David Petersen

Principal Instructor of the ‘Melbourne Chinese Martial Arts Club’

David Peterson, 47, has been training in the Chinese martial arts since 1973. He became a student of Sifu Wong Shun Leung after travelling to Hong Kong in 1983. He is a graduate of the University of Melbourne, where he majored in Chinese studies, and a teacher of the Chinese language for over twenty years, having now taught at two of Melbourne's most prestigious private schools, 'Ivanhoe Girls' Grammar' and 'Camberwell Grammar School'. Peterson is a speaker of both the Mandarin and Cantonese dialects, and principal instructor of the ‘Melbourne Chinese Martial Arts Club’ (MCMAC) which he established in 1983, and where he instructs in the “Wong Shun Leung Way”.

Peterson is one of only two qualified instructors of Wong’s system in Australia, authorised by Sifu Wong personally before his death, and a fully endorsed member of the world-wide ‘Wong Shun Leung Ving Tsun (Wing Chun) Martial Arts Association’ and the Hong Kong-based 'Ving Tsun Athletic Association'. Peterson interpreted for his teacher whenever Sifu Wong conducted seminars in Australia, and in 1996 was employed as script translator on Jackie Chan’s ‘Mr Nice Guy’, which was shot on location in Melbourne. Actively involved in the local Chinese community, Peterson is the only non-Chinese member of the 'Melbourne Chinese Masonic Society' ('Man Ji Dong') and a prominent member of their Lion Dance Team. He is a former Victorian Chairman of the 'Federation of Australasian Kung-fu Organizations' (FAKO), a position he held for eight consecutive years, and an Accredited Coach under the 'National Coaching Accreditation Scheme' (NCAS) run by the Australian Federal Government.

He is also a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in many local (Australian) and overseas journals, including ‘Combat’, ‘Inside Kung-fu’, ‘Black Belt’, ‘Masters of the Martial Arts’, ‘Impact: the Action Movie Magazine’, ‘Eastern Heroes’, ‘Australasian Fighting Arts’, ‘Blitz Australasian Martial Arts Magazine’, ‘Traditional Martial Arts Journal’, ‘Impact Martial Arts Magazine’, ‘Qi Magazine’, ‘Australasian Martial Arts Magazine’, ‘Martial Arts Illustrated’, ‘Kung Fu Qigong Magazine’, ‘Fight Times’, ‘Ging Wing Chun’, ‘Kicksider’ and ‘Kung-fu Illustrierte’. More recently, his articles have featured on several international Web sites, including ‘wingchunkuen.com’, ‘Planet Wing Chun’, ‘Wing Chun World’, ‘vtmuseum.org’ and ‘WongShunLeung.com’.

In 1998, Peterson was invited to America for the first time by Sifu Jesse Glover, the late Bruce Lee's original student, teaching in both Seattle and Los Angeles. In November 1999, Peterson was a guest presenter at the '1st World Ving Tsun Conference' in Hong Kong, presenting his views on the future of the Wing Chun system. A highly respected seminar presenter of the ‘WSL Method’ of Wing Chun, both in Australia and overseas, Peterson travelled to the USA for a second time in 2000 to conduct seminars and workshops at the 'Ving Tsun Museum' in Dayton, Ohio, and to an enthusiastic group of Wing Chun and JKD enthusiasts in Orlando and Fort Myers, Florida.

In July 2003, on the invitation of devotees of the ‘WSL Method’ there, he travelled to the UK for the first time, conducting seminars and workshops in Manchester, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, Southampton and London (St Albans). While there, he was interviewed by both ‘Combat’ and ‘Martial Arts Illustrated’ magazines, two of Britain’s most prominent martial arts journals. As a result of the success of this trip, a second trip to the UK took place in September with seminars and workshops being presented in Whitley Bay, and again in both Newcastle and Manchester. A third trip to the UK is to take place in April of this year (2005). Peterson is the author of ‘Look Beyond the Pointing Finger: the Combat Philosophy of Wong Shun Leung’, the first-ever English language book on his teacher’s interpretation of the Wing Chun system, published in September of 2001.

David Peterson can be contacted by mail at: PO Box 150, Ivanhoe, Victoria 3079, Australia; by telephone at: 0407-043-303 (International: +61-407-043-303); or by e-mail at: dmp@cgs.vic.edu.au