are you from originally and what city do you live in now?
I am a native Californian and Los Angeles is home sweet home
for me. In my work I have been blessed to visit many places
all over the world. Some of the great places I’ve got to play
in are New Orleans, New York, Vancouver, Hong Kong, Taipei,
London, Manila, Cape Town, Honolulu, Bahamas and many more.
I have found that coming home to Los Angeles is always my favorite
When did you first get into martial arts?
My lifelong adventure into the martial arts began when I was
14 years old. It was part of a natural discovery and curiosity
that I decided to “try” training in the martial arts. The school
was a combination of Tae Kwon Do and Tang Soo Do.
What do you like most about martial arts?
The martial arts have been such an important part of my life
that I cannot imagine how it would be without it. It is just
as much a part of me as my two arms or even more important,
my heart. The martial arts has been like a trusted friend and
has always been there to support me, encourage me and always
push me to higher levels in life.
kinds of martial arts have you mastered?
I have to admit when starting my martial arts training I thought
becoming a master was definitely the cool thing to achieve.
After years of training my philosophy and goals changed…in fact,
it is the realization that there is truth to “the more you know
the more you realize you don’t know”. And the quest for more
knowledge makes me feel humbled that we will always be a student
in both martial arts and life. It continues to be a great journey
learning different styles of martial arts.
The second style that I studied was in the “Karate Club” in
high school. The teacher was a Green Beret Combat instructor
who integrated his combat training with Choy Lay Fut Kung Fu.
He developed a unique combination of “intense no nonsense take
your opponent out” techniques with traditional graceful circular
power. His style only trained in combat attacks…the philosophy
of using offense as the best defense was rule number one. The
stand up fighting techniques were quick and devastating. But
then imagine a high school kid learning the art of ground fighting
complete with chokes and arms/legs locks to submission or if
necessary, breaks! This increased my thirst for more knowledge
and it became my obsession.
I found another style, a rare Chinese art called Bak Mei Pai,
which translated means “White Eyebrow Style”. A Kung Fu fighting
discipline that legend has it that the founder had white eyebrows.
What makes this style one of my favorites is that the hand techniques
are similar to Wing Chun and that it is effectively coupled
with the high kicks characteristic of northern style kung fu.
During this time I also studied the traditional Five Animal
Kung Fu Style. Also known as Shaolin Temple Kung Fu, this style
is the foundation of the Chinese martial arts. Being trained
in the movements of the Tiger, Crane, Leopard, Snake and Dragon
provides a strong core for all other disciplines. It was during
this phase of my martial arts journey that my focus turned to
perfecting my skills in forms. I partnered with my two best
friends and opened a kwoon, a school called “Sil Lum Kung Fu”.
As part of the business plan to get our name out there to the
public we decided to enter tournaments. The approach was to
dominate the forms competition to get new students. I was fortunate
to have found a natural talent as a forms competitor and consistently
won first place at every tournament.
Some of the other styles that I have been able to discover
are Escrima, Wu Shu, Thai Kickboxing, Chen Tai Chi and I am
looking forward to many more.
In addition, I must give credit and importance to my belief
and practice of “cross training”. Not only is cross training
beneficial but also essential to achieving the highest personal
level in martial arts. My athletic background includes track
and field, gymnastics and ballet. Keep an open mind to all types
of disciplines and you will be rewarded with huge benefits.