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.

Why ancient weapons?

The two men face each other across a path.  It is one man’s assignment to guard the path, the other’s assignment to take it.  They maneuver, each seeking an opening in the other’s defenses.  The man guarding the path is holding a spear, known among the...

Baduajin Qigong

Breath leaves my lungs in a slow, measured fashion; matching the duration of each movement of my arms.  My hands feel warm, the result of increased blood flow in response to mind’s following both breath and movement.  My eyes either follow the movement of my...

Chan Si Jing

My hands move around me. They spiral and turn performing the shape of the Yin Yang symbol.  As they do, and I turn horizontally from the waist; I can feel the area of the Dan Tian, (abdominal muscles), making circles.  My legs are creating rotational energy,...

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