About Sifu Chris Didyk
Sifu Chris Didyk’s journey to St. Petersburg, Florida is an interesting one. He grew up in Stafford, Virginia, where, as a teenager, he and his brother learned Taekwondo from Olympic Gold Medalist Master Arlene Limas. He earned a first degree black belt, but after graduating high school, he accepted an academic scholarship to Tulane University and moved to New Orleans. At Tulane, Sifu Chris focused on his double majors in Computer Science and Music Performance, as well as playing jazz piano around town. Once again, he was blessed with wonderful teachers: Faina Lushtak for classical piano and Ellis Marsalis and Peter Martin for jazz piano.
After graduating from Tulane with honors, Sifu Chris stayed in New Orleans, where he started his career as a software developer and began his search to learn traditional Shaolin Kung Fu. After months of researching everything he could find about kung fu and the many schools that offer its hundreds of flavors, he came across the web site of Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit and the Shaolin Wahnam Institute. Sifu Chris quickly realized that Grandmaster Wong was a true master, and that in Shaolin Wahnam, he was being presented with the opportunity to learn Shaolin Kung Fu from a very special teacher. Sifu Chris soon began driving to Gainesville, Florida periodically for lessons from the Shaolin Wahnam Chief Instructor for North America, Sifu Anthony Korahais. After Hurricane Katrina sent him on a detour to Austin, TX for a couple of years (during which he continued traveling to Gainesville periodically), Sifu Chris finally got smart and decided to move to Florida. He feels honored to have lived in Gainesville during the opening of his sifu’s Flowing Zen Studio.
However, his stay in Gainesville wasn’t meant to last -his job took him to Munich, Germany for four months, and when he got back, he met his future wife, Christina, in his sifu’s kung fu class. Maybe part of why they hit it off is because Christina was driving 2.5 hours from St. Petersburg every week for class!
They got married and began building their life together here in St. Petersburg, Florida. Christina is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine and co-owner of the Art of Acupuncture clinic, and she teaches Shaolin Cosmos Chi Kung. Sifu Chris continues to work as a software developer, and he teaches an adult Shaolin Kung Fu class where he helps people better their lives through the practice of Shaolin Kung Fu. Together, they regularly travel around the world to learn from Grandmaster Wong, taking courses in interesting locations like northern Finland and Malaysian Borneo. They have brought Grandmaster Wong to St. Petersburg twice, and helped organize the first-ever courses for him in Hawaii in July 2014.