Our sifu

Warrior. Scholar. Master.

Years Studying

Years Teaching


Steve Cottrell began studying Kung-Fu at the age of ten.  He has trained with many Chinese masters both in the United States and in China over the last 50 years.  Though he has studied several styles of Kung-Fu, Sifu Cottrell reserves teaching to three styles; Wing Chun Kuen in the Ip Man tradition, Bei Tanglang Quan, (Northern Mantis) in the Wong Honfan tradition and Taiji Quan in the Song Xujin tradition.

In traditional Kung-Fu competitions held in China, Sifu Cottrell has been a Gold Medalist on multiple occasions. Today, however, he focuses his teaching of Kung-Fu as a way to develop and sharpen oneself both physically and mentally. As such, he emphasizes training in Kung-Fu for physical development, health maintenance and self-defense.  Sifu Cottrell believes that, to experience the full depth of what Kung-Fu has to offer, one must train in the art as it was originally intended; a profound study of personal combat.

Sifu Cottrell’s experience in real-world violence ranges from his time in law enforcement and investigations to being an instructor for U.S. special operations and counter terror units.  He brings this perspective to the study of the traditional fighting arts of China.  At Authentic Kung-Fu, one learns to use one’s Kung-Fu to the same measures once used by the U.S. military.

Able to read and speak Chinese, Sifu Cottrell offers classes in Mandarin to those students interested. Moreover, Sifu Cottrell lectures regularly on the philosophy of Kung-Fu. His unique understanding of the language, history and culture and of China are indispensable for explaining concepts that are unfamiliar to Westerners.


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.

Wen and Wu: Our Blog

Kung Fu isn’t merely a martial art, it’s a way of life. We’re always at work to explore our craft, better understand our world, and preserve the ancient art of Kung Fu.

The Stabbing Fist

I jump forward, doing a chest level heel kick.  At the same time my hand shoots forward; the intent being that the opponent would be distracted by the hand and the kick would land.  I am performing a set.  A set is a collection of techniques put...

Da Dao

My training partner and I face each other across the field.  In his hands is a staff. But it is being held as if one were fighting with a rifle bayonet.  In my hands is a two-handed sword. It has an extremely wide blade.  Suddenly, my partner springs...


Many years ago, I was walking through the gym when I came upon someone I had met while visiting a local Karate school.  “Hello!” I said.  “How are things at your school?”  He shook his head and said, “I don’t train there anymore.  I realized that...

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