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Master Lisandro Vega
Lisandro Vega (Sifu Li) began his martial arts training at the age of six, with formal training in the Japanese throwing art, Judo. He also took classes in western boxing and karate at his judo club. This early training helped Sifu Li develop his flexibility, strength, and coordination, aiding him throughout his martial arts career. He enjoyed this training very much and became interested in all martial arts--particularly the Chinese martial arts, which he loved watching in Kung Fu movies.
At the age of 8, Sifu Li enrolled in the Shaolin Kung Fu School in Puerto Rico, under the direction of Master Leung Li Fu. His teacher was Sifu Orlando Gonzalez. Sifu Gonzalez is well known for his iron body and iron palm skills.
Sifu Li started training in the Korean Martial Arts of Tae Kwon Do and Tang Soo Do at the age of fifteen. Because of his previous experience, Sifu Li was able to achieve a black belt in these arts in a very short time. He then returned to full-time training at the Shaolin Kung Fu school.
It was at this time that Master Leung Li Fu introduced Sifu Li to the Eagle Claw Kung Fu style. Sifu Li has been training and teaching Eagle Claw and Shaolin Kung Fu ever since then. Sifu Li has been certified to teach Shaolin and Eagle Claw Kung Fu by the Leung Li Fu Association of Bak Shaolin/Eagle Claw Kung Fu.
In 1990, Sifu Li came to Western Massachusetts. He was unable to find a good kung fu school in the area, and had to travel to Boston and New York to train. During this time Sifu Li was hired to instruct at a local martial arts school. Sifu Li was hired to help the schools instructors transition from teaching Japanese Kempo to Chinese Kung Fu. Dissatisfied with the teaching methods of this school owner, Sifu Li opened his own school in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1992.
Sifu Li invited Master Leung Li Fu to teach at his school in 1994. Master Fu stayed until 1996. During this time Master Fu would send Sifu Li to other Eagle Claw schools across the country, where he would work with instructors to raise their skill level.
Since 1996, Sifu Li has trained (with Master Fu's blessing) with multiple teachers, including Sifu Shi Yan Ming, who opened the first USA Shaolin Temple school in New York City, and Master Hu Jian Qiang, a wushu champion and teammate of Jet Li (as well as a veteran of several Kung Fu movies himself). While running his own school in Springfield, Sifu Li also taught in one of Master Hu's schools for over a year. In addition, Sifu Li has spent time in China, training with several well-known masters, and participated in many seminars with different teachers in the U.S.
Sifu Li has competed in national and international tournaments. He has competed in forms and sparring, in open tournaments and in exclusively Chinese martial arts tournaments. He has done very well in all levels of competition.
While Sifu Li believes in the value of competition for training, he values his accomplishments as an instructor far more. Sifu Li's quest to improve teaching and training in the martial arts has led him to be invited to teach and demonstrate Kung Fu in both the United States and in China. Sifu Li has many students who have also been very successful in national and international competitions as well as going on to be instructors and school owners themselves.
Head Instructor Sihing Adam Lueb
Sihing Adam's interest in martial arts started as a young boy. He first started training Uechi Ryu Karate at age 6. Realizing the school wasn't a fit, Sihing Adam chose to move on to other forms of Martial Arts. Sihing Adam searched for other martial arts that interested him but there was not much of a selection where he lived. At the age of 19 he finally found his school. Inspired by Jackie Chan and Jet Li movies he watched in his teens, he started training Shaolin Kung Fu with Sifu Kevin Ritter in Chicopee, MA.
Sihing Adam enrolled in Pioneer Valley Martial Arts and was soon training as many days a week as he could. Sifu Kevin saw his passion for Kung Fu and invited him to help out in the kids class. This was when Sihing Adam discovered that he wanted to teach martial arts. When his teacher, Sifu Kevin, moved to Florida he was taken in by Kevin's teacher, Sifu Lisandro Vega. The training was hard and meticulous. Motivated by his new training, Sihing Adam saw himself improve in a short time and saw his skill reach a high level. Sihing Adam was introduced to Eagle Claw kung fu during this period.
Sihing Adam opened the Shaolin Kung Fu Center in Chicopee in 2007. He trained many students in the art of Shaolin and Eagle Claw Kung Fu. His students went on to dominate the local tournaments in the area and win many trophies and ribbons. In 2011 Sihing Adam invited Sifu Lisandro in to further the training of the students and take over the school.
Sihing Adam has trained with Sifu Lisandro for over 10 years and has also trained internationally to improve his martial arts skill and ability to teach. Sihing Adam has also made many close friends with other top students and teachers around the USA.
Working hard has earned Sihing Adam numerous top medals in National and International Competitions for forms and fighting. Sihing Adam brings all his passion, knowledge, and skill to the Shaolin Kung Fu Center in Springfield, so that the students can become the best martial artists they can be.
Taiji Instructor Margery Gerard
Margery Gerard’s initial interest and training in taiji started at Naropa Institute, Boulder,
Colorado, in the summer of 1974. Twenty-two years later Margery started training with
Li Baijing, in western Massachusetts, on the contemporary wushu forms that are based
on Yang style taiji (24 form, 48 form, 42 competition form, sword competition form). In
the summer of 1999 Li Baijing hosted a training with Grandmaster Chen Zhenglei, one of
the four Chen grandmaster diamonds, and his most senior student, Master Wang Haijun
both from Henan province, China. Since then Margery has focused her taiji practice on
Chen style, training solely with these two teachers. She has studied with Master Wang in
China, England, Ireland, and in the United States in Tennessee, North Carolina, Maryland
She is trained in and practices Lao Jia Yi Lu (Old Frame First Form), Lao Jia Er Lu (Old
Frame Second Form or Pao Chui/Cannon Fist), 56 Competition Form, Chen Shi Taiji
Jian (Single Sword), Chen Shi Taiji Dao (Single Broadsword), and Guan Dao (long
weapon). She has earned Certificates of Completion in Lao Jia Yi Lu from Grandmaster
Chen Zhenglei (2005) and from Master Wang Haijun (2010) and for Sword from Master
Wang Haijun (2011). Master Wang has given Margery permission to teach as of spring
2011. She has taught Yi Lu, Er Lu and sword forms.
At the 2nd and 3rd New England International Chinese Martial Arts Championship
competitions (2002, 2008) she won silver and bronze medals in hand and short weapon
forms for her level. In 2007 Margery traveled to China with Master Wang Haijun and
while there visited Chen Jiagou, considered to be the birthplace of taijiquan.