Sifu Sergio Pascal Iadarola started his Martial Arts career at the age of six with the Japanese art of Judo in the Dutch capital Amsterdam (The Netherlands) winning several local tournaments, during his teenage years he also build up his martial experience with the practice of other Martial Arts like Pencak Silat (Pamur style) and Wado Kai Karate.
Being a big Bruce Lee fan he studied and read everything concerning him, Bruce Lee commenced his martial arts journey with Wing Chun so for Sifu Sergio that would be the way forward. To delve deeper he started writing letters 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. Visiting as much martial art schools as possible in Amsterdam together with a group of his friends to watch the classes or take lessons in the diverse Martial Arts the city had to offer was also a common theme.
In 1987 Sifu Sergio started training in the Wing Chun system under Sifu R. Vogel and Grandmaster Wang Kiu a direct student of the late Grandmaster Ip Man who immigrated to The Netherlands in the 70’s. Around 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). Reading the book inspired Sifu Sergio so much that he made the decision to discontinue his training at Sifu Wang Kiu’s school only 4 months into his training and start looking for a Leung Ting system affiliated school, that same year Sifu Sergio was able to start the Leung Ting Wing Tsun System under Frank Schäfer, only to have an unfortunate car accident after a brief period of training.
Around nine months later he resumed his training eventually receiving his 1st Technician level from Sifu Keith Kernspecht the chief instructor of the EWTO in 1994 in Aachen, Germany.
Wanting to be the best he could be and reach his full potential in the art Sifu Sergio had to make great sacrifices and started travelling all throughout Europe during the period 1994 -1998 attending as much seminars in Germany and in Italy of Sifu Emin Botztepe and taking hundreds of private lessons from different Leung Ting Wing Tsun masters like Sifu H.P. Edel, Sifu S. Avci resulting in being appointed as the Israeli chief instructor for the EWTO by his Sifu K. Kernspecht during the period 1997-1998 for that yet again great sacrifices where made having to move to a foreign country and settling down in the Israeli capital of Tel Aviv was not easy Sifu Sergio managed to set up a successful school for around a year before deciding to leave the country due to political stress.
All these years Sifu Sergio kept thinking about one day becoming a personal student of Sifu Leung Ting and due to his will and mind power he eventually manifested exactly that as during a trip to Asia in the same period his dream came true when he met Grandmaster Leung Ting in Hong Kong. Having seen and receiving instructions from him before only during Sifu Leung Ting’s European seminar tours, it was amazing that due to certain favourable circumstances Sifu Sergio was fortunate enough to be accepted as a private student by his Sifu Leung Ting and arrangements where made to start the intensive daily private training under Sifu Leung Ting as soon as possible.
Returning to Europe to make arrangements for a longer stay abroad Sifu Sergio decided that before returning to Hong Kong travelling to Zagreb to finish and complete the unarmed Leung Ting Wing Tsun system under Sifu Slavko Truntic one of the master students of Sifu Leung Ting was the right step to take as that would mean that Sifu Leung Ting only needed to correct him instead of teaching him certain missing parts of the system. Sifu Sergio would take more than a 100 hours of private lessons from Grandmaster Leung Ting during the period of January 1998 till October 2001 in Hong Kong and in Shunde (Sun Tak) and also studied intensively under GM Cheng Chuen Fan during the normal and instructor classes at the Leung Ting HQ at the Nathan Road.
The relationship eventually became very close resulting in hanging out together a lot outside of the normal trainings hours and even going on vacation with Leung Ting to the USA Miami to take more private lessons and enjoy time together. During the periods in Hong Kong which were several months at the time Sifu Sergio had the good fortune to be able to sleep across the road almost opposite of the school of Sifu Leung Ting at the house of his friend’s aunt having Dim Sum almost every morning before the private lessons would start where 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.
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: the Look Dim Poon Kwun (six and a half point pole) and the Bart Cham Dao (the eight way cutting broad swords) under his 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 the 7th level practician by his Si-Pak Alan Fong after being impressed by the unarmed Wing Tsun skill of Sifu Sergio and receiving updates on more recent programme’s that where being taught by Leung Ting in Hong Kong at the time. Due to several circumstances involving Alan Fong, Sifu Sergio had no choice but to set up his own Association in January ’02 the IWKA to promote and spread the authentic Leung Ting Wing Tsun system as taught by GM Leung Ting in Hong Kong, setting up dozens of IWKA schools all around Europe.
Being the man that he is full of passion for Wing Chun, Chinese Kung Fu history and Philosophy it was not long after setting up all these branch schools that Sifu Sergio started to realise that the Ip Man Wing Chun lineage and the lineages derived from it where not the only Wing Chun lineages around in China, It was shocking at first and needed some time to accept that there where older and more complete lineages out there, at that time all pretty much unknown in Europe (many don’t 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 eventually would decide to pursue the next decade into the intense studying of other Wing Chun and Weng Chun lineages which also 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 the successor of the late Sifu Wai Check Yan who taught him the Saam Bai Fat and the art of Kam Na (Chin Na), as well as studying under the son of the late Grandmaster Pak Cheung a direct student of Tang Suen in mainland China.
Sifu Sergio eventually decided to leave his successful full time IWKA HQ in The Netherlands to some of his higher level students to immigrate to Hong Kong recently getting his permanent residency and being one of the first Westerners to open up successful Schools in Hong Kong and China.
To delve more deeply into the Tang family Weng Chun system (Eternal Spring Lineage) of the late Grandmaster Tang Yick that he studied With Pak Cheung Kao in mainland 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 close student and friend of Sifu Sunny So (the last student of the late GM Tang Yick) who 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 as a child was diagnosed with asperges 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, he is in good company with people like Nikola Tesla, Albert Einstein, Thomas Jefferson, Amadeus Mozart and Michelangelo to name just a few with the same condition.
Its exactly this condition that enabled Sifu Sergio to finish the curriculum of several lineages and even receiving master status in some during a period of no more then 10 years, other lineages he studied include the Sum Nung (Yuen Kay San) Wing Chun system and the ancestor systems of all the modern Wing Chun lineages, including the Fujian Yong Chun Bai Hei (White Crane) system under several sifu’s in intense private lessons in Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand
He also paid several visits to the Gu Lao village in Mainland 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.
Vietnam the home of Vietnamese Wing Chun which developed in Vietnam through Yuen Chai Wan the Brother of the Late Grandmaster Yuen kay San is another country Sifu Sergio visited for research and exchanging info with Several Sifu’s and lineage holders.
The last studies that completed his quest and finalised the research into the Beautiful Spring lineage of Wing Chun came by 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 (little idea form) Chum Kiu and Biu Tze sets 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.