Sifu Carl Albright is a proud member of the old guard and one of the East Coast golden era standard bearers. He has trained in Chinese Martial Arts for over 60 years. Although given the title of Grand Master by his peers, he still prefers to use the title of Sifu. Sifu means teacher and he does fit that description perfectly. Albright started training in late 50's being one of the first non-Chinese to study Kung Fu. Albright started teaching in 1968 starting the NY Sil Lum Pai Gung Fu Association at that time. He participated in the first East Coast Martial Arts demonstrations in 1967 and 1968 at the Manhattan Center and Town Hall with Aaron banks, Alan Lee, Ronald Duncan and many others.
He has won over 200 trophies in the forms, weapons, breaking and fighting divisions and was an undefeated full contact bare knuckle grand champion 1975 thru 1985. And was hand to hand combat instructor in Dragon Valley South Korea 1975. He also trained and competed with the U.S. Army Camp Muay Thai Kickboxing team 1975. During his tour in Korea, on a mission in the DMZ, North Koreans attacked the American group and an axe battle ensued. The martial arts training saved Albright along with some of the other enlisted men but sadly 2 officers were killed in the mayhem. The "Paul Bunyan incident" is now in the military history books.
Raised in Bedford Stuyvesant Brooklyn, Sifu Albright was exposed to the rough street life at an early age. He credits the Martial Arts for keeping him out of the gang life and away from drugs. "In those days gangs would try to "draft" you into them." Albright said "But you could ask for a "fair one'. Which means a fair fight with whoever was chosen by them. If you won, they would leave you alone and you wouldn't have to join nor challenged again".
During the 60's many of the names now famous, were just getting their start. At St. John’s Recreation Center you could find Professor Florendo M. Visitacion AKA Professor Vee. George Cofield, Moses Powell, Ronald Duncan, Rudy Jones, Ron Van Clief , and many more that went on to achieve greatness. Albright had a lifelong friendship with all of them. Even training with Rudy Jones and Professor Vee at times.
As a child, Albright traveled off and on with his father who was in the military. His father heard about a Chinese Boxing teacher from a friend and so started the training. Albright later became friends with some members of the 'White Eagles" the precursor to the "Ghost Shadows". This gave deeper access to the Kung Fu community which at that time was not open to non-Chinese. Exposed to the Chinese martial arts all through the 60's and learning from many friends as well as teachers that were impressed by his ability to speak some Cantonese. Although he met the Praying Mantis style master Chiu Leun in 1969, Sifu Albright was about to go to Hawaii with his father. He promised to train in the Praying Mantis style with him when he came back to New York.
He finished High School in Honolulu and was exposed to many martial artists there. That is where he met Bucksam Kong and started training in Hung Gar and Choy Lee Fut. After High School, he joined the Army to get a start in life and travel to learn more martial arts. During a time when there were no computers, cell phones or immediate access to a camera, it was a very different experience than today.
Whenever he came back on military leave to New York, he would train with Master Chiu Leun in the Northern Seven Star Praying Mantis style. Later taking private lessons from other notable masters including Lam Chun Fai the son of Lam Cho. That is a direct line to the famous Wong Fei Hung, the subject of many movies. Albright also trained with Chan Tai San the treasure of Toy San China. Known for his Tibetan Lama, Choy Lee Fut and several other styles.
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