Inducted into the W.K.U.H.O.F. for 2009
Budoka of the Year – Wu Chi Kung Fu
1974 – 1979 Began Training at the age of 11 with a Martial Arts system Ki – Te – Ko with a school in Mt. Gambier S.A. called Combative Arts. Ki – Te – Ko means using your intrinsic energy to develop the empty hand into a body like a weapon. It is a combative System combining the Founders Military Combative training and experience with the Okinawan System of Go Ju Ryu, This system also included weapons training, I was trained in the Nunchuku and Sai. Sensei Bob England was in the military for several years he studied Go Ju Ryu whilst stationed in Okinawa where he received tutelage to the degree of attaining 1st Dan Black Belt.
1974 -1980 Whilst training martial arts was my passion at this time in my life Soccer took priority and was my first commitment. I played soccer whilst I was training martial arts. I played in the S.E. Soccer Association league, my first club I joined was the Italo Australian Club as my father was a member of this club and involved in playing and coaching players, he helped establish the club with the help of other Italian migrants in the community soon after he first arrived in Australia from Italy as an immigrant himself in 1953. In 1977 my father Riccardo Gentile opened his own private soccer club called Mt. Gambier City Soccer Club which I assisted in running and played in the under the 16’s, in my last year of under 16’s I also played senior B grade and Reserve A grade. I was very fond and good at playing soccer, I was well trained by my father as my main coach in conjunction with some of our senior A grade players who were selected from some of the best players in Mt. Gambier as well as brought in from Victoria and Adelaide to play in our A Grade team and help coach all of the different divisions in our Club.
In my last year of under 16’s I excelled and won the Best and Fairest of the S.E. Soccer Association, it was the leagues highest award for the under 16’s division whereby my name and my club Gambier City was engraved on a plaque called the Peter Higgs Shield as the best and fairest for 1979. The Peter Higgs Shield ran for 3 years consecutively starting in 1977 with two other great players winning the award also in 1977 and1978, I was very fortunate to be able to keep the Peter Higgs Shield as my own memorabilia normally the winning club would keep the shield for the year until the next club winner in following year, however for 1980 the Peter Higgs Shield was superseded for another award and as I was the last one to win this award I was allowed to keep it indefinitely.
1976 At age 13, The Principal/ Founder of Combative Arts martial art school Mr. Bob England graded me Black Belt.
1980 Sensei Bob England decided to go to Britain for future business prospects. I continued to practice with some of the senior black belts although I specifically trained with Sensei’s top Black Belt student, Joe Desperado. 6 months later Joe Desperado also left for Britain following Sensei. It was then that I seriously started searching for another system to compliment my training on an internal level, a more meditative and philosophical approach. To compliment my hard training I also joined a Yoga class of Classical Yoga in Mt. Gambier and trained for roughly 1 year.
1980 In my search for the internal aspect of martial arts I soon found a teacher in Adelaide; Master Jung from Shanghai China that taught Hsing – I Tai Chi and Eagle Claw Kung Fu as well as Wei Dan Chi Kung and Acupressure. My cousin Vince and I trained private classes for about 9 months with Master Jung every weekend travelling 4 hours drive each way from Mount Gambier to Adelaide before he returned to China. This was an amazing experience with a Teacher who could not speak English that well but was very competent at what he did and taught, from there on I did not look back but set my goals in pursue to becoming a Kung fu teacher.
1980 – 1981 Our family private Soccer Club venture lasted for 4 years before my father decided to retire and cease operation of the Gambier City soccer club we had decided to sell out the property and move to the Gold Coast, Qld. In early 1981 the property was sold to developers, the club ceased to operate and my family and I moved to the Gold Coast in September 1981 with my family and opened up our family Italian Restaurant/takeaway which I ran for the family called Ric’s Pizza Bar.
Soon after settling in on the Gold Coast I found a new school in Burleigh Heads called the Wu Chi Dao run by a Si-Fu called Arthur Cunningham. The Wu Chi Dao taught Tai Chi for health and Wu Chi Dao Kung Fu consisting of the Pa Chi (8 Ultimates) – Wu Chi, Tai Chi, Pa-Kua, Hsing-I, Wu-Hsing, Tun Tui, Chin Na, Shuai Chueh.
The Wu Chi Dao kung-fu school was a closed door training school, it was the main inner school teaching the whole Wu Chi Dao Kung Fu curriculum, this curriculum was called Shao – Men (Fewer Doors) a system that taught with a teaching method principle called Benevolence. This principle required the student to be self-disciplined and make decisions and choices regarding their kung fu on their own accord without being forced to do anything unless they truly wanted to however within the scope of the Wu Chi Dao principles. The Wu Chi Dao also taught Tai Chi as an outer school program to teach students how to relax and gain the health benefits from their training as well as used as a trial period a tool to assess a students character as an entry to the main curriculum the inner school program Shao – Men. Students gained a deeper insight of the Internal soft kung fu style from a health and life style point of view rather than self-defence and this trial period would range from a minimum of 12 months to whenever the Si-Fu would think you are ready. I Trained with Si-Fu Arthur Cunningham learning Tai Chi for 1 year before I was invited to go along and train in the Wu Chi Dao Kung Fu system.
1985 – 1989 Conrad Jupiters Casino (Gold Coast) Croupier
1981 – 1990 I was the 13th Closed Door Student of the Gold Coast Wu Chi Dao/ School of Arts. I trained and studied for 8 years full time, training 6 days a week and 1 day off. In 1986 Si-Fu Arthur Cunningham awarded me with a 1st degree Black Belt instructor, I was immediately asked to instruct the Outer School program – Chinese Karate, one of the two branches of the Wu Chi Dao Shao – men (instructor program) of the inner school. The two branches of the outer schools consisted of Chinese Karate and Chinese Kung-Fu. I taught the Chinese Karate branch which was a statement my Si-Fu wanted to make that Karate originated from the Chinese Kung-Fu and that the difference was merely from a delivery system based on the teaching principle method. Chinese Karate was the more disciplined training regime based strictly on obedience and students adhering to direct instructions, training was likened as a similar type of military training as opposed to the Chinese Kung-Fu which had a less disciplinary training regime that was based on a benevolent relaxed teaching principle method.
1986 Studied acupressure/acupuncture with Dr. Lee an acquaintance of Si-Fu Arthur Cunningham and Wu Chi Dao. Dr. Lee was a highly recognised TCM practitioner at the time within S.E. Qld. including Brisbane he has passed away quite a few years ago. My Si-Fu also taught us acupuncture through a Wu Chi Dao course called the Barefoot Doctors acupuncture, he constantly lectured us on the science relationship of the 5 Elements in respect to acupuncture.
1990 Si-Fu Arthur Cunningham left the Gold Coast to go back to his home town Gisborne New Zealand. I was very fortunate to have been able to train with Si-Fu Arthur Cunningham right here at my doorstep where he lived for that period of time in my life. Many students followed him back to New Zealand I was unable to leave my commitments here in Australia on the Gold Coast and follow him to accomplish his dream and commitment to his Si-Fu (Tai Lao-Fu – Great Grandmaster). The Wu Chi Dao taught us not only how to defend ourselves with an awesome system of Kung Fu but also taught us many life skills and enhanced our Character Development through the unification of the body, mind and spirit. I will never forget the wisdom imparted upon me and the necessity for training diligently, I will always cherish the great times with my Si-Fu and will always strive to refine what I have achieved and attained through the Wu Chi Dao/ School of Arts.
It was with great regret that my Si-Fu left for New Zealand to re-establish his school there.
In 1998 I decided to embark on my own away from the Wu Chi Dao to stand alone as a separate entity. I commenced teaching on a casual basis for myself, armed with the knowledge and skills I acquired I was able to continue to train diligently and study further on my own while also interacting with many other great teachers of similar and diverse systems of both highly recognized status and some not even known at all. I am well known within my circle of our community as a serious martial art practitioner and was requested to train friends and acquaintances including policeman and doctors as well as work colleagues.
In 1989 before Si-Fu Arthur Cunningham left for New Zealand I was introduced to Dr. Lee a TCM Acupuncturist/Chinese Herbalist, together with the Wu Chi Dao barefoot doctor acupuncture course, my interest in traditional Chinese medicine grew and so when I sold my last restaurant of at least 5 Restaurants my family owned and operated from when we moved from Melbourne to the Gold Coast, I reassumed study with acupuncture at the Tafe College in 1998 however my enrollment was in Chinese Herbs but I was unable to study Chinese Herbs as there were not enough students participating actually I was the only one enrolled in the course so I continued with Acupuncture instead.
In the year 2000 I transferred my studies to the Australian College of Natural Medicine directing my studies in line with my martial arts, studying a new course to the martial art industry for Martial Art Instructors – Dip. of Health Science (Specialising in martial arts instruction). This course was the first Nationally Recognised Government Accredited qualification for any martial art instructor. I was the first ‘Kung Fu’ practitioner in Australia to complete this new martial art Nationally Accredited qualification under the auspicious training of Kysoshi Sensei Patrick McKarthy 8th Dan Koryu Uchinadi under a non specific style program.
Since 1998 during my early casual teaching days and whilst I was completing my Diploma of Health Science specialising in Martial Arts Instruction I was able to refine and restructure the teaching delivery method of the great system that was conveyed to me by the Wu Chi Dao, Shao-men meaning fewer doors, a curriculum upheld by an imaginary mountain with eight major levels as doors to pass through with the last door being Ming Men the gate of life. I called my refined version of Shao-men – Wu Chi Chuan (Infinite/formless fist) as explained and seen on my Schools Website. www.aimartialart.com
After completing the Dip. Health Science (Specializing in Martial Arts) and contacting my Si-Fu Arthur Cunningham to talk to him about my achievements and training/system refinements we spoke in great lengths before it was clear to me that I was ready and was required to open my own school. After a great deal of preparation and contemplation I decided to open an independent Wu Chi kung-fu school separate of the Wu Chi Dao with my own Wu Chi Kung Fu curriculum and specialised delivery system making me the founder of my own school.
In 2003 I founded my school the Australian Institute of Martial Arts (AIMA). Our grand opening special guests included our local councillor and Sensei Patrick McKarthy whom was pleased to see me venture into my own school. My objectives for AIMA were simply to give all martial art practitioners the option to experience my system with the opportunity to be part of a Professional martial art school who would support it’s students continuously throughout their training and professional career if they wanted one with AIMA.
AIMA will offer their instructors a martial art career path leading to managerial positions to simple instructing and even to become an owner of an AIMA branch, providing continual support from AIMA.
Since the inception of AIMA in November 2004, I completed a Cert. IV in Workplace Training and Assessment so as to instruct the instructors with AIMA for their Govt. Acc. Qualification. I also completed the Certificate IV in Sports Coaching (Specialising in Martial Arts) which superseded my Dip. in Health Science (Specialising in Martial Arts).
2004 – 2009 While running AIMA, in 2004 – 2006 I ran a free class for Tai Chi for health in conjunction with the Varsity Lakes community centre for the Gold Coast community. Since 2006 I have been a community coach for the National Active After School Community (AASC) Incentive, promoting martial arts to the community through a fun yet disciplinary routine including martial art exercises and moves.
In 2007 I commenced work with the Currumbin Clinic a rehabilitation centre teaching Tai Chi and Chi Kung to help patients with their rehabilitation and encourage a healthier lifestyle.
I am currently and still actively running my school successfully, slowly building the AIMA organisation and will continue to do so for many years to come. I have a passion for teaching and seeing my students achieving their full potential improving and benefiting from their training and their association with AIMA makes me feel proud to be able to do so. I look forward to making a great impact on the Martial Arts industry providing a professional and outstanding service to the community.
I am also currently, and have been for many years, a massage therapist and acupuncturist and also recently studying Chinese herbs.
|1976 – 1979||Mt. Gambier City High School|
|1988 – 1989||Certificate of Chinese Massage|
|1998 – 1999||Diploma of Hospitality Management|
|1999 – 2000||Advanced Diploma of Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs|
|2001 – 2002||Diploma of Martial Arts Instruction|
|2002 – 2004||Cert. IV in Sports Coaching (Specialising in Martial Arts Instruction)|
|2004||Cert IV Assessment and Workplace Training|
|2004||Cert IV Business Management|
|2006||Australian Sports Commission- Community Coach Training Program|
|2006||Junior Soccer Coach License|
Interests and activities:
Kung-Fu/ Tai Chi
Boating/ Jet Skiing/ Fishing
All other sports in general