A native of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Sifu Stephen Britt was advised in 1975 by his friends in the Chinese community in Toronto that the Wu family, creators of the Wu Style of Tai Chi Chuan, were establishing their first North American Academy in Canada. The art was recommended to him as he was suffering from childhood rheumatoid arthritis and it was felt training could help overcome the diseases' affects.
Following their advice Sifu Britt attended and was accepted as a student by Master Wu Ta Chi, of the fourth generation of the family and at that time the head of the Wu family internationally.
As Master Wu Ta Chi had to return to Hong Kong, he sent his nephew Wu Kwong Yu (Eddie) of the fifth generation to continue as head of instruction.
Sifu Britt continued in his instruction with Sifu Wu Kwong Yu, becoming a senior disciple of his in 1986.
In 1997 Sifu Britt was authorized to take on disciples, becoming the first North American student to be given this honor.
Under the tutelage of Sifu Wu Kwong Yu, Sifu Britt acted as an assistant instructor in the Toronto Academy until 1987, when he first moved to the United States.
In 1978 he opened the first branch of the Academy in Willowdale, and started classes in Kitchener, Waterloo and Brantford in 1985.
Certified as a judge through the United Wushu Association of Ontario, Sifu Britt has acted in the role of judge in tournaments for the CCKSF (Chinese Canadian Kuo Shu Federation) and the Pan American Wushu Games.
He assisted where possible, helping with the production of Wu family instructional videos completing the English language voice-overs for many of them.
Through Sifu Wu Kwong Yu, in 1978 the opportunity was given to Sifu Britt and the Canadian students to study with Master Wu Ta-Hsin of the fourth generation of the family.
Sifu Britt was fortunate to be able to learn the sword and broadsword forms with Master Wu Ta-Hsin with revisions and upgrades of technique in years subsequent.
In 1987, at the request of Sifu Wu Kwong Yu, Sifu Britt established the Academy's first branch in the United States in Royal Oak, Michigan.
In 1997 Sifu Britt took on his first group of disciples in the United States, the first student of his generation to be given this honor.
The establishment of the Academy in Detroit moved forward to the point of carrying on instruction in over 30 Metropolitan Detroit centers.
In 1994, 1999 and 2002 students totaling over 100 toured Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Macao, Thailand and Vietnam, meeting with the family members and students of Wu style across Southeast Asia and participating in demonstrations and cultural exchange.
Sifu Britt developed classes through many local area hospitals systems, working with Western medical professionals in the area of alternative medicine, running programs in the areas of pulmonary, cardiac, oncology and occupational therapy rehabilitation.
Sifu Britt also has developed programs for specialized support groups in the areas of Parkinsonism, multiple sclerosis, diabetes and autism. In 2002 Sifu Britt was accorded an honorary Masters in education and Doctorate for his work in developing programs for the medical community.
In 2007 his name was included in Who'sWho and Who'sWho in Science and Technology for his work with the medical community and the community at large.
In 2008, on the 20th anniversary of our Institute, Sifu Britt's efforts on behalf of the community in Michigan were recognized by state Governor Jennifer Granholm.
Although separate now from the International Federation, Sifu Britt continues instruction with an uncompromising standard of excellence, bringing the traditional method of instruction to the public with energy and diligence.