you are in our thoughts and most certainly our prayers.
Diane and Alex Gyemi

I worked with Dean for many years at The Ford Motor Company and never knew he was a Martial Artist like myself. I am sorry to hear about his passing.

John Barnes

Seiwa Kai Windsor

Windsor has lost another great martial artist, someone who has inspired all those who he came in contact with. Dean Hersche, no one can take your place, you will be missed.

Our deepest sympathy to your family.

Copeland's Martial Arts

Our deepest sympathies Loree.
Wee will remember Dean forever.
Your student Filip Mirkovic.

Our deepest sympathies Loree. We heard something about a Martial Arts Teacher but did not think for one minute it was Dean. He seemed to always have a zest for life.

Dean, you were my mentor, teacher, inspiration and friend. You had made my life better in so many ways and for that I will be eternally grateful.

I really wish that we had more time and will miss you dearly. I am absolutely heartbroken for Miss Loree over your untimely passing and my thoughts and prayers are with her during this difficult time.

I will remember and cherish you, your teachings, our friendship and time together, forever.

Your student and brother,

Vlad Pavlovic

My thoughts and prayers are with Loree and family.


May you rest in peace. You will be missed by all of your Jiu Jitsu family.

Brent & Garwai Insco

Dean and I often talked abou the similar experiences we shared in martial arts.

When trying to recruit peiople to the academy I found it suprising how many blackebelts in other martial arts would ask me if they would have to put on a white belt or simply say "I can't start over now". Dean had his black belt for about 20 years, had considerable tournament success and a prospersous school before he took off his blackbelt and put on a whitebelt in jiu jitsu. I can relate through similar experience the difficulty in coping with being manhandled and controlled by relative beginners when you have been studying martial arts your entire life. I take this lesson from Dean to be particularly inspirational to me. while so many others have avoided this challenge in there career Dean was able, before anyone else, to cut the shackles of pride, take the bull by the horns and earn his blackbelt in jiu jitsu. Also for a brief period after getting his blackbelt, Dean began private lessons from a muay thai instructor. Since meeting Dean I always carry a white belt in my bag awaiting the next challenge.

Miss Loree, We offer our deepest sorry, regret and sympathy but absolutely no worry or concern. You're a part of the Ribeiro jiu jitsu family, a blackbelt and fighter.

"substance over symbolism"
- Dean Hersche

Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this time of loss.

You are my biggest inspiration, Dean. I will never forget everything you've taught me throughout my four years at the Academy. It was amazing walking into the gym and seeing how many lives you've touched. None of these accomplishments could have been fulfilled without you. Thank you so much for everything you've done for me throughout my time at the Academy you will certainly be missed. It is not goodbye, it is I'll see you later. Rest in paradise.

Mark Porto

How can you say goodbye to someone who has already gone? You simply cannot. You have to step inside your soul and feel their presence, their love and their warmth. Dean will always remain in my memories as more than just my instructor but as my good friend. He has helped me through battles on and off the mat and taught me never to submit to myself, doubt myself and lose to myself.
Dean was a powerful inspiration to me in many ways and I can never forget that. He has helped me throughout my recent endeavours and I will honour him with my life’s achievements .
We never lose a friend. We take them with us wherever we go.

A friend of over thirty years. A great loss.

Dean and I grew up together on Grace Road in Tecumseh. At an early age Dean valued mutual respect above all amongst his friends and through our youth, I found myself learning many of life's lessons because of Dean's insight and intellegence. I was lucky enough to enjoy his friendship through our youth and into our adult lives as Dean honored my wife Pamela and I as Best Man at our wedding in 1991. From time to time, Dean and I supported one another as we were (as Dean would put) 'carving our own path' through life. Dean's path ended way to soon, since as you all know far better than I, how much more Dean had to offer this world. I thank you all for being loyal friends and students of Dean's and Miss Loree. You were all a huge part of who he was, so please carry on with your own lives as proudly as Dean did with his.

God Bless You,
Doug (Spydee) Spolarich

i'm signing this far too soon...far too soon. everyone's journey is an individual one & i'm no authority. to me DEAN was galaxies beyond just a good friend. he was a leader, a confidant, a historian, a genuine person that shined on a level like no other individual i've ever known...TRULY UNIQUE IN ALL THINGS GREAT. over the last few years i could always count on him being there if was in a pinch. the countless hours i spent with him at my place watching concert dvds will never ever be forgotton. MR. DEAN HERSCHE WILL BE DEARLY MISSED.

Dean was my instructor years ago at the Kingsville Martial Arts Academy, going back to about 1996 when he was new at Jiu-Jitsu. I remember watching as the class transitioned from a Karate class 3 days/week to almost full-time rolling. I remember, only 6 months into my training learning how to do stand-up fighting saved me from a beating at the hands of two thugs in a parking lot who cornered me and attacked me. His teaching gave me so much confidence! What I truly remember about grappling with him was always feeling helpless, I really couldn't budge him an inch in any direction, he was a great fighter and so strong. I fell out of touch with Dean and Loree over the years, I always meant to stop by and see his new academy, I'm sure it's quite different now than 15 years ago.

We really don't own anything in our lives, we are just here to take care of things for a while, and then we are gone. I am so sorry for your loss, Loree, as well as Dean's family, what words can really be said to take away sadness? I wish you all the best.

Guy Morin

May God bless you and your family during these tough times.

Brunelle Martial Arts & Sport Karate would like to extend our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Sensei Hersche

Words can't explain what Dean meant to me. He helped me lose 60 lbs, taught me how to defend myself and taught me how to be a leader. Most of all, he helped me bring out the part of me that doesn't quit. When he stayed with me night after night helping me prepare for my purple belt test, I wanted to stop the exercises so bad but he wouldn't let me even think of it. Without all of these things, there is no way I would be able be where I'm at right now in trying to pursue my dream job. Not only was he my instructor and coach but he was one of the greatest mentors I ever had and also one of the best friends I ever had. My heart is broken for his wife Loree who was his rock. I missed him while he was among us and I was in Regina, but I miss him more than ever now because I know I'll never get one more roll on the mat. I would give anything for him to choke me out one more time. May you rest in peace.

It is still surreal to me. I'm still struggling with the idea that a guy so strong can be here one day and then gone the next. I may not have know him as long as many other people but in the relatively short time I did he taught me things that I will keep for a lifetime.

My condolences go out to all of Dean's family and friends. I know that people from all over North America are mourning the passing of this great man.

Rest in peace, Dean. You will be sorely missed.