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Christian Martial Arts
Si-Fu Phil Bradley
Instructor Level 4
Headman, Arizona Wing Chun Association
I began training in the martial arts in 1976 in the H.K.Kim style of taekwondo. Joining the United States Army in 1983 and attaining 2nd degree black belt in 1985, I was introduced to a variety of various fighting methods. One of them was Wing Chun, and it changed my entire outlook on martial arts.
I moved to Phoenix, Arizona in 1986 and found Si-Fu Keith Sonnenberg, the first American disciple of Grandmaster Leung Ting’s Wing Tsun system (since renamed to WingTsun). I feel very fortunate to have found Wing Tsun in that it focuses on attaining useful protective skills very quickly. It is straight-forward, to the point, and does not include ‘fluff’ like many other arts I had previously experienced.
From 1986 to mid 1990, I was honored to attend a variety of seminars hosted by Master Leung, as well as Si-Fu Emin Boztepe. The opportunities for training in the greater Phoenix area were exploding, and I was fortunate to have had the opportunities to experience WT taking hold here.
During this time, I also began learning of other lineages and styles. Admittedly, my knowledge of Wing Chun was quite limited outside of the WT lineage, but the more I learned, the more fascinating it became. There were also events within the organization that was forcing a change to our training, and after a hard decision, I eventually left WT. Seeking out masters of WT and also practitioners from other lineages, I was fortunate to expand my understanding of where Wing Chun comes from and it developed through the years. I was fortunate to make a lot of friends within these families, and to experience a wide variety of excellent practitioners.
I founded the Arizona Wing Chun Association in 1993, teaching small, semi-private classes in the Phoenix, Glendale and Peoria areas. In 1998 I was honored to reconnect with a WingTsun brother, Dai-SiFu Don Grose, who was now the headman of the internationally-acclaimed Tucson Ving Tsun Academy and President of the International Ving Tsun Kung Fu Federation. The AWCA became an Arizona affiliate of the IVTKFF and our training has excelled ever since.
The AWCA is a Yip Man family lineage and my instructors were/ are:
Since founding the AWCA, the ‘environment’ of what we do has seen the art tested on quite a few occasions. From single to multiple challenges – both armed and unarmed – Wing Chun has seen me through. I am still here, still training, and still passing on the art as it was taught to me and from what I have learned in my own experiences.
I know first-hand what Wing Chun is capable of, that it works efficiently, and that it works for everyone who puts in the time to train it. It is not a bullet-proof vest, of course, but it is certainly reliable.
From 2001 to 2002, Phil served as Chief Director for the Commission of Technique and Member of the Director Committee, European Ving Tsun Kung Fu Federation (EVTKFF). Various martial arts he has trained in since 1976 include:
- Wing Tsun/Wing Chun/Ving Tsun
- Western boxing
- Muay Thai
- American eclectic kickboxing
- Jeet Kune Do concepts
- Escrima (Rene Latosa system, trained during WingTsun training)
- Shorin-ryu karate (3 months during research)
- Fred Villari’s Shaolin Kempo (4 months during research)
- Taekwondo (9 years, H.K.Kim style)
- U.S.Army combatives training, 1983-1986 (specializing in Krav Maga)
- Various ground fighting and grappling concepts
In addition to training and teaching Wing Chun, Phil works full-time in the Information Technology field, as well as freelancing as a technical writer, editor, and multimedia developer of eLearning applications and methodologies. He is married, has three daughters, two dogs and a parrot that likes to answer the phone.