Sifu Mark Blackwell
I was born and raised in Dandenong, Victoria, Australia. I loved martial arts as a kid and idolized Bruce Lee. My passion for martial arts led me to study Judo and Jujitsu before I found the style Bruce Lee first learned, the core of his martial arts, Wing Chun.
I took my first class when I was 20 and it was love at first pak-sao punch. The speed, efficiency, power, and ease of performing this technique immediately hooked me in. I saw Wing Chun as a simple, effective martial art based on science and that hasn't changed. Its no-nonsense style of defence founded on economical movements, deflection, and proper body mechanics separated it from all the other styles I'd seen and studied.
I trained under Grandmaster William Cheung my first year at his Dandenong Academy (Tower Rd.) in 1990. The following year I began training under Master Joe Sayah. Later, I competed in several tournaments. In February 2007, I began training full time with Master Joe Sayah. I have been the chief instructor teaching at the Dandenong Wing Chun Kung Fu Academy since 2009.
I believe the first priority of a martial artist is to protect and serve others. But most people practice Wing Chun for the benefits of fitness, stress management, self-confidence, focus, discipline, and self-defence. Wing Chun is the only style developed by a woman which means ANYONE can do it: men, women, and children, young, old, big, or small! Just do it! All you need is a little enthusiasm, dedication, and to be open to learning and growing.