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Sifu Steve Cottrell
Sifu Steve Cottrell began studying Kung-Fu in 1966. He has trained in several styles of Chuantong (traditional) Gongfu but reserves teaching to three fighting arts: Wing Chun Kuen (Everlasting Spring Boxing) in the Yip Man tradition, Bei Tanglang (Northern Mantis Boxing) in the Wong Hon Fun tradition and Yang Taiji Quan. He has trained in both the United States and Asia, where he served as a law enforcement and investigations officer, as a liaison to foreign police, as a representative for the humane treatment of U.S. prisoners abroad, and in refugee resettlement operations.
Not merely a theorist, Sifu Cottrell's martial experience ranges from full contact matches to actual combat while executing his duties with the United States government. Sifu Cottrell has also been an instructor for military counter terrorist and special operations units. These experiences have been instrumental in the development of the unique approach to training used at Authentic Kung-Fu. The real-world lessons learned have been condensed into Authentic Kung-Fu's Hard Target PDS program, the only personal safety program ever to be endorsed by a Health Maintenance Organization in the United States.
Sifu Cottrell and his students have trained with some of the world's foremost authorities on Kung-Fu. Sifu Cottrell and his Wing Chun students train with respected instructor Sifu Alan Lamb. Sifu Cottrell and his Tanglang students have trained in the United States with Sifu Henry Chung, under the guidance of his father, the venerable Grandmaster Ho Yin Chung. In China, they have trained with Li Dalin of Shanghai Qixing Tanglang; Yu Yongsheng of Yantai Qixing Tanglang; and Qingdao's great master of Shaolin Jingang Qixing Tanglang, the late Kang Zhiqiang. In Beijing, Sifu Cottrell and his Taiji students train with Song Xujin, one of China's most senior and knowledgeable Yang Taiji masters. Sifu Cottrell has trained extensively in the more advanced aspects of Northern Mantis and was a student of Grandmaster Chung's Kung-Fu brother, the late renowned Tanglang Quan master Sifu Brendan Lai.
In 1998 Sifu Cottrell won first place at the Traditional Wu-Shu competition held in Jinan, China. He stands as the U.S. representative of the Yantai Boxing Association as a recognized sifu of Northern Mantis in the Wong Hon Fun tradition. Sifu Cottrell and his students have been featured in Master's Demonstrations at prestigious martial arts events in the West and Asia, and Sifu Cottrell was privileged to perform at Grandmaster Chung's retirement ceremony in 1998. In 2002 Sifu Cottrell won two gold medals in traditional Gongfu competitions in Yantai, China.
Having a master's degree in education and language skills in seven languages, including Chinese and Korean, Sifu Cottrell brings a unique perspective to the study of Kung-Fu that truly combines both the Wen, or liberal arts, and the Wu, or martial studies.
A published author, Sifu Cottrell is also the principle performer in a 13-tape series, "Wing Chun For Combat" and co-hosts a tape series with Sifu Alan Lamb, "The Wing Chun Master's Series." Both series have been distributed internationally and stand as two of the most thorough treatments of Wing Chun to date. In 2003 he began publishing Mantis Quarterly, a newsletter featuring technical, cultural and historical information on Tanglang Quan written by some of the world's best Tanglang practitioners. In 2005, Sifu Cottrell held a meeting of Mantis Boxing teachers in Cleveland, Ohio. This meeting, the First North American Mantis Boxing Conference, was a unique event in the history of Mantis Boxing, as it was the first time instructors from many different families of Mantis Boxing came together and shared with others how they fight. A DVD of this event was made available to the public in December 2006. In 2009 Sifu Cottrell will publish a Chinese language course that will teach practitioners to read the extensive works of his Si Gong (martial grandfather), Wong Hon Fun.
A warrior and a scholar, Sifu Cottrell's personality has been defined by the arts he has practiced and the real world venues in which he has lived out their philosophy and techniques. His desire is that the benefits of Authentic Kung-Fu be made available to all who wish them.