Sifu Sergio Pascal Iadarola started his Martial Arts career with judo a the age of six in the Dutch capital Amsterdam, winning several local tournaments, during his teens he also build up his with the practice of other Martial Arts like Pencak Silat and Wado Kai Karate.
Sifu Sergio was a big Bruce Lee fan and he studied and read everything concerning him. As Bruce Lee started his martial arts journey with Wing Chun so for Sifu Sergio that would also be the path. To delve deeper he conversed with some of Bruce’s early students like James de Mile and Jesse Glover in order to find out more about the personal Martial Arts development of his idol. He also visited many more martial art schools as possible in Amsterdam together with friends to watch or take part in lessons.
In 1987 Sifu Sergio trained the Wing Chun system under Sifu R. Vogel and Grandmaster Wang Kiu, who was a direct student of the late Grandmaster Ip Man, and who immigrated to The Netherlands in the 70’s. Approximatly two months into his training, he got a hold of a book “Wing Tsun Kuen” written by Grandmaster Leung Ting (the last closed door disciple of the late Grandmaster Ip Man). The book inspired Sifu Sergio so much that he made the decision to stop his training at Sifu Wang Kiu’s school after only four months into his training and to start looking for a Leung Ting affiliated school, that year Sifu Sergio started training the Leung Ting Wing Tsun System under Frank Schäfer, only for it to stop after an unfortunate car accident. Around nine months later he was able to resume his training and received his 1st Technician level from Sifu Keith Kernspecht who was the chief instructor of the EWTO in 1994 Germany.
Wanting to be the best he could be and to reach his full potential in Wing Chun Sifu Sergio made great sacrifices and travelled throughout Europe during 1994 to 1998 attending many seminars in Germany and in Italy of Sifu Emin Botztepe and taking hundreds of private lessons from Leung Ting Wing Tsun masters like Sifu H.P. Edel, Sifu S. Avci which resulted in being appointed as the Israeli chief instructor for the EWTO by his Sifu K. Kernspecht during 1997-1998, for that again great sacrifices where made having to move to a foreign country and settling down in the Israeli capital of Tel Aviv. This was not easy but Sifu Sergio managed to set up a successful school for around a year before deciding to leave the country due to political stress.
Sifu Sergio kept thinking about one day becoming a personal student of Sifu Leung Ting and due to his persistance he eventually achieved that during a trip to Asia in the same period with his dream coming true when he met Grandmaster Leung Ting in Hong Kong. Having seen and received instructions from him before only during Sifu Leung Ting’s European seminar tours, it was amazing that due to favourable circumstances Sifu Sergio was fortunate enough to be accepted as a private student by Grandmaster Leung Ting and arrangements were made to start the private training under Sifu Leung Ting as soon as possible.
After returning to Europe to make arrangements to stay longer in Hong Kong Sifu Sergio decided that before returning he would finish and complete the unarmed Leung Ting Wing Tsun system under Sifu Slavko Truntic who was one of the master students of Sifu Leung Ting. This was the right step to take as it meant that Sifu Leung Ting only needed to correct him instead of teaching him certain parts of the system. Sifu Sergio would take over a 100 hours of private lessons from Grandmaster Leung Ting between January 1998 till October 2001 in Hong Kong and in Shunde and also studied intensively under GM Cheng Chuen Fan during the normal and instructor classes at the Leung Ting HQ on the Nathan Road.
Their relationship eventually became close resulting in hanging out together outside of the normal trainings hours. In the periods in Hong Kong, which were several months at the time, Sifu Sergio had the fortune to be able to sleep across the road and almost opposite the school of Grandmaster Leung Ting at the house of his friend’s aunt. It was not unusual to receive theoretical lessons, finishing and receiving the corrections of the whole unarmed system of Leung Ting Wing Tsun under Leung Ting himself in Hong Kong in the year 2000.
This was an achievement which only one other Westerner had accomplished at that moment in time.
The next part of the journey took Sifu Sergio to New York where he spend November and December 2001 to complete the Leung Ting Wing Tsun weapon system: Look Dim Poon Kwun and the Bart Cham Dao under Si-Pak Fong Wai Hung (Alan Fong) being the first one ever to be taught the Bart Cham Dao from Sifu Alan Fong. During this trip he was promoted to a 7th level practician by his Si-Pak Alan Fong after impressing with his unarmed Wing Tsun skill. Due to several circumstances involving Alan Fong, Sifu Sergio had no choice but to set up his own Association in January 2002, the IWKA, to promote and spread the authentic Leung Ting Wing Tsun system as taught by GM Leung Ting in Hong Kong, and set up dozens of IWKA schools around Europe.
Being full of passion for Wing Chun, Chinese Kung Fu history and Philosophy it was not long after setting up all these schools that Sifu Sergio started to realise that the Ip Man Wing Chun lineage and the lineages derived from it were not the only lineages around in China. It was shocking at first and he needed some time to accept that there were older and more complete lineages out there which at the time were all pretty much unknown in Europe. Many people do not realise that the Ip Man system is actually a personal interpretation and mix of three different Wing Chun lineages namely Chan Wha Sun, Yuen Kay san and Dai Dak Lan. Sifu Sergio would eventually decide to pursue the next decade into the intense studying of other Wing Chun lineages which meant that for the first time he came in contact with lineages that had an Internal side to their curriculum something he was not aware of before.
Sifu Sergio went on to study the Lo family Weng Chun lineage under Sifu Cheng Kwong who was the successor of the late Sifu Wai Check Yan, who taught him the Saam Bai Fat and the art of Kam Na. He also studied under the son of the late Grandmaster Pak Cheung who was a direct student of Tang Suen in mainland China.
Sifu Sergio decided to leave the running of his successful full time IWKA HQ in The Netherlands to some of his higher level students to immigrate to Hong Kong and recently obtained his permanent residency and is one of the first Westerners to open up successful Kung Fu School in Hong Kong.
To delve deeper into the Tang family Weng Chun system (Eternal Spring Lineage) of the late Grandmaster Tang Yick and he studied With Pak Cheung Kao in China. Sifu Sergio went on to study with Sifu Tang Chung Pak for a few years who taught him the Luk Dim Poon Kwan, Weng Chun Kuen form and two men sets before finally becoming a student and close friend of Sifu Sunny So who was the last student of the late GM Tang Yick. Sifu Sunny So taught him the rest of the system in intense private lessons over a period of several years.
What many are not aware of is that Sifu Sergio was diagnosed with asperges as a child which is a condition that has been a great fortune for him enabling him to accumulate knowledge, learn forms and internalise skills at a much quicker and deeper way then the average person.
It is exactly this condition that has enabled Sifu Sergio to finish the curriculum of several lineages and receiving master status in some during a period of no more than the years. The other lineages he studied include the Sum Nung Wing Chun system and the ancestor systems of all the modern Wing Chun lineages, including the Fujian Yong Chun Bai Hei system under several sifu’s in intense private lessons in Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand
Sifu Sergio also paid several visits to the Gu Lao village in China where he briefly studied the unique Gu Lao Wing Chun system under Sifu Fung Chun who preserved the last teachings of the late Grandmaster Dr. Leung Jan.
Sifu Sergio also visited Vietnam, the home of Vietnamese Wing Chun which developed in Vietnam through Yuen Chai Wan the Brother of the Late Grandmaster Yuen kay San, and researched and exchanged information with Several Sifu’s and lineage holders.
The last studies to be completed in his quest and finalised the research into the Beautiful Spring lineage of Wing Chun came from coming into contact with the sources that provided him with the original Kuen Kuit from the 1800’s before the 1700’s Siu lin Tau (little training set) got split up into three form format of Siu Nim Tau (a little idea) Chum Kiu (seeking the bridge) and Biu Tze (thrusting fingers) around the time of the 1854 uprising and the 1855 burning down of the Fine Jade Hall.
These Kuen Kuit are testimony to the fact that the Fusion of Fujian Bai Hei ( White Crane ) and Emei Zhe Zhuang responsible for the creation of the 1700’s Siu Lin Tau resulted in a unique internal set on par with the northern internal arts which served as the base from which the later more external 3 set format versions of Wing Chun came about.