Our Kung Fu Linage

This is the linage of the Kung Fu you are learning. This shows where the style of Kung Fu came from and how it got to you.


Shaolin Founder
420 – 479

Han Ching Tung or Tan

sl_holder2-480x360Years unkown

An expert in Chin Na

Our Chin Na Sets are from what is seen being taught by Han Ching Tung.

Han, being from southern China, also where Peter’s wife is from, leads us me to believe the studied with Han Ching Tung.

This is coberated by Master Gary Torres, a senior student of Peter Kwok, who has in Peter’s hand writing this name.

Wang Zi Ping

1881 – 1973

sl_holder3-480x360Shaolin Master known for his Cha Chuan and Tan Toi

Wang, Zi-Ping was born in Hebei Province, in a town called Cang, also known as Cangzhou 1881 and died at 93 years old.

He started his Wushu training at age six and became an expert in many styles of Wushu.  He was well versed in all the major weapons, in qinna, shuaijiao, free fighting, hard qigong, soft qigong, light body techniques and many more.

He was acclaimed as a well rounded martial artist.  At the same time, he was also a famous expert in traumatology.  He combined his adept knowledge of qinna with his bone setting skills.

 Wang Zi Ping was an expert in Baji, Pigua, Xingyi, Taiji, Chaquan, Huaquan, Hongquan, and Paoquan… He can lift over one thousand pounds of weights and therefore was better known as a Thousand Pound strong man, more than an expert in Wushu.

Grandmaster Peter Kwok

pk_holder5-480x360Kwok Wong Ngai/Guo He Yi
Year Born Not Known
Northern Shaolin Chuan
Founder of Peter Kwoks Kung Fu Academy

The Shaolin lineage of the Peter Kwok system is murky at best.  Unfortunately, China Hand Kung Fu Academy only knows a couple facts about whom Grandmaster Peter Kwok studied Shaolin with.

We were told that Peter Kwok started his training at the age of 7 years old.  His father was a Shaolin Master and his first teacher.

Peter had many teachers throughout his life.  The names of those teachers are not available.

However, we were told Peter did study with the late Master Wang Zi Ping, a famous Shaolin, Cha Chuan, Tan Toi, and Ba Gua expert and Han Ching Tung.

Mark Gates ~ studied with Peter Kwok

pk_holder7-480x360Co-founder of China Hand Kung Fu Academy in 1983.

Mark & Pat took private classes together with Grandmaster Peter Kwok.  Dominick Ruggieri studied Shaolin Chuan with Mark and Pat.

His background in the martial arts before beginning training in Kung Fu was a few months of Judo in the U.S. Navy and then two semesters of Karate through Brookdale Community College.

He studied Kung Fu as a private student with the Peter Kwok Kung Fu Academy from 1978 to 1984.

In 1981, along with Patric Hanvey, he co-founded the China Hand Kung Fu Academy.  He retired from active participation in the affairs of the China Hand Kung Fu Academy in 1997.


sl_holder4-480x360Dominick Ruggeri started his Kung Fu training in Spring of 1983 at the age of 23 year old.  His first class was at Brookdale Community College were he took a Tai Chi and Shaolin class which was offered on the same night.  Prior to this, he had no martial arts training.

After completing this 8 week community education class, he continued to practice what he had learned on his own until the end of that summer.  Then, in September of the year, he started private study with Patrick Hanvey and Mark Gates.  His main style of practice was Northern Shaolin Long Fist.  After completing this material, he then continued on to study Tai Chi Chuan, Pa Kua Chuan, Hsing Yi Chuan, and Qigong.

After completing Shaolin training with Pat and Mark, Dominick was introduced to Master Randy Elia of Peter Kwoks Kung Fu Academy in February of 1993, where he then continued his training in Northern  Shaolin Chuan and internals practices.

In July of 1990 Dominick became a full partner of the Academy and began instructing students on behalf of the Academy.  The Academy was a part-time endeavor in addition to his full time regular job.

Then in March of 1993, he opened his own location in Brick, New Jersey to the teach arts which he had learned.  In September of 1998, Dominick left his full time position to embark on a new career in providing Kung Fu training on a full time basis to all those who wished to learn.  In addition, he has been doing massage therapy since 1996.

Taijiquan Master Kao, Tao

MasterGao-lDr. Yang’s first Taijiquan master, Grandmaster Kao, Tao (高濤), who Dr. Yang lost contact with after leaving for college and moving to the U.S., has finally been found in Taipei, Taiwan. After resuming to teach Taijiquan in 2005, Grandmaster Kao has at last resurfaced. It has been over 40 years since Dr. Yang last met with him.

Much of YMAA’s internal foundation and theory can be attributed to the root and lineage learned from Grandmaster Kao. We are all extremely elated to know that Grandmaster Kao is well and continuing to teach Taijiquan. Dr. Yang has said many times in past interviews that he feels very fortunate to have started learning Taijiquan from Grandmaster Kao, who is a rare teacher that emphasized the martial aspects of Taijiquan.

Many thanks to Noelle Kasai, who helped tremendously in helping to reunite Dr. Yang with Grandmaster Kao. There will be a reunion during the World Cup Tai Chi Chuan Championship this October.

Grandmaster Li, Mao-Ching

article-about-grandmaster-li-mao-chingGrandmaster Li, Mao-Ching (李茂清) was born in Qingdao city (青島市), China, on July 5, 1927. He first began training martial arts in 1934 when he was eight years old, under the instruction and guidance of his father and his cousin Shang, Huan. The first fundamental training exercise he learned was Horse Stance (Ma Bu, 馬步). His training initially consisted of holding Ma Bu steadily for five minutes. He eventually worked his way up to holding Ma Bu for 30 minutes. Only then did his teachers allow him to learn martial sequences (Tao Lu, 套路). At the age 16, he began training basics for staff (Gun, 棍), saber (Dao, 刀), and sword (Jian, 劍). In 1946, he also began training spear (Qiang, 槍). When he was 23, he began training (Qin Na, 擒拿), joint lock-and-control techniques.

When Master Li was 16, he was drafted into the army. Much of the military training was run and overseen by many of the most renowned Chinese martial artists of that time. Thus, Master Li had the unusual opportunity of learning from more than one teacher. He learned Long Fist (Changquan, 長拳) from Han, Qing-Tang (韓慶堂), Praying Mantis (Tang Lang Quan, 螳螂拳) from Fu, Jia-Bin (傅家賓), and Sun Bin Quan (孫臏拳) from Gao, Fang-Xian (高芳先). At one point in time, Gao, Fang-Xian was one of Chiang, Kai-Shek’s most esteemed generals.

Great Grandmaster Han, Qing-Tang was one of the many students who graduated with the first generation of the famous Nanjing Central Guoshu Institute (中央國術館), an organization that was established to preserve, propagate, and further Chinese martial arts during the early 1900s. After Chiang Kai-Shek’s Nationalist Party withdrew to Taiwan in 1949, Master Han was invited to teach at the Central Police Academy (中央警官學校) in Taipei. He was very well-known at the time for his skills in Qin Na.

In 1963, Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming’s college classmate, Mr. Nelson Tsou (鄒延凱), introduced Dr. Yang to Master Li. At that time, Mr. Tsou had already been training under Master Li for several years. Together, Dr. Yang and Mr. Tsou founded the Tamkang College Kung Fu Club in Tamshui, Taiwan. Master Li was formally invited to become the primary instructor of the club, teaching Long Fist. It was there that he began teaching Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming.

Grandmaster Yang, Jwing-Ming

Yang.B&W.bigDr. Yang, Jwing-Ming (楊俊敏博士) started his Gongfu (Kung Fu) training at the age of fifteen under the Shaolin White Crane (Bai He) Master Cheng, Gin Gsao (曾金灶). In thirteen years of study (1961-1974) under Master Cheng, Dr. Yang became an expert in the White Crane style of Chinese martial arts, which includes both the use of bare hands and of various weapons such as saber, staff, spear, trident, two short rods, and many others. With the same master he also studied White Crane Qin Na (or Chin Na), Tui Na and Dian Xue massages, and herbal treatment.

At the age of sixteen, Dr. Yang began the study of Taijiquan (Yang Style) under Master Kao, Tao (高濤). Dr. Yang’s tai chi can be traced back to the Yang family through Master Kao’s teacher Yue, Huanzhi (樂奐之), an indoor disciple of Yang, Chengfu (楊澄甫). After learning from Master Kao, Dr. Yang continued his study and research of Taijiquan with Master Li, Mao-Ching (李茂 清) and training partner Mr. Wilson Chen in Taipei. Master Li learned his Taijiquan from the well-known Master Han, Ching-Tang, and Mr. Chen learned his Taijiquan from Master Chang, Xiang-San. Dr. Yang has mastered the Taiji barehand sequence, pushing hands, the two-man fighting sequence, Taiji sword, Taiji saber, and Taiji Qigong.

Becoming a Teacher

When Dr. Yang was eighteen years old he entered Tamkang College in Taipei Xian to study Physics and also began the study of traditional Shaolin Long Fist (Changquan or Chang Chuan) with Master Li, Mao-Ching at the Tamkang College Guoshu Club (1964-1968). He eventually became an assistant instructor under Master Li. In 1971 he completed his M.S. degree in Physics at the National Taiwan University and then served in the Chinese Air Force from 1971 to 1972. In the service, Dr. Yang taught Physics at the Junior Academy of the Chinese Air Force while also teaching Wushu. After being honorably discharged in 1972, he returned to Tamkang College to teach Physics and resumed study under Master Li, Mao-Ching. From Master Li, Dr. Yang learned Northern style Gongfu, which includes both barehand techniques, especially kicking, and numerous weapons.

Ph.D in 1978

In 1974, Dr. Yang came to the United States to study Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University. At the request of a few students, Dr. Yang began to teach Gongfu (Kung Fu), which resulted in the foundation of the Purdue University Chinese Kung Fu Research Club in the spring of 1975. While at Purdue, Dr. Yang also taught college-credited courses in Taijiquan. In May, 1978 he was awarded a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering by Purdue.

Yang’s Martial Arts Association was established in Boston, MA in 1982. With the intent of preserving traditional Chinese Kung Fu and Qigong , Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming began training students in the rigors of Shaolin Long Fist and White Crane Gongfu as well as Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan. Currently, YMAA is an international organization, including 56 schools in Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Chile, France, Holland, Hungary, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Nicholas C. Yang



Nicholas C. Yang (楊志豪碩士) began training martial arts as a child under the tutelage of his father Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming at Yang’s Martial Arts Association (YMAA) in Boston, Massachusetts. He has competed in several international and national traditional Kungfu tournaments, including tournaments sponsored by the U.S. Wushu Kungfu Federation, U.S. Kuoshu Federation, U.S. Wushu Union, International Chinese Martial Arts Championship, World Tai Chi Federation, and Kung Fu Tai Chi Magazine. He has won several medals and awards for forms events in both barehand and weapons categories.

In 1996, he began assisting instructors in adult Shaolin classes at YMAA Boston. At that time he also began performing in martial arts demonstrations at the YMAA school, colleges and universities, festivals, and other events around Boston. He also performed in several YMAA published videos. After enrolling in college, he continued to train and teach on weekends and during school breaks. Occasionally he would also participate in YMAA training camps or assist his father in seminars at various locations around the world. He has accompanied his father to many countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, South Africa, and Taiwan. Additionally, he has taught in England and Ecuador.

After earning his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Computer Science from Brown University, he worked as a back-end Java web programmer. During this time, he also began taking part-time classes in digital art at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). In 2005, he enrolled at Ex’pression College for Digital Arts (ECDA) in Emeryville, California to pursue an education in Computer Animation and Visual Effects at. Graduating as Salutatorian, he earned a B.A.S. degree from Ex’pression in October 2007.

In February 2008, Nicholas earned the rare qualification of YMAA Shaolin Instructor. Shortly after, his father moved to California to begin the YMAA Retreat Center training program. Consequently, instead of pursuing a job in the digital art industry, Nicholas opted to takeover management of YMAA Boston and assume the position of President of YMAA International. Additionally, he was the school’s webmaster, web designer, graphic artist, writer, editor, media manager, and event coordinator. He successfully coordinated several annual martial arts demonstrations and fundraisers, including two for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. During these years, he also authored several instructional Long Fist DVDs.

Today, Nicholas resides with his father at the YMAA Retreat Center in California, where he now works as the school’s Assistant Director. He continues to train Shaolin, Taijiquan, and Qigong and to manage YMAA International. He still travels with his father each year to teach in various seminars around the United States, Europe, and South America.

Sifu Donald Francis

Sifu Don started his Kung Fu training in the Spring of 2005 at the age of 31. His first school was Vo Duong Phi Son Nhan were he learned Vietnamese Shaolin Kung Fu from Grand Master Nguyen.

He continued to build upon his skills learned at Vo Duong Phi Son Nhan and in the winter of 2007 he started training in Northern Shaolin Kung Fu. He started studying under Shifu Dominick Ruggeri of China Hand Kung Fu. Dominick is a 2nd Degree Black Sash in Shaolin Chuan Northern Shaolin Kung Fu. Sifu Don continues his studies under Grandmaster Yang, Jwing-Ming and Nicholas C. Yang in Traditional Northern Shaolin Long Fist Chángquán.

Sifu Don started New Life Kung Fu in April 2015 to bring Traditional Northern Shaolin Long Fist Kung Fu to the Spartanburg area. New Life Kung Fu is the only Northern Long Fist school in the Upstate.

Sifu Don feels that Kung Fu is an ever developing skill that keeps the body and mind in tip top shape.