Sifu Bryan Talbot (Chief Instructor and Founder of West Coast Wing Chun™)
Its the early 70’s. The show “Kung Fu” had just hit the airwaves and all the kids in school were abuzz about it. I thought it would be really cool to learn self-defense. Kick butt like David Carradine and Bruce Lee. I threw open the doors to the Inglewood YMCA and, at thirteen years old, started my first martial arts class, and although martial arts was the new “in” thing, I had really just taken my first step on a profound and enlightening journey that would last a lifetime.
For the next twenty years, I studied various forms of martial arts—some of them having Wing Chun techniques mixed with several other kung fu styles, as was often taught by martial art instructors emulating the philosophy of the late Bruce Lee. But in 1991, I began my relationship with Master Sifu Ron Heimberger and my Ip Man Wing Chun lineage. It only took one lesson from Sifu Heimberger to realize that I knew nothing about the art called “Wing Chun”—a feeling I would come to know every time I touched hands with Sifu. Shortly after, I began teaching under the close supervision of Master Heimberger, and in 1994 opened my first kung fu school. After a few more years of grueling kung fu training, I was accepted as Sifu’s Heimberger’s disciple. In 1996, I had the great opportunity to train and chi sau with Master Ip Ching, my Sigung and the son of renowned Grandmaster Ip Man. Sadly, however, Sifu Heimberger passed away in 2008. Studying Wing Chun with Sifu Heimberger was a gift and experience that forever changed my life, and continues to shape my life for the positive, even today.
Approximately one year after Sifu Heimberger’s death, I was fortunate enough to be invited to attend a Wing Chun seminar being hosted by my good friends and kung fu brother and sister, Nick and Angela Minerva. Master Samuel Kwok would be conducting the seminar. Master Kwok’s lineage was highly revered in the international Wing Chun community, as he studied with both Master Ip Ching and Ip Man’s older son, Ip Chun. Preserving my own lineage was very important to me, so I was very excited to be able to meet and exchange hands with Master Kwok. In a matter of seconds, during my first chi sau encounter with Master Kwok, I knew I had found a true Wing Chun Master and that there was much I could learn from him. Additionally, I was extremely impressed with Master Kwok’s deep passion for preserving Grand Master Ip Man’s Wing Chun, and found him to be a truly caring and humble human being. In late 2009, I was accepted as Master Kwok’s student and disciple, and it was through this compassionate and humbling act, that I was allowed to maintain my lineage with Ip Ching, and continue to push my Wing Chun skills to a higher level.
In 2010, I founded the West Coast Wing Chun organization to bring Sifu Kwok’s knowledge, passion for Ip Man Wing Chun, and compassion to the West Coast. Through our classes and seminars, we seek to preserve and uphold this deeply-rooted and long-standing tradition providing pure Ip Man Wing Chun to those seeking its wisdom.
“Everybody have fun tonight. Everybody Wing Chun tonight.” ~Sifu Bryan Talbot (West Coast Wing Chun – Headquarter)
Sifu Sung Choi (Chief Instructor of West Coast Wing Chun™ San Diego)
I have been interested in the Martial Arts ever since I could remember. I remember spending Saturday afternoons watching Kung Fu theater with my father and mimicking the movements and of course with the sound effects. I was lucky enough to receive some very sparse informal training from a family friend when we had a gathering of some sort but I yearned for more formal training. As soon as I received my driver’s license, the formal training began and my Martial Arts journey has not stopped from there.
I started out in the kicking arts but I have always felt like there was something missing. The art seemed a little watered down and there was more of the sporting aspect that has grown during those years. So after college, I started my search for a traditional family like martial art that focused on true defense instead of sparring to gain points. It took me many years and going through many arts before I was introduced to Wing Chun Kung Fu. I knew that this was Bruce Lee’s first art and if that was the case, then it couldn’t be half bad. The more I researched, the more I fell in love the with art. Finally in early 2003, I was lucky enough to start my training with Sifu Bryan’s lineage under the very capable hands of then Jo Gau Dan Anderson. Mr. Anderson helped me greatly adjust my body into proper Wing Chun fashion as he knew of my prior Martial Arts experience. Soon after, I was able to meet Sifu Bryan Talbot and Master Ron Heimberger and it further confirmed and solidified my belief that Wing Chun was truly the right art for me. I trained hard and I was given the opportunity to teach Siu Lim Tao, under supervision, to the beginning students by early 2004. I continued the intensity in training and teaching classes of my own under both Sifu Dan Anderson and Sifu Bryan Talbot.
In 2009, 1 year after the untimely death of Master Ron Heimberger, I found that my 2 teachers were going in slightly different directions as far as their sifu’s go and suddenly I faced a very difficult decision. No matter what decision I made, I knew that these two sifus have made a great impact in my life and my martial training and I would not be the Wing Chun Practitioner and Instructor that I am without them. I later discovered that Sifu Bryan was accepted as a student and disciple of Samuel Kwok. I heard a lot of great things from Sifu Bryan about Master Samuel Kwok and after a lot of research found that Master Kwok had a deep passion for preserving Grand Master Ip Man’s Wing Chun. Because of this and many factors, I made the decision to train with Sifu Bryan. Soon after, I had the honor of Sifu Bryan graciously accepting me as his first student and disciple under the Samuel Kwok Lineage.
We hope to bring to the San Diego area a unique and authentic Wing Chun experience through the curriculum of West Coast Wing Chun. We strive to extend Master Samuel Kwok’s knowledge, passion for Ip Man Wing Chun, and compassion to San Diego. For more information on classes in the San Diego area, call 858.848.5320 or email Sung Choi. (West Coast Wing Chun San Diego)
Lo Si Kimmy Squiers (Assistant Instructor to Sifu Bryan Talbot and is Simo to all students of West Coast Wing Chun™)
The Chinese characters for “Wu Shu” literally mean “to end violence”. It is this definition of martial arts that epitomizes its meaning in my life. As a young girl, I heard horrifying tales of how my father was abusive to my mother. So, I grew up inspired by characterizations of strong, powerful women: Wonder Woman, Xena, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I was mesmerized by martial art’s movies Ð The Legend of Drunken Master, Kill Bill and anything with Bruce Lee. I craved the security and power that I felt these fighters possessed, so I would never go through what my mother did.
However, instead of studying martial arts at a young age, I studied dance and started when I was eight. I loved it, and it empowered me to express myself and gave me a sense of peace in my life. I studied jazz, ballet, and hip-hop, which I eventually taught when I was in my twenties. Around the same time I taught dance, I began intensive work on myself that eventually led to a lifetime journey of self-growth and meditation.
Since a very young age, I had inclinations in the healing arts. I was merely ten when I first healed myself from a bump on the head. I placed my hands over the wound and suddenly, I could see purple light in my mind’s eye flowing from my hands to the wound. It felt better almost immediately, but of course I underplayed that it had happened, feeling embarrassed that people would think I was pompous for thinking I could actually heal people.
In 1997, however, I decided to embrace my talents and a career in which I could help heal other people. I became a massage therapist and quickly became interested in energy healing. I eventually became a Reiki master. As I continued in my career, I developed a style of massage that used Rolfing techniques and Myofascial release in order to help relieve pain in clients by addressing their postural and structural issues. The combination of energy work with this structural integration helped many clients heal themselves and live healthful lives.
In 2006, Sifu Bryan Talbot and I became partners after a four year friendship. After learning that I adored martial arts movies, he first introduced me to Wing Chun in 2007. At that time, however, I was busy dancing fourteen hours per week, and was teaching salsa. However, after sustaining a serious dance injury that prevented me from dancing for nine months, I asked him to show me some Kung Fu. I had tried a few martial arts classes over the years, karate and tae kwon do, but knew they weren’t what I was looking for. I never forgot my dream to learn a martial art and pestered him with questions about Wing Chun. He showed me the Siu Lim Tao form and began talking to me about Wing Chun principles. I was immediately impressed with its intelligence.
I was fortunate to attend a Grandmaster Kwok seminar in Phoenix, Arizona in 2009 with Sifu Bryan. I knew nothing about the Wing Chun I was doing, but Grandmaster’s Kwok’s passion and his ability to simplify the art captured my attention. The following year in 2010, Sifu Bryan decided to open West Coast Wing Chun and asked for my help in developing the school. It was then that I began my own intensive training in the art. I have discovered that the more I learn, the more deeply I fall in love with the art.
In 2010, Grandmaster Kwok introduced me to Chi Kung, and I finally felt like a had a true method of building and directing energy. Although Reiki helped increase my chi flow, I felt that it was a hit or miss method of transmitting chi. I didn’t feel it was something that I could really develop myself. Grandmaster Kwok’s Chi Kung, however, became the missing link in my energy healing work.
In 2011, Sifu Bryan asked me to student instruct at the school. It has been my honor and privilege to help instruct students in an art that is so incredibly smart, and to teach an art that I know will change their lives if they let it. And the thing that I have learned the most from Wing Chun is that the power and security I wanted to so badly as a child, was always there inside of myself. And that the violence that martial arts quells is not just the violence from others, but is the violence and turmoil we feel within.
Happy Journey! Simo & Lo Si Kimmy
Lo Si Lee Kim (Assistant Instructor to Sifu Bryan Talbot and is the current instructor at West Coast Wing Chun™ Layton, Utah)
At the age of 10, Lee Kim was first introduced to Lao Kune Do, by his brother-in-law. Inspired by this and Tai Chi Chuan, Lee began a long journey into self-cultivation through independent research for the next 20 years. Within those years, Lee Kim continued to train what he learned of Lao Kune Do, but eventually became interested in learning wing chun and contacted Sifu Talbot in 2010. After dedicated training, Sifu Talbot accepted Lee as a student, and shortly thereafter as a disciple. Lee has been student instructing since 2011.
Lee Kim is currently teaching out of Layton, Utah, where he recently relocated. For information on classes with Lo Si Lee Kim in Layton, please call 801-989-6062.