Sifu Charles Middleton was born in Richmond, Virginia. He is the Chief Jow Ga Instructor in the Richmond area and has been studying Kung Fu since 1973. Sifu Charles started his martial arts career in Richmond. Like many martial artists who started during that time, the influence came from karate greats such as Chuck Norris, Sonny Ciba and everyone’s favorite, the exciting Kung Fu Star, the late great Bruce Lee. Sifu Charles’ background in martial arts includes Wing Chun, Long Fist, contemporary Wu Shu and Shaolin Quan.
In February of 1977, he enlisted into the U.S. Army. Unable to continue his kung fu practice, Sifu Charles took up boxing and made the Fort Gordon Amateur Boxing Team. As a boxer, he accumulated a record of 22-1 with 17 wins by TKO. Sifu Charles’ military career moved him to Schofield Barracks, Hawaii where he was able to continue his kung fu practice. He won 6 major championships in fighting and forms, in competitions held in Hawaii, Guam, the Philippines and Korea. He was the first Kung Fu stylist to win a fighting championship in Korea.
Sifu Charles was assigned to Fort Dix, New Jersey in 1981, where he attended the U. S. Army Leadership Academy and became a Drill Sergeant. During the fall of 1982, Sifu Charles organized the first kung fu club at Rutgers University, which he headed for four years. Prior to his move back to Richmond VA in 1987, he changed his active Military status to active Reserves. He retired as a Sergeant Major from the Reserves, the highest enlisted rank in the U.S. Army. During his military career,
Sifu Charles was certified by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the North Central Association of Colleges, awarding him the title of Master Fitness Trainer. Sifu Charles has a B.A. in Business Management. He also served as a Chief Instructor for the Battle Focused Instructor Training Course; Assistant Commandant of a U.S Army Drill Sergeant School; and DCSOPS Sergeant Major for the 80th Division Training. Due to his extensive knowledge in Martial Arts and Physical Fitness, Sifu Charles served as hand-to-hand instructor at U.S. Army Bases in Fort Dix NJ, Fort Jackson SC and Fort Benning GA. Upon his return to Richmond, Sifu Charles started teaching a few students privately. From 1987 to 1991, he taught Kung Fu for Chesterfield Parks and Recreation. Realizing an opportunity to fulfill a dream, he opened The Richmond Academy of Shaolin Boxing.
After meeting Master Deric Mims of Jow Ga Kung Fu Cultural Association and Master Hoy K. Lee of the Jow Ga Kung Fu Association, Sifu Charles became excited about learning Jow Ga Kung Fu. He soon became a student of Master Lee. Master Lee placed him under the watchful eyes of Master Mims for his first Jow Ga training years. The combination of Master Lee’s knowledge, ability, leadership and support and Sifu Charles’ strong Kung Fu background, Jow Ga Kung Fu has found a home in Richmond where it is second to none.
Sifu Charles’s students have dominated the Kung Fu and karate world in competition. The Richmond based school has won gold medals in every major National and International Kung Fu competition, spanning the globe from Singapore and China to Germany and the U.S.A. Sifu Charles Middleton exudes an infectious energy that springs from his passion for Kung Fu and inspires his students to achieve their full potential. His lucid instruction and brilliant demonstrations make complex techniques profoundly understandable.