A Few More Words About Us

Our Founder, Master Tat-Mau Wong





Originally from Hong Kong, Master Tat-Mau Wong has been involved in martial arts since 1963. He spent many years under the great instruction of the late GrandMaster Lee Koon Hung. There he assisted Master Lee at his Choy Lay Fut School, as well as teaching both Kung Fu & Judo to hundreds of his own students at a Hong Kong association and at the Hong Kong University. Master Wong was also part of the Hong Kong full- Contact and performance team. The performance team included GrandMaster Lee Koon Hung and Master Shek Kin (‘Mr Han’ from the Bruce Lee movie Enter the Dragon). Together they traveled to France, Seattle, New York, Boston, and San Francisco, USA, between the years of 1972 and 1982 and wowed the crowds with their unique style & skill. It was as one of Southeast Asia’s most formidable full-contact fighters and forms champion that Master Wong was most recognized. However, it wasn’y until after moving to the United States in 1983 and opening up the first Tat Wong Kung Fu Academy in San Francisco that his reputation & influence grew internationally.

Now, after over forty years of martial arts experience & dedication, Master Tat-Mau Wong is world renowned as a leader in Chinese martial arts.

With several Bay Area locations, as well associations in Connecticut, Brazil and Chile, Master Wong’s Academies have become a center for thousands of people of all ages to get in shape, learn self-defense, and benefit physically & mentally through the art of Kung Fu.

In his continuing efforts to develop Chinese martial arts, he is SanShou Chairman for the United States Wushu Kung Fu Federation and Pan American Wushu Federation. He also serves as President of the Pan American Choy Lay Fut Kung Fu Federation. And in August 2008, Master Wong was elected as the USA Team Head Coach for the Wushu Tournament Beijing 2008, held in conjunction with the 2008 Summer Olympics, Beijing.



Our Philosophy

We are a traditional Kung Fu school with a modern flavor. Traditional means hard training, discipline, and authentic Kung Fu as passed on to us by our masters. It means that you earn your skills through repetition over time, and you advance by merit. It means that we follow Kung Fu traditions of non-violence, respect, and physical/mental improvement. It means that you will be getting a workout in each class, to improve your strength, speed, flexibility, and endurance. But it also means fun, exciting classes taught by patient instructors. We want you to enjoy your training; it’s the Tat Wong way! Kung Fu, the oldest of the martial arts, is the basis of Karate and Taekwondo. We teach kickboxing, self-defense and intricate, practical forms to kids and adults. There’s something for everyone, children, teens, and adults, beginners and Black Belts.

On the walls of the Academy are the ancient Chinese characters that portray the essence of the true martial artist in Kung Fu:  Kindness, Integrity, Wisdom, and Bravery.  The meaning and values behind these four powerful characters is the Academy’s underlying philosophy. Kung Fu is not just kicking and punching: it is a commitment to improving oneself in all aspects.  It is these four characters that give inspiration to students and instructors alike, as daily reminders of our purpose. Our Student Creed, in which we promise to use our skills only in self-defense, is also a promise to try to develop our discipline in order to bring out the best in ourselves and others. We believe in effort, which, combined with time, produces Kung Fu, a literal meaning of which is “hard work.”

The Tat Wong teaching philosophy is one of balancing the traditional Kung Fu with the modern. This approach allows students to gain the most out of learning the ancient and extremely effective art of Kung Fu while building the underlying spirit of the true martial artist. Learning self-defense, getting in shape, and gaining confidence are the most immediate and real benefits in studying at Tat Wong Kung Fu Academy. Learning to apply the Kung Fu spirit and philosophy in all aspects of life is the greatest benefit. In our children’s classes, we help your kids focus their efforts to succeed in everything they do, and to learn the discipline necessary for life’s challenges. Our adult and teen classes challenge the student to improve themselves physically, mentally, and emotionally, and provide opportunities for challenge and leadership, while getting into great physical shape and relieving the stress of daily life. Kung Fu embraces all aspects of martial arts training: self-defense, physical conditioning, intense focus, grappling and takedowns and all manner of striking. If you’ve taken Karate, Taekwondo, Kenpo, or kickboxing, you will find that Kung Fu enhances and deepens your knowledge, refining it while you learn about power and speed and the relaxed “flow” typical of the Chinese martial arts.

Our Style

A traditional school teaches one style of Kung Fu, or Karate, Taekwondo, Muay Thai, Jiujitsu, Aikido, etc.  Our style of Kung Fu is Choy Lay Fut, a complete martial art in which ancient traditions blend with practical self-defense and fighting techniques. Choy Lay Fut Kung Fu is both broad and deep, whether with hands and feet or the classical 18 weapons of Kung Fu, its fighting philosophy is not limited to one style, but is fierce, flexible, and varied.

Choy Lay Fut began in the 1830′s. Its founder, Chan-Heung, combined Shaolin Kung Fu techniques from the northern and southern regions of China. One of its descriptive nicknames is “northern feet and southern hands,” referring to its wide array of kicks and strikes.   A style known for practicality more than flash, it combines fierce hand and foot techniques with grappling and takedowns. Bruce Lee said that it is best style for defending against more than one attacker. Unlike so many modern schools, which teach an incomplete mishmash of techniques, with instructors claiming expertise in multiple styles (because they’ve mastered none), we stay with Choy Lay Fut because it is time- and combat-tested, broad, deep, and complex.

Whether you are 4 or 40, 16 or 60, you will find excitement, challenge, fitness, and a wealth of physical and mental benefits from your training in our style.