Grandmaster Rick L. Ward
Grandmaster Rick Ward began martial arts training in 1979 at the age of 19 to rehabilitate his health after a long illness. When his health began to improve, his dedication and love for martial arts grew. He knew at this time he wanted to be a teacher and help other people build self-confidence, learn respect for themselves and others, and become better individuals in their own way. This has made him a highly devoted and respected martial artist, and motivated him to continue teaching the martial arts as a way of life.
Ward currently holds the rank of 10th Degree Grandmaster, and is the founder of Sunburst Natural Fist System (Tai Yang Tzu Jan Men), Sasamba, founder and president of the International Kung-Fu Arnis Association, the International Kung fu Arnis Weapons Association, and the White Cloud Society. In 2000, he was appointed 36th patriarch of the Emperor’s Long Fist System by international Grandmaster David E. Kash. Having promoted over 100 black belts, Ward is Grandmaster instructor over several schools in North Carolina as well as Tennessee, Kansas, Virginia, and Florida.
Grandmaster Ward was a Deputy Sheriff in Avery County, NC for five years, a police officer in Banner Elk, NC for eight years, and has taught seminars to law enforcement officers. He has conducted many seminars and demonstrations in Modern Arnis, Kung-Fu, Tai Chi Chuan, Chin-na, and Outdoor Survival in the U.S.
Grandmaster Ward is ranked in various styles of martial arts under the following masters:
- Master Allan Woods – Sil-Lum Kung-Fu and Tai Chi Chuan
- Dr. David E. Kash (Wei Jung Dao) – Emperor’s Long Fist (Tai Tzu Chang Chuan), Natural Style Boxing (Tzu Jan Men), Tai Chi Chuan, Ba Gua, Hsing-I, Mongolian and Tibetan Lama, Penjak Silat, Serak Kuntao, Sil-lum Kung-Fu Five Family Style of Choy, Li, Fut, Mok, Hung and Five Animal Style, Iron Palm Skills Training, and Wing Chun Chuan
- Grandmaster Norman Pedlahore – Sil-Lum Kung-Fu and Lung Shou Pai
- Grandmaster Derman Hodge – Tae Kwon Do, Hapkido, Kubudo weapons, Akijujitsu, Tae Kyon, Tae Phung Kwan, Hosin Do
- Grandmaster Eugene Humesky – Tae Kwon Do and Hapkido
- Grandmaster Remy Presas – Modern Arnis
- Grandmaster Gaudiosa Ruby – Comjuka-Kali
- Master Brian Moran – Chuan Fa, Tai Chi Chuan, Tae Kwon Do
Chronological selection of career highlights:
- Began studying Judo and Jujistsu with Jim Nicely (U.S. Army Special Forces).
- Introduced by Nicely to Master Allan Woods who became Ward’s first Kung-Fu instructor.
- Promoted to Black Belt (sash) in Sil-Lum by Master Woods.
- Ward opens his own school.
- Promoted to Red Sash (Sifu) in Sil-Lum.
- Presented with the outstanding student award from the Thai Boxing Association of the United States by Master Chai Sirisute.
- Began studying Modern Arnis from Grandmaster Remy Presas.
- Began studying Tae Kwon Do, HapKido, Kubudo Weapons, Tae Kyon, Tae Phung Kwan, Hosin-Do, Akijujitsu, from Grandmaster Derman Hodge.
- Promoted to Basic Instructor in Modern Arnis by Grandmaster Remy Presas.
- Introduced to Grandmaster Norman Pedlahore, founder of Lung Shou Pai (Dragon Claw Style) Assoc., and the Amercan Martial Arts Alliance.
- Selected for the Board of Directors of the International Modern Arnis Federation of N.C.
- Selected to be Assistant Vice-Present of the International Modern Arnis Federation of the Southeast.
- Promoted to 1st Degree Black Belt in Chang Hun Tae Kwon Do by Brian Morain.
- Ranked to 5th Degree Black Belt by the American Martial Arts Association from Professor Wally Jay, Rick Clark, and Grandmaster Remy Presas.
- Introduced to Dr. David E. Kash ( Wei Jung Dao) , 9th Degree Grandmaster, Chief Advisor of the World Cloud Forest Martial Arts Association.
- Began training in Emperor’s Long Fist (Tai Tzu Chang Chuan), Natural Style Boxing (Tze Jan Men) ,Tai Chi Chuan, Paqua, Hsing-I, Mongolian and Tibetan Lama, Penjak Silat, and Iron Palm.
- Ranked to 5th Degree Black Belt in Moosul Kwan Hapkido by Derman Hodge W.M.K.F. and Prof. Eugene Humesky U.T.B.
- Ranked Honorary 5th Degree from the U.T.B. by Prof. Eugene Humesky.
- Ranked Honorary 5th Degree Masters Certificate from the Universal Martial Arts Brotherhood in the Chinese Martial Arts and Modern Arnis by Prof. Eugene Humesky.
- Appointed Excutive Committee member of the Society of the Natural Fist National Association. Appointed Assistant Branch Director of the N.C. branch of the United Kung-fu Federation of North America.
- Appointed Assistant Branch Director of the N.C. branch of the United States Chinese Kuo Su Federation.
- Ranked to 2nd Degree Black Belt in Chuan-Fa by Brian Moran, Lung Fu Jin Shin Kung-Fu Assoc.
- Ranked to Honorary 10th Degree Emperor’s Belt C.F.A., the Associations highest award.
- Promoted to 1st Deng in Shaolin Temple Iron Palm, 5 element fist style, C.F.A.
- Appointed State Representative of the World Martial Arts Hall of Fame.
- Changed name of Tai Yang Ng Shi Tong (Sunburst System) to Tai Yang Tzu Jan Men (Sunburst Natural Fist System).
- Promoted to 4th Degree Black Belt in Modern Arnis by Grand Master Remy Presas.
- Awarded the Title of Martial Arts Professor by the C.F.A.
- Appointed Vice President of the American Chinese Chi Kung Acupressure Association
- Inducted into the Filipino Martial Arts Hall of Fame as Grandmaster of the Year.
- Appointed membership to the Board of Directors for the Filipino Martial Arts Hall of Fame.
- Certified Membership of Ku Wu Cheong Iron Palm Society and given the status of Society President.
- Certified Instructor in Chinese Daoist Temple Chuan Zhen Pai Chi Kung by the American Chinese Chi Kung Acupressure Association.
- Ranked 7th Duan Black Belt in the American Martial Arts Alliance headed by Grandmaster Norman Pedlahore.
- Appointed Chairman for the Cloud Forest Chin Woo Association (founded in 1909 Shanghai, China).
- Appointed Assistant Instructor United States Chinese Kuosu Federation Branch School.
- Appointed as a Licensed Police Self Defense Instructor by the United States Kali Association Incorporated, Law Enforcement Self Defense Tactics Division.
- Registered as a Police Tactics Instructor by the Police Tactics Insructors of America.
- Ranked 3rd Degree Black Belt in Pentjak Silat, Poekalan Tjmande style.
- Ranked 8th Degree Black Belt in Sunburst System by Cloud Forest Association.
- Awarded a Certificate and Medal for the Worlds Top One Hundred Exceptional Martial Artist Gold Medal Award, from the International Martial Arts Federation, signed by President Bill Clinton, Former President George Bush, Governor of California Pete Wilson, Mayor of Los Angeles Richard Riordan.
- Became a member of the International Martial Arts Federation, Eastern USA Branch.
- Appointed Vice President Examiner for the Traditional Chinese Medicine College.
- Appointed Committee Chief for the Cloud Forest International Han Shi Committee.
- Founded and appointed President of the International Kung-Fu Arnis Weapons Association.
- Ranked 1st Duan Black Sash Ta Ting Shih Coach in Shaolin Temple Iron Palm Skill.
- Certified as Massage Therapist in Chinese Clinical Chi Kung Acupressure and Massage Therapy by the American Chinese Chi Kung Acupressure Association.
- Honorary Doctor of Martial Arts from the Cloud Forest Chin Woo Martial Arts Association.
- Appointed Southeastern Regional Director of the Filipino Martial Arts Hall of Fame.
- Appointed 36th patriarch of the Emperor’s Long Fist System, 10th Duan active.
- Founded the White Cloud Society.
- Became a member of International Han Shi Organization.
- Recognition of the title of Goeroe Master Teacher with the rank of 8th Duan Red Belt/Sash in Tai Yang (Sunburst) Natural Fist Style founded in 1994 by Grandmaster Rick Lee Ward.
- Master Ward initiates Scott Stansberry, Dave Miller, Jason Albright, Josh Christian, Jason McGuire, and Jeremy Johnston as disciples.
- Ranked to 7th degree Black Belt in Comjuka-Kali by Tuhon Gaudiosa Ruby.
- Blue Ridge Kung-Fu Arnis Academy became an accredited Comjuka-Kali Martial Arts school.
- Awarded title of Tuhon of Sasamba Kali Arnis by Tuhon Gaudiosa Ruby.
- Voted to 9th Duan of Sunburst Natural Fist by disciples.
- Initiates Eddie Haywood, Rick Wilcox, Eric Marks, Beau Coan, Vaugn Winecoff, and Jason Arney as disciples.
- Awarded the rank of Associate Director Black Belt 8th Degree in the art of Comjuka-Kali Systems.
- Ranked to Black Belt 9th Degree in the art of Comjuka-Kali by Tuhon Gaudiosa Ruby.
- Ranked to 5th Duan Black Sash in the Chinese style of Toi, Lee, Fut, Mawk, Hung and Five Animals by Si Fu David Kash, Branch 14 Headquarters President of Wong Ark-Yuey Kung Fu Academy, Wah Que Studio of Chinese Kung Fu Los Angeles, CA.
- Ranked to 5th Duan Black Sash in Choi Li Fut Chuan in the Wah Que Guo Ji Fen Zong Hui Hong Sing Guo Shu Guan (Overseas Chinese National Martial Arts Association) founded in 1836 Canton, China; Established 1919 in California, USA Branch H.Q. established 1970.
- Ranked to 5th Duan Black Sash Si Fu in Wing Chun Chuan Fa by Si Fu D.E. Kash, Black Sash 10th Duan and the International Wing Chun Chuan Fa Association founded in 1993 in California, USA by Master Lyno Colangelo.
- Ranked to 5th Duan Black Sash Si Fu in Shao Lin Yong Chun Chuan by D.E. Kash, Black Sash 10th Duan, in the Bak Fu Ving Tsun Athletic Association USA.
- Ranked to 7th Dan Black Belt in the art of Daito Ryu Aiki JuJutsu by Grandmaster Derman B. Hodge.
- Received Certificate of Award for Outstanding Achievement in Chinese Medicine by the Cloud Forest Chin Woo Martial Arts and Traditional Medicine College.
- Appointed as Vice President for the Golden Lion Kuo Su Association in the USA by D.E. Kash.
Martial Arts Organizational Affiliations:
- American Martial Arts Alliance
- American Martial Arts Association
- International Modern Arnis Federation
- Universal Tae Kwon Do Brotherhood
- Cloud Forest World Chinese Martial Arts Association
- World Moosul Kwan Federation
- United States Chinese Kuo Su Federation
- United Kung- Fu Federation of North America
- Overseas Chinese National Martial Arts Athletic Association
- International Grandmaster Han Shi Committee
- Universal Martial Arts Brotherhood
- Lung Fu Jin Shin Kung-Fu Association
- World Martial Arts Hall Of Fame
- Natural Combat Systems
- American Chinese Chi Gung Acupressure Association
- Filipino Martial Arts Hall Of Fame
- United States Kali Association Incorporated
- Cloud Forest Chin Woo Association
- Police Tactics Instructors of America
- Ku Yu Cheong Iron Palm Memorial Society
- International Martial Arts Association
- Wong Ark Yuey Memorial Society
- Chian Chuan Tai Chi Chuan Association
- International Kung-Fu Arnis Association
- International Kung-Fu Arnis Weapons Association
- White Cloud Society
- International Han Shi Organization
- Golden Lion Kuo Su Association