WING  CHUN  KUNG  FU  詠春拳

MICHAEL MILITANO

LEGEND

While Chinese Kung Fu has existed for thousands of years, Wing Chun Kung Fu is approximately 350 years old, making it a relatively modern system, and the only one known to have been developed by a woman. Fearing  that the Shaolin monks were preparing to overthrow the Manchurian government, the Manchurian army attacked the Shaolin temple, burned it, and slaughtered the members of the monastery. The five masters who escaped the massacre were known as the five elders. Among them was a nun, and by some accounts a high priestess known as Ng Mui. When the elders dispersed, Ng Mui escaped to the mountains. In seclusion, she began devising a system in preparation to defend herself against the Manchurian army. She designed the new system to be a direct, minimalist fighting system that excluded aerial attacks, low stances, spins and extravagant, stylized movements.

As she developed the system, she periodically descended the mountain for food and clothing supplies. In the village, she met Yim Wing Chun, a young woman who, with her father, was being harassed and pressured by a local thug for Yim Wing Chun's hand in marriage. Upon learning of their predicament, Ng Mui took Yim Wing Chun as a student and began teaching her the new system. It was agreed that if the brute defeated Yim Wing Chun in combat, she would marry him; if she defeated him, she would be free. At the appointed time, Yim Wing Chun won the match, and Ng Mui continued to share the system with her protegée. Yim Wing Chun in turn passed the system to her husband Leung Bok Chao, who named it 'Wing Chun' in honor of his wife.

Some derivatives of Wing Chun claim that the movements of Wing Chun are inspired by animals, but the critical attributes of Wing Chun (precise positioning, angles, sensitivity, simultaneous blocking and striking) are complex, requiring human coordination, and the capacity to calculate a complex defense-attack using physics, as opposed to the primal reactions of animals and the animal styles (crane, snake, monkey, tiger, etc.).

The system of Wing Chun was passed down orally through generations of exclusive societies until the twentieth century. While Ip Man was teaching in Hong Kong, Jiu Wan was continuing advanced studies in Wing Chun under Chan Wah Shun. When he arrived in Hong Kong, Jiu Wan approached Ip Man who also studied under Chan Wah Shun, and was therefore his elder Kung Fu brother. Out of respect,  Jiu Wan asked for Ip Man's permission to teach Wing Chun in Hong Kong too. Ip Man open-heartedly welcomed him to teach in Hong Kong, and presented him with an official sign that stated, 'Pure Wing Chun', and bore his name as a personal endorsement. They were close compeers for the rest of their lives. In December of 1972, Ip Man died. His passing was followed by Bruce Lee's in July of 1973, and then Jiu Wan's death in 1974.

Being the son of martial artists in the Chinese Opera, Jason Lau began studying the Shaolin styles from an early age. At twelve years of age, he chose  to pursue training in Wing Chun under Grandmaster Jiu Wan. At age nineteen, he left Hong Kong for New York, as per his parents' wishes and began teaching Wing Chun to the Chinese community in Chinatown before opening a school in Flatbush, Brooklyn. Upon Jiu Wan's death, Jason Lau inherited the title of Grandmaster, and that same year took on an exceptionally promising disciple student (Michael Militano).  Upon leaving New York, he entrusted his school to Sifu Militano, and became General Mitchell Werbell III's personal bodyguard, and the chief instructor of the counter-terrorist training camp known as SIONICS. Grandmaster Jason Lau is the owner of the Wing Chun Academy in Smyrna, Georgia. 

 

BIOGRAPHY

 Michael Militano was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York during the American Golden Age of Martial Arts of the 1960-70s. Growing up in tough neighborhoods, he demonstrated exceptional aptitude as a fighter and an athlete. He studied boxing, wrestling, Karate, Jiu Jitsu, gymnastics, but in time he became inspired by Bruce Lee to study Wing Chun. He attempted to enroll in local Wushu and Karate schools to prove his peers wrong when they taunted him about his hero-inspired interest in Wing Chun, but nevertheless, a series of serendipitous dead ends sent him across the street from his high school to the newly opened 'Shaolin Temple Wing Chun', where he began studying Wing Chun at the age of sixteen. 

While he was just a beginner student, Michael Militano's grasp of Wing Chun gave him a dominant edge over advanced fighters and his previous trainers. Under the sole instruction of Master Jason Lau, he advanced prodigiously. He began Chi Sao within two and a half months. Four months later, he received the second form. Seeing his tremendous potential, Grandmaster Lau urged him to leave boxing behind and focus on Wing Chun exclusively. It wasn't long before Michael Militano dedicated himself to Wing Chun, his sifu, and the school. Within months of completing the wooden dummy level, Jason Lau repeatedly insisted that young Militano begin teaching at the school. Michael was reluctant to teach because he was so young and would rather have focused on learning and training, but after many months and an ultimatum, Michael Militano began his instructorship, and was entrusted with the school when Master Lau relocated to Georgia. 

Grandmaster Jason Lau recognized that, in addition to a rare gift, Michael Militano possessed a rare set of attributes that made him an ideal martial artist in the ancient Chinese sense; he was a combination of extreme dedication and outstanding character. Grandmaster Lau was in fact, so impressed with Michael Militano's sincere humility and dogged loyalty, that he discipled him as 'Lau's Loyal Treasure'.

 

Although Bruce Lee was his inspiration for the martial arts (especially Wing Chun), Sifu Militano proudly credits Jason Lau as his only teacher and sole influence in Wing Chun Kung Fu. The attention to detail is an outstanding trait of the lineage under Jiu Wan and Grandmaster Jason Lau, and Sifu Militano upholds the highest standard of depth of comprehension and proven efficacy. 

 

TIMELINE

1974

Begins training under Sifu Jason Lau at

Shaolin Temple Wing Chun in Flatbush, Brooklyn.

1977

Appointed to teach in Jason Lau's school.

1978

Achieves Chief Instructor title after completing

a double test for Instructor and Chief Instructor.

1980

Placed in full charge of Jason Lau's school in Brooklyn.

1981

Received Top Achiever Certificate - Chief Instructor of Wing Chun 

for SIONICS (awarded by Jason Lau

and Lt. General Mitchell Werbell III, R.F.A.A.)

1984

Teaches Wing Chun at Queens Lighthouse -

Home for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

1985

Certified to instruct U.S. National Guard in Bhutan.

1992

Awarded title of Master Instructor.

Produces sold-out martial arts show-

Masters in Action for 2 consecutive years.

Co-founded Unified Martial Arts Federation.

1993

Develops and directs annual martial arts

tournament at the Boys’ Club of New York until 1998.

1993

Students of Michael Militano take 1st place

in each weight division of competitive Chi Sao at Wai Hong's 

Fu Jow Pai tournament in Chinatown's Open Kung Fu competition.

1994

Students of Michael Militano return to Fu Jow Pai to prove   their victories were well-deserved and not attributable to luck.  

The students place 1st in each weight division again.

2007

Teaches Wing Chun intensive to instructors at

the New York Police Academy Tactical Unit.

LINEAGE

Ng Mui

|

Yim Wing Chun

|

Leung Bok Chau

|

Leung Lan Kwai

|

Wong Wah Bo

|

Leung Yi Tai

|

Leung Jan

|

Chan Wah Shun

|

|

Jiu Wan

|

Jason Lau (Lau Wai)

|

Michael Militano

Alan Goldberg

Louis Oscar

Eddie Berger

Chris Burke

|

Ip Man (aka Yip Man)

 |

Bruce Lee

Ip Ching

Ip Chun

et al.

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