About Al Bender/Lineage Chart
In 1977, Al Bender began training at Peter Kwok’s Kung Fu Academy under the instruction of Sifu Gary Torres. In 1978 he became a teaching assistant and in 1979 he was promoted to Chief Instructor. In 1980 Bender was promoted to Black Sash earning him the title of “Sifu” which, roughly translated, means “father-teacher”. In 1981 he was accepted as a personal and private student of Grandmaster Peter Kwok and later that year opened the Peter Kwok’s Kung Fu Academy in Verona, New Jersey. In 1983 he opened The Kung Fu Academy of New Jersey in Bloomfield, changing the name to Al Bender’s Kung Fu Academy of New Jersey in 1996.
Through the years, Sifu Bender has competed successfully placing in over 50 tournaments in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. A ranked competitor by various martial arts publications, his credits include a #1 ranking in Weapons in the New York and New Jersey area by Karate Illustrated Magazine (1985) .
In 1984, he became a student of world renowned Master Bow Sim Mark of Boston, with whom he is still associated today. His Academy is the New Jersey branch of Bow Sim Mark’s Tai Chi Arts Association. Sifu Bender has the honor of being the first person in the United States certified by Master Mark to teach Yang Style Simplified Tai Chi Chuan.