I have been practicing
the Art of Wu Family Fist (Wu Jia Quan Shu) for 25
years now, it has been a family style only passed down father to son. To my
generation, I was to continue to provide my sons the knowledge of such art.
Check out Johnny Wu's video clips, click here!
On November 1996, my dad came for a small visit and we discussed the issue
of promoting the family system. He agreed, and so, now I ran a school and
have about 15 students. The school is called Cleveland Chinese Martial
Arts Association, located at 2227 Payne Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio. Again,
if wasn't because of a person's constant support and being in my back about
opening the school, I wouldn't have done it. Thank you Aaron.
There are a total
of five instructors teaching at this location: Instructor T'shaka Brown, of
the Shaolin Style, he has been practicing for over 25 years with several world
renown masters; Master Wei-Yue Hu, a great Chinese Internal Martial Artist,
over 40 years experience and his students have won many local and national
awards. Master Buddy Wu, excellent Wing Chung instructor in the area, an actor
himself from Hong Kong; Dr. Guang Liang, great teacher of the Dragon Style
Wushu School, a recently became popular aggressive Southern system in the
USA; and myself, the Wu Family style.
In 1993, I started
to promote Chinese culture and martial arts through a local monthly publication
called Han Wei, a bilingual (Chinese & English) magazine for the Ohioans.
The purpose was to bridge the gaps between Eastern and Western culture and
have a better communication and understanding of both world. After 6 months
of hard work and writing along with my business partner John, we have pulled
our resources thin and we've decided to shut the operation down. :(
Although we stopped
printing, I continued publishing a small newsletter, Han Wei Wushu! Newsletter,
with the help of several martial artists: Ted Knecht, Nick Gracenin, Jose
Johnson, Guang Lian, Wei-Yue Hu, Buddy Wu, Salvatore Canzonieri, John Ervin,
and many others, this small publication became the voice of the Chinese Martial
Artists in the world, published from 4 pages at first to the current 8 pages,
it was distributed via Internet to over 300,000 readers (email, online services,
newsgroups, mailing lists, etc), and to over 500 hard copies was mailed every
month to martial art schools.
Thus of our continuing
effort in promoting the culture, we created our own Website - www.hanwei.com.
Han Wei Wushu! Newsletter was the FIRST martial art newsletter ever being
in circulation through the Internet as ASCII file!
The growth of
this small newsletter prompted Han Wei and myself to receive the reconnection
from National and International renown martial artists, their wiliness to
help us grow and their constant support led us to were we are now... My involvement
in traveling throughout the USA to different national tournaments has given
me a chance to meet these great masters and grandmasters, through them, I
truly learned to appreciate my opportunity to interact with these great people:
Grandmaster Huang Chien-liang, Grandmaster Wai Hong, Grandmaster Cai Hong-Xiang,
Late-Grandmaster Fu Zhong-wen, Grandmaster He Wei-Qi, Grandmaster Wang Ju-rong,
Dr. Wu Zheng-de, and many others.
From 1994 to
1995, I've organized several activities, including Li Wah Restaurant Chinese
New Years Celebration (yearly event), Cleveland State University's International
Student Day event, Organization of Chinese Americans of Greater Cleveland,
John Carroll University and many local organizations, and have worked in conjunction
with Master Nick Gracenin (one of the great teachers I admire his skill and
dedication, and his students always win awards from Regional to National and
even International events!) of Sharon, PA, and many regional events. On a
national scale I attended several great martial art events such as the US
Kuoshu Championship held every year in July, organized by Grandmaster
Huang Chien-Liang, one of the most distinctive and honored martial artist
in the world. During this time, I have also prepared 3 martial arts demonstrations,
each lasted for 2 hours on several places in Cleveland, the overwhelmed responses
from spectators and all prompted me to start thinking of a National scale
16, 1995, I organized the 1995 Han Wei National
Martial Arts Championship, a tournament open to all styles, all schools,
all systems, marketing within our neighbor states and expanding through California.
We invited over 5000 schools to participate! Many international masters and
grandmasters participated, although the outcome was not what we've expected,
this was the breaking point of my organizational skill.
Soon after, I've
received many calls and was asked to participated in many other events, including
being inducted to the United Kung Fu Federation
of North America, and within a few months, I was the Regional Director
for the Great Lakes and the USA Promoter for this organization.
The Cleveland Chinese Martial Arts Association was officially established
in 1995 right after the tournament, it was one of my dream, to have my own
martial art center where many instructors can teach and promote their arts.
At this place, we have Master Buddy Wu, Instructor T'shaka Brown, Master Wei-Yue
Hu, Dr. Guang Liang and myself. If it wasn't because of the encouragement
I kept receiving in 1995 from a very dear friend, I wouldn't have thought
possible to have it opened.
In 1996, we organized
the 1996 Han Wei National Martial Arts Championship,
this was the biggest event ever held in the Great Lakes Region, people around
the USA and Canada all came for the event, we even have masters flew all the
way from Australia to participate! More than 2,000 people attended and it
received many great support and comments afterward.
2 years of organizing
the tournaments have worn me out, I needed a break so in 1997, we only did
several small events, On September 27, 1997, we performed for the Diversity
Gala at John Carroll University, we will have our school performing
for 30 mins starting at 2pm including the Lion Dance. At that same
day, the Organization of Chinese Americans of Greater Cleveland hosted
the Chinese Moon Festival Celebration at Hunan Gourmet located
at 3614 Euclid Avenue. I was the Master of Ceremony and I've recruited
a few of my friends to help out (James Schneider, Eric Vaeseen, Eddie Frye,
and David Bohm), we had a great comedian by George Lieu and probably the youngest
Comedian in Cleveland David Valent performed. As well as Future of Magic,
Eric Brouman and a few good martial arts and Lion Dance performances. It was
wonderful, me and David took turned DJing and till now, we still receive many
applauds and comments that it was a great success (btw, it was the MOST unconventional
event we ever coordinated for the OCAGC's Moon Festival Celebration in Cleveland
for the past 20 years). On October 31, to November 2nd, 1997, I performed
for the A Weekend with the Stars organized by The Martial Arts Gallery
of Fame at Beachwood's Holiday Inn. Many movie starts including Eric Lee,
Cynthia Rothrock will be there... *joy*. On December 1997, I organized and
hosted, at Lakeside Holiday Inn, we celebrated the OCAGA Christmas
Gala, magic show, raffle tickets and dance. David Bohm and I both DJed
(David has been DJing at the Grid -
a club in downtown - every Wednesday from 7pm to 9pm while I am learning to
do VJing at the Grid as well). We were
great, and after that event, we were asked to do different DJing but it was
enough for us in 1997 ;)
1998 has become
a very busy year for me, tournaments to attend, places to go, demonstrations
to be planned, and all...Recently I got officially inducted into the International
Karate & Kickboxing Hall of Fame, I will be presented a plaque
at the 1998 Han Wei National Martial Arts
Championship (which I'm organizing it for the last time) it will be held
at Cleveland State University's Woodling Gym on October 3rd, 1998!
Well, this is
how I got involved in the martial arts community here in Cleveland.