Tai-Sifu Niel Willcott Ba(hons), MA, PGCE
Niel Willcott started his martial arts training at the age of four. His first style was judo, he joined the local club in Warrington participating from the age four to eight. This is where he was introduced to sweeps throws grappling and takedowns. Then he moved house to a different area. Where he studied two karate styles simultaneously; one was called Ken Ui Kia Karate a local modern offshoot of Shotakan Karate. In this class he experience of conventional semi-contact sparring. It was in a period of time when kickboxing became popular. These types are karate schools were precursors to your contemporary kickboxing classes. The second karate style was a sister style of Goji Ryu Karate, the training there was hard and involved hand and wrist Conditioning. He continued with this class until he moved from Warrington to Cambridge, when he was 16 years old. It was then he was introduced to Tae Kwon Do under Huntingdon-based group ran by Master Karn. He also started learning Ju-jitsu at time. The Ju-jitsu is introduced to many joint locks and grappling techniques. He continued with these groups until he was 19 years old.
Following on from that, he moved to Norwich in 1996. In Norwich and found a large martial arts Centre, teaching over 22 styles. He worked there, running the bar, part-time for three years. This gave them a valuable insight into the workings of many martial arts groups, their philosophies and fighting techniques. This is the first opportunity he had to learning Chinese martial arts. He was introduced to a style of Kung Fu called Choy Li Fut. He also studied an additional style of Ninjiu called Budo Taijuisu. With the group attended many seminars around England. He ended his training in Ninjisu, to fully concentrate on his Kung Fu.
His kung fu teacher at this time had become ill. Niel had progressed in the group becoming the top students. When his teacher could no longer instruct, the students left. Niel still desired the style. It is at this point that he contacted his current teacher, Grandmaster Doc-fai Wong. Grandmaster Wong is the highest-ranking active teacher of Choy Li Fut kung fu in the world. In 1999 Niel became his student and representative in United Kingdom. From 1999 until present day Niel has always been and continues to be a loyal and dedicated disciple of Grandmaster Doc-fai Wong.
In 2003 Niel tested for his black fringe level. This is the senior advanced level in the Plum Blossom International Federation. At the time this level placed Niel as one of only three people in Europe to pass test. Black fringe level is ten grades above Black belt level.
In 2010, Grandmaster came to England to test two of Niel’s students for the Black fringe level. Now only six people have pass this test for kung fu in Europe.
Niel also tested in 2010 and was ranked senior advanced level one. Making him the highest ranked practitioner/teacher of Choy Li Fut Kung Fu in Europe.
Niel travels to China, America and in Europe, following his teacher. Niel sees his teacher two or three times a year, and has done so for the last 11 years. He has the rare position and privilege of being an inner door student of Grandmaster with an open invitation to stay in his house in China and learn from him. This is a privilege he is grateful for. He's currently working through a personalised syllabus with Grandmaster, the goal of which is achieving master level within the federation.