Practicing Tai Chi in Battery Park near the World Trade Center
In memory of the heroes of 9/11/01
We will always remember these days and the tragic loss of the World Trade Center and the many lives on 9/11/2001
The Six Harmony Arts Academy was established in 1996 by Sifu (Teacher) Vingrove A. Thomas. The school has previously been known as the Ving Tsun Kung Fu Institute (est. 1986), and as the V.A. Thomas Chinese Martial Arts Association (est. 1991).
The academy's training schedule currently includes classes in Wing Chun Kuen, a southern Chinese self-defense system; in Xinyiquan (Hsing-I Ch'uan), a northern Chinese fighting art; and in Chen-style Taijiquan (T'ai-chi Ch'uan). Kids classes are also offered.
Though the early development of martial arts most likely predates the writing of history in China, specific systems and schools are seldom mentioned in verifiable sources. Oral traditions that attribute the development of various styles to historical and even to mythical figures have obviously been influenced by popular fiction.
As old as some forms of martial art might actually be, they have no doubt changed immeasurably over time. Because many of the hundreds of existing styles appear to be related, comparatively few practical and theoretical categories suffice to describe them.
Some martial arts systems are said to preserve classical military skills, including techniques of hand-to-hand combat, the use of staves, spears, swords, halberds, etc. Others are methods of armed and unarmed fighting that were developed by civilians. There are also numerous forms of exercise for health and meditation that have origins in traditional medical therapies and religious practices.
Certain of the more famous modern forms represent a synthesis of these diverse elements, and are directed toward general self-cultivation through physical conditioning, mental concentration, and spiritual discipline.
Sifu Thomas believes that a martial art should not be valued for the efficacy of its fighting skills alone. The training process can be a vehicle by which the individual realizes a harmony of mind, body, and spirit and comes to live a truly complete life. Students in this school are taught to train for strength that will enable them to help, rather than harm, others.
Wing Chun Kuen classes follow a formal curriculum in which periodic examinations are requisite for advancement. Sifu Thomas has instituted this program in the interests of organization and impartiality, as a way of training practitioners to become qualified teachers themselves.
Students are encouraged to participate in public competitions for their own experience and in order to promote public awareness of the school. Over the years, Sifu Thomas's students have earned top ranking in local, national and international tournaments in solo forms, partial- and full-contact bare-hand sparring, weapons sparring, Wing Chun Chi Sao (Sticking Hands), and Taiji Pushing Hands.