Sigung Bryan Talbot

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.