Si-Gung David Stephens
Si-Gung David Stephens is a Native American from Nashville, TN U.S.A. He grew up on the east side of town and even at a young age his interest in martial arts laid the foundation of what would become his life's work. Through the years David has studied many different styles and philosophies with a determined focus on practical application. It is for this he is best known and respected among the martial arts community.
In his quest for higher learning he eventually found his root in Shaolin Gung Fu. In Shaolin he would find his center and experience the benefits of the philosophies and physical conditioning harnessed within this, the origin of wushu. His mastery of learning the history and applications of the Shaolin way of life, and his willingness to learn propelled him higher through the ranks of Shaolin until he graduated to the level of Si-Fu ( teacher ). Upon accepting his rank of Si-Fu he adopted the gung fu name of "Donnavan" ( dark warrior ).
Si-Fu Donnavan opened his hands to students and remained teaching for many years taking in those who were open minded and determined to learn the way of the Shaolin. But his own learning did not stop there, he also continued his own personal studies of the art and with the ranking of Si-Fu he was able to gain much attention and interest from local martial artists and teachers alike. Many acknowledge his mastery of the art, and his ability to process forms and applications with great accuracy. Taking no shortcuts he remained as Si-Fu for some time, for in order to progress any further in the art he would have to be acknowledged by the family lineage of Shaolin. He would have to be examined closely by a Grand Master and deemed worthy of a higher ranking. Needless to say he stayed faithful and resolute to his studies and just as the spring breeze brings forth the flowers, one day it finally happened.
Through Master Don Averitt, a well respected colleague, he found himself in the company of Great Grand Master Winglock J. Ng of the Shaolin family lineage. Great Grand Master Ng examined Si-Fu Donnavan closely and decided that he was in fact worthy of his much deserved graduation to the level of Si-Gung ( Master ). So on February 25th, 2006 Great Grand Master Winglock J. Ng along with Grand Master Tim Pickens, Master Tom Pardue, and Master Frank Sexton he received his certification as a Shaolin Master within the Ng family lineage. The Ng family has adopted Si-Gung Donnavan as a member of their family and his life study will continue to prosper with their guidance and understanding. Upon graduating Si-Fu Donnavan to the level of Si-Gung, Great Grand Master Ng had but one request of him. He said, "go do good things". Si-Gung Donnavan, proficient in the Shaolin way of life fully understands this request and what it truly means.
In honor of Great Grand Master Ng's request, Si-Gung Donnavan has decided to open a kwoon ( temple of learning ) in his home town of East Nashville. Opening and making available his hands to all in the area that wish to come and learn the Shaolin way of martial arts. In hopes that he can bring the peace and confidence that he has found within himself to others in the home town that is so very dear to his heart.
Si-Gung Donnavan acknowledges me as his "brother of understanding" in his school and for that I am very honored. And it is without saying as I've also been very honored to call him friend for over 15 years now. I'm impressed by his skill and humbled by his heart and the friendship he has always extended to me. From him I have learned to be more like water, and even in troubled times he has been the lone bamboo during the forest storm for all of us. Able to bend, but never broken.
... "Godspeed" my friend