THE HISTORY OF ALL MASTERS MARTIAL ARTS CENTRE
FROM HUMBLE BEGINNINGS
It all began in 1977, when Sifu Ngu was studying at John Abbott College in Quebec for his CEGET, pre-university studies. At the time, he had no intention or aspiration to become a full-time instructor with hundreds of students training at several clubs across Ontario and Quebec. He simply wanted some training partners, and he decided to take on a few students. They trained in a classroom in the basement of the residence they lived in. In just a few months this training group grew to almost 30 students studying White Crane Kung Fu under Sifu Ngu. This prompted him to apply to the university to set up an actual program with a designated schedule and training area.
Later, Sifu Ngu moved to Concordia University to study engineering, Here he started “The Kung Fu Club”. The members of this club trained in the gymnasium where they shared the space with other martial arts practitioners. This meant there wasn’t much space for them to train, and sometimes their training had to be cancelled for a period of time due to exams being held in the gym. The solution? Open a club.
BUILDING THE LEGACY
PASSING ON TRADITIONS
In addition to teaching Kung Fu, Sifu Ngu also continued to promote Chinese culture through the art of Lion and Dragon dance. Since the early 1990’s, more and more students have since been practicing Lion Dance and performing all over Ontario at high caliber events, both in Canada and also in the U.S. Sifu Ngu had a vision to take this club further than he ever thought was possible 40 years ago. In 1997 he founded the “All Masters Lion Dance Cultural Association”. This non-profit organization operates independently from the school, and often sponsors its members to participate in competitions, perform at international events, and attend Lion and Dragon dance training seminars in China.
This is when Sifu teamed up with a Tai Chi instructor, and together they opened a club in old Montreal on Notre Dame Street in an old building on the 5th floor. There was no washroom, but the rent was cheap. They had wood floors and lots of space to train in. At this time the “Shaolin White Crane Kung Fu Society” was born. Over the years, they moved from the 5th floor to the 3rd, and later to the 2nd where they had a much nicer club with a washroom, air conditioning, etc. At this time he was still just teaching part-time. Finding a job as an engineer in Montreal was difficult at that time, so Sifu Ngu decided to move to Toronto, Ontario. Although he was now living in Toronto, he still traveled to Montreal 2-3 times each week to maintain the club, keep it growing, and strengthen it so that it would carry on without him one day.
While in Toronto, he chose to put more focus on his Wing Chun and Northern Shaolin training. For this reason, there was not a club in Toronto for a few years; however, he did introduce Wing Chun and Northern Shaolin to the curriculum of the Montreal club in the early 1980’s. When training with Sifu Dun Wah at Sunny Tang Kung Fu Studios, Sifu Ngu was given the responsibility of teaching the children’s classes. Now that his personal training was on track, the Montreal club was strong, and he had memorized every curve of the roads between Toronto and Montreal, it was time to start a club in Mississauga. In 1991, he started a new club on Lakeshore, and later at Queensway and Cawthra via a time-share with a dance club.
HONOURING THE MASTERS
In 1994, there came an important turning point in Sifu Ngu’s career. This is when he began teaching Kung Fu full-time and opened the “All Masters Martial Arts Centre” in Mississauga, at Dixie and Matheson. The name of the school was chosen to represent and honour all the masters that Sifu Ngu studied under. The new school had adult classes in both White Crane and Wing Chun, as well as children’s classes in Northern Shaolin. It also had (and still has) guest masters visit the club to teach seminars in other styles such as Cha-Quan, Chin-Nah, Tai-Chi, Chi-kung, Sanda Kickboxing, and others. In 1998, the club had gotten so large that Sifu Ngu decided to increase its size by leasing the unit next door and joining the two. All Masters in Mississauga now has two training studios, and a store selling martial arts equipment and supplies.
Today, Grandmaster Ngu has been teaching in Canada for over 45 years. Together with the support of his disciples and his son, Sifu Matthew Ngu, he continues to promote the Chinese practices of the East; including Chi Kung, Oriental herbal medicine, lion and dragon dance, and Kung Fu. The All Masters Lion Dance Performance Team is now one of the largest in North America thanks to Sifu’s foresight and leadership, as well as through the devotion of its loyal members who now share his vision. Sifu Ngu has passed on his knowledge of Kung Fu to hundreds of students, and continues to produce elite performers and top-class fighters. All Masters now has several branch schools within Canada, and with the new opportunity for students to learn online, Sifu Ngu continues to grow the school’s student base worldwide.