Instructor Robert Bartkowski – “Sifu Bobby” to his class and students – began his martial art training in 1994. A direct student of Sifu Philip Ng (himself a direct student of the late Grandmaster and undefeated no-rules challenge fighter Sifu Wong Shun Leung) Robert is a certified Instructor in Ving Tsun (Wing Chun) kung fu under the prestigious Ng Family Chinese Martial Arts Association headquartered in Chicago’s Chinatown.
For those who may not be aware, Wong Shun Leung was the man directly responsible for instructing a young Bruce Lee in Hong Kong. In fact, Wong Shun Leung’s own experience as a street fighter (undefeated in some say hundreds of bare knuckle no-rules challenge matches in Hong Kong) as well as his direct, no-nonsense philosophy of personal protection, having survived several street encounters against both armed and unarmed attackers and almost always outnumbered, inspired Lee in his evolution of his own personal style of martial arts which he termed jeet kune do, translated as way of the intercepting fist.
Robert also holds Apprentice Instructor certification in Intense Defense Systems Jeet Kune Do, a Phase III Instructor rank in the Proactive Personal Security system of Close Quarter Self Defense through Empower Training Systems, a 1st degree black belt/ Assistant Instructor ranking through the American Taekwondo Association (ATA) and a Full Instructor certificate from the Lee Academy Martial Arts Association. Always seeking ways and methods to enhance his ability to transmit information to those he teaches, Robert attended and successfully completed the United States Navy Instructor Basic Course (ATS-0012-0012) while a member of the U.S. Naval Reserve.
Robert is the founder of the 820Express Ving Tsun Martial Science Club, an organization dedicated to preserving and sharing the Wong Shun Leung system of Ving Tsun as passed to him by Sifu Philip Ng for the sole purpose of self-protection and combat proficiency.
Robert is also the creator of the WALKING WEAPON Self Protection Skills System (a close quarters system heavily inspired by WSL Ving Tsun), as well as the WHITE COLLAR WARRIOR Corporate and Executive Training System, a program designed to offer hands-on self defense & personal protection instruction in condensed 1 to 2 hour blocks of time to corporations and businesses of all types as a means of challenging comfort zones, improving camaraderie and fostering a sense of team unity in the workplace.
Robert is a Charter Member of the Traditional Chinese Martial Arts Coalition of Chicago as well as a registered member of the Carolinas Association of Chinese Martial Arts. In November of 2016 Robert was granted Lifetime Membership status in the historic and world renowned Hong Kong Chinese Martial Arts Association; in order to gain admission into the HKCMAA one must first be nominated and then sponsored by 2 existing members to become a member themselves.
A hands-on instructor and self-confessed perpetual “white belt,” Robert does not merely teach from the sidelines; he can be found training alongside those in class-bumps, bruises and all. It is Robert’s belief that the only way to improve those you teach is to constantly improve yourself.
This philosophy of skill development and work ethic is reflected in both those he has instructed as well as in the many awards won by Robert in open competition.
- 2002 Wing Chun Champion, Chicago Kung Fu Championships
- 2004 Heavyweight Black Belt Fighting Champion, Chicago International Wushu-Gongfu Tournament
- 2004 Heavyweight Black Belt Fighting Champion, Chicago Kung Fu Championships
- 2004 Wing Chun Open Division Chi Sau Champion, Chicago Kung Fu Championships
- 2005 Sanshou (Chinese Kickboxing) Bronze Medalist, Great Lakes Kung Fu National Championships
- 2006 Heavyweight Black Belt Fighting Champion, Chicago International Wushu-Gongfu Tournament
- 2006 Wing Chun Open Division Chi Sau Champion, Chicago International Wushu-Gongfu Tournament
- 2009 Chicago Boxing Club “Bridgeport Beatdown” Exhibition Champion
Robert is a PROUD Member of the following organizations:
Robert is fiercely committed to passing on the art and science of Ving Tsun (Wing Chun) Gung-Fu as it was passed onto him by Sifu Philip Ng for the sole purpose of self-defense and personal protection via purposefully directed study and practice towards attaining combative proficiency. Robert may be contacted via the “Contact” section of this site or at the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org