About the Instructor
Rustin Coones began his martial arts training in boxing and kickboxing in 1988, at the age of 13. The instruction was focused on sparring and fundamental hand and kicking techniques, and did not confer a ranking. He participated in regular training and sparring through the remainder of public school, and for three years into college. While this proved to be an effective form of hand to hand fighting and excellent exercise, he felt that it lacked a systematic approach and provided no equalization between fighters of differing sizes, placing him at a disadvantage when fighting larger opponents. At the age of 23, he began to seek out a more effective fighting method.
In the spring of 1999, Rustin embarked upon a course of study in the southern chinese martial art of Wing Chun Kuen under Sifu Steve Cottrell at Authentic Kung Fu in Fort Worth, Texas. In October of 2004, the ranks of Red Sash and Assistant Instructor were conferred upon him. As an Assistant Instructor he has been in rotation teaching weekend classes at Authentic Kung Fu for the past 7 years.
Beginning with the perspective that Martial Arts are more than just theory, Rustin began to test his skills by visiting other martial arts schools to exchange skills and ideas with other martial artists. He understood the fundamental truth that one must apply one's art in order to develop a functional ability with it. By applying his art against practitioners of other arts he has gained a more robust understanding of the real world application of Wing Chun. For three years he participated extensively in weekly sparring in an environment that was open to participants from any style. He also visited other martial arts schools to cross hands with the students there and exchange ideas and technique. He also traveled extensively to meet and touch hands with students from other branches of the Wing Chun family tree in order to experience other teachers interpretations of the art that he loved. Over the years he has touched hands with an extensive list of martial artists.
Rustin has touched hands with students of the following Wing Chun Kuen Instructors: Augustine Fong (Ho Kam Ming), Phillip Redmond (William Cheung), Benny Ming (Moy Yat/Hung Fa Yi), Garret Gee (Hung Fa Yi), Alan Lamb (Koo Sang), Stanley Jiu (Gu Lao), Duncan Leung (Yip Man), Graham Weedon (EBMAS), Randy Li (Ho Kam Ming), Kenneth Chung (Leung Sheung), Eddie Chong (Leung Sheung), Carl Decharria (Leung Sheung), Buddy Wu (Ho Kam Ming)
He has also exchanged technique with students of the following non-wing chun instructors: John Funk (7 Star Praying Mantis), Neil Armstrong (7 Star Praying Mantis), John Wicker (7 Star Praying Mantis), Brendan Tunks (Chingdao Praying Mantis), Tony Puyot (7 Star Praying Mantis), Chan Poi (Wah Lum Praying Mantis), Johnny Lee (My Jhong Law Horn), Carlos Machado (Brazillian Jiu Jitsu). Various practitioners of Karate, Ta Kwon Do, Tang Soo Do, Kenpo, Hung Gar, Japanese Jiu Jitsu, Aikido, Muay Thai, Kali/Escrima, Western Boxing, Jeet Kune Do, and MMA.
Feeling that this provided him with an excellent technical and sparring background, Rustin moved his training out of the Kwoon and into the real world by seeking employment as a nightclub bouncer. He worked for a year and a half as a night club bouncer in a very physically engaging environment. During that time Rustin was placed in numerous situations where he was required to utilize his skills against hostile and resisting opponents. He has broken up gang fights, dealt with multiple opponent situations, participated in containing a small riot, and disarmed opponents wielding edged weapons.
Rustin has also participated in a handful of tournament events: 10th annual Great Lakes Kung Fu Tournament 2001 in Cleveland Ohio, 2nd place Chi Sao Competition. Tai Chi Legacy 2003, Chi Sao Competition (out in first round due to shoulder injury)
During his time at Authentic Kung Fu, Rustin has received additional training in the following areas from world renowned Wing Chun Sifu Alan Lamb: the Chum Kiu form of Sifu Koo Sang, the Biu Jie form of Sifu Koo Sang, the Baat Jham Dao form of Sifu Koo Sang, trapping hands, and joint locking techniques. Outside of Wing Chun Kuen he has received training at AKF in the Baguadao (Eight Direction Broadsword, Yin Sho Gun (Negative Grip Staff), Miao Dao Si Liu (Grain Leaf Saber), and San Cai Jian (Three Treasures Straight Sword). He also participated as an assistant in two Hard Target personal safety workshop series at AKF. He has completed a year and a half of study in Mandarin Chinese.
In July 2010 Rustin traveled to Beijing China to participate in the Third Annual International Martial Arts Training Camp of Beijing. The training was composed of three weeks of intensive, 9 hour long daily training in the fundamentals of Xing Yi Quan under Master Sun Ruxian of Beijing. Training covered the Wuxing Lianhuan Quan (five element fist), Xing Yi Bashi Quan (eight directional fist), six of the twelve Xing Yi Quan animal forms, and Wuxing Lianhuan Qiang (long spear).
In July 2011 Rustin was invited to serve as a Judge at the 2011 Legends of Kung Fu Martial Arts Championship in Dallas, TX. He was honored to judge alongside such respected and well known Wing Chun Sifus as Augustine Fong, Buddy Wu, and Randy Li. Judging catagories included Wing Chun Forms, Chi Sao, and Northern Chinese Forms.
In July 2013 Rustin returned to Beijing, China, to continue his training in Xing Yi Chuan under Masters Sun Ru Xian and Yu Shao Yi. Rustin also trained daily in Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan under Master Li Jian Long, learning the complete Yang style 48 Frame Set. Weapons training included the complete Miao Dao Er Liu form under Master Sun Ru Xian.