Washington, D.C. kung-fu pioneer Master Dennis Brown took part in a simple tea ceremony rarely held in public, where 67-year-old Grandmaster Willy Lin passed along “the robe and bowl” of t’ien shan p’ai to his disciple of over 40 years.
Grand Master Dennnis Brown became officially the yiban, or heir apparent, to the world-famous fighting system, t’ien shan p’ai, which originated in the T’ien Shan mountains of northwestern China.
Dennnis Brown was an 80’s weapons star, trainer of champions and promoter of his own long-running U.S. Capitol Classics tournament. He is a member of half-a-dozen Halls of Fame, and was, at the turn of the century, included in Black Belt magazine as one of the “25 Most Influential Martial Artists of the 20th Century.”
A Youthful Dennis Brown was a fighter of closed-door matches in New York and Washington, winning a bout against a full-contact hero who later retired unbeaten from the public circuit. As a weapons forms competitor, Dennis Brown won national grand championships for his staff work and sword forms; and he redesigned and revolutionized the rope dart, of which he remains one of the few living experts.
Grand Master Brown has continued developing his skills through a lifelong study of the fighting forms, traditional weapons and training resources of classic external and internal wushu. In 1982, he became the first African American to train in Mainland China. He continues to returned to China for advanced studies every decade.
In 1982, when he first arrived in China, Grand Master Brown had already founded the U.S. Capitol Classics. The 21st century U.S. Capitol Classics has evolved into one of the country’s most famous and glamorous venues. It has been said by martial arts historians that, over the years, the greatest champions of the last quarter-century have given some of their most memorable performances at the Classic.
Grand Master Brown’s is also fondly remembered for a six year run as “The Morning Sound” Exercise Consultant on WHUR radio. For three years in the late ’90s, beginning on ESPN, Dennis Brown co-hosted “Black Belts,” a weekly half-hour TV show which covered the grand championship showdowns at major national tournaments.
Currently, Dennis Brown runs three successful Shaolin Wu-Shu Training Centers in the greater metropolitan area.
Martial arts training began in 1965 in the Washington Metropolitan area.
The Training Continues
- One of the first Americans to travel to Mainland China in 1982 to train, study and be certified at the Jiangsu Sports Center in Nanjing.
- Received certification from Beijing Institute of Physical Education in 1985,where he worked with many national Martial arts champions of China.
- Returned to China in 1988 to do advanced studies in the Chinese internal art of Tai Chi.
- Returned to China in 1995 and 1997 to do advanced studies in Chin-Na and weaponry.
Demonstrations and seminars at hospitals, churches, civic groups,community and Outreach government health fairs, schools, street celebrations, community centers.Annual guest speaker for Career Day at local schools.
Recognition Career Awards
- September 11,1982, ‘Dennis Brown Day ” as proclaimed by Mayor Marion Barry for his continued work with the youth.
- Nominated for the Wu-Shu Performer Hall of Fame.
- Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C., recognized him as Official Consultant of
Wu-Shu for the People ’s Republic of China.
- Inducted into Kung-Fu Hall of Fame in 1996.
- Inducted into World Christian and Pastoral Martial Arts Hall of Fame,1998.
- Inducted into BLACK BELT Magazine Hall of Fame ,Kung Fu Instructor of the Year, 1999.
- INSIDE KUNG-FU Magazie ’s List of “Who ’s Made the Greatest Impact in Martial Arts
Over the Last 100 Years,” Dec. 1999.
- BLACK BELT Magazine – List of “25 Most Influential Martial Artists of the 20th Century,”
Books & Media
- Appeared on all major local television stations. Sports features on NBC, CBS.
- Interviews on PM Magazine, 9 Eyewitness News This Morning, Fox Morning News, BET
- Six year stint as the “Morning Sound ” Exercise Consultant on WHUR radio.
- Co-hosted “Let ’s Talk Sports ” on WYCB radio.
- Wrote a column “The Eye of the Dragon ” for The Washington Afro-American newspaper.
- Penned a column on fitness for The Washington Informer newspaper.
- Newspaper and magazine interviews in The Washington Post, The Washington Star,
- The Baltimore Sun, The New Observer, The Capitol Spotlight, Washington Living Magazine, The Journal Newspapers
- Appeared on the covers of the top sports karate and Kung-fu magazines
in Hong Kong and Taiwan.
- Featured in and assisted in a book on ‘Tien Shan Pai ’ style of Kung-Fu.
- Member Board of Directors, Educational Funding Company, the leading martial arts
business Consultant group in the U.S.
- Member Board of Directors ,North American Sports Karate Association, the leading
sanctioning body for martial arts events in the nation.
- Chairman, Potomac Ridge Amateur Athletic Union
- Chief Referee for national and international martial arts events in U.S.and Europe
- Coach of one of the first Wu-Shu full contact teams to fight in Siberia in 1995.
- Renowned Seminar lecturer and Convention speaker
Shows, Movies Special Performances
- Appeared on the widely acclaimed “Wide World of Sports ” to standing ovations
- Lead actor,“The Kung-Fu Dancer ”, major motion picture produced in China by
world famous director Chang Cheh.
- Annually, the featured Kung-fu martial arts demonstration for the successfulUnited Negro College Fund Sports Ball fund raiser in Washington,D.C.
- Featured in newly released video,“Tai Chi Aerobics ”
- Current host and executive producer of “Martial Arts Showcase ” PBS stations
City Under Siege, feature story
- Teen Summit, feature story
- Master of Ceremonies for annual Karate Helps Kick Diabetes fund raiser
- Head of the Dennis Brown Shaolin Wu-Shu Academy, locations in Washington, D.C., Maryland and New York
- Featured in the top documentary,“Secrets of the Warriors Power ” on Discovery Channel,1998
- Color commentator for “Black Belt ”, new martial arts show on Home Team Sports,1998
- Martial Arts Celebrity, appeared with Chuck Norris at the “Martial Arts Expo ” in Chicago, July 1999
- One of twenty-five Grand Masters of the 20th century honored in a TNT network special, “A Tribute to the Masters of the Martial Arts ”, produced by Wesley Snipes, July 1998.
- Recognized as one of the true pioneers of the art of Kung-Fu in the U.S. by Inside Kung-Fu magazine in an article entitled “The Prophet Under Fire ”, May 1998
- Promoter of the “AAAA ” rated U..S.Capitol Classics martial arts tournament, one of the most prestigious in the country.
- Taught over 20,000 students in kung-fu, tai chi, weaponry, Shaolin cardio kick boxing
- Expert in Wu-Shu fighting skills,weapons,forms,Tai Chi
- Chin-Na grappling arts and other internal systems