Sifu Charles Middleton is a 4th generation instructor under the Jow Bui lineage in the U.S. He is the senior instructor of Sifu Hoy K. Lee who was a student of the late Chan Man Cheung who was a student of the late Jow Biu. Sifu Charles Middleton was born in Richmond Virginia, but grew up in a rural Powhatan County VA, 20 miles west of Richmond VA. His Martial Art studies began in 1974. His background in Martial Arts includes Wing Chun, Wu Shu, Northern Long Fist and JOW GA KUNG FU. Like many Martial Artist during that time he was inspired by individuals like Sonny Chiba, Chuck Norris, Jim Kelly and everyone's favorite movie star, Bruce Lee. But more especially his cousin Terry Harris, who was a Tae Kwon Do practitioner. Terry was the first to excited his interest at the age of 14. In 1973 Sifu Charles Middleton received his first Karate Magazine form his eldest sister Joy as a birthday gift, which he still has, and from that moment it was all about kicking and punching. There weren't any Martial Art schools in Powhatan County at that time, so he traveled to Richmond every Saturday to study Kung Fu, no surprise at that time it was all still called Karate. In 1977 Sifu Charles decided to embark on his childhood dream, he enlisted into the U.S Army. Unable to continue his Kung Fu practice he took up boxing which also was dear to his heart. Sifu Charles had no problem making the Fort Gordon and Schofield Barracks boxing teams. As an amateur boxer, he won over 96% of his matches.
During Sifu Charles Middleton's 3-year tour in HI, he improved greatly with his Kung Fu. Winning Championships in fighting and forms in Korea, Philippines, Hawaii and California. In 1981 Sifu Charles Middleton's military career brought him back to the East Coast, where he was duty assigned to Fort Dix. In 1982 Sifu Charles Middleton organized the first Kung Fu Club at Rutgers University which he headed for four years. He later enrolled and graduated from the Fort Dix Infantry Drill Sergeant Academy 1983. In 1986 Sifu Charles relocated back to the Richmond VA area and began teaching a few students privately and within a few months he started a Kung Fu program with Chesterfield Park and Recreation. The program was received well by the community and in 1989 Sifu Charles opened the Richmond Academy of Shaolin Boxing.
Follow the Connection
In August of 1989 Sifu Charles took a few of his students to the US Kung Fu World Championship in Houston TX. At the competition Sifu Charles notice a young female competing in Southern Style, very impressed by her form he asked her who her teacher was, she politely pointed to a young African American man and said his name is Sifu Deric Mims. At that time Sifu Charles had no idea what the school name was or where it was located.
In 1991 Sifu Charles men the late Al Hoffman, a student of and Instructor of Sifu Hoy K. Lee on the local Virginia tournament circuit. Sifu Charles found Al's form of Kung Fu very practical but couldn't place where her had seen it before. It wasn't until 1993 after the death of Al that his classmate Timothy Manning introduce Sifu Charles to Sifu Hoy Lee. Timothy shared with Sifu Lee that there was a Kung Fu School in Richmond that was known for its fighting, and earlier that same year one of their students won 2 gold medals in China.
In 1994 Sifu Charles Middleton was invited to Master Lee's Jow Ga Kung Fu Anniversary Banquet, there he saw Sifu Deric Mims. Five years later the connection is made, "This is the same system". When Sifu Charles was asked if he was interested in being a part of US Jow Ga Family, he did not hesitate to reply yes. Having difficulty maintaining communication with his Sifu abroad, Sifu Charles was longing for a Kung Fu family that would aid in his continuous Kung Fu education. And he knew this would be a great move for his Richmond based school.
Master Lee placed Sifu Charles under the watchful eyes of Sifu Deric Mims for his first Jow Ga training years. The combination of knowledge, ability, leadership received from Master Lee and Sifu Mims along with the already strong military and Kung Fu background of Sifu Charles Middleton, Jow Ga Kung Fu found a home in Richmond where it is second to none in developing our youth and leaders. The next move planning how to implement the changes. At that time, the Richmond Academy of Shaolin Boxing had enrolled 48 kids between the ages of 6 and 15. With the help of Sifu Roland Burnette, Sifu Charles's assistant, things changed rapidly, and the students met the challenge. Local Richmond students have won gold medals in Germany, Singapore, China, Hong Kong and of course Nationally.
Sifu Charles Middleton