About Master Roberto Baptista

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

Master (Sifu) Roberto Baptista began his apprenticeship in martial arts in 1972 in his home country of Brazil when he was just eight years old.

Master (Sifu) Roberto Baptista began his apprenticeship in martial arts in in his home country of Brazil when he was just eight years old.

This is when he started practicing the classical Japanese Martial Art of Judo (柔道)
in Sao Paulo, under Sensei Ono. Master Baptista made it his school sport until , when he graduated from High School.

In , he was introduced to Gōjū-ryū (剛柔流), one of the main traditional Okinawan styles of Karate.

Finally, in , he was introduced to Kung Fu by a neighbor 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 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), the father of Kung Fu in Brazil and the inheritor of one of the purest traditions of Chinese martial arts. Grand Master Chan Kwok Wai was one of the first authentic Chinese Masters to bring traditional Kung Fu to the Americas and accept non-Chinese students.

Master Lee Chung Deh’s senior student Master Jorge Jung (one of the best traditional fighters of his generation) inspired Master Baptista’s interest for traditional fighting skills. His discipline and dedication allowed him to become a member of the fighting training group lead by Master Jorge Jung.

In , after nearly ten years of dedicated practice, Master Baptista concluded his study of the Northern Shaolin style of Kung Fu, acquiring his first certification and becoming a first-generation graduate of Master Jorge Jung.

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

Master Roberto Baptista’s credentials were recognized and endorsed by the Brazilian Boxing Federation, being among the first Kung Fu Masters to receive an official certification from this renowned Brazilian sports organization.

Master Jorge Jung continually encouraged Master Baptista to deepen his studies and learn other styles of Kung Fu.

Since , Master Baptista began deepening his knowledge of Northern Shaolin by learning directly from Grand Master Chan Kwok Wai at his world-renowned Sino Brazilian KungFu Academy in São Paulo, Brazil, becoming his direct student and acquiring certification under him 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

In , Master Baptista also founded one of the first Brazilian state associations that led to the founding of the Brazil Kung Fu Wushu Federation or CBKW. He was very active in the process of bringing recognition to Wushu as a legitimate sport in Brazil. Soon after its official recognition, the CBKW became the sole Brazilian entity affiliated to the recently founded IWUF or 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 | Kung Fu Connection | 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

In the early 1990’s Master Baptista begun to travel abroad. His need to fulfill his calling and continue learning inspired him to travel to the United States to learn one of the oldest styles of Chinese Martial Arts, 摔跤 Shuai jiao (Chinese Wrestling).

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

After being certified by Master Wang through the American Combat Shuai Chiao Association (ACSCA), Master Baptista became one of the first teachers of Shuaijiao in Brazil.

One of his proud Baoding Shuai jiao students, Marcelo Antunes (PhD), has proceeded in his journey and leads 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 Baptista never lost an opportunity to improve his knowledge with many famous Kung Fu masters.

Having learned some 太極拳 Tai Chi or Taijiquan with Grand Master Chan, he reached out and deepened his knowledge of the empty hand movements, as well as the Tai Chi Sword or Taiji Jian with late Grand Master Wang Ju-Rong, who was the daughter of the renowned Grand Master Wang Zi-Ping.

He 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

In Master Baptista became a Certified International Level Coach of Wushu by the IWUF in Beijing, China, receiving instruction from several world-renown masters.

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 | Kung Fu Connection | 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, a direct descendent from the Chen family and direct 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 from his teachers, including a 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). A very prestigious award that grants recognition of his skills and contributions for the development of the Wushu sport worldwide.

Roberto Baptista receives 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

In , after teaching in Manaus, Brazil, where he graduated eight teachers, Master Baptista moved back to Sao Paulo and spent the next 12 years under the direct tutelage of Grand Master Chan Kwok Wai, deepening his practice of what was previously learned 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

In , Master Baptista accepted an invitation from his Kung Fu nephew, Master Gus Rubio, to teach in the USA and moved with his family to Florida.

In , Master Baptista became an permanent resident of the USA and was appointed to serve as Vice Chairman of Traditional Kung Fu for the United States of America Wushu Kung Fu Federation (USAWKF) and serves in this role to this day.

Understanding the responsibility to preserve this priceless legacy transmitted through the ages from Master to Master and in one of the most pure and authentic lineages in Chinese martial arts history, Master Baptista opened his own school in Coral Springs, Florida, and he named it Kung Fu Connection, out of respect for his business namesake.

He currently teaches and continues to pass down the traditional content that was preserved through his lineage.

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 his Martial Arts studies at age 8, with his first style being the Japanese Martial Art of Judo in Sao Paulo, Brazil, under Sensei Ono (1972)
  • Sifu Roberto Baptista started training in the Kung Fu style of Northern Shaolin in 1980
  • Achieved Instructor Level of Northern Shaolin Kung Fu under Grand Master Chan Kwok Wai at the Sino-Brazilian KungFu Academy
  • Achieved Master Level in Yang Taijiquan, aka Yang Style Tai Chi (Sino-Brazilian KungFu Academy – Grand Master Chan Kwok Wai)
  • Achieved Master Level in Northern Shaolin Kung Fu (Sino-Brazilian KungFu Academy – Grand Master Chan Kwok Wai)
  • Achieved Black Belt Level in Baojing Shuaijiao (American Combat Shuaichiao Association –Grand Master John Wang)
  • Achieved 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)
  • Became a 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)
  • Nominated to the International HALL OF FAME of USAWKF (USA Wushu KungFu Federation)
  • Taught courses and seminars about Chinese Martial Arts in Brazilian Universities
  • Studied Traditional Chen Taijiquan (Tai Chi) in China (Laojia – Chen Zheng Lei)(China 2002-2004)
  • Studied 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)
  • Served 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

Because of Master Roberto Baptista’s life trajectory, deep study, and credentials, he is considered today among one the highest authorities of Traditional Chinese Martial Arts in the USA and one of the highest figures of traditional Chinese martial arts internationally, both inside and outside the martial community.

Roberto Baptista is one of the most successful and talented masters in the world who offer training in Authentic Traditional Chinese Martial Arts.

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