Willy Lin and Heaven Mountain Style

Willy Lin was born in 1938 at TaiChung, Taiwan. He began martial arts in 1957 and studied with the Grandmaster of the Tian Shen Pai system, Wang Jyue Jen, until 1968.

Willy Lin (Lin Shih Kuang)

In that year he left Taiwan for Sao Paulo, Brazil. He recalled the trip much later as a time of living on hot dogs which he swore he would never eat again. In Sao Paulo he taught for the Chinese Association Center. In 1970 he arrived in the U.S. where he first visited Chen Man Qing (both in the same lineage) in New York then moved to Silver Spring, Maryland. After a brief time association with the Tracy Karate organization there, he opened his own school. Continuing with his promotion of the martial arts he sponsored touring companies for the performance of Tian Shan Pai including local and national demos and TV appearances. He was also featured in educational films for the U S Department of the Navy.

A little Chin Na to help with back pain...

Willy Lin was one of  teacher, Wang Jyue Jen’s, top students. He introduced the style to the United States, his first studens – and one of his co-sponsers to remain in the US – being Ted Mancuso. Mancuso remembers, “I got a call from our Silver Spring school about a guy who “claimed” to be a Kung Fu instructor but the local teacher was unable to judge his quality. I drove down and Willy and I met. We had an instant affinity which lasts to this day. He then performed Tai Chi for me and I saw how good he was. He was the first living human being I ever saw doing Tai Chi. I became his student and the Long Form Yang style he taught me I have never had to vary.”

Willy was also very talented at Push Hands – I met him again after many years and find that he is still one of the best. I recall that, after being frustrated with how easy he beat me, I finagled him into playing Sticky Hands with me.

Single and Partner Weapons of Tian Shan Pai

He had never seen Wing Chun and was very enthusiastic. Being a smart ass 20 year old I said, Yeah, it’s pretty good. It’s Chinese. But Willy was fine with this. He had a lovely sense of humor and a tremendous personal integrity. He called himself a “cowboy,” and he was because he was also a gentleman. He taught me steel whip, BaJi (I might be one of the first Americans to learn it), some BaGua and much else. We had a special realtionship I will never forget. His mastery of his own system of Tian Shan Pai is profound.”

For a number of years Willy Lin has been gone from the world of active teaching, pursuing his own career in another field. However, during that time he has never stopped practicing his beloved style: Heaven Mountain Fist. Recently, having retired from the business world, Willy is bringing his excellent instruction back to the martial arts and producing DVDs on Chin Nah ( a particular expertise of his) and other aspects of Tian Shan Pai.

Willy Lin has taught many good martial artists including respected Shihfu in their own right such as the well known and influential teacher, Dennis Brown. Ted Mancuso has the honor and pleasure of being his first American student and his friend.

2 Responses to “Willy Lin and Heaven Mountain Style”

  1. Miron Huhulea says:

    [Open letter to Grandmaster Willy Lin. I was not able to contact Lin Shifu through his website, linkungfu.com, as the site hasn’t been updated since 2008, and delivery to the sole contact email, info@LinKungFu.com, fails permanently. As such, I have decided to post my letter here. -MH]

    Dear Lin Shifu,

    I am a student of Chen and Sun style Tai Chi Chuan who recently discovered your books, Chinese Grappling Volumes I & II, through Ted Mancuso’s recommendation on plumpub.com.

    I found these books so inspiring, the explanations so clear, the techniques so refined and easy to understand, that I simply had to write to express my gratitude.

    Thank you, Lin Shifu, for making this precious knowledge accessible to those who have ears to hear and a mind to understand!

    What I like best about the Tien Shan Pai Chin Na techniques is that they integrate so well with Tai Chi Chuan, they can be learned quickly, and can be used effectively for self-defense by men and women alike.

    I was so inspired to find a partner to practice these techniques, in fact, that recently I started a Meetup group in the Albany, NY area where I live. The Latham Self-Defense Study Group will stay true to your values of nonviolence and non-competition.

    I find these techniques to be of particular use to women, who can find themselves grabbed or harassed without any recourse but fear or humoring their attacker. Women wishing to learn effective self-defense will be welcomed into the group.

    On the other hand, people looking to practice mixed martial arts for sport, as well as competitive, egotistic or violent people, will not be welcomed.

    In the study group, we are all students working through the techniques together. There is no teacher, and everyone is encouraged to participate.

    I am only sorry that I was not able to learn Chin Na from an experienced teacher such as yourself. If you have any advice for a beginner like me, Lin Shifu, I would be eternally grateful!

    Miron Huhulea

  2. Plum Staff says:

    Thank you, Miron. We will pass along your comments to Lin Shifu.

Leave a Reply

What do you have to say?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.