About Master Roberto Baptista

Sifu Roberto Baptista | Kung Fu Connection | Coral Springs, Florida

Master Roberto Baptista suddenly began his martial arts apprenticeship in 1972 in his Brazilian homeland when he was eight years old.

In , Master Roberto Baptista was just eight years old, living in Sao Paolo, Brazil.

In fact, he studied Judo under Sensei Ono and made it his school sport until , when he graduated high school.

Then in , he was then introduced to Gōjū-ryū (剛柔流), a main traditional Okinawan style of Karate.

Finally, in , he found Kung Fu and immediately started his life-long Kung Fu journey.

Roberto Baptista and Chan Kwok Wai | Kung Fu | Coral Springs, Florida
Roberto Baptista and Chan Kwok Wai

The Kung Fu Journey Begins

Master Baptista finally started his first formal Northern Shaolin Kung Fu (北少林拳門 Běishǎolín Quánmén / Bak Siu Lum Kyun Mun) classes with Master Lee Chung Deh (李宗德 Lǐ Zōng Dé).  

Lee was the second disciple of world-famous Master Chan Kwok Wai (Chén Guówěi 陳國偉). Chan’s teacher was Grand Master Yan Shang Wu. Surprisingly, Master Chan is especially known as the father of Kung Fu in Brazil. As inheritor of a pure tradition of Chinese martial art, he has certainly done a job well done.

Furthermore, Grand Master Chan Kwok Wai was among the first people to bring traditional Kung Fu to the Americas. Further still, he was also one of the first to accept non-Chinese martial art students.

Master Lee Chung Deh’s first senior student was Master Jorge Jung. He was one of the best traditional fighters of his generation. He consequently inspired Master Baptista’s interest in traditional fighting skills. His discipline and dedication got him into the fighting training group lead by Jung.

Brazilian Boxing Federation logo | Confederação Brasileira de Boxe (CBBoxe)
Brazilian Boxing Federation | Confederação Brasileira de Boxe (CBBoxe)

Certifications, Organizations and More

 nearly ten years of intense training for Master Baptista.

He then finally concluded his study of the Northern Shaolin style of Kung Fu. 

He got his first certification and became a first-generation graduate of Master Jung.

Sifu Roberto Baptista’s credentials were recognized and endorsed by the Brazilian Boxing Federation. This made him one of the first Kung Fu Masters to receive their official certification.

Since , Master Baptista began to go deep. He consequently enriched his knowledge of Northern Shaolin by learning directly under Grand Master Chan Kwok Wai. 

The world-renowned Sino Brazilian KungFu Academy in São Paulo, Brazil, is his Kung Fu home. It is where he acquired certification after ten years of practice.

L-R : Lee Chung Deh, Chan Kwok Wai, Roberto Baptista and Jorge Jung of Northern Shaolin Kung Fu
L-R Lee Chung Deh, Chan Kwok Wai, Roberto Baptista, and Jorge Jung of Northern Shaolin Kung Fu

Additionally, in , Master Baptista founded one of the first Brazilian state associations leading to the founding of the Brazil Kung Fu Wushu Federation or CBKW. He was very active in the process of bringing recognition to Wushu. It wasn’t well known previously. But Sifu Baptista helped the sport gain popularity in Brazil. 

Soon after its official recognition, the CBKW became the sole Brazilian entity affiliated with IWUF  or the International Wushu Federation.

Associacao de Kung Fu Shaolin Norte logo
Associacao de Kung Fu Shaolin Norte
CBKW | Brazilian Confederation Kung Fu - Wushu
CBKW | Brazilian Confederation Kung Fu - Wushu
IWUF | International Wushu Federation Logo | Roberto Baptista | Coral Springs, Florida
IWUF | International Wushu Federation
Federacao Kung Fu Wushu Amazonas | Kung Fu Wushu Federation Amazon State of Brazil logo
Federacao Kung Fu Wushu Amazonas

More than Northern Shaolin

In the early 1990’s Master Baptista begun to travel abroad. He came to the United States and began to learn one of the oldest styles of Chinese Martial Arts. This is 摔跤 Shuai jiao or Chinese Wrestling.

His Master, John S. Wang, was a disciple of the famed Grand Master Chang Tung Sheng 常東昇.

Certified by Master Wang through his American Combat Shuai Chiao Association (ACSCA), Master Baptista was one of the first teachers of Shuaijiao in Brazil.

As a matter of fact, one of his proud Baoding Shuai jiao students, Marcelo Antunes (Ph.D.), continues to lead nationwide Shuai jiao schools in Brazil to this day. 

American Combat Shuai Chiao Association Logo
American Combat Shuai Chiao Association

Kung Fu goes Deep and Wide

Master Roberto Baptista also learned some 太極拳 Tai Chi, or Taijiquan, with Grand Master Chan. Later in his studies, he wanted to deepen his knowledge and so he reached out to several other masters.

He learned the depths of the empty hand movements, as well as Tai Chi Sword or Taiji Jian

He studied with the late Grand Master Wang Ju-Rong, who was the daughter of the renowned Grand Master Wang Zi-Ping.

Sifu Baptista also improved his knowledge of 擒拿 Qin Na or Chin Na, with Master Yang Jwing-Ming and Master Liang Shou-Yu and made numerous trips to China to improve his knowledge.

Master Roberto Baptista & Yang Jwing-Ming | Kung Fu Legends
Master Roberto Baptista & Yang Jwing Ming
Master Roberto Baptista & Liang Shou Yu | Kung Fu Legends
Master Roberto Baptista & Liang Shou Yu

Many Certifications

In Master Baptista became a Certified International Level Coach of Wushu by the IWUF in Beijing, China.

Generally speaking, he trained with several world-renown masters and coaches of Wushu while in China.

On the same occasion, two other masters from Chan Kwok Wai’s lineage were also certified: Master Thomaz Chan Hon Kit (Grand Master Chan Kwok Wai’s son) and the late Master Nereu Graballos.

IWUF | International Wushu Federation Logo | Roberto Baptista | Coral Springs, Florida
IWUF | International Wushu Federation
Chinese Wushu Association logo
Chinese Wushu Association

In the same decade, Master Baptista also learned Chen style Taijiquan (the original style of Tai Chi Chuan) in China with Master Chen Yinxu. Master Chen was a disciple of Grand Master Chen Zhenglei (陈正雷) from Chenjiagou (Chen Village, 陳家溝).

Chen Yinxu & Roberto Baptista | Chen Style Tai Chi or Taijiquan
Chen Yinxu & Roberto Baptista | Chen Style Tai Chi or Taijiquan

Besides learning traditional and contemporary Chinese martial arts, Master Baptista also learned many traditional Qigong practices. Qigong, also known as Chi Kung, can be thought of as Breath Work or Energy Work. He was even certified in a famous set known as Liangong Shibafa (練功十八法).

USA Wushu Kung Fu Federation Logo
USAWKF | USA Wushu Kung Fu Federation

In Master Baptista was inducted to the International Hall of Fame of the United States of America Wushu KungFu Federation (USAWKF). This grants recognition of skills and contributions to the Wushu sport worldwide. In short, this is obviously a very prestigious award.  

Roberto Baptista | International Hall of Fame certificate from the USA Wushu Kung Fu Federation
Roberto Baptista receives International Hall of Fame certificate from the USA Wushu Kung Fu Federation

. Manaus, Brazil. Master Baptista graduates eight teachers and moves back to Sao Paulo. He then spends the next 12 years under Grand Master Chan Kwok Wai. He deepens his practice and learning even more.

Master Roberto Baptista & Chan Kwok Wai | Northern Shaolin Kung Fu
Master Roberto Baptista, and others with Chan Kwok Wai
Group Shot of Chan Kwok Wai, Roberto Baptista and others
Group Shot of Chan Kwok Wai, Roberto Baptista, and others

Roberto Baptista and the USA

In , Master Baptista accepted an especially unique invitation from his Kung Fu nephew, Master Gus Rubio

He invited him to teach with him in the USA. For this reason, Sifu Baptista moved with his family to Florida.

Master Baptista became a permanent resident of the USA in

 was appointed to serve as Vice Chairman of Traditional Kung Fu for the United States of America Wushu Kung Fu Federation (USAWKF).

He continues to serve in the role today.

Sifu Roberto Baptista understands the responsibility of preserving this priceless legacy, transmitted through the ages and from Master to Master.

He opened his own school in Coral Springs, Florida, and named it Kung Fu Connection, out of respect for his business namesake.

See the Kung Fu for Adults, Kids Martial Arts, and other Programs being offered.

Check out what our students say about their experiences with us!

Northern Shaolin Kung Fu Master Roberto Baptista | Single Dagger Form | Coral Springs, Florida
Northern Shaolin Kung Fu Master Roberto Baptista | Single Dagger Form

Master Roberto Baptista

Kung Fu Fast Facts

  • Began Martial Art studies at age 8
    • Japanese Martial Art of Judo in Sao Paulo, Brazil, under Sensei Ono (1972)
  • Begins Northern Shaolin Kung Fu in 1980
  • Achieves Instructor Level of Northern Shaolin Kung Fu under Grand Master Chan Kwok Wai at the Sino-Brazilian KungFu Academy
  • Completed Master Level in Yang Taijiquan, aka Yang Style Tai Chi (Sino-Brazilian KungFu Academy – Grand Master Chan Kwok Wai)
  • Master Level in Northern Shaolin Kung Fu (Sino-Brazilian KungFu Academy – Grand Master Chan Kwok Wai)
  • Finished Black Belt Level in Baojing Shuaijiao (American Combat Shuaichiao Association –Grand Master John Wang)
  • Certified Liangong Instructor level
  • Introduced Northern Shaolin Kung Fu in the Brazilian Amazon State
  • Co-Founder of the Amazon Kung Fu Federation
  • Technical Director of the Amazon State Kung Fu Federation
  • Became a Certified Kung Fu & Wushu Judge (Modern, Traditional and Internal Styles)
  • Head Technical Director of CBKWBrazil Kung Fu Federation (2005-2009)
  • Certified International Coach by the IWUFInternational Wushu Federation, Beijing, China (1999/2000)
  • Brazil Team Leader during the World Wushu Championships (Baltimore/USA – 2000)
  • Organized the third Pan-American Wushu Championships (2000)
  • Nominated Member of the Technical Committee of IWUF – International Federation – Beijing, China (2000-2002)
  • Elected to the International HALL OF FAME of USAWKF (USA Wushu KungFu Federation)
  • Taught courses and seminars about Chinese Martial Arts in Brazilian Universities

That should be enough, ultimately. But Wait! There’s More!

Roberto Baptista: Kung Fu Extraordinaire

  • Studied Traditional Chen Taijiquan (Tai Chi) in China (Laojia – Chen Zheng Lei)(China 2002-2004)
  • Trained in contemporary Wushu Shaolin in Shaolin School (Dengfeng, China / 2002-2004)
  • Advanced Northern Shaolin Studies under Grand Master Chan Kwok Wai (April/2005 – February/2017)
  • Received a Citation of Government due to contributions to the development of Kung Fu
  • Author of many articles in a variety of US magazines and cited in different Kung Fu – Wushu/Shuaijiao books and articles
  • Taught special seminars about Traditional Kung Fu in Brazil and in the USA
  • Invited by Master Gus Rubio’s KungFu Connection, and moves to the USA in 2017 to be KungFu Connection Program Director and opens a new Kung Fu School in Coral Springs, FL
  • Served as National Judge during the 2017 USAWKF (United States of America Wushu Kungfu Federation) USA Nationals (Lubbock, TX)
  • Worked as Vice-Chairman of the USAWKF, selecting the US team to compete in the 2017 Traditional Kung Fu World Championship held on November 2017
  • Served as National Judge during the 2018 USA Nationals (Lubbock, TX); And served as Vice-Chairman of the USAWKF to select the US team to compete in the 2018 Juniors World Wushu Championship held on July 2018 (Brazil)
  • Appointed as Vice Chairman of Traditional Chinese Martial Arts Committee of USAWKF – January 2019
  • Served as Jury of Appeals during the 3rd Pan American Kungfu & Taijiquan Championships – July 2019
  • Currently teaches Authentic Traditional Chinese Martial Arts at Kung Fu Connection in Coral Springs, Florida

Looking to the Future

Because of Master Roberto Baptista’s life trajectory, deep study, and credentials, he is an extremely trusted authority on TCMA in the USA. 

TCMA is an abbreviation of Traditional Chinese Martial Arts.

He is truly a successful and talented master offering training in Authentic Traditional Chinese Martial Arts.

Alongside the amazing physical and mental skills, Master Baptista teaches students the traditional martial virtue. This is known as Wǔdé (武 德). 

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