Grandmaster Wong Jackman has dedicated his life to the arts he loves and to his family. Sifu Wong had immense old school class and a deep character. He has enormous respect in the martial arts community.
Grandmaster Wong’s postures were very deep and very long. His kicks were very high and precise. He moves with amazing grace and smoothness. His movements exhibit a crispness and sharpness derived from extreme precision and awareness. In push hands, he easily and subtly off balanced and pushed people twice his weight. Doing Xing Yi Two Man forms with him you felt his arms and bones were like iron pipes. Everyone was glad that he didn’t strike harder. His advice on self defense was always tailored to the individual that asked and practical. Although he enjoyed it when his students won tournaments he expected a humble attitude and never encouraged any displays of ego. Although he was not a talkative man (that is an understatement) when he answered questions the answers were truthful, direct, and valuable.
There are few teachers with his depth of skill or breadth of knowledge anywhere. He trained in Northern Shaolin Kung Fu from a very young age and mastered the art fully. Becoming one of a handful of true Shaolin Kung Fu masters produced during the 20th century. Sifu Wong Jackman has been one of a very few pioneering Chinese teachers to openly share real Kung Fu with the American Public. There are many famous teachers who studied with him for either brief periods or many years. They include some of the most well known martial artists in the USA. His students include world Champion fighters, National Champions and many sincere students who pursued the arts for their own growth and self transformation. Sifu Wong Jackman always came to class and rarely missed class in over 40 years of teaching. The times he was absent were on announced vacations. In 40 years he never missed class due to illness and claims never to have been sick. None of his students have ever seen him exhibit any symptoms of illness.
To my knowledge he only raised the tuition of his class only once from $40 to $50 a month. I have only ever seen one poster or advertisement about his class and that was posted by his students before 1980. He viewed it as karma who found his class and did not seek out students. He had an attitude of complete indifference whether people came or not. It was up to the student to grasp what he generously offered. I never once heard him boast. He refused all offers of magazine articles and publicity and there were many. He never published books or made movies or attempted to profit from his arts in any way.
At Sifu Wong’s class each student practiced as they saw fit and he taught each student individually. He did not run group exercises or direct the students to do anything. It was up to the student to show initiative and work hard. Sifu Wong did not award any ranks or certificates. I believe once, he gave one student with severe self esteem and self confidence issues a black belt after many years of study.
Sifu Wong Jackman taught everyone regardless of race or creed from the first days he opened his school in San Francisco Chinatown. He never accepted mean people or people with gangster connections. Otherwise everyone was welcome to train with him. He taught everyone the same. He was very generous. He treated everyone with kindness. He rarely criticized others. If you asked him whether another master was skillful he would either reply his opinion was not important or rarely, that they had practiced for many years.
Sifu Wong Jackman is a private person who keeps his opinions and plans to himself. Anyone with the possible exception of Sifu Rick Wing who claims to know what Sifu Wong’s opinion is, or what he thinks, or what his plans are, is fooling themselves. Most of the things written and said about him are not true. If he was displeased with someone he simply stopped talking with them. Several of the people currently writing about Sifu Wong on the internet and representing themselves as his students have not had a conversation with him in over 20 years.
The only time in 25 years of attending his classes that I saw him address the class as a whole was the last day, before he retired, December 28th, 2006. At that time he told everyone to remember what he had taught them, to practice, and to share their knowledge and not to keep it for themselves. In the spirit of those words I humbly offer this website and my classes for your benefit.