Othal Thomas' Gaam Sing Kwoon - The Founder - Washington, DC
Othal Thomas' Gaam Sing Kwoon - Company Message


Sifu Othal Thomas

A 16 year old Othal Thomas poses in a low Riding Tiger Step.  Othal Thomas started his journey in Chinese Martial Arts as a teenager in 1974. Sifu Thomas was introduced to gung fu by two practitioners of the Jow Ga Style and wanted to join their school but, was not allowed to do so, so he was unofficially taught basics and fighting applications by the two Jow Ga practitioners, Cosme Redmond and Roger Ward, until 1977. 
   In July of 1977 Thomas moved to NYC to pursue a degree in Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts after receiving a full-scholarship, taking with him his desire to learn gung fu. He was instrumental  in starting a Martial Arts Club at the college he attended and helped in organizing a martial arts demonstration which featured among many arts the art of  gung fu in the school's theater. This was the first and only time this ever happened at the School of Visual Arts.
  Othal's search for Gung Fu School ended in 1980 when he found (a year before receiving his BFA) and joined Master Giboyeaux's Wai Sing Kwoon to study Fu Jow Pai and continued his training until 1985 earning a Ng Kup Level Sash from Master Giboyeaux.  With the desire for higher rank and the permission of Giboyeaux,  he joined the Main Headquarter School of Fu Jow Pai in NY's Chinatown,  staying only 6 months, due to philosophical differences.

Sifu Dean Chin (Circa 1974-75) of the Jow Ga Styles consenting to an interview on the subject of Gung Fu.Searches  begin with a burning desire for knowledge and a need for the understanding of why. Othal Thomas' search led him to the basement location of a Chinatown School run by 7- Star Praying Mantis and Fukien Golden Lion Sifu, Cheung Wah. It was Chinese New Year 1986 and after a long one-sided conversation, Othal decided to join the school with the intention of learning the Golden Lion Style, however he was told that the Praying Mantis Style was better suited to his body type so, he reluctantly started training in 7-Star Praying Mantis, 18 LoHan Kung and Southern Lion Dancing. Othal was soon convinced of the correctness of this style choice by Sifu Cheung  and has followed this style and Sifu since that time. Sifu Thomas' dedication to 7-Star Praying Mantis and  Sifu has earned him the nickname," Old Square Head", from his respected friend Sifu Derek Johnson because, of his refusal to deviate from the                     path of  7-Star Praying Mantis.  
Sifu Thomas demonstrates proper form using a signature 7-Star Praying Mantis posture.    Sifu Othal Thomas opened his own school , accepting students in 1991 in a small Boys Club in East New York Brooklyn staying there 3 years before a, family emergency required his relocation to Washington DC. During this time he had the opportunity to meet new practitioners of numerous martial styles which rekindled his need to teach his beloved 7-Star Praying Mantis Fist. With the support of his spouse, Othal resumed teaching  7-Star in 1996 teaching privately, in the DC Charters Schools and after-care programs, summer camps and churches as well as running 7-Star Class for children and adults at Martial Arts School located in Silver Spring and Takoma Park Maryland. To consolidate his efforts, Othal formed an alliance with YMCA in early 2006 and he now leads a  traditional Chinese Martial Arts Program at the National Capital YMCA located centrally in northwest Washington DC.
    In June of 2009 Sifu Thomas' Gaam Sing Association of Chinese Martial Arts conducted the first ever Martial Arts Tournament honoring famed 7-Star Praying Mantis Master Luo Kwang Yu. The Luo Kwang Yu Heritage Tournament promised to be small high quality non-political traditional martial art event for CMA  practitioners of all styles, with a  special spotlight for Northern Praying Mantis Styles.The Luo Kwang Yu, as it become known, is currently celebrating it's 5th year.


Thomas has been feature numerous time in Kung Fu Tai Chi magazine, demonstrating his effective usage of 7-Star Praying Mantis Gung fu and has also participated in masters demonstrations at the 5 Tigers Tournament, the Wong People Tournament and the Kuoshu Tournament.

     The popular view of martial arts really never appealed to Othal Thomas. His path has always been the road less traveled, he has always dedicated himself to traditional martial arts and examined them deeply for the treasures they hold.


Sigung Cheung Wah and Todei Othal Thomas aka Seung Cheung Yong.A Tradition exchange of the Friendship Banner Todei to Sifu. This is a neccessary step in the bai si ritual.

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