Thursday, May 23, 2024

Al Wharton biography

Al Wharton Bio   (amended by Alaia Wharton)

Al Wharton started his Uechi Ryu Karate training in 1969 at the Mattson Academy of Karate at the Hancock Street dojo in Boston. After a year of training in Uechi Ryu, with instructors such as Jim Maloney, Bob Campbell, Victor Molton, Jon Mills, a classmate told him he had seen a wonderful demonstration of Chinese martial arts; and was inviteto attend a training session, and wanted him to come along. Al went along with his friend and met Master Chin Bing Cheung, becoming his student in Bak Sil Lum (Northern Shaolin). He trained 4 times weekly in Uechi Ryu and 3 times in Bak Sil Lum weekly, and intentionally did not let any instructors know that he practiced more than one system. He advanced in both systems and competed in many tournaments doing kumite under the guidance of Jim Maloney, and advanced classes taught by George Mattson. He continued to train and compete in both disciplines until he left Boston in 1975, when he returned to Bermuda. Al put in many hours training over the 5-6 years, and learned as much as he could. 

Back home Al set about perfecting what he learned from Master Chin, performing demos and competing in many tournaments in Bermuda and abroad. Sifu Al began teaching Bak Sil Lum in 1976, having Master Chin now in Florida, and travelling overseas for further training. Sifu Al had a very good foundation in Northern Shaolin, having learned the lower sets, weapons, and two person set. He was invited by Master Chin to locate to Florida and be his disciple which was a great honor; however, his committment to teaching Uechi Ryu, once it became known to his first karate student Evryod Weeks, who found out that he was only teaching Kung Fu, and persisted with requests to study Uechi Ryu Karate kept him on the path that has led him to be the martial artist that he is today.

He therefore started teaching Uechi Ryu Karate in 1977, also over the early years studied Shotokan Karate with Kazumi Tabata and captained and coached the Bermuda Karate team in many WUKO World championships, and later studied the fundamentals of Chen Tai Chi, and Hau Shan Pai Qi Gong.

Al has taught hundreds of students in the 50 plus years, and has been recognized twice by Bermuda Government for his contribution to martial arts; having hosted many tournaments and seminars introducing some of the finest masters of martial arts to Bermuda’s shores. In 2012 he hosted the 13th edition of the Bermuda Arts And Fitness Academy’s Martial Arts Tournament, one of the largest. Sensei / Sifu Al has proven to be a teacher’s teacher, setting the foundation for advancement of many of his students who have become teachers in their own right. He can be credited with introducing Kung Fu, and Uechi Ryu Karate to Bermuda, having some of the finest practitioners come under his instruction. His legacy is secure being known in the Kung Fu and Karate fraternity along the eastern seaboard and Caribbean. He is more widely known for his Uechi Ryu Karate, having attained Master status, and has been recently promoted to 10th Dan (Judan). He was inducted into the Uechi Hall Of Fame in 1982. He has created a DVD of “Sechin Combat Bunkai” as part of his contribution to the Uechi Communitee for his 8th dan, and is preparing to contribute a Kata called “Kinsei” at his upcomming 10th dan ceremomy at Winterfest. His finest moment being present when long time student Eugene Ford won the Uechi World Title for Senior Kumite in Florida and California.

Master Al has also been recently awarded the Title of Hanshi as a consequence of his contributions to the system of Uechi Ryu Karate-Do

Master Al is respected and admired for keeping Uechi Ryu Karate and Bak Sil Lum kung fu at the  forefront of the martial arts community in Bermuda. He is now living in England with his family and has no plans to retire, as he will be teaching online classes through the Mattson Academy’s online program, in the near future.

1969::   Boston College : Started Uechi  Ryu Karate training in Boston Massachusetts.  
1970::   Introduced to Master Chin Bing Cheung began Bak Siu Lum practice.  
1982::   Inducted into Uechi Hall Of Fame.                            

Master Al remembers his 1993 and 2006 tournaments as the most fulfilling.
Coaching Bermuda teams in regional and world competition.
Training in Okinawa with the great masters.
Fought Canadian middleweight boxing champ.
Created  “Seichin Combat Bunkai”
Created  “Kinsei Kata” 

2024::   Awarded the rank of Judan
2024::   Awarded the Title of Hanshi     

Master / Sifu Al is married to Sophia and has three daughters Alaia, Tjana, and Zara Rose, and one adopted son Michael.

“A BODY IN MOTION STAYS IN MOTION”.                                                                      

Some interesting videos about Al Wharton Sensei

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