1980 was another
critical year in the development of Sifu Arthur Berry. That year, he
earned his teacher's rank in Green Dragon Tai Praying Mantis Kung-Fu,
while continuing an exhaustive study of Northern Shaolin Kung-Fu under
the tutelage of Grand Master Yin. However, it was in this same year
that Sifu Berry began to share the gift of Kung-Fu that he had endeavored
for so long to master. As a result, Sifu Berry founded and opened the
Chinese Kung-Fu Club of DeKalb, Illinois and has taught Chinese Kung-Fu
to over 1,000 students.
Sifu Berry's Chinese
Kung-Fu school emphasizes the true meaning of Kung-Fu, teaching history,
mind/body training, and martial applications as they were taught to
him by Grand Master Yin. Sifu Berry has competed in the black belt division
of countless tournaments throughout the Midwest over the years. His
efforts have earned him hundreds of trophies, awards and accolades.
Additionally, Sifu Berry has been a tournament official since 1980 and
continues to have an active role in the tournament scene across the
Many of Sifu Berry's
students have followed in his knowledgeable footsteps. Students from
the Chinese Kung-Fu Club of DeKalb have participated in open tournaments,
winning numerous trophies and awards in sparring, forms, two-man forms,
and weapons divisions. A select few of Sifu Berry's students have earned
the privilege of becoming teachers themselves and have carried on the
traditions of Chinese Kung-Fu as passed down to them from Grand Master
Sifu Berry has been
a distinguished member of the Midwest Kung-Fu Association, the American
Karate Association, the Academy of Oriental Fighting Arts, and the American
Kempo Bu-Jutsu Karate Association (AKBKA).
Sifu Berry's instructors
*Chin Ho Yin - Grand
Master of Northern Shaolin Kung-Fu and a Buddhist Shaolin Monk of the
Shaolin Temple in China. 5 plus years
*Lanard Martin -
Instructor of the Green Dragon system of Tai Praying Mantis Kung-Fu
and Chinese Boxing. 5 years
*Andy Torok - A
master of the Kaju Kempo Japanese Karate system. Master Torok's school
is located in DeKalb, Illinois. 3 years
*Larry Daniel -
National Karate champion and instructor of Isshin Ryu Karate, Kung-Fu
and a specialist in martial arts weaponry. 6 years
*Keychun Song -
Master of 7 Star Praying Mantis, Shaolin Kung-Fu and of the 18 weapons
of Kung-Fu. 2 years
Hello! My name is
Sifu Arthur Berry, founder of the Chinese Kung-Fu Club of DeKalb, and
I want to let you know a little bit about myself and what it takes to
be a Sifu of Chinese Kung-Fu.
I have been incredibly fortunate to have studied a rare form of Chinese
martial arts that has been passed down to only a few people in America.
After 7 years of study and 10 years with several other traditional styles,
I have found that a true Sifu is one whose teachings convey martial
skill as much as self-discipline and compassion. An appreciation of
the art's tradition, history, and an unwavering patience are all needed
to effectively teach the extremely difficult art of Kung-Fu. The student
must move through various levels of development, with the Sifu guiding
and showing them that they must first crawl before they can walk, and
then walk before they can run.
I went on to found the Chinese King Fu Club of DeKalb in 1979, and we
have endeavored to remain traditional in our approach throughout our
school's history. The true meaning of Kung-Fu is emphasized through
the teaching of history, mind/body training, application, and the balance
of Yin and Yang. Hundreds of people of all ages and walks of life have
received instruction over the years, and our current class makeup consists
of everyone from NIU students and alumni to teachers, doctors, carpenters,
We are an NIU campus-based club that emphasizes Kung-Fu for the serious-minded
only. It is a very rare opportunity to study this form of Chinese martial
art, but with the size of our training areas and the practical limitations
of instruction mean that only a select few will be able to join.
Our club meets from 7:00 - 9:30 pm on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday.
Feel free to contact me via email at Sifu001@aol.com
and please mail any correspondence to the address at the bottom of this
Finding the right
instructor can be a long and time-consuming process, since legitimate
and skilled teachers rarely advertise themselves or their willingness
to take on new students. But as in other pursuits, finding quality instruction
is the most important decision that you will ever make with respect
to your martial training.
With all of that
said, there are some general standards that can be applied to teachers,
regardless of their style: Does the instructor demonstrate a clear love
of his or her art and its teaching, or are they simply "martial
entrepreneurs" looking to maximize profits to the detriment of
their teaching? How well do they seem to work with their students, and
do they promote a positive atmosphere with mutual respect? Are you up
to both the physical and mental demands of the training itself?
Please click the following link for further suggestions
on identifying good instructors: www.kung-fu4theseriousmind.com/qualified.htm.
The age range of students in any given school can vary considerably,
with everyone from young children to seniors taking part. However, teaching
even a small number of children frequently requires a far more concentrated
and involved degree of instruction due to the great energy of the very
young, so child classes are often much shorter in duration and conducted
separately from their teenage and adult counterparts.
Because of this,
one-hour classes are the norm when children are involved, while adult
classes typically last for 1-2 hours, with both groups frequently meeting
2-3 times per week. Instructors usually charge a fee to cover the expense
of any equipment used and for renting or maintaining the premises where
training occurs. Monthly expenses for students of all ages can vary
considerably depending upon the area of the country, and contracts are
sometimes encouraged by the more business-minded.
On a personal level, you can expect a variety of positive changes to
accompany any sustained period of serious training: Improved mental
and physical discipline; greater self-confidence; a more pronounced
appreciation of your art's heritage, culture, and tradition; and an
outgrowth of respectfulness and compassion. In other words, devoting
yourself to the study of your respective art can serve as a focusing
lens for self-improvement in all areas of your life.
There is no quick
road to success, and training in the martial arts is no exception. Rather
than serving as a mere stepping stone to the next rung of the martial
ladder, the basics of any art constitute an essential foundation that
will be both strengthened and built upon as your training progresses.
Not unlike how a tree depends upon its extensive root system to provide
it with strength and stability, the skill of a martial artist will be
restricted or advanced according to their mastery of the basics.
any martial art is usually recognized through a variety of colored belts
or sashes, with the highest level typically being black. Reaching such
a high level of proficiency in your respective art takes years, but
even its achievement is more of a new beginning than an end of your
studies, since such students frequently become teachers themselves in
a more official capacity and help to carry on the legacy of their school.