Master Vingrove A. Thomas has studied several Chinese martial arts. In the early 1970s he began training in the Fu Jow Pai (Tiger Claw) Kung Fu system headed by Wai Hong. He represented the Fu Jow Pai in public exhibitions and tournaments, and was instrumental in establishing a kung fu club at New York City Community College, where he served as an assistant instructor.
Yip Man's Disciple Moy Yat
Moy Yat's Disciple Lee Moy Shan
Lee Moy Shan's Disciple V.Thomas
Sifu Xu and Sifu Zhang
In 1974 Master Thomas resolved to devote his training under Grand Master Lee Moy Shan (Douglas Lee). In 1986 he opened his own school, the Wing Chun Kung Fu Institute. During this period he was studying Chen-style Taijiquan and Xinyi Liuhequan (Mind and Will Six Harmonies Boxing) with Master George Xu. He has since been authorized to teach Taiji and Xingyi by Master Xu as his representative in the New York City area.
Master is an acknowledged expert in the systems mentioned above, which incorporate exercises for health and fitness as well as fighting techniques ranging from elementary bare-hand solo routines through advanced weapons sets and sparring. His students have earned Thomas, as founder and chief instructor of the Six Harmony Wing Chun Academy (est.1986), top ranking at numerous local and national competitions in solo forms; bare-hand and weapons sparring; Sticking Hands (Chi Sao), and Pushing Hands (Taiji).
His participation in 1988, 1991, 1993 and 1996 Masters Exhibitions sponsored by the Eastern United States Kung Fu Federation (of which he was a vice-president) has been documented on videotapes produced by ESPY-TV. He serves regularly as a judge at the annual U.S. National Chinese Martial Arts Competitions and the WuShu Kung Fu Federation, for which he has established one of the first rules for the Sticking Hands (Chi Sao) matches. He has also participated by invitation in the Master's Exhibitions held there.
Since 1993, Master Thomas has been invited to conduct instructional tours in Italy and Switzerland and has trained members of their law enforcement personnel. In 1996 he taught visually impaired high school students in seminars sponsored by the New York Public Library. In 1997 he was celebrated as a cross-cultural role model in the New Yorkers series produced by the NHK for Japanese television. In 1998, Master Thomas received a lifetime achievement award from the U.S.A. Wushu-Kung Fu Federation. In 1999, he was invited to participate in the First Yip Man Ving Tsun Conference in Hong Kong, Shunde, and Fatsan China by the Ving Tsun Athletic Association of Hong Kong. He is a member of the Ving Tsun Athletic Association based in Hong Kong. He was an instructor at the first Kung Fu Club through the Physical Education Department of Columbia University.
New York State D.C.J.S. Certified Firearms, Peace Officer, and Security Instructor.
New York State Certified Hazmat Safety Officer.
NRA Certified Pistol and Rifle Instructor.
NRA Certified Refuse To Be A Victim Instructor.
A.L.E.R.R.T. (Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training) Certified in Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events Trainer.
ASP Certified Baton and Handcuffs Instructor.
Security Consultant for various organizations.