Born in 1956, shifu Stephen Cottrell began studying Chinese martial arts in 1966.

As an adult, he lived in Asia, as a liaison for the U.S. government, and continued training in several styles of gong-fu. He studied Mei Hua Tang Lang in Korea in 1979.

In the 1980s while in the military, he was an instructor for U.S. military and special operations units.

Shifu Cottrell has got Master’s degrees in Education and Religious studies as well as language skills in Chinese and Korean. He is a disciple and instructor under Shifu Brendan Lai.

In 1998 he won first place in men’s shadowboxing at the International Wu-Shu Festival held in Jinan, China. Sifu Cottrell currently teaches wing chun and Seven Stars Praying Mantis in Ft. Worth, TX (USA).