Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Chin-Ning Chu

Grandmaster Zac was introduced to best selling author, Chin-Ning Chu by his teacher and good friend, Fong Lee.
After reading Chu's book, "Thick Face, Black Heart", Zac began corresponding with her on a regular basis and they have become the best of friends.
One day Chin-Ning Chu sent Zac the photo of herself, inscribed with Chinese characters "to Zac... 'the King of the martial forest(arts)'".

From Chin-Ning Chu's Website -

Thick Face, Black Heart is a profound distillation of ancient Chinese wisdom and experience filtered through a modern Asian business perspective. Blending stories and principles drawn from Chinese military history and modern entrepreneurship, author Chu shows that success is achievable by anyone who follows the lessons in this invaluable guide and learns how to: develop and employ intuition as a business tool, master defeat, acquire a killer instinct, solve the mystery of money, thrive among the cunning and ruthless, and much more.

From Chin-Ning Chu's Biography -

She is a descendant of Chu Yuan-Zhang, the pauper who became the first Emperor of the Ming Dynasty by defeating the descendant of Genghis Khan.

At the age of three, Chin-Ning was forced to leave behind her family’s fortune and flee to Taiwan as a refugee. At the age of ten, her father began to teach her strategies by reading from the text of the ancient Chinese art of war classics as bedtime stories.

Grandmaster Zac's Endorsement-

Without Thick Face Black Heart I would not be here today.
After marriage break up, heart failure,I'd lost all that I worked for.
With 5 cents in my pocket I found myself in a little motel room,
in the little of Taree, away from the lime lights of Sydney.
For a full year I studied and learned about myself, and "Thick Face Black Heart"
became my constant companion. The martial arts teacher became a student.
Today I called Thick Face Black Heart my "Bible"...Why you may ask?

"Because its not all about us,its about life and the structured world we live in..."

We have a link to Chin-Ning Chu's website in the side bar; have a visit and learn more about her life and philosophies.

Grandmaster Zac Walters

This photo features Grandmaster Zac finishing off a Chan Chuan form,during the
Martial Arts Spectacular Championship at Fairfield, circa 1986.This event coincided with the Ed Parker tour in Australia.
Zac dedicated the performance of this form to Ed Parker.

Grandmaster Zac Walters 1998

This picture was taken when Grandmaster Zac was a member of the Australian ISKA Martial Arts team to N.Z.
This photo also appeared in Blitz Magazine.
Grandmaster Zac was the senior competitor of the month and came 2nd at the N.A.S National Championship at the Gold Coast 1997.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Stuart Brooks

It was a cold winter’s night Tuesday 18th August 1987, I was in year 7 of high school and had been out of martial arts for 6 months.
I had been reading the Penrith Press the previous Friday, sports pages first of course, there was a story about a young girl who had won a martial arts competition by doing a “monkey form” she was wearing a white satin kung fu uniform with beautiful designs on it showing a perfect stance and she was very good looking, her name was Melissa McNamara. As any red blooded male who was missing martial arts would do I decided to check it out as well as checking out the girl.
I was a green belt in Uechi Ryu Karate and thought I was fantastic, I was arrogant, cheeky and unfortunately for me a little over confident, sparring came round at the end of the class and the instructor (Tim) asked who wanted to spar, I raised my hand and so did Nazarai….. The class blue belt champion…. I will leave the rest to your imagination…..
After receiving a lesson in humility from Nazarai as well as the gift of a broken nose I decided that I would be straight back there on Thursday night with a new attitude.
That Thursday night 20th August 1987 I trained with people who I was soon to become firm friends with, Tim the Sifu, Katrina Hyslop, Jarrod Russell & Rodney Duncan, Pere & Gina Pualilo, Michelle Lloyd, and of course the very good looking Melissa.

Doug Hall took over from Tim very soon into my training and it is Doug who I credit with getting me through my first grading. It took me nine months to gain my first Sash which was a Orange Sash with 1 Green tip, That grading was held at Werrington Oval and it was raining, we did the grading outside and we were caned by Grandmaster Zac Walters, Myself and Kevin Houlahan were ordered to run around 2 joined football fields 10 times for a warm up, lets just say my body didn’t really enjoy that warm up and that I have never been a runner. My next grading was for green sash and it was held at the Harold Corr Community Hall in Werrington, I remember the bush track run we were sent on and I started having flashbacks to the previous grading, the students were separated into rank groups and were brought in one group at a time to complete their basic techniques, I passed that grading and was quite happy with my efforts (especially in the jogging)

In between grading were great times on the training floor, students who I had started with had moved on and new training partners came and went, 2 of those training partners who I will never forget are Chris Winter and Peter Bloodsworth both of whom had these quirky personalities as well as having a deep seated love for the martial arts. Another great training partner who I will always hold in the highest regard is Mr Kevin Houlahan, Kevin and I only became good friends in our later days of training due to our different personalities, we used to clash all the time, I am very glad we did become friends and bury past differences.

I was now ready to try for my blue sash grading and Doug had been teaching me the “crane” form, I was more than ready for this grading, I had been working extra hard in training and was training specifically with Kevin as I knew I would be working with him come grading day, All was going very well until FORM TIME….. Zac asked me to show him the crane form I had learnt, I did the form and Zac sat there shaking his head, for those that don’t know Zac this is a scary sign. He told me to do it again and I did and again and again and again until I had done the form over 20 times. I asked him what I was doing wrong (another mistake… let the master show you) and the mistake was one hand position was wrong, Just to ensure that I had it correct he made me do the form another 20 times just to be sure.

I suppose to a reader that I may feel hard done by and that I was treated harsh, that is in no way true, those first few years of my training were the best, we had a great group of students, great instructors and some great times on the training hall floor, but who wants to hear about the good times…. There were a few though
I continued to train 5 nights a week with Doug who had shown great patience with me, It is only now that I am a father with 2 young children that I can empathise with how much he gave to us in those days, Issues with my hearing also would have made it hard for Doug teaching me as a youngster as I never faced up to my hearing problem till I was 23 years old. (Thanks Frank and Jodie)

My brown sash grading was held at Nepean PCYC martial arts room and I passed this with flying colours, I was extremely happy after this grading as I had been graded past brown sash to Provisional Gold sash, I felt that now I was making my mark, I started to teach kids classes and help Doug with the new students coming into the class. I was given responsibilities and my aim was to earn my 1st Degree as soon as possible.
We trained and trained every night 5 days a week, I would finish school at 2:30 and walk to Penrith PCYC to train, I would meet up with Pere, Gina & Melissa on the way to training, they would be on their way home from school, I would get to the hall and do my homework, then teach a kids class from 4pm – 6pm, Doug’s class would start at 6:30 so I had ½ an hour to finish my homework or have a bite to eat, Doug’s class wouldn’t finish till 9pm and I would then get the bus home which was about 9:45pm , all this 5 days a week, NOW THAT’S DEDICATION…. It was also a recipe for burnout……..

I got injured just after completing my gold sash, I had been graded to gold sash 2 orange tips, 1 step below my 1st Degree Sifu rank that I wanted so badly. I thought about giving it all away… for about 6 seconds, I knew I just had to work harder to achieve my goal, schoolwork took a back seat and I ruined my chances of a good HSC but hey in the end I got my 1st Degree, Let me tell you about that grading……

My 1st Degree. 15 – 9 – 92
5 years and one month after starting Kung Fu due to a good looking girl and a desire to get back into martial arts came my big night, my night of nights or should I say my Tuesday from Hell, Doug started my grading by having me run the grading of my own students then during the break between 2 classes I had to complete 500 push ups and 500 sit ups, my trusty mate Kevin was there counting to make sure they were all done. Ta Mate.
It was then time for the seniors grading and I was in pain, horse stance was hell, 3 on 1 sparring was hell and body conditioning was truly hell but that night I went to hell and back and gave everything I had and I passed that grading with a few injuries…. Lets just say push ups on fractured fingers and a dislocated thumb are not really my idea of fun.
I continued to train and take a more active part in the teaching, I had now finished school and was working for an electronic firm owned by my uncle so getting to training was never an issue.

My 2nd Degree was attained in December 1994 and my 3rd degree in August 1996. My first tournament in a long time came in October 1996 at the CCP Championship which was and still is the ISKA flagship tournament.
At this tournament I was introduced to one of the people I refer to as big honchos, he was in charge of the Kung Fu divisions he was wearing a black skivvy with a bright yellow jacket, his name was Keith Blackburn. Keith went on to become a friend, confidante, and a person I trusted, unfortunately Keith was taken from us recently and the world of Kung Fu has lost a truly honorable Sifu.

In 1997 & 1998 The Zac Walters Shaolin Temple Boxing Team ruled both the NAS (National All Styles) and ISKA (International Sport Karate Association) tournaments as well as independent tournaments on the central coast and Moree / Inverell areas. We were away every weekend at different tournaments and would stay at PCYC’s or crash out on the bus, Our driver was Keith Wright an old friend of Zac Walters, whose son I was training. Members of those teams are still very good friends of mine today and we shared many good times, but if I ever hear again Allan Wright asking “are we there yet” or “did anyone smell that” I think I would go insane. Its funny looking back, the tournaments we went extra well at were the tournaments that we had no sleep the night before, Canberra state titles I took 2 state titles and was still a little intoxicated whilst doing some sort of drunken form, but hey it looked good and I won so who knew any better….. ZAC did.
I met my now wife Jodie in April 1997 and she was part of the team from the outset, she knew she had to be or she would be a martial arts widow, she traveled everywhere we went every weekend whether it was Canberra, Sydney, Central Coast, Inverell she didn’t care, she became firm friends with the crew…. Zoran, Vlad, Staz, Mick, Huppy, Allan, Little Dave, Simon, JH, Joseph and anyone else I have missed, there were a few of you..
I thank her for putting up with everything she did, she is truly a blessing and has blessed me with 2 wonderful children in Jordan and Brittney. Zac I must say thank you, the night I met her I gave her one of those business cards you gave me, she only gave it back to me a few years ago and I have it laminated how cute huh???
In July 1997 I obtained both my 4th and 5th Degrees at a grading overseen by Grandmaster Fong Lee, a legend in martial arts circles, I was now a red sash and was so so proud of this achievement, my team and I continued to pile on the trophies and the newspaper articles throughout 1998 and in July 2000 came the explosion!!!!!!!

I had a major falling out with Zac and we didn’t speak for almost 2 years, Doug was by now way out of the picture so I went out on my own, Pere & Gina had come back and taken over the classes I was running, I kicked them out and broke ties with Zac. It was in that moment that HUNG SU SHAOLIN TEMPLE BOXING was born.
I built a new tournament team as I lost a few good students after this fallout and built the HUNG SU TIGERS around Vlad, Staz, Carlo, Cameron, Wacher, Cappsy, Mirf and a few others, I was competing directly against Zac’s guys and let me tell you it was very a weird feeling to be on the other side.

I then left the PCYC in 2001 to make a business out of my martial arts system and hired a council hall, got my own insurance and went about marketing my club, at its height I had 65 students training with me 3 night per week and I had built a new tournament team with brand new students we concentrated on ISKA tournaments, I felt like I needed to continue my training so after being knocked back by Keith Blackburn due to his friendship with Zac I looked overseas to Fu Leung’s people, in early 2002 I talked to Gerard Hunsucker a direct student of Fu Leung who sent me on a path to right the wrongs of the past.
I found where Zac was and got in touch, we spoke about our issues and he gave me his blessing to continue doing what I was doing but also gave me permission to use the Meke Ni Vala logo, this was the first time he had done this so I feel blessed that you chose me Zac.

I was inducted into the ISKA hall of Fame as Kung Fu Instructor of the Year in April 2002 and what a night that was. There were no nominations for this award on the ballot sheet and I believed they weren’t giving it out, I had no idea that the ISKA board of directors had voted for me unanimously. I was pissed and decided to have some drinks.
My good friend Normie Daghel and I were at the bar and he got me a tequila, vodka lime and lemonade, lets just say that it was a nice drink and the next 4 were nicer. The board of directors were going through the awards, Karate instructor of the year, Hapkido instructor of the year, then we hear KUNG FU instructor of the year, my table were all looking at me with blank stares thinking oh no and my name was called, I stumbled up to the podium to accept the award as I was a little tipsy by this stage and said something that I shouldn’t have said but didn’t make that same mistake in 2005 when I won the award for a 2nd time. This was also the last time that this award was given out

I was graded in 2005 to my 6th Degree by Zac, Michael Jamison and Davis Massey, my classes were going strong and my students were progressing nicely.
My daughter Brittney was born in February 2006 and with rising work pressures and family commitments I decided in June 2006 that I no longer wanted to teach Kung Fu, my love for teaching had gone and I was now only doing it for the money, this was wrong and it showed, my students started to drift off and I was going downhill so I slammed on the brakes. No one expected me to do this least of all my wife but I needed a break.
As I said earlier I can now empathise with Doug and his reasons for giving up teaching many years before, but just like Kung Fu works on circular patterns of movement humans also work in circles, Doug and Zac are about to re open in my old hall and their first 2 students will be myself and my son. WE CANT WAIT…. Neither can about 15 of my old students who are all keen to get back into it with the 2 Great Masters who taught me.

20 Years has come and gone in such a short time and I have learned so much, made life long friends and lost some friends who will stay with me forever. Rest in peace Keith Blackburn & Patrick Houlahan (Kevin’s Brother), both brilliant martial artists taken from us and I do miss you both.

Zac Walters and the Foo Fighters

Heres a snap shot of Grandmaster Zac and a couple of the Foo Fighters, back in 1997.
Zac was doing some security work for them when they toured Australia.They are down to earth,high family and moral values and great representatives for the American public to the world.If and when they tour again in Australia go and watch them, they are a great bunch of guys!
Be sure to check out the Foo Fighter's website!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Doug Hall

Monday, April 02, 2007

Doug Hall - 20 Years with Zac Walters

Doug Hall has been training with Zac since 1987. After learning Ju Jitsu as a teenager and Tae Kwon Do in his mid twenties, Doug became a Wu Shu practitioner when he joined Zac’s class at the Police Community Youth Club in Penrith in 1987. By 1988 he had gained his instructor’s certification and then took charge of the PCYC classes. In 1991 he was promoted to Master instructor. Doug ran the PCYC classes until 1996 when a change of job meant he was unable to continue teaching. This was also the year that Doug’s PCYC students made their first assault on the ISKA CCP Championships, collecting a number of gold, silver and bronze medals and Doug himself taking out the Grand Championship for weaponry, demonstrating the straight sword (“jian”). The 5 foot high trophy still takes pride of place in his lounge room. Doug was able to put in appearances at the Battle of the Dragons tournaments in 1997, but had to remain absent from teaching because of work commitments.
From 2001 Doug again began working with Zac behind the scenes to help develop plans for the expansion of sport Wu Shu and since then has continued to explore the range of forms and styles that Wu Shu students can perform, and helping out with teaching when able.

From Doug Hall-
What? 20 years? It couldn’t be! Wait a minute: 1987 … 2007. Yep – 20 years since I first walked into a Zac Walters Kung Fu class. How time flies! You know for the first couple of classes that I did, I had no idea who Zac was because his other instructors took those classes. Then one day I saw this big islander fellow, wearing dirty track suit pants and T-shirt, standing over at the side having a chat to someone. I wondered who that could be, and it didn’t take long before I found out – boy, did I find out. I thought the training I’d done so far was pretty intense, but when Zac took over the class I began to learn what training was all about! From that moment on Zac Walters carved out a place in my life, and now 20 years later he’s still there: still greeting me on the phone with “Hey Doug, how ya doing!”... and still asking me if I want to come down and do some training (yes Zac, but be gentle with me – I’m getting old!).

So it’s been 20 years of training, learning, dreaming, scheming, planning, teaching, and competing; 20 years of students coming and going – some you wish for all the world you could keep forever (and others you wish you could make disappear); 20 years of ups and downs, good and bad, tragedies and triumphs. 20 years on we’re still here: a bit older, hopefully a bit wiser, but definitely with the Wu Shu flame still burning brightly. Here’s to another 20.

A few things I’ve learned over 20 years:

You can always do better. I can remember plenty of times when I thought I’d done my form really well, only to have Zac look at me with that look of disgust he gets on his face sometimes, and say “That was pathetic”.

Train hard, set high goals and strive to achieve them with a serious mind, but always keep a sense of humour. Be ready to have a good laugh at yourself from time to time.

You need to be pushed to extremes to find out what you really are capable of, so don’t complain when your instructor makes you do 50 extra push-ups or when you have repeat a technique again and again and again and again and……

Keep a generous dose of humility in reserve, because there’ll be times when you’ll need it. Don’t claim to be something you know you’re not. Sooner or later you’ll have to live up to the claim.

Patience, patience, patience. People in our society want everything instantly, but there are no instant superstars in martial arts, so don’t expect to become one. The best martial artists become so by consistent, hard training and practice which enables a gradual development of skill to the higher levels.
Try to see martial arts as a project rather than a product.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Fu Leung, Grandmaster Zac's teacher...

Fu Leung, Grandmaster Zac's teacher...

Here are some pics of Grandmaster Zac's former teacher Fu Leung.
These are scans of black and white photos, taken sometime in the early 80's.
You can visit Fu Leung's Website Bak Shaolin Eagle to find out more about Fu Leung and his school.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Young Grandmaster Zac

Here is another great pic of a young Zac Walters, training his jumping kick, in Annandale, Sydney in the 70's.

Young Grandmaster Zac

Here is a great pic of a young Zac Walters, training with a partner in Annandale, Sydney, sometime in the late 70's.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Gosford City Australia Day Community Awards

Congratulations Zac!!!
Grandmaster Zac Walters has been awarded Gosford City's Australia Day Community Award.
Zac attended the awards ceremony earlier this week, and received the commendation from Mayor Laurie Maher and Chairman of the Australia Day Committee Chris Holstein.
Congratulations Zac, from your friends and students everywhere!!!