The Meaning of Zhong Yi (忠義)
The Mandarin term "Zhong Yi" has no English equivalent, but can best be translated as "loyalty and justice" or "righteousness", this is something that the members of the Association strive for in being an upstanding citizen through the martial arts practice. The Association is much more like a family than most martial arts schools. In fact, the honorary titles that refer to the head instructor (師父- Shīfu) and senior students translate loosely to "head-of-family", "older brother" (Shīxiōng - 師兄), and "older sister." (Shījiě - 師姐), etc...
The Zhong Yi Kung Fu Association is a Limited Liabilty Company and is dedicated to preserving the teachings of Bei Shaolinquan (Northern Shaolin Style) as passed down to Nelson Ferreira by his Master, Dr. Wu Chaoxiang and to promote Kuoshu (traditional Chinese martial arts) in Madison and the surrounding region.
The Northern Shaolin style taught at ZYKFA can be traced back through Master Gu Ruzhang, one of the great "5 tigers who went south" during the Kuoshu movement in pre-communist China. Masters Yu Zhensheng and Ma Jingbiao learned from Master Gu in the Nanjing Kuoshu Academy and one of Masters Yu and Ma students was Wu Chaoxiang, who was already an expert in Taijiquan, Baguazhang, and Xingyiquan under Master Bu Xuekuan of the Taigu Kuoshu Academy, eventually Master Wu also became a Chinese Medical Doctor in Taiwan, after the Nationalists retreat to the island at the end of the Chinese Civil War (1945-1949). Dr. Wu eventually moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he started the "Instituto de Cultura Chinesa" (The Chinese Cultural Institute), and passed along his knowledge of Chinese martial arts and culture to many students, including Nelson Ferreira.
Please see our Chinese Martial Arts section for more information on the history of Northern Shaolin.
Nelson Ferreira moved to the US, from Brazil, and in 1995 he founded the Zhong Yi Kung Fu Association in Madison, WI where he has dedicated himself to preserve his Master’s teachings and promote Kuoshu in the area. Coming from a family of martial artists Shifu Ferreira started at martial arts at an early age, studying Judo with his father, and exploring many other traditional disciplines including Jiu Jitsu, Karate, Aikido, Kendo, Tae Kwon Do, and Muay Thai, among others, before dedicating himself to the art of Northern Shaolin.
For more information on Shifu Nelson Ferreira, read his full bio, or his blog, or contact him at the school.
All instruction at ZYKFA is by Shifu Ferreira, ZYKFA Instructors and senior students. The instructors are selected for their character and desire to deepen their knowledge of the martial art through teaching it. Currently, most of the instructors are over 30 years old, with many years of martial arts experience at ZYKFA and in other disciplines. Included in the ranks are regional, national, international and world champions in full contact fighting and forms competitions, also regionally, nationally and internationally certified referees/judges for Chinese martial arts competitions and law enforcement and security professionals.
For more information on individual instructors, see their profiles, and read the instructor blogs.
The students are the best part of the ZYKFA. Offering both youth and adult programs, ZYKFA strives to create a family and community oriented atmosphere. Beyond Shaolin classes, there are cultural opportunities, like Lion Dances throughout the year, Song Jiang Battle Array and Kung Fu demonstrations at festivals, as well as Drum Array performances. The school often gets together for social events of all kinds as well.
See our discussion forums and photo albums for more information.
The facilities at the school include:
- Large class area
- Class viewing area with plenty of seating
- Separate A/V room
- Meeting/library area
- Matted stretching area
- Weight room with full Olympic style free weights, benches and rack
- Heavy bag area
- Separate men's and women's restrooms
- Retail area with many items for sale
Please see our directions page for how to get here.