Kung Fu is known in the Western world as a Chinese martial art form made popular by celebrities like the late Bruce Lee. In reality, Kung Fu does not specifically mean the study of martial arts, but the time and effort spent to acquire great skill.It was developed as a traditional way of training Chinese soldiers for combat in battles. Each form was based around necessity and environment. While our own modern world may not have a need for hand-to-hand combat training, Kung Fu is necessary for fighting off a new wave of modern problems. These new issues are a product of our increasingly sedentary lifestyles, partnered with our always-active work days. It is a system that regulates the body, and it can also ward off many health issues. It is literally a lifetime practice.Kung Fu is a way of maintaining harmony between body, mind, and spirit. Through Kung Fu, students will learn proper breathing techniques, correct form, and how to create health and happiness within their own lives using the discipline and understanding of the body that they will achieve through breath work and forms.Unlike other martial arts, Kung Fu can be traced back to the Shaolin temple several thousand years ago. Kung Fu is a product of time, which is what makes it so withstanding to change.
Founded in 2005, the Addis Kung Fu Academy offers new to advanced students a unique blend of several traditional family systems and both the internal and external martial arts. Unlike other schools, we offer membership to students once they’ve completed three months of group classes and demonstrate a deep interest in the arts.
After teaching at several schools, Sifu Dennis had a vision to open his own prestigious academy in Miami, FL. Addis Kung Fu Academy is named after the capital of Ethiopia, Sifu’s birthplace and residence for half his life. The academy was established in 2005 to help individuals achieve spiritual, physical, and mental balance through traditional Chinese Martial Arts.
Our school encompasses the span of the arts with classes in Tai Chi, Qi Gong, Kung Fu, Hsing-I, Ba Gua, and Shaolin. And through our academy, we offer the complete system of the Chen Pan Ling Family Martial Arts (Ling Yun Pai), as well as Grandmaster Wei Lun Huang’s Internal Arts – Liu He Ba Fa.
As a traditional Chinese healing and martial arts school, we offer classes for children, adults and those who need or perfer individualized attention. Our martial arts include: Tai Chi. Qi Gong, Kung Fu, Hsing-I, Ba Gua, Shaolin, Self-Defense, Health, Weight Loss, Cardio, Forms and Weapons.
Under Sifu Dennis are three AKF certified instructors. Ceci, Jorge, and Irina, were trained under Sifu Dennis to teach the Chinese Martial Arts. They lead some of the classes here at Addis Kung Fu Academy.
Irina was born and raised in Russia. She came to the United States in 2004 at the age of 18. In 2005 she moved to Miami, FL and began to pursue a healthier lifestyle and learn alternative healing techniques. In 2007 Irina went to herbology school in Asheville, NC where she studied aromatherapy and herbal remedies. Once she returned to Miami, she continued her studies in alternative nutrition and body work, including massage and Asian studies. In 2008 she graduated from a massage and body work school in Miami and started to work as a health consultant and coach, helping people to maintain their health through diet and exercise. In January of 2007 Irina started to practice Kung Fu and Tai Chi under Sifu Dennis. Soon Kung Fu became a part of her life. Her discipline and dedication to the art resulted in great achievements, including placing first and second at the International Chinese Martial Art Championships, and becoming an indoor student and instructor assistant at Addis Kung Fu Academy.
In 2007, Jorge Felipe Ayala started training at Addis Kung Fu looking for some structure and discipline, but he found much more. With the personal guidance of Sifu Dennis Dereje, he found a way of life and a family. He practices the arts of Shaolin Kung fu, Tai chi, Qi Gong, and Hsing I Chuan, and has participated in seminars taught by Master Wei Lun Huang and Grand Master Chen Yun Chin from Taiwan. Jorge Felipe began to teach the children’s classes at AKF, and in 2012, was honored by receiving the title of Si Dae, literally “little bother” of the school. His hope is to develop his practice in the thousand year old art that he is just starting to grasp. He would also like to share the practice which has helped him work toward physical health, expression and alignment of the mind, body and spirit. His other interests are bike riding, nature, personal growth and learning from everyone he meets.
Cecilia joined AKF seven years ago and was taught the internal and external art systems encompassed by Kung fu, Tai Chi, Bagua, Hsing I, and Qi Gong by Sifu Dennis Dereje. Cecilia has participated in numerous seminars instructed by Sifu Dennis Dereje, Grandmaster Wei Lun Huang, Grandmaster Lin Yun Pai, and Master Kam Lee. She has competed for the last four consecutive years in the ICMAC Tournament in Orlando, Florida and was awarded silver and bronze medals. Cecilia is a dedicated learner that appreciates and practices these arts for their enormous benefits in body, mind and spirit.
Natalia was born in Bogota, Colombia and has lived in numerous places around the world. She first started practicing martial arts in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic in 2000. She moved to Miami in 2001 where she met Si Hing Dereje (now Sifu Dereje) in Kung Fu Connection. There she learned a mixture of Northern and Southern Shaolin, and earned a black belt for the school’s curriculum. She followed Sifu Dereje and joined Chung’s Kung Fu Academy and started training Ving Tsung and Ba Gua. In May 2005 Natalia was one of the first students to join Addis Kung Fu Academy where she was taught the internal and external martial arts systems of Kung fu, Tai Chi, Ba Gua, Hsing-I, and Qi Gong. She attended several seminars held by Sifu Dennis, Grandmaster Wei Lun Huang and Grandmaster Chen Yun Ching, and became an assistant instructor at Addis Kung Fu Academy. She also competed in the ICMAC Tournament in Orlando, Florida in 2008 and placed gold and silver. Before leaving the United States to pursue her MFA in Media Art and Design and MA in Chinese Culture and History, Natalia was awarded the high honor of becoming Si-Jei in Addis Kung Fu Academy. She went on to practice Ving Tsung in Hong Kong under Grandmaster Chau Lin Fat (Dennis Chau) in 2012. She currently resides in New York City where she works as a language instructor and pursues her interests in art.
From an early age Iliyaas was always interested in Chinese language and culture. In 2006 these interests lead him to begin studying Shaolin Kong fu with Sifu Dennis and achieving the rank of Si Dae. He practices Qi Gong, Tai chi, and Hsing I Chuan. He has participated in seminars taught by Master Wei Lun Huang and Grand Master Chen Yun Chin from Taiwan, as well as, placed first, second and third at the International Chinese Martial Art Championships. While a student at Addis Kung Fu he began studying Chinese at Florida International University and after graduating in 2010 moved to Hangzhou, China to pursue his master degree in teaching Chinese as a second language. He has continued his practice abroad and aspires to continue his personal and spiritual development through Kung fu. He enjoys traveling, playing basketball, and meeting new friends from all over the world.