was born and raised on the East Coast (Bethesda, MD). He
graduated from college with a B.S. in Business Marketing and moved to
Southern California for 15 years, where he trained in Tae Kwon Do, Jeet
Kune Do and ultimately Traditional Wing Chun Kung Fu.
He began his Wing Chun training in 2002 under Master Joseph
Sayah. He has completed numerous seminars with Grandmaster William Cheung,
including but not limited to: Chi-Sao, Wing Chun vs. Other Styles, The
Third Center, Fighting Strategies, etc..
Seth achieved Level 7 Black Sash in the Fall of 2009 and began
teaching classes under the leadership of Sifu Vincent Wymbs. He has also
recieved extensive training from Sifu Alon Peterson, and is currently
training with Master Keith Mazza.
was born in San Francisco, CA. His family then moved to Montana
where he spent the next 16 years of his life. He became fascinated with
martial arts at a very young age. First he pursued the art of Shotokan
Karate with several different local instrucors, for about 10 years. In 1996
Sifu Alon moved to Malibu, CA for college, studying Computer Science at
Pepperdine University. In California, Sifu Alon studied Tae Kwon Do as well
as an eclectic system dubbed Sei Ei Do for 4 years until the year 2000,
earning two black belts.
Sifu Alon came to Traditional Wing Chun with a mission to learn
how to become effective with close-in, hand-to-hand fighting. He trained
diligently at the Los Angeles Traditional Wing Chun Kung Fu Academy under
Master Joseph Sayah, teaching classes within 2 years, and reaching
instructor level by the year 2005. When the time came for Master Sayah to
return to his home in Australia, he passed on the Academy and its future to
While teaching, Sifu Alon worked security for many of L.A.’s
most popular night clubs and as a self-defense instructor for a California
personal security firm. In the year 2006, Sifu Alon was awarded his Level
One Provisional Master Level Red Sash. He continues to teach at the Los
Angeles Traditional Wing Chun Kung Fu Academy in Sherman Oaks, as “Head
Instructor”. Sifu Alon ‘s effective & practical training has paid off
for his L.A.P.D. Officer students, who continue to successfully execute
their wing chun training while on duty.
Master Keith Mazza has been training in the martial arts for
over 30 years, specializing in Traditional Wing Chun Kung Fu. A three-time
Hall of Fame inductee, Mazza was hand-picked by Grandmaster William Cheung
to train and serve as the North American Liason for the World Wing Chun
Kung Fu Association.
Aside from expertly training students in the art, he uses his
talents to implement Grandmaster Cheung’s Stress Management and Pro-Tekt
Rape Awareness & Prevention programs into government institutions and
corporate facilities. He designs and institutes training programs for
military and law enforcement personnel, the physically and mentally
challenged, and the elderly in surrounding South New Jersey medical
facilities. In addition, Master Mazza collaborates with the Board of
Education to aid students, from primary school to college levels, cope with
day to day pressures with the implementation of stress/anger management and
Through this type of dedication to the art and exceptional
fighting expertise, Master Keith Mazza honorably became Grandmaster
Cheung’s first Closed Door Student in 2006.
was Born in Melbourne, Australia on October 19th, 1972. He began
training Wing Chun Kung Fu at age nine under Grandmaster William Cheung.
When he was 17, Master Joe became a certified instructor under Grandmaster
For the next five years he trained full time and completed the
Iron Palm and Iron Shin training programs. At age 22, Master Joe began
competing in competitions including K1 kickboxing and Cage no-holds-barred
matches. He also travelled with Grandmaster Cheung to assist in seminars
around the world. He is currently Wing Chun’s youngest red sash Master.
In the last ten years, Master Joe has worked as a bodyguard for
foreign presidents, members of the entertainment industry, and high profile
business executives. In the past five years he has conducted numerous
seminars with armed forces and law enforcement agencies including the U.S.
Navy Seals, C.I.A., F.B.I., and local police departments.
Master Joe has starred in a number of Hong Kong movies including
Jackie Chan’s Mr. Nice Guy, and Jet Li’s Once Upon A Time In China (Part 6)
where he played the main villain. He also assisted Sammo Hung in the
choreography of the final fight scenes between Jet Li and himself, which
lasted eight minutes on screen.
He has also been featured in a multitude of magazine
publications including Inside Kung Fu, Blitz, Blackbelt, and Ralph. Since
moving to Los Angeles, Master Joe has opened 3 schools. He, along with many
others, are working toward the goal of uniting Wing Chun schools aroung the
world. He has since moved back to Australia and is running several
successful schools there.
Canada: Sifu Dominique Edmond
Australia: Sifu Mark Blackwell, Sifu Jason Woodward,
Sifu Burim Selmani, and Sifu Robert Lay
USA: Instructor Seth R. Eisman
has been called the Masters’ Master; he was considered by Bruce
Lee to be the “ultimate fighter”: William Cheuk Hing Cheung was the sole
inheritor of the Traditional Wing Chun Kung Fu system, and was the person
responsible for introducing Bruce Lee to Wing Chun Kung Fu.
In 1951, at the age of ten, Cheung started his training in Wing
Chun Kung Fu under the late Grandmaster Yip Man. From 1954 to 1958 Cheung
was a live-in student of Grandmaster Yip Man. It was during this time that
he inherited the complete system of Traditional Wing Chun Kung Fu.
Between 1957 and 1958 Cheung won the Kung Fu elimination
contests in Hong Kong, defeating opponents with many more years’
experience. In early 1954 Cheung introduced Bruce Lee to Grandmaster Yip
Man, and became his personal trainer. Throughout the four and a half years
the two men developed a very close friendship, and Cheung passed on to
Bruce Lee most of his techniques and helped develop his overall confidence
and experience in fights. In later years he was to use these techniques in
competitions, and also in his movies.
From 1959 when he arrived in Australia to pursue his academic
studies, Cheung organized small informal groups interested in martial arts.
However, the death of his master, Yip Man, in 1973 marked a turning point
in his life. He decided that the traditional taboo placed on the teaching
of Wing Chun to non-Chinese was anachronistic and unjustifiable xenophobia.
Accordingly, he formed the first Wing Chun Kung Fu school in Australia in
which the full extent of this Chinese art was taught to students of both
Chinese and non-Chinese extraction.
Cheung was appointed as Chief Instructor to the U.S. Seventh
Fleet based in Yukosuka, Japan, during 1978 to 1980. Throughout this time,
he was in charge of the intensive mental and physical development program
of close quarter hand to hand combat for the marines.
Many of Cheung’s students have achieved international
recognition for their martial arts prowess. In 1982 his students won the
heavyweight and middleweight divisions respectively in the World Invitation
Kung Fu Championships held in Hong Kong. Furthermore, Cheung himself, in
1983, was inducted into the “Black Belt Hall of Fame” as Kung Fu Artist of
the Year and again in 1989, into the “Inside Kung Fu Hall of Fame” as
Martial Arts Instructor of the Year.
From 1979 Grandmaster Cheung and many of his juniors conducted
special programs for special law enforcing officers and special operation
groups in the Armed Services in U.S.A. and other countries, teaching
unarmed combat, restraining and disarming assailants and a fire arm
It was at the Harvard University, Boston, in 1984 that
Grandmaster Cheung set the world speed punching record of 8.3 punches per
Cheung has authored a variety of books for the general public
including “Wing Chun Bil Jee”, “Wing Chun Butterfly Swords”, “Wing Chun
Dragon Pole”, “Advanced Wing Chun”, “How to Develop Chi Power”, “Wing Chun
Kung Fu” (in French), “A Comparison of Wing Chun and Jeet Kune Do” Volumes
I and II. He has also produced a number of videos, including the well-known
“The Wing Chun Way”, “Tao of Wing Chun” and “PRO-TEKT: A Personal
In recent years, Cheung has been extensively involved in
conducting workshop seminars for various groups in different countries
around the world throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.
at the time of his death in 1973, Yip Man could not have
imagined that his name would be remembered among those of the most
distinguished international grand masters in the annals of martial arts
history: Dr. Jigoro Kano, Gichin Funakoshi, Moriehi Uyeshiba. Yip Man’s
name belongs on that list of immortals.
As the rightful patriarch of the Wing Chun style of kung fu, he
succeeded in spreading his obscure but dynamic fighting art first
throughout the British Crown Colony of Hong Kong and then throughout the
His teaching has become a cornerstone of the modern martial arts
era. The bare-boned efficiency of his fighting techniques, coupled with the
knowledge that he was Bruce Lee’s instructor, caused millions to regard his
art with awed curiosity. Wing Chun means magic to them. Throughout the
world, wherever instruction is not readily available, martial artists have
at least attempted to imitate the subtleties of the art’s sticking and
Today Wing Chun is the most influential martial art to emerge
from 20th century China. Unfortunately, the art did not achieve
international acclaim during Yip’s lifetime, so he did not foresee the need
publicly to name an heir to his role as leader of the Wing Chun clan. He
still held and transmitted much of his art through vows of secrecy. Now
that more than two decades have passed since his demise, many glory-seekers
will invent intricate tales, misrepresent Yip photographs, and literally
fight for the right to become known as his personal disciple and heir.
Dozens of second and even third generation practitioners have advanced such
counterfeit claims … a bizarre phenomenon once the facts are revealed
that Yip Man did not begin teaching until after his 50th birthday, that he
did not like to teach and that he rarely did so.
Yip Man was born in the year 1898 in the town of Fatshan in
Namhoi County, Kwangtung Province, in Southern China. He was the son of a
wealthy merchant named Yip Oi Doh and his wife, Madame Ng. As is still the
custom, businesses and corporations in China were often built around family
groupings of fathers, sons, sons-in-law, cousins, uncles, granduncles and
grandfathers. The Yip family was no exception. Collectively, they owned a
large farm and a merchandise exporting business which played an important
role in bringing domestic renown to fabrics made from the Fatshan silkworm.
The Yip family lived in some 20 old-style Chinese estates which
lined both sides of Happiness and Scholarship Avenue. On one side of the
avenue, in the centre of the estates, stood the Yip ancestral temple.
Inside the temple, the Yip family permitted Wing Chun master Chan Wah Shun
to live and teach a small group of disciples, since Chan’s local reputation
as a fighter discouraged thieves and highwaymen from attacking the family
As a boy Yip Man was tutored in the traditional Chinese
classics. He was forced to memorize ancient poems and Confucian philosophy,
to learn to paint as well as to write his own poems. But whenever he could
escape from the surveillant eyes of his tutors, he would wander over to the
ancestral temple and watch Chan Wah Shun drill his disciples in the ways of
Wing Chun. Soon the boy’s visits became more regular until, finally, when
Yip was about nine years old he approached Chan and asked to be accepted as
Chan did not take the boy’s request seriously. Chan Wah Shun was
about 60 years old at the time, and most of his students were already over
30. Besides, many wealthy families of the day did not want their sons’
attention drawn away from academic pursuits by the practice of kung fu,
especially after the Boxer Rebellion fiasco in 1900.
So to spare the boy’s feelings, Chan diplomatically told Yip
that he would admit him as a student as soon as he could pay the tuition
price of three taels of silver. Chan did not think that a nine year old boy,
from a wealthy family or not, could produce that much money anytime in the
near future. But when Yip Man returned the next day he went up to Chan Wah
Shun with 300 pieces of silver. That was a lot of money! You could have
bought a good-sized house in those days for 300 pieces of silver.
But Chan Wah Shun did not simply accept the money. Instead he
thought that this little kid had just pinched 300 pieces of silver to give
to him. So he took Yip Man to his parents to try to find out where the
silver had come from.
Then they realized that the 300 pieces of silver were his whole
life savings. So once they saw that this boy had such a strong desire to
learn Wing Chun that he’d given away all his money, his parents agreed to
let him study. And Chan Wah Shun accepted him.
Yip Man became the last of Chan’s 16 disciples. He also became
the youngest in a direct line of Wing Chun practitioners dating back nearly
200 years to the art’s fabled beginnings at the original Shaolin Temple in
Yip Man studied with Chan Wah Shun for four years, until the old
master’s death. Yip subsequently spent another two and a half years
training with his senior, Ng Chung So, and Ng’s two students, Yuen Kay Shan
and Yiu Choi. Sometimes they would strap on jackets padded with horse hair
and feathers and spar with full-contact techniques directed to the body.
Apparently young Yip developed a passion for realism during these early
When Yip was 16 years old, his parents sent him to Hong Kong to
attend St. Stephen’s College. There, he quickly fell in with a clique of
classmates who liked to offer and accept kung fu challenges. He welcomed
the opportunity to put his Wing Chun training to the real test.
Within a short time, he developed a reputation as a superlative
fighter. He had stood up to hard stylists and soft stylists, to instructors
and students, and even to a foreign devil or two. Yet despite his small
five foot, 120 pound frame, never once had he lost.
Yip discovered, in fact, that he liked to fight. He would accept
a challenge on the slightest provocation. On one such occasion, a classmate
named Lai dared Yip to go after an old kung fu practitioner who worked at
the silk company of Lai’s father. The man was well into his 50s and very
eccentric, but, Lai insisted, his kung fu was very good.
That evening Yip Man found the man living on a fishing boat
anchored near the typhoon breakers in Hong Kong Bay.
“Hey, old man!” yelled Yip.
The old man did not answer.
Yip Man picked up a stone and threw it in the man’s direction.
“Hey, old man!” he yelled once more.
“What do you want, youngster?”
“I’ve heard that you are a great kung fu master and I’ve come
here to find out. I’d like to spar with you.”
“Old man,” Yip said again, “I’d like to spar with you.”
The man stood silent. He stared into Yip’s eyes, then moved his
gaze up and down the boy’s length. “I don’t know, youngster,” he said at
last, stroking his chin. “You look pretty puny. I might be wasting my time.
I’ll have to see you do a form first.”
This request irritated Yip Man. “All right, old man,” he said,
dropping into a pigeon-toed horse stance. “Watch!”
Yip performed the entire Shil Lim Tao form of Wing Chun, with
its long isotonic motions which always seemed punctuated by a sudden
The old man smiled. “Okay, youngster. Come on board. We’ll
No sooner had the two squared off than Yip Man raced after the
old man in a blaze of punches. The old man met Yip’s attack, stepped to the
side, then … SPLASSSHHH!
The old man looked down at Yip in the waters of Hong Kong Bay.
“What’s the matter, youngster?” he said. “I thought you wanted to spar!”
Yip climbed out of the bay, onto the dock, and back onto the
boat. “Don’t worry, old man,” he said. “I’ll show you sparring!”: He
launched after the old man, a jet on takeoff. A few techniques were
exchanged at a furious pace, then … SPLASSSHHH!
“Hey, youngster! Do you want to spar or do you really want to
Yip Man could not understand what had gone wrong. He had done so
well against other supposed ‘masters’, but he didn’t even know what this
guy was doing.
Yip began to visit the old man at every opportunity. He would
bring him wine and roast duck. Sometimes he would wash the man’s clothes,
then leave. But not a word was spoken between the two.
After about a month, the old man confronted Yip. “Look,
youngster,” he said, “I know that you are a Wing Chun practitioner. And I
know that you aren’t bad. I also know that you show me all this kindness
because you want to learn from me … Well, okay, I’m going to teach you,
rather than let the art pass away. You see, I too am a Wing Chun
practitioner. My name’s Leung Bik. I am the son of your teacher’s teacher.”
Yip Man studied with Leung Bik for two and a half years.
Meanwhile he continued to accept challenges. During one encounter, he badly
injured his opponent. The police threatened to prosecute, so Yip fled to
Japan for a year until the commotion had subsided.
When Yip Man finally returned home to Fatshan to take a wife and
assume his responsibilities in the family business, he was only 20 years
old, but already a Grandmaster of Wing Chun. He lived a leisurely life
there, practicing Wing Chun with either a few select students or on the
wooden dummy he kept in his flower garden, until the Communist takeover in
1949. He subsequently fled to Hong Kong, penniless, where he spent the
remainder of his life teaching. Today, 90 percent of Wing Chun schools in
the world can be traced directly to his efforts.