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Master Morgan Newman

Master Morgan Newman

Biography

  • First Generation Disciple of Grandmaster Richard Lee. Disciple Name: Li Zhi Ying
  • A Richard Lee 5th Degree Black Belt
  • 5th Tuan (Black Sash) under The World Kuo Shu Federation.
  • Appointed United States Team Women’s Coach for the National Kuo Shu Lei Tai Team:
      2015 – 5th TWKSF World Kuo Shu Championships, Argentina.
      2012 – 4th TWKSF World Kuo Shu Championships, Malaysia.
  • Certified International Referee ‘A’ by The World Kuoshu Federation
  • Three-Time World Champion:
      World Champion – 2009 3rd TWKSF World Championships, Germany.
      World Champion – 2006 2nd TWKSF World Championships, Singapore.
      World Champion – 2003 1st TWKSF World Championships, Brazil.
  • Represented the United States Lei Tai Team in World Competition:
      2009 3rd TWKSF World Championships, Germany
      2006 2nd TWKSF World Championships, Singapore
      2003 1st TWKSF World Championships, Brazil
  • Represented the United States Lei Tai Team in International Competition:
      2006 2nd European Kuoshu Cup, Switzerland
      2005 European Championships, Germany
      2003 European Championships, London
      1998 European Championships, Germany
  • Represented the United States as an EXECUTIVE Referee:
      2010 – 4th TWKSF European Kuo Shu Cup, Poland
      2011 – Americas Cup, Brazil
      2005 – European Kuo Shu Championships, Germany
  • Represented The World Kuo Shu Federation as an EXECUTIVE Referee:
      2010 – International Kuo Shu Championships, Baltimore, MD.
      2007 – International Kuo Shu Championships, Baltimore, MD.
      2005 – International Kuo Shu Championships, Baltimore, MD.
      2004 – International Kuo Shu Championships, Baltimore, MD
  • Represented Richard Lee’s West Coast Lei Tai Team in International Competition:
      2009 – International Kuo Shu Championships, Baltimore, MD.
      2008 – International Kuo Shu Championships, Baltimore, MD.
      2006 – International Kuo Shu Championships, Baltimore, MD.
      2003 – International Kuo Shu Championships, Baltimore, MD.
      2000 – International Kuo Shu Championships, Baltimore, MD.
      1999 – International Kuo Shu Championships, Baltimore, MD.
      1998 – International Kuo Shu Championships, Baltimore, MD.
  • Represented Richard Lee’s West Coast Team in International Competition:
      2001 – International Kuo Shu Championships, Baltimore, MD.
      2000 – International Kuo Shu Championships, Baltimore, MD.
      1999 – International Kuo Shu Championships, Baltimore, MD.
      1998 – International Kuo Shu Championships, Baltimore, MD.
      1997 – International Kuo Shu Championships, Baltimore, MD.
  • Assistant Tournament Director for the International Kuo Shu Championships – 2011
  • Inducted into the Top Women of the I.B.K.A. – 2000
  • Inducted into the Order of the Cobra – 1999
  • Inducted into the Bok-Fu-Do Hall of Fame – 2000
  • East-West Kung Fu Schools Instructor of the Year – 1999, 2000, 2001
  • U.S.C.K.F. Competitor of the Year – 2000
  • Vice President and General Manager of Richard Lee’s East-West Kung-Fu Schools.
In 1995, Ms. Newman walked through the doors at East West at her parents’ urging. At twelve years old, she never could have imagined that her first steps into martial arts would also be her first steps into her life’s passion. From the beginning, Ms. Newman showed dedication and maturity beyond her years. At thirteen, she traveled with the U.S.A. Kuoshu (Kung Fu) Team to the World Kuoshu Championships in the Republic of China in 1996. There to support her teachers, Newman was exposed to the World Tournament for the first time. It was a life changing experience for her; one that would set her course for the rest of her life.

Inspired by the efforts that she witnessed by her teachers at the World Tournament and the pride they took in representing their country, Ms. Newman committed herself to one day doing the same. In 1998 she began training in full contact (lei tai) fighting. Her first major event was at the International Kuoshu Championships in Baltimore, Md., where at the age of fifteen she placed second. Later that year she competed in her first Kuoshu tournament abroad in Germany. Several years younger than any opponent she faced, Ms. Newman was undeterred and went on to win the European Championships. Her goal of representing the United States at the 2000 World Tournament was now fixed permanently in her heart and her mind. With such single-minded purpose, Ms. Newman even made the decision to postpone her first semester of college to totally dedicate her time to the effort. Her commitment to her training was only matched by the utter disbelief at what happened next. With less than five months before the World Tournament was set to take place, a letter arrived at
East West announcing that the event was cancelled. Three years of preparation and a lifelong dream had been lost in an instant.

It was a heartbreaking moment. Recalls Grandmaster Lee, “When I received the letter my first thought was of Newman. She was just a great little girl with a fantastic attitude and I thought of all the people… But I told her that everything happens for a reason and she’d always be a winner to me. I knew everything would work out the way it was supposed to for her because she had the right attitude. And of course, she is now the three time world champion.”

Finding solace in the wisdom of her teachers, Grandmaster Lee and Master Buckley, Newman turned her energy into attaining her black belt in Bok-Fu-Do. By the age of seventeen, she had earned her 1st degree black belt before she graduated from high school. This rare achievement would eventually pave the way for a generation younger students who aspired to do the same.

When it was announced that the next world tournament was to be held in Brazil in 2003, Ms. Newman made the brave decision to try out for the U.S.A. team a second time. The desire to become a world champion burned inside her as fiercely as it did three years earlier. Based on the circumstances of 2000, she was even more diligent in her training, commuting back and forth from Alamo and Santa Clara almost on a daily basis. The only difference this time was the end result. At the end of the tournament Ms. Newman was a world champion. Her dream was finally realized. It would become the first of three world titles for her. In 2006 and 2009 Ms. Newman repeated her performance by winning the 2nd and 3rd TWSKF World Kuoshu Championships in Singapore and Germany, becoming only one of three Americans to win the World Tournament three times.

After graduating from college in 2004, Ms. Newman committed herself to Bok Fu Do full time. Following in the footsteps of her personal trainer, Master John Buckley, and their teacher Grandmaster Richard Lee, Ms. Newman has developed into one of the highest ranking and most accomplished woman of Bok Fu Do. Since Ms. Newman made the decision to make Bok-Fu-Do her life’s work, East-West Kung Fu has opened two new locations – in San Ramon, CA (2008) and Lafayette, CA (2011). Says Master Buckley – “Newman has been a key player in the continued growth and development of the system and the business. I remember the first time I ever took a vacation from the business in 1999. It was my first vacation in nearly ten years, often working seven days a week, ten to twelve hours a day. So I was understandably apprehensive about being away from the school at all, let alone for an extended period. I asked the highest ranking person of the time to look after things while I was away, going into great detail about what needed to be done and how to do it. He was a first degree brown belt so it’s not as if I was breaking in a rookie. About a week into my trip, I was finally able to call in to the school (it wasn’t like I had a cell phone in those days). To my surprise, the guy I put in charge didn’t pick up but Newman did. I asked for him and she said he wasn’t in. Sensing the apprehension in her voice, I asked when he would be in and she sheepishly told me that he hadn’t been in once since I’d left. She knew because she had been at the school everyday in my absence. I knew in that moment, over six thousand miles away in some remote town in Italy, that the cream had risen to the top, so to speak. I saw in Newman the next generation, the future of East-West Kung Fu. Oh, did I mention she was sixteen years old?”

Another milestone in Ms. Newman’s martial arts career came in 2012 at the International Kuo Shu Championships in Baltimore, MD. She was honored when she was asked to perform a two-person set with her teacher, Master Buckley, during the Master’s Demonstration. It was an incredible learning experience for Ms. Newman and an honor that she holds near and dear to her heart. Additionally, at the same tournament Ms. Newman made her coaching debut by assisting Master Buckley with the East-West lei tai team. Alongside her teacher, she helped coach the nine person team to fantastic results as seven of the nine qualified for the USA National Lei Tai Team. Those seven went on to compete at the 4th TWKSF World Kuo Shu Tournament in Malaysia. Because of the East-West lei tai team’s performance, Master Buckley and Ms. Newman were both selected as official coaches for the US Lei Tai team – Master Buckley will be the head coach while Ms. Newman will serve as the women’s coach. Ms. Newman is humbled to follow in the footsteps of her teachers, Grandmaster Lee and Master Buckley, and earns the unique honor of being the first female ever chosen for this prestigious role.

Master Newman has produced black belts Morgan Malone, Aimee Jurewicz, Mitch Mckay, Kevin Schutzman, Adam Lathram, Ryan Hodge, Michelle Brown, Angie Dominguez, Jennie Mitchell, Allen Parco and Whitney Berch.

Master Newman is a first generation disciple under Grandmaster Richard Lee since 2002. Ms. Newman was voted the United States Chinese Koushu Federation’s Competitor of the Year in 2000 where she competed and placed in the top three in all ten of her divisions at the International Chinese Kuoshu Championship Tournament in Baltimore, Maryland. Ms. Newman has been a member of the USKSF group that traveled to China in 2002, 2004 and 2010. She has competed nationally and internationally in Chinese martial arts since 1997. Master Newman is the Vice President and General Manager of East West Kung Fu Schools and the Special Assistant to TWKSF President, Grandmaster Richard Lee.

Some words from Master Newman:

“I have been studying Bok Fu Do for the majority of my life. I started at East West when I was just a little girl, with no idea of how profoundly it would change every aspect of my life. I could write a novel about the many benefits of our system and my belief on how significantly it changes our student’s lives, however I feel compelled to focus my short testimony on the most important aspect of my training throughout the years, the relationship with my teachers. The time that I have spent training and learning from them have been the most valuable of my life and blessed me with life changing experiences that have shaped me into the person I am today.

Fortunately for all of us, many years ago Grandmaster Richard Lee chose to dedicate his life to Bok Fu Do. Some time after he made that decision, Master John Buckley followed in his footsteps and made the same choice. I have directly benefited from those decisions and they have both given me the incredible opportunity to do the same. I am lucky to now call Bok Fu Do my life’s work and to be able to continue the tradition of sharing the wisdom of our system with the many students that come through our doors. I feel privileged to be able to pass on the concepts that have so greatly impacted my life.

Grandmaster Lee and Master Buckley have always been there for me through the many milestones of not only my martial arts career, but also my life. Their gentle guiding hands and encouraging words have acted as my compass. At every significant point in my journey my teachers have been there to push me to new heights and expand my vision of what I believed possible.

Grandmaster Lee, Master Buckley and the Bok Fu Do system are a gift. My teachers believed in me which in turn allowed me to have that belief in myself. For that, I will forever be in debt to them. All I can do is to humbly follow in their footsteps and attempt to bestow that beautiful gift upon others. I can only hope to uphold the integrity of the system in the same humble, wise and courageous manner as it was passed down to me.”