Sifu Mandarino trains and teaches all classes.  He is supported by Gofus (Black Sash Instructors), who provide valuable assistance with individual and group instruction.  Since our opening in 1974, Mandarin Kung Fu has promoted 32 students to the rank of black sash.  The following is a list of our active black sashes.  Some have been with us for over 40 years.  



Fifth Degree Black Sash

Gofu Daniel Ettipio holds the rank of Fifth Degree Black Sash. He was born on September 5, 1962. Gofu Ettipio had some training under Master Ting Fong Wong at Sifu Mandarino's school and has trained directly under Sifu Mandarino since 1980. Gofu Ettipio is the highest ranked student in our system. He stresses strong fundamentals & contact work. He is especially adept at refining the movements of higher ranked students. Gofu Ettipio is highly regarded for his powerful hand techniques. His specialty forms are all weaponry, Sip Do Jung (Four Corner Cross form) and Loon Fu Shu (Dragon Tiger form).





Fourth Degree Black Sash

Gofu John DiNatale began studying at Mandarin Kung Fu on April 2, 1984. He earned his 4th degree black sash on January 6, 2012. Gofu DiNatale is the Executive Vice President of Operations at a major communications company. He began studying martial arts when he was 14 years old at International Studios of Self Defense, a Kempo style, where he trained for 4 years. After the school closed, he continued to train privately with a small group of former instructors and dedicated martial artists until 1979. Thereafter, he continued to train on his own until joining 

Mandarin Kung Fu in 1984. Gofu DiNatale has a strong awareness for continuous improvement in his art. He openly shares his insight and knowledge with students who are willing to learn. Gofu DiNatale has notable kicking skills and specializes in all weaponry forms, the Tiger forms and Sia Shu (Snake form). 



Third Degree Black Sash

Gofu Paul Belanger holds the rank of Third Degree Black Sash. He was born on May 28, 1971. Gofu Belanger trained for 14 years in Siu Lum Tiger Crane Kung Fu under Master Steven Sun, and earned the rank of Second Degree Black Sash. He left the Siu Lum Studio in 1993 to pursue a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering.  In 1997 he joined a long hand school and trained for 4 years under Master Joseph Bruschetta. Gofu Belanger started his training at Mandarin Kung Fu with Sifu Mandarino in 2001. Sifu Mandarino offered Gofu Belanger the option to wear his Black Sash while he trained in Mandarin Kung Fu. Gofu Belanger respectfully declined, and started at the very beginning with a White Sash. His diligent training & past experience have enabled him to reach the rank of Second Degree Black Sash in 6 years. He specializes in all Tiger forms and all Iron Hand sets.


Second Degree Black Sash

Gofu John Boron holds the rank of Second Degree Black Sash. He was born on October 13, 1955. Gofu Boron has been studying with Sifu Mandarino since 1979. He teaches Continuing Education classes as well as all introductory classes for children and adults. Gofu Boron specializes in Sip Do Jung (Four Corner Cross form) and Wu Yep (Butterfly)


Second Degree Black Sash

Gofu Chris Weber began studying at Mandarin Kung Fu on January 18, 2001.  He came to our school with a background in kempo and karate. He earned his 2nd degree black sash on January 6, 2012. Gofu Weber also founded the Camerata di Sant’Antonio Chamber Orchestra which he has directed since 2003.  He has championed new composers & has premiered numerous works.   Outside of kung fu and music, Chris is an independent consultant & analyst who designs and builds database applications for his clients.  Gofu Weber is always available to assist new students & is instrumental in guiding them on the right path to learning our art. 

Gofu Weber’s favorite forms are Long Hand, Fut Gar and Dragon-Tiger.



Second Degree Black Sash

Gofu Steven Halasz began his training under Master Ting Fong Wong in the early seventies. He began training with Sifu Mandarino on March 1, 1986. He earned his 2nd degree black sash on May 4, 2012. Gofu Halasz specializes in tiger movements & is known for his strict attention to 



Second Degree Black Sash

Gofu Frank Grimaldi began studying at Mandarin Kung Fu November 1, 2004.  He earned his second degree black sash on April 4, 2014. Frank is a very quick learner & is always looking for sensible ways to improve & enhance his art. Frank is the owner of San Marco, one of Western New York’s finest fine dining restaurants. San Marco specializes in authentic Italian cuisine. Gofu Grimaldi has an extraordinary understanding of our art. His favorite forms are The 5 Animal Short Frame Form, The Crane form & all Weapon Forms.


Second Degree Black Sash

Gofu Dean Mandel began studying at Mandarin Kung Fu on October 15, 2002. He left our school in 2006 to become a Border Patrol Officer. He returned in 2010 was able to earn his earn his black sash on January 7, 2011 Gofu Mandel is always willing to help students in need of guidance. He has excellent focus power which is readily seen in his forms & sparring. Gofu Mandel’s favorite forms are Sip Do Jung & The Long Hand Form


First Degree Black Sash

Gofu Sean Riley began studying at Mandarin Kung Fu on March 8, 2006. He earned his black sash on May 6, 2011. Gofu Riley is an excellent athlete who played hockey for SUNY at Buffalo. Sean enjoys our contact classes & is always willing to oblige any of our classmates who want to test his skills. Gofu Riley’s favorite forms are The Elbow Form & The Snake fights the Crane contact set.



First Degree Black Sash

Gofu Larry Mentkowski studied with Master Ting Fong Wong from 1967 – 1972. He moved out of town for a career opportunity. He returned in 1978 & continued his training under the tutelage of Sifu Mandarino & earned his black sash on May 4, 2012. Gofu Mentkowski is a dedicated martial artist who always strives for excellence. Gofu Mentkowskiis is the General Manager of K – TECHnologies, Inc. He is a very dedicated teacher of our Little Dragons class. The kids love him and always look forward to the challenging kung fu workouts he conducts. Gofu Mentkowski’s favorite forms are Fut Gar & The Long Hand Form

First Degree Black Sash


Gofu Charles Herbst began his training in 1995. He earned his black sash on May 4, 2012. Charlie is our senior black sash in age. Gofu Herbst is a retired industrial arts teacher at West Seneca East & West High Schools. He also coached the high school track & football teams. Gofu Hebst has undergone several surgeries during his tenure with Mandarin Kung Fu, but always returns to continue his training. Gofu Herbst is a role model for our students as he always displays a strong tenacity to train under adverse conditions. Gofu Herbst’s favorite forms are Dop Som & Loon Fu Shu.


First Degree Black Sash

Gofu Nick Gray began his journey in Mandarin Kung Fu on January 5, 2004 at the age of 6. With very few exceptions, you have to be at least 18 years of age to earn a black sash at Mandarin Kung Fu.  There have only been three exceptions to this rule in the 40 plus years that we have run our school. Gofu Gray is one of the exceptions. He earned his black sash after he turned 16 on August 9, 2013. His love of kung fu has always been apparent & his diligent training made it possible for him to achieve his rank at such a young age. Gofu Gray is willing & able to spar with any of our senior black sashes. He is an excellent role model for our younger students.  Gofu Gray’s favorite forms are The Pudao &The Snake fights the Crane contact set.



First Degree Black Sash

Gofu Carl Noreck has been away from kung fu for over 20 years. He returned to our school on August 1, 2016 after undergoing many serious and life threatening setbacks. The reason for his absence was physical. Gofu Noreck suffered from a heart attack, went through chemo therapy, had a hip replacement, reconstructive foot surgery, tendon transfer surgery in his right elbow & the installation of a plate in his left leg from a motorcycle accident. His kung fu discipline helped him get through these obstacles. He is now back in full form.


First Degree Black Sash

Matt Densmore joined Mandarin Kung Fu on September 10, 2013. He is a Division Chief with the United States Border Patrol. Matt has displayed an incredible desire to learn & improve his art. His excellent work ethic & dedication to our school has enabled him to earn his Black Sash in 5 years.Matt's favorite forms are our Tiger Forms.


Matt is very instrumental in assisting students in our Youth Classes.


590 Cayuga Road, Buffalo, NY 14225 Tel: 716-631-3004 

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