Sports

Free kung fu demonstration at Rennick’s Friday and Saturday

Master Tom Garriga gives a series of demonstrations of Wu Ji Chyuan Fa Kung Fu at Rennick’s Tae Kwon Do Academy. The academy is located on the corner of Guard Street and Carter Avenue, Friday Harbor. The demonstrations are scheduled for April 17, 7 p.m.; and April 18, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. They are free and open to the public. - Contributed photo
Master Tom Garriga gives a series of demonstrations of Wu Ji Chyuan Fa Kung Fu at Rennick’s Tae Kwon Do Academy. The academy is located on the corner of Guard Street and Carter Avenue, Friday Harbor. The demonstrations are scheduled for April 17, 7 p.m.; and April 18, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. They are free and open to the public.
— image credit: Contributed photo

Master Tom Garriga gives a series of demonstrations of Wu Ji Chyuan Fa Kung Fu at Rennick’s Tae Kwon Do Academy.

The academy is located on the corner of Guard Street and Carter Avenue, Friday Harbor.

The demonstrations are scheduled for April 17, 7 p.m.; and April 18, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. They are free and open to the public.

Garriga began his training in the martial arts in 1956 at the age of 11. He has been heavily involved with the martial arts for the vast majority of his life and has been instructing others in various martial arts since 1961, while continuing his own training and education.

In addition to having trained and studied in 13 styles other than Wu Ji Chyuan Fa, Garriga has black-belt rankings in five other styles, including a ninth-degree ranking in American Kenpo, where he was a "first-generation" black belt under the late Ed Parker.

While running the International Kenpo Karate Association Headquarters Studio in Pasadena, Calif., Garriga was among the first group of Caucasians to be invited to study with the Chinese family from whom the Wu Ji Chyuan Fa system comes, and is the only Caucasian to be recognized with the rank of "master" by the family.

Garriga served in the Marines for eight years. He was a member of Force Recon, and served as an instructor for hand-to-hand and underwater combat for UDT and SEAL teams at Coronado Amphibious Base toward the end of his service.

Some time after completing his Wu Ji Chyuan Fa study, he moved to Utah and began teaching individuals and government agencies, including concepts such as self-defense, marksmanship, de-escalating confrontation, and positive control methods.

While residing in Utah, Garriga continued to provide training and certification for advanced belt rankings in Kenpo and also trained many of the head instructors and owners of various martial art schools throughout Utah in multiple facets of the martial arts, such as grappling, evasion, weapons, team fighting, multiple opponents, ground fighting, and others.

In 1991, Garriga founded Tang Wei Martial Arts Institute, Inc. and began teaching Wu Ji Chyuan Fa to the public while continuing his contracts with government agencies. In order to fulfill a lifelong dream of residing in the Pacific Northwest, in 2000 the studio of the Tang Wei Martial Arts Institute was closed and the continued training of interested students shifted to private lessons during his periodic visits to Utah.

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