Jow Ga US History

aka Hung Tau Choi Mei

Jow Ga US History

Postby JowgaGing » Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:22 pm

The following article is a complete history of the Jow Ga Kung Fu Association from it's beginnings in 1968 to its closing in 2007. For almost 40 years the Jow Ga Kung Fu Association was one of the top Kung Fu schools on the East Coast, turning some of the finest martial artist of their time. This is its story.

HISTORY OF THE JOW GA KUNG FU ASSOCIATION
This is the complete history of the Jow Ga Kung Fu Association from its beginning in 1968 to it's closing in 2007.
This page is dedicated to the memory of Mater Dean Chin and all his many students who if not for there efforts
and sacrifices, Jow Ga would not be flourishing today


In 1968 Master Dean Chin and Master Hoy K. Lee founded the first Jow Ga School in the United States as well as one of the first Kung Fu Schools that opened it’s doors to Non-Chinese students.

The name on the sign was LEE’S KUNG FU/KARATE, a necessary name at that time as Karate was very popular in the United States and no one knew what Kung Fu was. Instead of coming in for Martial Arts lessons people would often come in looking to order Chinese Cuisine. The first school was located at 915-I St. N.W. in Washington, D.C., in the heart of Chinatown. The school was set in the buildings narrow basement. The school had a low ceiling; exposed steam pipes and many forms had to be practice in the alleyway next to the building. In the blistering heat of the summer, the practice room would get so hot; the training floor would literally sweat. The school also had a small training room with a dirt floor and the school would often fill with dust when training was done in this room. The tuition at that time was $10.00 per month and training was done in the old way. Beginning students wouldstart with stance training and basic footwork, for the first six months to one year. They would then move on to there first form, a generic Kung Fu form from the Chin Woo School, which was taught first, before learning any Jow Ga forms, to test the loyalty of the student. Jow Ga was and still is considered a treasure and should only be taught to those who would hold it in the highest regard.

Master Hoy Lee taught the majority of the classes, as Master Dean Chin at that time was attending college-studying engineering. Master Lee would teach classes in the morning, then go to work in a local Chinese restaurant. He would teach another class on his lunch break and then another on his dinner break and then go back to work for the dinner shift. Master Chin would train Master Lee and senior students on advanced Jow Ga forms and techniques after regular classes were finished. It was very clear to every student that Master Chin and Lee were single minded in their pursuit of promoting Jow Ga and producing top quality students. The mutual respect and brotherhood they shared was an inspiration.

Because of their strong dedication to detail, the duo turned out strong first generation students, who were instrumental in promoting Kung Fu all over the east cost. Students such as Josephus Colvin, Deric Mims, Eugene Mackie, Harry Chow, Henry Wong, Jimmy Yee, Joe Sejas, Rick Quander(and many more)

These students would go to the Karate tournaments and turn heads as they competed against the Karate competitors who had a foothold on the tournament circuit at that time. On many occasions these young Kung Fu athletes were discriminated against as they performed forms and techniques that were completely foreign to there Karate counter-parts.

Sifu Deric Mims once related a story of him competing at a local tournament in the weapons division using the Jow Ga Sam Jit Sheung Bin(3 Sectional Double Steel Whip) and the judges literally looked away and gave him no scores for his performance. In the fighting competitions the students were often cheated and not given points for techniques that were unrecognizable to the Karate judges. These first generation students however persevered and showed the true power of Jow Ga, and earned a great deal of respect from the Martial Arts community. The school quickly gained a reputation and was challenged many times. Several stories were told of challengers coming into the I St. School, only to be beaten. One story tells of how Master Lee literally knocked a challenger out of the school door using the Woo Dip Jeurng “Double Butterfly Palm”.

In 1972 the school moved to its second location, 805 H Street, NW. At this time Master Chin was out of college and took a more active role in the school. The school name was changed from Lee’s Kung Fu/Karate to the JOW GA KUNG FU ASSOCIATION, and Master Dean Chin as the Director & Chief Instructor. The senior instructor was Hoy Lee and assistant instructors were Deric Mims & his mother Barbara Mims. So selective was Master Chin, that he created Membership Cards to show proof of membership. The first card was presented to Deric Mims, which he still carries to this day. At that time notable students Hon Lee, Vickie Lee, Paul Adkins, and Robert Woods joined the Jow Ga family. Also at this time many articles were done in the popular magazine “New Martial Hero” featuring the Jow Ga Kung Fu Association. Word had now gotten back to Hong Kong and China about the Americans promoting traditional Kung Fu.

In 1973 Master Hoy Lee joined is family in Florida, where he taught a small group of students Jow Ga. It was around this time at the advice of Dean Chin, that Deric Mims moved to Iowa to attend college, where he opened the Jow Ga Kung Fu Association Iowa Branch. On April 5, 1975 Deric Mims and the Iowa Branch hosted the first Iowa All Martial Arts Exhibition at the Ellsworth Community College. Jow Ga had now reached Florida and Iowa.

In 1974, Master Chin moved the school to its third location 740 6th St. NW. Notable students who joined this school were, Raymond Wong, Randy Bennett, Craig Lee, Terheran Brighthaupt, Lemuel Talley, Sam Depriest, Mathew Bumphus “Uncle Mathew”, and John Chin. By this time the Jow Ga School was a house, hold name in the martial arts community. The Jow Ga Kung Fu Association was performing all over the Washington Metropolitan area, at such prestigious places as the White House, the National Museum of History, and several foreign embassies. Raymond Wong, Eugene Mackie, and Craig Lee led the Dragon and Lion Dance teams on all demonstrations and Chinese New Year performances. So famous was the Jow Ga School that many of today’s most famous Kung Fu Masters would visit the school on many occasions.

In 1974 Dean Chin and the Jow Ga Kung Fu Association, with the assistance of the Eastern Kung Fu Federation, promoted the first All Kung Fu Tournament in the east cost. In 1979 the Jow Ga Kung Fu Association was selected to represent the United States in the First Annual Koushu Tournament in Taipei, where the school won 1st Place in the demonstration division coached by Deric Mims. The fighting team coached by Paul Adkins also won top honors and numerous medals.

In the late 70’s and early 80’s several other notable students joined the Jow Ga School, such as Stanley Dea, Duke Amayo, Rahim Muhammad, Reza Momenan, Derek Johnson, Troy Williams, Stephanie Dea, Gloria Grimes, Jose Diaz, Marc Bretzfielder, Chris Henderson, Maurice Westrey, and many others. It was also around this time that Master Chin went into semi-retirement and turned over Chief Instructor duties to his senior student Master Deric Mims

Master Chin was always on hand however to lend guidance when needed. Sifu Mims would have lunch with his mentor everyday and discuss the schools future. So close was there bond, that upon his retirement Master Chin presented Sifu Mims with his personal sword signifying that he was charging Sifu Mims with the responsibility of carrying on the teachings of Jow Ga to the next generation.

In 1985, the Jow Ga Kung Fu Association and the Kung Fu world suffered a tremendous loss with the passing of Master Dean Chin. The death of Master Chin was a big loss to the Jow Ga students, however they never forgot his teachings and continue to spread Jow Ga to this day. Some students went on to open schools of their own. Today US Jow Ga Schools can be found up and down the east cost. Other students however stayed on to keep Dean Chins school, the original school open. Under the leadership of Sifu Deric Mims and with help of Sifu Eugene Mackie, and long time student Stanley Dea, the Jow Ga Kung Fu Association continued to thrive.

In 1988, do to re-development of the 6th St school building, the Jow Ga Kung Fu Association moved for a third time, to 1364 Holton Lane, Langley Park, Md. It was at this location the Jow Ga Kung Fu Association changed it’s name for a third time, when the organization obtained non-profit status thus becoming the JOW GA KUNG FU CULTURAL ASSOCIATION.

In 2005 the Jow Kung Fu Cultural Association, made another pivotal move when the 1364 Holton Lane location closed down. The Jow Ga Kung Cultural Association re-located to its 5th location at the Langley Park Community Center.

Finally in 2007, Master Deric Mims closed his hands, and the Jow Ga Kung Fu Cultural Association sadly closed its doors. Its history and reputation made the Jow Ga Kung Fu Association one of the most well respected Martial Arts organizations in the United States. Although the doors are closed, the Jow Ga Kung Fu Associations contribution to traditional Chinese martial arts will never be forgotten, its legacy will live on forever.
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Re: Jow Ga US History

Postby Tailik » Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:04 pm

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Re: Jow Ga US History

Postby Tailik » Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:13 pm

In This Picture is Sifu Robert Woods front right line and Paul Adkins 2nd person in left line. Two of the best fighters from Sifu Dean Chin's school
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Re: Jow Ga US History

Postby Tailik » Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:16 pm

Two of the most Senior in U.S. today from this the D.C. Chinatown School Sifu Hoy Lee and Sifu Deric Mims
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Re: Jow Ga US History

Postby Tailik » Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:19 pm

Inside Chinatown School with top students Sifu Eugene Mackie and Sifu Craig Lee
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Last edited by Tailik on Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Jow Ga US History

Postby Tailik » Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:20 pm

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Re: Jow Ga US History

Postby Tailik » Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:23 pm

Sifu Hon Lee
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Re: Jow Ga US History

Postby Tailik » Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:25 pm

Sifu Paul Adkins one Master Chin's best fighters and famous for his Iron Palm
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Re: Jow Ga US History

Postby Tailik » Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:26 pm

Dean Chin Chinatown Students performing lion dance for school: in photo Deric Mims, Jose Diaz, Troy Williams, Stephanie Dea, Gloria Grimes, Derek Johnson, and other classmates.
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Re: Jow Ga US History

Postby Tailik » Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:32 am

1st U.S. Jow Ga School I. St. Washington D.C. under Sifu Dean Chin
right- Sifu Deric Mims, center - Sifu Joseph Colvin aka "Kung Fu Joe"
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Re: Jow Ga US History

Postby waltor » Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:22 am

Great history.

Thanks.
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Re: Jow Ga US History

Postby PorkChop » Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:30 am

I'm just going to bump this thread because it needs to appear above the other one about the book.
Heck, this thread should be a sticky.


from,
-a former Wong student.
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Re: Jow Ga US History

Postby Tailik » Wed Feb 29, 2012 4:21 pm

PorkChop wrote:I'm just going to bump this thread because it needs to appear above the other one about the book.
Heck, this thread should be a sticky.


from,
-a former Wong student.



I agree PorkChop. It would be great if we could bump up and discuss some other threads in this section. there is much we can learn from each other.

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Re: Jow Ga US History

Postby PorkChop » Wed Feb 29, 2012 7:06 pm

Tailik wrote:I agree PorkChop. It would be great if we could bump up and discuss some other threads in this section. there is much we can learn from each other.

Tailik


I'd like to hear some good stories from the old days. :)
In the few years I was in the DC area, I got to meet a lot of the folks pictured.
Was not expecting that 'fro on Deric Mims, that thing is glorious!
I wonder what happened to Woods, Adkins, and Sweigart - I never did meet them.
Any good anecdotes about Master Chin?
I really miss lion dancing.
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Re: Jow Ga US History

Postby Tailik » Thu Mar 01, 2012 5:01 pm

I talked to Woods about a week ago still going strong, Joe a few days ago. Adkins is down in Carolina. I remember watching woods and paul spar often; it was like watching two tigers fighting. Hands down two great fighters. With the school being in chinatown D.C. in the 70's we would often have a cast of characters who came in off the D.C. streets after watching black belt theater & wanted to show us what they learned from movies and when that happened while paul was around he would calmly look at them pick his teeth with a tooth pick that he always had in his mouth & tell a younger students like me to lock the door and as usual shortly after the door was locked it would be opened to drag these would be challengers down the steps and out the front door :-)
Last edited by Tailik on Thu Mar 01, 2012 7:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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