Ling Nam Siu Lum Kung Fu Academy was established in 1984 by Sifu Michael Manganiello. It was the first kung fu school on Long Island that was to open to the public. Prior to that, only private instruction was available.
"A powerful southern kung fu system not limited to short range fighting but rather flexible enough to cover mid and long range bridges."
Ling Nam Siu Lum Kung Fu Academy.
My interest in martial arts, as was the case for so many in my generation, was founded by the TV series Kung Fu starring David Carradine. I was always athletic and was blessed with a fair degree of strength and speed. However, there was something about this “Kung Fu” that attracted me.
Of course, at this time there were very few Kung Fu schools around so I took a free Okinawan Karate class at a local dojo. Unfortunately, the appeal of this style did not sate my appetite for martial arts in the same way Kung Fu as depicted in the TV series did.
Several years later I was living in New Jersey where I found a Northern Shaolin Kung Fu school. At the time I wasn’t aware of the myriad of kung fu styles. What I did realize was my preference was to employ less kicking and more hands. So Northern Shaolin at the time was not a good option to continue my kung fu training.
A few years later career opportunities bought me back to New York. I located a Kung Fu school in Merrick Long Island. Here I found a teacher and style I perceived to be ideal for my temperament and attributes. Here I found Sifu Michael Manganiello and the Ling Nam Siu Lum Kung Fu Academy. What immediately struck me about Sifu Mike was not his size (he was big) and not his strength (awesome) but rather how quickly he could move and how powerful his movements were while being so smooth and subtle.
Sifu placed great emphasis on stances and not learning forms for memorization sake but to extract from these sequences martial techniques and applications to be used in infinite ways against opponents of varying sizes, attributes and abilities. Furthermore, Sifu Mike and his brother Sifu Mark Manganiello possessed powerful physiques. Unlike some of the smaller martial arts instructors I studied with, both Sifu Mike and Sifu Mark were powerful and stocky but moved with the speed of a cat, graceful, agile and with intent.
So my studies in Hung Ga kung fu began. A powerful southern kung fu system not limited to short range fighting but rather flexible enough to cover mid and long range bridges. The style was also well suited to my preference of strong powerful hand and bridge techniques employing characteristics of animals and elements.
My 30 year friendship and mentorship with Sifu Mark and the late Sifu Mike has led me to understand and employ how to create and navigate angles when bridging and engaging opponents using hung ga techniques.
I strive to replicate those lessons when working with Ling Nam students as they too traverse the lifelong study of Hung Ga kung fu.