Sifu David Gallaher has had the fortune to study with some of the best martial artists in the world. He has trained privately for years under the tutelage of Sifu Ted Wong. Sifu Wong was personally trained by Sigong Bruce Lee. Their relationship, however, was more than teacher and student, they were also close friends. Sifu Wong was directly certified by Bruce Lee, and is considered by many to be Lee's protégé.
Sifu David Gallaher is a Senior Instructor certified under Ted Wong to teach the art of Jeet Kune Do. Ted Wong spent hours training with Bruce Lee and Sifu Gallaher believes that Ted Wong has the best understanding of the latter stages of JKD in the world. There is no doubt that private lessons allow you to get a deeper understanding of the art and of the teacher, and being friends on top of that will allow the information to flow based on trust, integrity and loyalty. Sifu Ted Wong carries these attributes. Sifu Gallaher wanted to research all aspects of JKD and what other students of Bruce Lee could teach. Different personalities a lot of times lead to different perception, one student can gravitate towards the kicking aspect, another, the punching aspect, and another the grappling aspect, so he meticulously trained to have a broader perspective of JKD.
In Sifu’s desire to become the most complete second generation Jeet Kune Do student, he sought out Dan Lee, another Bruce Lee student. Dan Lee was considered to be one of the best fighters of the Bruce Lee clan. Lee, already having a remarkable boxing record, was perfect for Jeet Kune Do. He also has natural understanding in philosophy and his skill, like Sifu Wong's, is remarkable.
Sifu Gallaher has also privately trained with many other students, such as Steve Golden and Jerry Poteet. This solid training added a variety of information and a unique perspective of Bruce Lee, the man. The Chinatown school was Bruce Lee's last school before his untimely passing. Sifu Gallaher thought it would be beneficial to go back to Bruce Lee's roots. He wanted to trace his evolutionary process in the formation of Jeet Kune Do (the way of the intercepting fist.) Sifu Gallaher began training with Bruce Lee's first student and first assistant instructor in the United States, Jesse Glover, to gain insight in the way Lee was thinking and the material he was teaching in the beginning phase. What he found, was a direct, simple, no nonsense approach to combat. Bruce Lee modified a Gung Fu system, known as Wing Chun. Lee was taught Wing Chun, in China, under Sifu Grand Master Yip Man.
Sifu Gallaher was already a teacher of Wing Chun under the renowned and respected teaching of Grand Master Yip Man's sons, Grand Master Yip Ching and Grand Master Yip Chun, through the training of Sifu Samuel Kwok and later on Chan Chee Man. Sifu Gallaher had already gained a full understanding of Wing Chun prior to Jesse Glover. Jesse Glover's Wing Chun was different in that is seemed modified, and perhaps, simplified. It was Wing Chun, but it had taken a different shape and essence, referred to as Jun Fan Gung Fu, Bruce Lee's art.
Sifu Gallaher has spent time with many other first generation students of Bruce Lee-this is a biography to highlight some of his training. Sifu Gallaher's training in Wing Chun was also unique, because his early training was incomplete. A rare chance came to study with Sifu Samuel Kwok, a teacher under Grand Master Yip Man's sons. Under Sifu Kwok's teaching, he was quickly able to fill in any gaps he had encountered in his Wing Chun training. He was able to fully grasp the understanding of the system's core ideas. Sifu Gallaher has had the ability to study several different Wing Chun systems throughout the world with many top masters. Valuable information given to him by Grand Master Yip Ching, Grand Master Yip Chun, and others has given him a solid comprehension of the principles of the incredible fighting system, Wing Chun.
Sifu Gallaher had the opportunity to perform at the first Wing Chun conference in Hong Kong the “Ving Tsun Athletic Association First World Representatives Conference” in 1999. It is at this time that Sifu Gallaher started training with other Wing Chun teachers. He also had an opportunity to perform at the Second World Conference in Hong Kong where he brought several of his students to train with a few of his teachers in Hong Kong, including Grand Master Yip Ching and Grand Master Chan Chee Man. Chan Chee Man received Sifu Gallaher as a closed-door disciple several years earlier on a trip to Hong Kong. What was supposed to be an interview for an article turned out to be one of the best training experiences in his life. He continues training with Grand Masters Yip Ching and Chan Chee Man to better solidify his understanding of Wing Chun.
Several more of the systems that Sifu Gallaher has had great accomplishment in are the arts of Kali Arnis Escrima. These are combat fighting arts based on the blade and stick. Sifu Gallaher had the rare fortune of living in the right area of the world. Grandmaster Bo Sayoc from the Philippines was only an hour away. He began the journey into Sayoc Kali and worked his way up to full master, until his instructor, Grand Master Bo Sayoc, decided to move back to the Philippines. Grand Master Sayoc recently passed away. His expertise in the arts that he mastered will be sadly missed. Guru Gallaher has trained with several other Grand Masters in the Filipino arts as well as the Indonesian arts, but no one has influenced him more in the Filipino arts than Bo Sayoc.
Remember that the style is never more important than the human, and all systems of martial arts are not created equal. Sifu/Guru Gallaher is always in the process of refinement, a process of evolving himself to a higher level of excellence. Through the proper cultivation of the mind and body, we will begin to see the subtleties of life. Most people look through their eyes in a sort of translucent, blurred vision. Gung Fu will let you see the world from a clear outlook, not a clouded one.