We are a traditional Kung Fu school with a modern flavor. Traditional means hard training, discipline, and authentic Kung Fu as passed on to us by our masters. It means that you earn your skills through repetition over time, and you advance by merit. It means that we follow Kung Fu traditions of non-violence, respect, and physical/mental improvement. It means that you will be getting a workout in each class, to improve your strength, speed, flexibility, and endurance. But it also means fun, exciting classes taught by patient instructors. We want you to enjoy your training; it’s the Tat Wong way! Kung Fu, the oldest of the martial arts, is the basis of Karate and Taekwondo. We teach kickboxing, self-defense and intricate, practical forms to kids and adults. There’s something for everyone, children, teens, and adults, beginners and Black Belts.
On the walls of the Academy are the ancient Chinese characters that portray the essence of the true martial artist in Kung Fu: Kindness, Integrity, Wisdom, and Bravery. The meaning and values behind these four powerful characters is the Academy’s underlying philosophy. Kung Fu is not just kicking and punching: it is a commitment to improving oneself in all aspects. It is these four characters that give inspiration to students and instructors alike, as daily reminders of our purpose. Our Student Creed, in which we promise to use our skills only in self-defense, is also a promise to try to develop our discipline in order to bring out the best in ourselves and others. We believe in effort, which, combined with time, produces Kung Fu, a literal meaning of which is “hard work.”
The Tat Wong teaching philosophy is one of balancing the traditional Kung Fu with the modern. This approach allows students to gain the most out of learning the ancient and extremely effective art of Kung Fu while building the underlying spirit of the true martial artist. Learning self-defense, getting in shape, and gaining confidence are the most immediate and real benefits in studying at Tat Wong Kung Fu Academy. Learning to apply the Kung Fu spirit and philosophy in all aspects of life is the greatest benefit. In our children’s classes, we help your kids focus their efforts to succeed in everything they do, and to learn the discipline necessary for life’s challenges. Our adult and teen classes challenge the student to improve themselves physically, mentally, and emotionally, and provide opportunities for challenge and leadership, while getting into great physical shape and relieving the stress of daily life. Kung Fu embraces all aspects of martial arts training: self-defense, physical conditioning, intense focus, grappling and takedowns and all manner of striking. If you’ve taken Karate, Taekwondo, Kenpo, or kickboxing, you will find that Kung Fu enhances and deepens your knowledge, refining it while you learn about power and speed and the relaxed “flow” typical of the Chinese martial arts.
A traditional school teaches one style of Kung Fu, or Karate, Taekwondo, Muay Thai, Jiujitsu, Aikido, etc. Our style of Kung Fu is Choy Lay Fut, a complete martial art in which ancient traditions blend with practical self-defense and fighting techniques. Choy Lay Fut Kung Fu is both broad and deep, whether with hands and feet or the classical 18 weapons of Kung Fu, its fighting philosophy is not limited to one style, but is fierce, flexible, and varied.
Choy Lay Fut began in the 1830’s. Its founder, Chan-Heung, combined Shaolin Kung Fu techniques from the northern and southern regions of China. One of its descriptive nicknames is “northern feet and southern hands,” referring to its wide array of kicks and strikes. A style known for practicality more than flash, it combines fierce hand and foot techniques with grappling and takedowns. Bruce Lee said that it is best style for defending against more than one attacker. Unlike so many modern schools, which teach an incomplete mishmash of techniques, with instructors claiming expertise in multiple styles (because they’ve mastered none), we stay with Choy Lay Fut because it is time- and combat-tested, broad, deep, and complex.
Whether you are 4 or 40, 16 or 60, you will find excitement, challenge, fitness, and a wealth of physical and mental benefits from your training in our style.
GRANDMASTER TAT-MAU WONG
RANKED 10th Degree BLACK BELT BY THE WORLD WUSHU-KUNG FU FEDERATION
RANKED BY ‘INSIDE KUNG FU MAGAZINE” AS ONE OF THE ‘TOP 100 MOST INFLUENTIAL MARTIAL ARTISTS OF THE 20TH CENTURY’
RANKED IN THE ‘BLACK BELT HALL OF FAME’ ‘MAN OF THE YEAR’, ‘KUNG FU ARTIST OF THE YEAR’, ‘INSTRUCTOR OF THE YEAR’
NOVEMBER 13th PROCLAIMED BY SAN FRANCISCO & MAYOR WILLIE BROWN TO BE ‘MASTER TAT-MAU WONG DAY’
Originally from Hong Kong, Grandmaster Tat-Mau Wong has been involved in martial arts since 1963. He spent many years under the great instruction of the late GrandMaster Lee Koon Hung. There he assisted Master Lee at his Choy Lay Fut School, as well as teaching both Kung Fu & Judo to hundreds of his own students at a Hong Kong association and at the Hong Kong University. Master Wong was also part of the Hong Kong full- Contact and performance team. The performance team included GrandMaster Lee Koon Hung and Master Shek Kin (‘Mr Han’ from the Bruce Lee movie Enter the Dragon). Together they traveled to France, Seattle, New York, Boston, and San Francisco, USA, between the years of 1972 and 1982 and wowed the crowds with their unique style & skill. It was as one of Southeast Asia’s most formidable full-contact fighters and forms champion that Master Wong was most recognized. However, it wasn’y until after moving to the United States in 1983 and opening up the first Tat Wong Kung Fu Academy in San Francisco that his reputation & influence grew internationally.
Now, after over forty years of martial arts experience & dedication, Grandmaster Tat-Mau Wong is world renowned as a leader in Chinese martial arts.
With several Bay Area locations, as well associations in Connecticut, Brazil and Chile, Master Wong’s Academies have become a center for thousands of people of all ages to get in shape, learn self-defense, and benefit physically & mentally through the art of Kung Fu.
In his continuing efforts to develop Chinese martial arts, he is SanShou Chairman for the United States Wushu Kung Fu Federation and Pan American Wushu Federation. He also serves as President of the Pan American Choy Lay Fut Kung Fu Federation. And in August 2008, Master Wong was elected as the USA Team Head Coach for the Wushu Tournament Beijing 2008, held in conjunction with the 2008 Summer Olympics, Beijing.
OUR SENIOR INSTRUCTORS
DANIEL OSTROW, SIFU
Having studied Goju Karate as a youth, Zen during his college years, and later Tai Chi under Sifu David Chandler, Sifu Ostrow put all of his energies into Choy Lay Fut Kung Fu, first under Sifu Darrell Levack and later under Grandmaster Tat-Mau Wong. As chief instructor and program manager for several years, Sifu has owned TWKFA since 2007. A Gold Medalist in forms and fighting, a certified full-contact (Sanshao) judge, a disciple of Master Wong, Sifu is passionately devoted to Kung Fu and the development of his students. He learns more from his students than he teaches them and lets his students’ accomplishments speak for themselves. A stern but loving Sifu, he demands the best from everyone.
SARAH SPONZO, SIJEH
Sijeh Sponzo has a special place in our Academy: as Sifu’s wife, her honorary title is Simo, but she prefers to use “Sijeh,” or elder sister/teacher, a rank she’s earned from many years of teaching. With a academic background in education, and a martial arts foundation in Tai Chi and Kung Fu, Sijeh works in medical education when she’s not teaching Kung Fu to adults and children. A forms champion, Sijeh Sponzo is also our “Kung Fu Mama,” being the yin to Sifu’s yang. A loving but strict disciplinarian, Sijeh shares Sifu’s devotion to the Academy and its students.
ANNE DYSINGER, SIJEH
Sijeh Anne is the Program Manager and a Senior Instructor at the Academy. With a science background in the pharmaceutical industry, Sijeh Anne has been studying our style of Kung Fu for eleven years, and teaching for 10. She is a forms champion in international competition. Sijeh Anne is a lifetime member of AWMAI, the Association of Women Martial Arts Instructors, and is the Events Coordinator of this unique organization. Her husband Mark is also a Senior Instructor, and their daughter Lucy is a future member of the Tiger Team.
MARK DYSINGER, SIHING
Mark Dysinger has been deeply immersed in Kung Fu for over 12 years and is one of the highest ranked students at the Academy. He’s been teaching and studying martial arts for over 20 years. He came to the Academy with a 2nd Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo, and owned his own school for a period. He’s competed nationally and internationally in many tournaments. A scientist with a major pharmaceutical firm, Mark is also a licensed captain and avid fly fisherman (www.flyosophy.com). His wife Anne is also the Program Manager and a Senior Instructor at the Academy.
SUZANNE HAHL, SIJEH
With a background in Taekwondo, Sijeh Suzanne Hahl has been studying Kung Fu for 9 years and has been teaching for the last 7. She has competed in several national tournaments and has rapidly become one of our highest-ranked Instructors, and a forms and fighting champion. Sijeh is an electrical engineering supervisor whose passions besides Kung Fu include woodworking, stain glass, house projects or anything requiring power tools.
STEVEN MACHADO, SIHING
Sihing Machado has been training at the TWKFA for ten years and is also a Senior Instructor. Steven began his martial arts training when he was twelve years old. Eighteen years later, Steven has competed in numerous tournaments nationally and is an accomplished fighter and forms expert. Having years of Tang Soo Do, Capoeira, and Gymnastics experience, Steven uses his skills along with a college degree in Exercise Science and Health Promotion to help students train seriously and reach their physical goals. He is very passionate about Kung Fu and aspires to establish his own school one day....