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Thread: Passing of Master Steven Abbate

  1. #1

    Passing of Master Steven Abbate

    From Johnny Tsai's website

    Grand Master Steven G. Abbate

    Tsai's Kung Fu International is deeply sorry to announce the passing of Grand Master Steven G. Abbate on August 19, 2007.
    Click here to read his bio

    A Wake will be held on Friday 08/25/07 from 4-8pm at:

    Meadows Funeral Home
    3615 Kirchoff Road
    Rolling Meadows, Illinois 60008

    Back before everyone here knew me as Royal Dragon, Master Abbate and Rock Lombardo used to have a school across the street from the apartment I lived in, in River Grove, so naturally it was not long before I was taking lessons from him. Soon after I found myself in the middle of a divorce so i was not able to continue, but he left a big impression on me.

    I was there for about 9 months or so and got in shape really fast. I have some of my fondest Kung Fu Memories from that time.

    The school office was inviting, and set up like a living room complete with a couch, coffee table and big screen TV. There were allways photos everywhere of students, family at major events, parties and gatherings. I decided a long time ago that if I ever got a school, I would build it out with the same theme.

    Training was hard as hell, and some of the toughest workouts I have ever done in my life, but after, the atmosphere was like being over at a friends house to hang out.

    I was out of work for a while during my time there, and used to go to the 11:00 AM class during the weekdays...which was heavily populated by Elmwood Pk and River Grove police officers. That was the first time I ever saw someone get launched over head with a throw, and land on a hard wood floor with no mats, or body protection of any kind. For someone with only a few years experience then, it was an awe inspiring site. Another impressive site was the fact that Master Abbate and Master Rocky would fill the small heavy bag with concrete...and pound it to dust....just for fun. Unfortunetly, I missed the demo's where be broke baseball bats with his shins. I heard about it plenty though.


    Last edited by RD'S Alias - 1A; 08-26-2007 at 12:17 PM.

  2. #2

    His Bio

    Master Abbate started his career in the Art of Kung Fu at age 16 in Chicago’s Chinatown. In 1962 he formally trained under Master Fu Lun Cho from Hong Kong, studying the arts of Tai Kit Kuen (Grand Snake Fist style) and Northern Shaolin 7-Star Praying Mantis.

    In 1964 after graduation from Elmwood Park High School, Master Abbate joined the United States Marine Corps. In 1965 Master Abbate was sent to Vietnam, while serving as a recon scout with the 4th Marine Brigade out of Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. In Vietnam, he was part of the original Marines landing at Chu Lai. During his tour he was highly decorated and med-evaced in late 1966. In the course of his military career he went through Green Beret school and advanced Jump School training.

    After his honorable discharge in 1968, Master Abbate joined the 24th Marines stationed in Waukegan, Illinois, where he taught Hand-to-Hand combat and guerilla jungle warfare. Master Abbate went on extended active duty and became a recruiter for the Marines.

    In 1969, Master Abbate became a Police Officer in Rolling Meadows with the Rolling Meadows Police Department.

    He was introduced to Grandmaster Chi Yuan Tsai, under whom he trained in Northern Shaolin Kung Fu. Grandmaster Tsai formally trained Master Abbate for his ring fighting career, where he competed on the international circuit, fighting Full-Contact in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Okinawa and the U.S., winning many titles in 10 years. Master Abbate was also introduced to Kwong Ming Loy, a Master in the Northern Shaolin 7-Star Praying Mantis system and a direct student of Grandmaster Fu Lun Cho, who had returned to Hong Kong soon after Master Abbate enlisted with the marines. In addition to his previous and ongoing training, Master Abbate studied under Master Wu of the Mei Wah system, Plum Flower Combat Tai Chi.

    Master Abbate taught thousands of students and gave many seminars and demonstrations. In September of 2002, Master Abbate received his 10th level black sash from Grandmaster Tsai in an award ceremony at his school which was attended by pioneers of Kung Fu and Karate, such as Ken Knutson, Joe Gangi, Bob Schirmer, Tom Saviano, Tom Heriaud, and others from Florida and California.

    Master Abbate held black belts in Kempo, Karate, and Gong Yuen Kung Fu and was associated with the American Karate Association, World Kuoshu Republic of China, Chinese Kuoshu Martial Arts Federation, Tsai's Kung Fu International, Tai Boxing Commission, Midwest Circuit, and was President of the American Martial Artists Association. Master Abbate was also the Midwest representative for Chuck Norris' Kick (Karate International Council of Kickboxing).

    He attended Seminars and trained with Ed Parker, Bill Wallace, and Bruce Lee, received over 300 awards for Full-Contact kickboxing, and Sport Contact Karate and taught and trained under Grandmaster Chi Yuan Tsai.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI
    My thoughts and prayers are with his family and kung family.
    "The true meaning of a given movement in a form is not its application, but rather the unlimited potential of the mind to provide muscular and skeletal support for that movement." Gregory Fong

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Chicago, IL
    How did he die?

    Pre-order Kung! Twisted Barbarian Felony from your favorite comic shop!

  5. #5
    Grandmaster dth hospital after he had surgery. My understanding is that he had gotten an infection after the surgery.

    He had fought lukemia for the past 7 years and was teaching up to his very last days. Just two weeks ago he held a promotion for his students.

    I will miss him dearly as he meant alot to me as he did to many others out there.

    My father considered him one of his best and favorite friends and students.

    Grandmaster was one of the toughest men that I have ever met. May he rest in peace.

    All the best-

    Waysun Johnny Tsai

  6. #6
    Grandmaster was one of the toughest men that I have ever met. May he rest in peace.

    Agreed, absolutely without question.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    South FL. Which is not to be confused with any part of the USA
    I hope someone is scrutinizing the surgery. I'm very sorry to hear of his passing. May he rest in peace.
    "George never did wake up. And, even all that talking didn't make death any least not for us. Maybe, in the end, all you can really hope for is that your last thought is a nice one...even if it's just about the taste of a nice cold beer."

    "If you find the right balance between desperation and fear you can make people believe anything"

    "Is enlightenment even possible? Or, did I drive by it like a missed exit?"

    It's simpler than you think.

    I could be completely wrong"

  8. #8
    Somewhere online there was an artical about his fight in Vietnam. I wish I could find it, it was very well written.

    To make a long story shot, he was alone, out of ammo and facing a good number of Vietcong. He managed to kill them all with only his KA BAR.

    I have the flyer from the old school somewhere, I may have to dig it up and post a photo of the basic description of the incedent.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Chicago, IL
    Well, my condolences to his family and friends. Another piece of the Chicago CMA scene is gone, I hope he has students who stand out and can keep his efforts going.

    Mas judt

    Pre-order Kung! Twisted Barbarian Felony from your favorite comic shop!

  10. #10
    Hey RD, I trained at the school in River Grove for a while too. Studied under Rocky Lombardo and Kenny Tsai. Everything you said about the teachers and the school was right on. I am sorry to hear about Abbate. I never got the chance to meet him, but had heard a lot about him.

  11. #11
    It sounds like you were there a few years after me. I used to live in the apartment across the street from the school, South East corner, second building.

    Training there was an experience. It was one of those things you just had to go through to appreciate. Unfortunetly I was never privileged to become one of his serious students. I am sure they are hurting a great deal more than me.

    I wish I had his website address....if he still has one. He used to post all of the event photos on it.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Western MASS
    dont know the guy but my prayers go out to his family. he battled leukemia, he was a tough guy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Psycho Mantis View Post
    Genes too busy rocking the gang and scarfing down bags of cheetos while beating it to nacho ninjettes and laughing at the ridiculous posts on the kfforum. In a horse stance of course.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Mas Judt View Post
    Well, my condolences to his family and friends. Another piece of the Chicago CMA scene is gone, I hope he has students who stand out and can keep his efforts going.

    Mas judt

    I have personally given my word to the Tai Kit Kuen family that I wil do everything that I have to keep the Cobra Kai Club alive. The senior black sashes will be meeting over the next few weeks to decided where they will train and have classes. Some will come by me.

    Aside from myself, GM had a couple of students that go back over 25 years and have stuck with him ever since. There were probably about 40 of his black sashes at his wake.

  14. #14
    That is good to hear. Where are they all located? Maybe they can pool thier oney and open a new school?

    Also, one thing I would like to see is all of the decades of photos Master Abbate collected get put up on a website for all of us to sift through. I know it would be a massive undertaking, but there are a lot of memories there.

  15. #15
    Well, I'm sorry for The loss of a teacher. No matter the style, liniage, or record, all Masters should be revered as more than that. A master.

    My saluter to the Grand Master.

    And his family.

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