At the age of 5, Grandmaster Gee started his martial arts training under the tutelage of his father. While attaining mastery of the various styles in his Kung Fu family lineage, Grandmaster Garrett Gee demonstrated an affinity and flair for swordsmanship and is considered an expert swordsman. He and his brothers are the inheritors of Grandmaster Peter Kim Ho Chu's accumulated knowledge. Consequently, Grandmaster Gee is an accomplished practitioner and instructor of traditional Kung Fu weapons styles. At the age of 13, Grandmaster Gee impressed Dr. Wang Ming as they became acquainted while training daily in a park. Sifu Gee became the last of Dr. Wang's four disciples who received full training in Hung Fa Yi Wing Chun Kuen. Grandmaster Gee has been teaching since his move to the United States in 1975 at the age of 18. In 2001 he was voted "Martial Artist of the Year" by Action Magazine. Grandmaster Gee, on October 2003, authored one of the best selling martial arts book "Mastering Kung Fu: Shaolin Wing Chun". With the success of his first book and after many requests Grandmaster Gee is considering writing a second Hung Fa Yi Wing Chun book which will introduce more information to the public.
Sifu Garrett Gee comes from a family line renowned for intellectual leadership, statesmanship, and excellence in martial arts and military matters. Dating back 33 generations in Garrett Gee's direct ancestral line was Zhu Xi. According to sifu's written family tree, Zhu Xi married the daughter of mister Lau Chi-Chung and had three sons of which Sifu Gee is related to the middle or second son. Zhu Xi, one of the most prominent philosophers in all of Chinese history and was named the 45th Most Important Person in the last millennium by the Life Magazine. Zhu Xi played a pivotal role in the revival of Confucianism through the establishment of advanced academic institutions, active public correspondence with fellow scholars, publication of close to 100 books, and instruction of personal disciples who achieved broad public acceptance in their own rights. In addition to his enlightening commentaries on Confucianism, Zhu Xi profoundly influenced Chinese philosophical development for generations through his expositions on logical thought and scientific rationale. An Imperial decree in 1251, decades after Zhu Xi's death, designated several of his published commentaries as required reading for all government students. During the Ming Dynasty, Zhu Xi was officially elevated to the stature of Confucius and his birth was celebrated twice yearly. Even the finest ancient academies of scholarly study in surrounding Asian countries, such as Korea, Japan, Vietnam and other south asian countries still focus their curriculums around the writings and philosophies of Zhu Xi.
In more modern times, Sifu Gee's grandfather, Chu Jun-Bak was a renowned military leader who served as the chief instructor at Wong Bo Military School, the foremost military academy in China. Wong Bo's prominence equates to the status of West Point in the United States. Chu Jun-Bak's actually shared leadership at the Wong Bo Military School with Chiang Kai Shek in the early 1940s. Chu Jun-Bak then moved to Fatshan where his military and political acumen led to his service as Chief of Police and later as Deputy Mayor of Fatshan. Further political influence was curtailed upon the rise of Mao Tse-Tung and the Communist takeover of China.
Garrett Gee's father and first instructor, Grandmaster Peter Kim Ho Chu, is a much-respected Wu Tang instructor with more than 40 years teaching experience.
Traditionally, Hung Fa Yi Wing Chun Kuen was taught primarily to family members and/or indoor disciples. Until instruction of Garrett Gee by Dr. Ming Wang, Hung Fa Yi was never taught outside the family. In order to preserve his art and to honor his Kung Fu lineage, Sifu Gee has decided to pass on his knowledge to students who have demonstrated sincere interest in this Wing Chun style. He is currently the 8th Generation successor of Hung Fa Yi Wing Chun. His decision to open the system represents the first time in its 330 year history that Hung Fa Yi Wing Chun Kuen has been taught outside China or to the public.
Timeline- William Elliopoulos :
9th Generation HFY Disciple (San Francisco)Garrett Gee, a young Chinese martial artist, arrived in San Francisco the first week of January of 1975 at the age of 18. During his first month he experienced his first public challenge when 3 street gangsters confronted and attacked him on Union Street in front of the Metro Theater in the early morning hours. The fight didn’t last more than a couple of minutes with all combatants on the ground. The news of this fight spread through Chinatown and it was less than three months later when Garrett Gee was challenged to a friendly sparring match with one of the southern praying mantis style fighter, Wilson Lee, who was trained in Hong Kong. It was evident that Garrett Gee’s skills far surpassed those of Wilson’s. Wilson recognized that the Wing Chun that Sifu Gee used against him was very different from what he had seen in Hong Kong and asked Garrett Gee to teach him Hung Suen Wing Chun. It was at this early age of 19 that Sifu Gee began teaching in San Francisco.
On another occasion in the late 1980’s, an experienced martial artist (Mike Gonzales.) who completed the wing chun system after 6 years of Wing Chun from another school asked if he could touch hands with Sifu Gee. This encounter opened up the eyes of Mike and over the next four and one half months he spent every Saturday driving more than two hundred miles to the location where Sifu Gee was teaching to ask Sifu Gee to give him private lessons. During this period of 1975 - 1995, Sifu Gee did not teach Wing Chun openly to the public which is why Mike had to convince sifu Gee to teach him in private. Mike persisted for so long that Sifu Gee eventually agreed to teach Mike 20 hours of private lessons. The first lesson was to take place the following Saturday and Mike was to meet Sifu Gee at a specific park at 3 o’clock in the morning and was used as method of testing the dedication and loyalty of the student.. At the time of the first lesson Sifu Gee was not sure if Mike would show up because it was raining very hard. Mike was persistent and did show up that lesson as well as the others
Sifu Gee has been very active in the martial arts community in San Francisco. During the 1980’s he was invited to write a kung fu column for two local newspapers: The Chinese Times, Jing Boa Newspaper. Sifu Gee was also invited to teach Wing Chun at the Golden Gate University in San Francisco where he taught many of the professors and students. He was also actively participating in public demonstrations in San Francisco along with tournaments around the country. Sifu Gee has had the pleasure of teaching more than 500 students Wading and Shaolin kung fu along with several styles of Tai Chi. Over the course of many years he has had schools in Nob Hill, Mission Street, Market Street, South San Francisco, Daly City as well as the Hung Fa Kwoon headquarters currently on Monterey St. in San Francisco.
During the late 1990’s Sifu Gee contributed the chapter on Red Boat Wing Chun to the book written by Robert Chu , Y. Wu and Rene Ritchie called “Complete Wing Chun”. It was from this experience that Master Benny Meng, curator of the Ving Tsun Museum, first heard of Sifu Gee and Hung Fa Yi wing chun. Master Meng made several trips to San Francisco to communicate with Sifu Gee and to find out more information about his style of wing chun. After only his second trip to meet with Sifu Gee in person Benny Meng experienced something that had not experienced before in all of his trips around the world and because of this asked Sifu Gee if he could become his personal disciple. Sifu Gee was also very impressed with the selfless dedication that Benny Meng and the members of the Ving Tsun Museum research team have shown towards the art of wing chun. Sifu Gee decided to share his art with Benny Meng which proved to be one of the turning points in Hung Fa Yi history as it was shortly after this that Sifu Gee decided to share his art with the world as teach publicly.
We are happy to announce that Grandmaster Garrett Gee was nominated into the 2004 United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame by Grandmaster Edward Badiang. The United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame Director, Selection Committee and the Grandmasters Council has personally approved Grandmaster Gee's nomination as "Grandmaster of the Year". The martial arts community continues to recognize the contributions that he has made.
- HFY Oral Tradition
- Oral and Written Tradition Garret Gee