Leo Imamura

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Leo Imamura, 2017

Léo Akio Imamura, or Leo Imamura, (São Paulo, March 18, 1963). is a professional Brazilian Ving Tsun master. He is a first generation disciple of Moy Yat and second generation disciple of Yip Man.

Leo Imamura is a Grand Master of International Moy Yat Ving Tsun Federation, one of the world's most respected organizations in the transmission and preservation of the Ving Tsun System.

Personal Info

Leo was born into a family of Japanese origin. His parents, Malho Imamura and Mioko Imamura. Imamura's parents involved him in Japanese martial arts from the age of 8.

His talent for martial arts made young Leo study, in theory, and in practice, the many modalities. By the time he was 16, he had already excelled in the Brazilian martial arts scene, namely in Karate-Do and Okinawa weapons art, Kobudo, following first the renowned Takei Okuda sensei. As a young man, Leo appeared and wrote in several martial arts publications in Brazil.

However, after eight years of dedication to the Japanese arts, he found his true path in the Chinese martial art of Kung Fu, in particular, Ving Tsun style.

It was at this time of this martial arts change that Leo Imamura joined the Faculty of Law of the University of São Paulo, having attended it for almost five years.

After the course of the University of São Paulo, Leo Imamura joined another higher degree at the Physical Education School of Santo André, graduating there in 1990. It was at FEFISA that Leo Imamura introduced the subject "Martial Arts" in the Degree in Physical Education, the first being recognized by the Brazilian Education Ministry.[1]

Path On Ving Tsun

In Ving Tsun, Leo Imamura first followed the Chinese master Li Hon Ki, who emigrated to Brazil in 1979. In 1987, he recommended his disciple/student to travel to Hong Kong, to improve himself in art and also to become certified master of two historical entities, founded by IP Man, the Hong Kong Wing Chun Athletic Association and the Yip Man Martial Arts Association.[2]

On this trip to China, Leo Imamura, made a stopover in New York and met the legendary Grand Master Moy Yat. He became his disciple, deciding to start all over again in Ving Tsun's art since the beginning.

Leo Imamura became the disciple of Moy Yat on May 27, 1987.

Returning from Hong Kong, he decided to follow the disciple of Ip Man, going to live in New York.

Moy Yat gave the Chinese name to his Brazilian student , Moy Yat Sang. In 1988, he authorized the founding of the Moy Yat Sang Family, as representative of MYVT in South America. [3]

Between 1990 and 2000, Moy Yat visited Brazil six times, consolidating the work of Leo Imamura as a leader of the Ving Tsun System on the South American continent. Moy Yat was responsible for propagating the Ving System Tsun in countries like Brazil and Argentina.[4]

For nearly fifteen years, Leo Imamura accompanied the life and teachings of Moy Yat on various trips to the United States, to absorb the traditional method of transmission of the Ving Tsun, called in Chinese by Sam Faat, and commonly called by Moy Yat of Kung Fu Life.[5]

In 1996, Moy Yat qualified his Brazilian disciple with the title of Senior Master, at the founding of the International Moy Yat Ving Tsun Federation, an entity that recognizes the schools and the descendant masters of Moy Yat (1938-2001), throughout the world.

In September 2000, Leo Imamura was tasked by his mentor to create an innovative tool to safeguard the Ving Tsun System in the 21st Century: Three years later, in March 2003, the Moy Yat Ving Tsun Martial Intelligence Program was born.[6]

Leo Imamura is also recognized by the two Chinese historical entities of Ving Tsun, founded by Ip Man, being:

Hong Kong Ving Tsun Athletic Association

Yip Man Martial Arts Association

In 2002, with the inauguration of the Ip Man Museum in China (Ip Man Tong - Foshan) was awarded a plaque in honor of his work to safeguard Ving Tsun Kuen around the world, especially in South America.[1]

In 2009, along with the current leader of the Moy Yat Clan, Ms. Helen Moy, Leo Imamura received the Chinese government plaque in recognition of Ving Tsun Kuen as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, under the UNESCO.

By introducing Brazil to the-the Moy Yat Ving Tsun Denomination on August 8, 1988, Leo Imamura now has hundreds of disciples and followers in Brazil, Argentina, the United States and Europe.

With PMYVTMI, Leo Imamura is fulfilling his mission to honor the Moy Yat Ving Tsun Denomination among the descendants of this great Clan.[7]

Corporative relations

His efforts at education led Leo Imamura to receive the Coat of Education, currently a lecturer in MBA and Postgraduate courses at Brazilian colleges.

Leo Imamura also worked in the Brazilian security forces, introducing the Ving Tsun System into elite groups such as BOPE-RJ, the Brazilian Navy, and Army, as well as the work of the Brazilian Army's Forces of Peace by the United Nations (UN).

Leo Imamura the Martial Intelligence Inc., which introduces the concepts of the Chinese Strategic Intelligence in a great number of corporations, mobilizing experienced CEOs and directors, senior executives and managers, corporations and people who see in the proposal of Imamura an innovative opportunity to act as leaders and opinion formers.[8]


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