Wing Chun Kung Fu in Melbourne
Sigong Garry Baniecki
Garry Baniecki was born in Melbourne, Australia in 1954 and commenced his martial arts career during the sixties, at the early age of twelve. He initially studied Ju Jitsu combined with Korean Karate for 3 years attaining Brown Belt status. By the time he was 22, he had been involved in several other styles including Goju, Shotokan and Taekwondo.
In late 1985 by fate, Garry discovered a Wing Chun Kung Fu school located in Melbourne’s Chinatown and very soon, because of his obsession with legendary Bruce Lee, commenced training Traditional Wing Chun Kung Fu under the guidance of William Cheung and David Cheung. In those early years in Chinatown, Garry trained 2 to 4 times per week in Wing Chun Kung Fu and also became involved with Kung Fu tournaments and Dragon boat training.
By 1990, Garry realized this was his destiny and started training full time in wing chun kung fu. He soon became one of Sifu William Cheung‘s senior students. This status earned him the privilege of Friday night private classes with William Cheung for the next year at his Dandenong School.
In 1991 Garry was employed to teach morning classes at the Flinders Street school for the next 18 months, teaching local and overseas students. Garry then continued his full time studies of wing chun kung fu at the David Cheung Academy in Melbourne. He became an assistant teacher and main organizer at the school finally graduating to Instructor level in December 1994. After Garry graduated, he started teaching at nights in Greensborough, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia. This enabled him to continue his full time training until September 1996 when David Cheung decided to relocate and reside in Queensland. Having studied Traditional Wing Chun Kung Fu since 1986, Garry decided it was time to impart his extensive knowledge to the general public
By 1993, Sifu Garry had been studying Medical Qi-gong for 3 years, 2 years with a Dr. Lee and then 1 year with Dr. Jack Lim, when he met a Chinese Shaolin temple certified Qi Gong Master, Dr. Shan Hui Xu, whom introduced Garry to more advanced qi-gong training methods, including Shaolin Iron Shirt Qi-gong. Chinese Qi-gong training dramatically altered Sifu Garry’s perception on martial arts training and life in general. Once Garry understood the fundamental concept of Qi or Chi (life force energy), he then realized that to master and excel in all facets of martial arts training and indeed life, one had to learn and practice Chinese Medical Qi Gong therapy in conjunction with Kung Fu training. This was necessary to develop and cultivate the mind, body and spirit. Ultimately, this is the true path of a Taoist practitioner; Kung Fu and Qi-Gong training. Garry has studied Qi Gong Medical theory, Shaolin Iron Shirt Qi-Gong, Qi Gong meditation and self healing since 1990 as well as Chinese medicine, Chinese Tuina massage and Tai Chi qi-gong. Through Garry’s comprehensive knowledge on the philosophies and teachings from the Shaolin temple in dealing with energy and Chi development, Qi Gong, Iron Body and Iron Palm training and meditation, he has been able to incorporate these methods and training tools into his Wing Chun Curriculum.
In 1995, Garry successfully obtained a contract with the Australian Army, School of Signals and Commandos 123 Single Squadron, to instruct in unarmed combat, empty hand self-defence techniques and disarming techniques against rifle and bayonet attacks and Traditional Wing Chun Kung Fu, at the Watsonia Army Barracks. In doing so, the Shaolin Jee Shin Wing Chun Kung Fu Academy became the first Wing Chun Kung Fu Organisation in Australia to teach the Australian Armed Forces.
Ever since Garry began to teach in 1995, with his wife and business partner, Sifu Linda Davis, have travelled around Australia promoting their style of Shaolin Jee Shin Traditional Wing Chun Kung Fu by competing against all martial arts styles. In the process, Garry and Linda have gained a wealth of knowledge through interacting with many different people from many parts of the world and from seeing many various styles of martial artist in action.
Since 1995, Sifu Garry has trained Kung Fu champions, World Cup champions and National All Styles State, Australian and World champions, in weapons, forms and fighting.
At present, the Jee Shin Wing Chun Kung Fu Academy is involved in full contact muay thai and kick boxing, both amateur and professional.
In 2007, Garry graduated as a Martial Arts Sports Coach, under the new guidelines for government regulation of the martial arts industry and is also a registered full contact trainer. Garry also is an Accredited Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer.
Currently, sifu garry and sifu linda are preoccupied with studying and training KuLo wing chun kung fu with master Fung Kuen from the KuLo Pien Sun Wing Chun “Fung Family”, and will be spending the next 10 years travelling to China to study KuLo wing chun.
Traditional Wing Chun Kung Fu is a fighting art based on concepts, which makes it a “Thinking Man’s Art”, not bound by narrow-minded ideology or perception.
A special thank you to all the people who assisted and guided
me in the past, during my quest for knowledge. “