How The Gwoon Was Developed
My Sifu within the art of Wing Chun
Sifu Mark Stanbridge
Grand Master Ip Man
Ip Man, who grew up to become a police officer in Fatsan, studied with Chan Wa Shun until Chan’s death. Ip Man initially did not teach his Wing Chun to the public, only to his two sons, Ip Chun and Ip Ching. During
World War II the Japanese invaded China and plundered the Ip family estate. In 1949 Ip Man moved to Hong Kong and began to teach Wing Chun for a living. In addition to his two sons, Ip Man had many famous students, including Bruce Lee (Lee Jun Fan), Wong Shun Leung, Hawkins Cheung, Tsui Sheung Tin, Moy Yat, and William Cheung. Around 1970 Ip Man retired from actively teaching, passing away in 1972 at the age of 81. In 1968 Ip Man had founded the Hong Kong Ving Tsun (Wing Chun) Athletic Association,
which carries on his memories and teachings to this very day.
My Sifu within Tai Chi Ch'uan Yang Style, Cheng Man-Ching
Grandmaster Walter Morley
About Cheng Man-Ching
Cheng Man-Ching was born in Yongjia, Zhejiang Province He died March 26, 1975. Cheng was trained in Chinese medicine, Tai Chi Chuan, calligraphy, painting and poetry. Because of his skills in these five areas
(among some of the traditional skills and pastimes of a Confucian scholar in traditional China) he was often referred to as the "Master of Five Excellences." Because he had been a college professor, his students called
him "Professor Cheng." Cheng Man-Ching, an important figure in the history of Tai Chi Chuan, has been famous for his widely recognized Tai Chi form and his experience. Among various styles of Tai Chi, the Yang-style short form represented by him is also very famous.
November 2000 - Gwoon Opens its Doors
On the 15th November 2000, the Gwoon or school opened its doors to the public, to share our knowledge to the community. The development started slowly, and it was quite hard to get the club established, so we all had to work as a team. In the beginning there were only four of us who started the ball rolling, they were Anita Sainsbury, Paul Givens, Andrew Allsopp (no relation) and myself Garry Allsopp.
July 2001 - Phab Club Jarrow
Men's health day at the Phab club Jarrow, on 19th July 2001, had various events in the attempt to make men more aware of health issues, Cutting down on bad eating habits, Smoking, and drinking to excess was part of the day as well as getting more exercise, Sijo Garry Allsopp and his Dragons were invited to show the health benefits of martial arts and that everyone, any age or condition could derive some benefit from practicing the slow and gentle exercise of Wing Tai Ch'uan.
The Mayor of South Tyneside was seen applying an arm lock on Sijo Garry Allsopp, which gained the Mayor some respect and frightened looks at the town hall from some of the staff, once they saw the photo that was in the local Gazette.
October 2001 - Official Opening
The official opening of the Mu Lung Wushu Gwoon on 2nd October 2001, was a marvellous team effort By Sijo Garry Allsopp and all the Wooden Dragon Team, who spent weeks planning and preparing for the open day. the Mu Lung Wushu Gwoon banner was designed and made by Sijo Garry Allsopp by hand. The students did a lot of cooking and a special cake; it was a true family atmosphere. Among the special guests were the deputy Mayoress and the consort, and well respected Martial artist and a successful author, Geoff Thompson.
It originally started as an inspirational thought, after meeting well-known martial artist and author Geoff Thompson at one of his book signings at Waterstone’s Book Store in Grey Street Newcastle Upon Tyne in the year 2000. I never thought that the development of the
club would escalate and mature to how it is today.It is amazing how you can talk to someone you do not know, and jump in with both feet to see if you can swim. When I pursued the opening of the Martial Art Club, I was going on the inspirations given to me by Geoff Thompson, as he had already worn the T-shirt, and is now at the top of his Zenith, so I felt it was now my turn to start climbing.
Both Geoff and Sijo Garry tried A few moves and then Geoff certified Sijo Garry Allsopp by signing the official Certificates to declare, Sijo Garry Allsopp as founder of Wing Tai Ch'uan Un-Stylistic Gung-Fu.
The karma was fantastic when Geoff, Sharon (Geoff's wive) and the consort cut the ribbon to officially open the Gung-Fu School. After the ribbon been cut, the students had photos taken and they each kept a piece of the ribbon that Geoff / Sharon and the Consort had cut during the opening ceremonies.
Geoff Thompson / Consort and Sharon Thompson
November 2001 - Wing Tai Ch'uan Display
In November 2001 some of my students and I, performed a small demonstration, at the Elmbridge Leisure Centre in Surrey, a kind of comedy/Martial Arts performance and Wing Tai Ch'uan concept rolled together during the kick boxing championships that year. This was our first major exposure of the Wing Tai Ch'uan concept in front of an audience of 500 approx! our demostration was a success on the night. It was hard work, with great team spirit by all members of the Mu Lung Wushu Gwoon and a big thank you to our Governing Body MAAS (Martial Arts All Styles) Soke Brian Dossett, For their support.
Soke Brian Dossett with the Wooden Dragons
May 2002 - Display for Cancer Research UK
On the 25th May 2002 the Mu Lung Wushu Gwoon, showed off their Martial
Art skills, to the community to raise money for cancer research UK.
All of the students trained very hard over the weekend and when the Big Day was getting
Closer, the excitement was very high. We started with Chi Gungs then Street Self-Defence and so on, we entertained the crowd for 30 minutes and we brought the house down. This was the first charity event for the Wooden Dragons; the festival overall raised £1,112.80p, what an excellent effort the Wooden Dragon Students put in, to make a good event even greater by helping to raise money for such a good cause.
Sijo Garry Allsopp was awarded a certificate in recognition of the hard work that had been achieved. Thank you to Sensei Peter Seth who is the founder of the Sunderland International Festival of Martial Arts, if it was not for this man, all of the martial artists
Would not be able to do a good cause for charity for their community.
International Competition MAAS
The Mu Lung Wushu Gwoon is growing from strength to strength. We travelled All over the UK, to show the unique blend of Wing Tai Ch'uan Gung-Fu. We welcome other Martial Artists into our Gwoon or School, to share knowledge of the different ways you can adapt the techniques to work for your body structure. Sijo Garry Was an Offical for MAAS and a Judge, for the Spirit Combat fighter's, within Street Defence.
Elmbridge Leisure Centre in Surrey,
Spirit Combat Street Defence Competition
Sensei David Bland, Spirit Combat International at the Mu Lung Wushu Gwoon, Jarrow, South Tyneside.
Master Bao Guo Ma visits Mu Lung wushu Gwoon
Chinese Masters walk through the doors of the Mu Lung Wushu Gwoon , so you can see that East meets West, which is what I call a Family of the Martial Arts, without politics. What a fantastic feeling to be united as one.
There is a photo of Master Ma and Sijo Garry Allsopp, immediately creating a bond of friendship. Master Ma gives Sijo Garry much respect and told Sijo that his Wing Tai Ch'uan is a very good Martial Art to learn. This was a very high honour for a Chinese master to pay respects to a westerner, as this is practically unheard of and only happens on very few occasions.
We were invited to Master Ma's humble home for lunch; there were four of my students and myself Sijo Garry.
This was a good sign and the karma that surrounded us, was an excellent feeling for us all. It proves that know matter what part of the world you come from, we are looking for the similar things that life offers us; happiness / tranquillity and harmony, and the spirit that we have, unique within are ourselves.
East meets West Master Bao Guo Ma, Chen Style Taijiquan Sijo Garry Allsopp Founder of Wing Tai Ch'uan Un-Stylistic Gung-Fu.
You can see they have big respect for Each other, Martial Art Brothers.
Thank you Master Ma and to Michael Ma attending at the Mu Lung Wushu Gwoon. Demonstrating your unique Chen style within the Taijiquan. In the year 2002.
The Mu Lung Wushu Gwoon has only been around for 3 years and 9 Months. We started from nothing and made it into something, this is the true way of the Yin and Yang Structure. It happen all by itself, but only if you put the right energies into it.
June 2002 - Gung Fu at Mortimer Secondary School
On 25th June 2002, Sijo Garry Allsopp and The Wooden Dragon Students held a Gung - Fu workshop at Mortimer Secondary School South Shields. This workshop was designed to teach the principles of self-defence to understand that martial arts is meant to be non-aggressive, used for defence only and not for bullying others.
Workshops within library's
In July 2002 Sijo Garry was ask to do a talk about the health benefits of Wing Tai Ch'uan Gung-Fu, at the local library's around the northeast. These consisted of Jarrow, Boldon Lane and George Square Central Library South Shields. The main library in South Shields,
contacted Sijo Garry Allsopp to see if he would be able to spare any of his time to help the Community Awareness of Health & Fitness. Since the aim of Wing Tai Ch'uan is to help others, Sijo Garry whole heartedly agreed to give his time and expertis
at no cost, except the occasional cup of tea.