history of Wong’s Ji Do Kwan begins with the history of its
founder, Sensei Gary Wong.
At the age of three, Gary Wong began studying Chinese Boxing with his first mentor, his grandfather. At the age of seven he began formal training under the direction of Professor Wally Jay, of Alameda, where he studied Judo and Small Circle Theory Ju Jit Su for several years. At the age of thirteen, he began his training with Sensei Macario Delacruz of San Leandro, where he studied Ji Do Kwan-Tae Kwon Do. At the age of fourteen, he began teaching. And at age nineteen he received a black belt in Ji Do Kwan-Tae Kwon Do.
In 1984, Sensei Wong’s teacher retired and he was guided to train with other competent martial artists studying Japanese Karate, Kajukenbo and Eskrima. He continued his training, while at college, where he studied Tai Chi and continued gaining knowledge and concepts in other martial art styles.
In 1993, Sensei Wong graduated from Life Chiropractic College West and became a licensed doctor of chiropractic. He used this combined background of martial arts and professional training to develop a process of accelerated learning through state-of-the-art instruction. His unique training methodology helps reduce the chance of joint related injuries incurred from improper teaching and training of individuals.
In 1995, Sensei Wong returned to teaching for America’s Best Karate. While there he began training with Master Anthony Chan and Master George Chung. He learned Wu Shu weaponry and Praying Mantis from Master Chan and from Master Chung he learned Southern Broadsword and Kobuto, the art of Okinawan weaponry. He began teaching his new modern training methods but soon realized that it could not be done in a commercialized setting.
In 1999, Sensei Wong became disenchanted with the commercial aspect of martial arts and decided it was time to get away from teaching for other martial art schools. He spent the next few years teaching a small handful of students who were dedicated to learning and during this time he further developed his own program. In 2001, he took the plunge and opened Wong’s Ji Do Kwan and embarked in a direction that suited his belief in teaching martial arts as a way of life and not only as a physical sport or activity. He believed that a person would reach the goal of Black Belt when they were ready and there were no time constraints. In 2001, he was recognized for all of his efforts and was inducted into the United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame.
In 2009, Sensei Wong was presented a 3rd Class Black Belt in Eskrima/Eskrido from Grand Master Ciriaco "Cacoy" Canete of Cacoy Doce Pares. Sensei Wong continues with his studies in various other martial arts styles such as Doce Pares, Wing Chun and Iron Palm when time permits.
He continues to develop, combine and improve techniques both old and new and hopes that you will embark on this journey with him.
Sensei Wong believes that just because you train and develop physical skills in the martial arts that does not make one a black belt. Being a black belt is not something that you put on, but something that you become. Being a black belt is something that is developed over time and with perseverance and may take a lifetime to achieve. Sensei Wong has seen through his many years in the martial arts at how most students become complacent about what a black belt is. He has seen how so many others feel that it is a goal that may seem unattainable. He has also seen those that have earned a black belt that never continue their training. If a student becomes discouraged then all the effort that was put forth is lost. It is the teacher who must inspire and educate the student in the ways of becoming a black belt.