Modern Kung fu

Total Combat!

Damon Win’s MMA Match at Mike Stidham’s Ultimate Combat Experience

Congrats to our friend  and  my brother Damon Willis for winning his MMA match by RNG.  Damon has been training with his coach and friend Chuck Costello – (MMA Professional Trainer And Fighter!) Mike Darcy  train’s at the Ultimate Combat Center and  was listed as a kickboxer. It is a great fight!!!!!! No doubt  Darcy was a tough kid and UCE was a great place to bring fighters

Thanks to James for allowing me to  become a guest  on his blog,

Devin Willis


December 23, 2008 Posted by | damon willis, Grandmaster Jimmy H. Woo, History of Modern kung fu, mma, Uncategorized | , , | 4 Comments

Chatting With Mr. “Devin Willis”

I had a chance to talk with Devin on the phone last night and enjoyed it a lot!

When did you start your martial arts training?


My father  Donald Willis was my first instructor. He liked boxing a lot and some Judo. He taught me the basics of judo and boxing when I was very young…(no gi)

Later I would train in American Kenpo , Shotokan Karate  and Kung fu. In the later years I trained with Master David Lee in Modern Kung fu and became a teacher for him in San Jose California. I have had many teachers over the years, because I am always learning.

Through Family and friends  I met other martial artists like Ed Parker. (Not just karate people but boxers , wrestlers, aikido, judo…etc. In fact Damon(His brother) has trained with world class instructors, but keeps training with me(I noted this seemed to humble Devin)

It was a very interesting time. I met Mr. Parker of Kenpo and what a great man he was and I learned a lot by talking and listening. He was a good example of leadership in the Martial Arts AND is missed.

More to come-


September 11, 2008 Posted by | david lee, devin willis, ed parker, History of Modern kung fu, MKF Ranges, MKF Take downs and Throws, Uncategorized | , , , | 6 Comments

Shuai Chaio and Chin NA In MKF

According to Devin Willis , “..Master David Lee was taught Shuai Chaio(Shuai Jiao), not Akido It also had entailed Chin Na. also, we were taught to also had strike as we to enter. In Shuai Chaio the main goal is to throw the opponent hard, at a very akward angles, and possibly breaking something along the way of the throw.

I was taught by my Instructor that Shuai-chiao was used by the bodyguards to the chinese emporers.

Our “drills”consited of full contact sparing , with the understanding a takedown was considered any part
of the body, other than the feet, touching the ground. You only got points for a clean throw, you had to remain on your feet and couldn’t be dragged down as well.

Also, once the two competitors “locked up” or made physical contact to initiate/repel, resist, we were given 4 count, if noone had been thrown the competitors were
seperated thus you had to go for the quick clean throw.

Many of the throws are similar to Judo, but sacracfice techniques are not used in sport version of Shuai Chaio (since whoever hits the ground first loses points). It is also illegal in sport Shuai Jiao to throw opponents with techniques that lock the joints.However , used Chin na and worked with joint locks..”
But in It is also illegal in street Shuai Chaio to throw opponents with techniques that lock the joints to break as they are thrown is  the version taught in MKF.


April 19, 2008 Posted by | david lee, devin willis, History of Modern kung fu, MKF Ranges, MKF Take downs and Throws, systems used | , , , , , | 6 Comments

I have always wondered if Grandmaster Jimmy H. Woo and Master Lee ever crossed paths?

     San Soo kung fu is one of the most effective systems for self defense. Modern Kung fu is also known as an effective system.

I have always wondered if Grandmaster Jimmy H. Woo and Master Lee ever crossed paths? Devin was never sure
Grandmaster Jimmy H. Woo brought the art of San Soo kung fu to America in

around the 1930’s and was the first Chinese to teach non-Asians. From when he

opened his El Monte, CA school in 1958 until his death in 1991, he taught

thousands of fighters what many Martial artists consider the most brutally effective

martial art existing today. I have started to study it the last year and Modern Kung fu seems to perhaps mimic it in many ways?

-kicks and punches, leverages (chin-na), mauling and grappling techniques,

classical (staff, tri-sectional, knife, ) and


-unorthodox (chair, shoe, belt, etc.) weaponry, sweeps, throws, and

take-downs, and pressure point or nervous system strikes.


San Soo kung fu and Modern Kung fu are attack-based, first-strike-mentality art unfettered by sport and aesthetic considerations. Eye gouges , joint and neck breaks, biting, and many other “unethical” strikes are the san soo practitioner’s bread and butter. We believe fighting is not a game, but brutal, ugly, nasty business.

As the great warrior Miyamoto Musashi said, our sole intent is to step in and kill the enemy.

There is no other consideration. Since any martial artist will fight

exactly as he has trained, we never train with rules but with deadly

serious intent and a healthy respect for not only our partners, but for

every human being. True san soo kung fu is not for everyone; only for

those who are serious about real-life self defense against one or more

attackers, armed or unarmed. No silly animal postures. No endless

breathing exercises. Just the scientific study of street-fighting

principles and psychology. One of the reasons I had to leave Devin because of his religion of Mormonism, His Instructor Don Neal was a Lay Pastor and my current instructor is also a Christian(what is a Christian?.)

For more information on San Soo kung fu, you can contact

Master Mark Colby

Contact him by email at:


or through his website at this link

P.s-Devin was an awesome man, teacher and fighter. He was just unsaved.

April 17, 2008 Posted by | david lee, devin willis, Grandmaster Jimmy H. Woo, History of Modern kung fu, MKF Ranges, MKF Take downs and Throws, Modern Kung Fu Swicki, San Soo kung fu | , , , | 4 Comments


I may have contacted Master David Lee , I was told he had passel away .

It looks like according to my sources he is working as a Sound Engineer and living in Singapore. He now is teaching Yoga I am excited to interview. I will be flying out to meet with him in the  January , Email address:

Correspondence address:

Thomson Road Post Office P.O. Box 435, 915715.
Languages: English and Chinese, Malay.

October 14, 2007 Posted by | david lee, History of Modern kung fu | , | 4 Comments

Sambo, Judo, BJJ, Catch Wrestling vs MKF’s grappling skills???

My thoughts on a question that was posted about Sambo, Judo, BJJ, Catch Wrestling vs Devin’s grappling skills???

The question has been answered on how MKF does against the different type opponents (small examples see detail here and here) I do understand an instructor in Modern Kung Fu was beaten by a Gracie (Royce) in the eary 90’s . Since then Most MKF families have enchanced the ground game. However Devin has kept to his training as he always been taught.

If one was to watch Devin Willis or a person who trained with him was to us grappling skills only . It would seem as a modifed Greco-Roman , Freestyle wrestling, Shuai Chiao and Judo . clinching, takedowns and throws,

Note Devin always taught to soften with strikes using modifed Muay Thai, boxing Kenpo to improve the striking aspect of the clinch.

On the Ground:  a mkf person uses modifed Chin na Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, shoot wrestling, catch wrestling, Judo, and Sambo are trained to improve submission holds, and defense against them. we use  the WEB to tied opponents arms up. Other people have thoutht Devin used modified Jiu-Jitsu, pankration, and styles of amateur wrestling are trained to improve positioning and maintain ground control . They are correct

July 29, 2007 Posted by | david lee, devin willis, History of Modern kung fu, MKF Ranges | 2 Comments

Ed Parker’s Kenpo VS Modern Kung Fu

Ed Parker (March 19, 1931–December 15, 1990) was an American martial artist and teacher. He is perhaps most famous as the founder of American Kenpo.

Parker was born in Hawaii and raised a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He began his training in the martial arts at a young age in judo and later boxing. Some time in the 1940s, Ed Parker was first introduced to Kenpo by Frank Chow. After some time Frank Chow introduced Ed Parker to William K. S. Chow. Mr. Parker trained with William Chow, while serving in the Coast Guard and attending Brigham Young University. In 1953 that he was promoted to the rank of black belt by William K.S. Chow.

By 1956, Mr. Parker opened his Dojo in Pasadena, California. His first black belt student was Charles Beeder. The other black belts in chronological order up to 1962 were: James Ibrao, Rich Montgomery, Rick Flores, Al and Jim Tracy of Tracy Kenpo, Chuck Sullivan, John McSweeney, and Dave Hebler. In 1962 one of Mr. Parker’s black belts, John McSweeney, opened a school in Ireland, which enabled Mr. Parker to create the International Kenpo Karate Association.

Devin And Ed Parker

Devin And Ed Parker

Devin Willis was raised in South Pasadena and Pasadena, California. a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Mr.Willis’s Family and The Parker family have known each other for years, starting as a little boy and then gowing into a man. He knew Mr Parker , simply as Brother Parker and had the fortune of discussing the martial arts and self defense. Mr Willis knew Ed Parker Jr and Sister Parker and loved the family.

One of the reasons I had to leave Devin because of his religion of Mormonism, His Instructor Don Neal was a Lay Pastor and my current instructor is also a Christian(what is a Christian?.)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

May 20, 2007 Posted by | American Kenpo., devin willis, ed parker, History of Modern kung fu, Mormon, systems used | , , , | 11 Comments

History of Modern kung fu

In San Jose, California during the early 1970s a method of combat by the name of Modern Kung Fu which also means “New Hard Task” or “New Work”. The founder name was Master David Lee.

Master Lee had studied many different systems of martial arts in China starting as a very young boy. Some were Pa kua chang, China’s wrestling, Shaolin (martial arts) Hung Gar, Monkey, Eagle Claw, Crane, Drunken Monkey, Tiger, Mantis.

The Main goal in MKF as in most styles of martial arts is to become a better human being. MKF is for defense of different zones, 1-5 the Modern Kung-Fu community utilizes the following breakdown grappling range, trapping range, punching range, and kicking range. Names are merely labels, though. In punching range, you can punch if you would like, or you might do anything else (such as an eye-strike) that would work efficiently within that range. The number of categories that is used is also optional.

In MKF, is known for its ability to adapt to different attacks and defense. The goal of a student is that he/she can defend themselves from any position. This system does not believe in any set techniques, instead it holds to studying movement of the human body.

In the 1990s MKF has added many more theories and movements from other systems. The Don Willis system of boxing, koga system (defensive tactics), Kenpo. They also focus on Muay Thai, Modified Freestlye submission and Greco-Roman wrestling. The interesting thing about MKF is it continues to grow for the future (Willis Modern Combatives). Instructors are always learning and growing with other arts and teachers. This keeps the system from going stale and outdated. An example of the Willis Modern Combative’s theory and ideas are alive, one only needs to visit a gym owned by Damon Willis, Who is well versed in MKF and Willis Modern Combatives and is an Muay Thai Assistant Instructor under Master Toddy.

He was also taught by his brother Devin Willis, who has his instructors ranking in MKF and Willis Modern Combatives . Devin has been training in the martial arts since he was eight years old and has followed that path for over thirty years. He has taught nureous students over the years ncluding law enforcement, military personal

Both Willis are always trying to grow and are currently studying one area they are interested in Walt Bayless Jiu-Jitsu and more Muay Thai.


  • Oral History of Modern Kung Fu – David Lee interview 1979
  • Modern Kung Fu- understanding true combative applications by Devin Willis (unpublished manuscript)
  • Reading And Critical Thinking Book -1 Donald L. Barnes – This book has a great section on the roots of Kung Fu

May 2, 2007 Posted by | History of Modern kung fu | 1 Comment