Master Lawrence Rouse began his training in 1973 at the age of 19 under the teachings of Sifu’s Larry and Sharon Wikel. With just his first lesson, Master Lawrence knew that he had found the art he had always wanted to study. Lawrence continued to train 6 days a week for as long as the school was opened. From the time he recieved his green belt Lawrence was training full time. His dedication was so, that he would start training from 9 am until 12 noon and would then return for the evening class from 6 pm to 10 pm. Lawrence was fully dedicated to the art of Kung Fu San Soo and wished to learn everything he could related to the art.
Once Lawrence received his black belt in 1977 he began to teach the art of San Soo at different facilities throughout Los Angeles. He taught in locations such as the Gardena YMCA, Inglewood Recreation Center, UCLA and private and corporate training. He received his Masters from Larry in 1997 and felt that his greatest acceleration in the art of San Soo came from the intensive black belt classes he received from Larry. Till this day, Lawrence believes that it is very crucial to continue practicing the art and to never stop learning. Lawrence has a complex understanding of the San Soo foundation and that is what makes him a true great Master in the art of San Soo. Larry and Sharon Wikel would always speak of the “key to the art” and the fact that you would know what it is if you found it. Unfortunately not everyone who studies the art of San Soo is able to find the “key” and know how to use it. But one thing remains clear, when you do find the “key” it unlocks a world of San Soo that is truly amazing. Lawrence believes that it is very important for all that teach Kung-Fu San Soo to carry on the principles and foundation of the art the way that Grand Master Woo taught it. It is a big responsibility and he hopes all who teach will work hard to keep San Soo pure for future generations. Preservation of San Soo should be the driving force of all San Soo Instructors.
In recent years Lawrence has taught classes for the L.A.P.D. Foothill Division which comes handy when police officers are out in the field. He also taught the Foothill Division L.A.P.D. Jeopardy Program, which helps prevent “at risk” youths from joining gangs. Lawrence believes that if one truly understands the foundation of San Soo then they should be able to counter anything, whether you are standing or on the ground. This is an aspect that he focuses on heavily when teaching his own students.
Lawrence owned and operated the Kung-Fu San Soo Center For self-Defense in Van Nuys for 13 years. In 2006 he opened a location in the new community of Playa Vista where he and his wife Shohreh live. He named the school Playa Vista Martial Arts. Lawrence and his instructors offer classes for kids, adults, women’s self-defense, law enforcement, and a strong program for special needs kids and adults.
For Lawrence – passing his knowledge and love of this art on to his students, and helping them to improve their lives – is an honor, a privilege, and a passion.