Continued from the Top:
Sifu Chung Kwok Chow was born in Hong Kong on 1951. At the age of fifteen he studied bodybuilding under Mr. Koo Fone, who was a Kung Fu star under Run Run Shaw. A year later, Sifu Chow began studying Chinese Karate under Master Carter Wong, who is perhaps best-known for his role as Thunder in the Kung Fu movie Big Trouble in Little China (1986). An array of styles touched Sifu Chow's curiosity, but he continued looking for a style best-suited for him. He had studied the Hung Ga with an elderly man who lived next door. He had studied Dragon Style from Master Choa Sum. At the weekends he would go to local parks and watch grown-ups practice their Kung Fu.
At the age of seventeen, Sifu Chow finally found Sifu Ng Wah Sum and began his traditional training of Wing Chun. He was fascinated by Wing Chun's economical techniques. He especially liked the 'sticky hand' sensitivity training. It allowed your techniques to go with your opponent's power, and it fitted Bruce Lee's go-with-the-flow concept, "be like water".
In 1967 Grand Master Yip Man lived only a few blocks away from Master Ng Wah Sum in Mong Kok, Kowloon, Hong Kong. Every week, Yip Man would stop by Sifu Ng Wah Sum's Kwon School to have tea. Sometimes Yip Man would give advice to Master Ng and his class. Sometimes they would go out and watch movies. Sifu Chow found Yip Man to be a humble, carefree, but extremely confident person. At that time, Yip Man already had hundreds of students.
One evening, Yip Man and Ng Wah Sum took a stroll in the neighborhood, Ng Wah Sum was fascinated by a display in a store's window. As he picked up his pace he saw three men approaching him and asking for money. Yip Man spoke calmly to the three men and said, "Why don't you guys come back with some weapons, because just three of you guys are not enough to handle me". The three men got scared and immediately ran away.
In 1970, the Wing Chun Athletic Association (WCAA) organized a grand birthday party for Yip Man's 70th birthday. One night, Sifu Ng Wah Sum brought Sifu Chung Chow to attend a WCAA meeting where Sifu Chow had the privilege of watching other Yip Man students display their martial art skills. He saw disciples like Jei Wan (Jason Lau & Francis Fong's Sifu) demonstrate closing gap footwork. He also saw Koo Sun's Chum Kiu form and Leung Ting's sticky hand form.
Sifu Chow came to New York in 1971 and visited many different martial arts schools. At times he would demonstrate some of his Wing Chun moves to the schools. During the same year, Grand Master Yip Man made his first appearance in Black Belt magazine, following the success of Bruce Lee's film The Big Boss (1971). The art of Wing Chun was suddenly in big demand. All of this motivated Sifu Chow to open up his first Wing Chun School in New York City in 1972.
The New York Wing Chun Kung Fu Club was set up at 224 Lafayette Street, New York City. The school was an instant success. Later, Sifus like Moy Yat, Duncan Leung and Jason Lau also came to New York and started their Wing Chun teaching. In one incident, Sifu Chow was challenged by one of the Sifus, who wanted to test Sifu Chow's Wing Chun skills. Sifu Chow was forced to engage in sticky hand combat with one of the Sifu's top students. In the first challenge, Sifu Chow used a "Lop Dar Chung Kuen" to his challenger's face, causing the opponent's face to swell up like a melon.
During the second challenge, after a couple of moves Sifu Chow used his Sifu's famous lightning fast Fat Sao and landed a chop on the challenger's neck and stunned him. The challenger gave up quickly. Then came the third challenger, who was a much bigger Spanish fighter. After a couple of spars, the fighter surprisingly started to ask questions about how Sifu Chow executed his techniques. Sifu Chow patiently explained his approach to his opponent. Soon afterwards, other students began gathering around Sifu Chow to watch his demonstration.
In 1973, Fu Jow Pai Master Ng Wai Hong invited select individuals to help him form the Eastern US Kung Fu Federation (EUSKFF). The initial members included Tai Chi Master William Chen, Eagle Claw System Master Shum Lleung, Praying Mantis Master Chan Pei, Hung Ga Master Frank Yee, Wing Chun Sifu Chow and other individuals. Master Wai Hong was the chairman and Sifu Chow was the secretary. EUSKFF gave Sifu Chow many opportunities to travel the country to promote Kung Fu and Wing Chun and to meet many other martial arts masters. In 1974 Sifu Chow was asked by Master Ng Wai Hong to join him in Puerto Rico to assist in making the documentary film Warrior Within (1974). Later that year, Sifu Chow, along with Master William Chen, Aikido Master Yamada, and Goju Karate Sensi Chaka Zulu joined up to demonstrate the Handbook of the Martial Arts and Self-Defense by Punk & Wagnalls Publishing Co.
Sifu Chow is the founder of Integrative Wing Chun, which carries not only the traditional Wing Chun of Yip Man's linage, but also Wing Chun to a new level. His passion for Wing Chun grows stronger as every day passes. One of Sifu Chow's favorite books is the I-Ching, which is a 5,000 year-old book about "evolution". His Integrative Wing Chun IWC is a byproduct of the I-Ching and a process of evolution. Sifu Chow has been teaching Wing Chun in New York area for over 36 years, has taught hundreds of students, and has created a total of 13 videos and a unique Wing Chun 8 Theories poster. He has three videos covering the Mok-Jong (Wooden Dummy) form alone! You can browse his video list here.