During 1962 and 3, my father studied Mu Duk Kwan, Tae Kwon Do u

BACK GROUND

Training History:

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

This is my chance to do some serious name-dropping.

 

Tae Kwon Do

During 1962-63, my father studied Mu Duk Kwan, Tang Soo Do under J.C. Shin at Osan Air Base in South Korea. He studied in the same gym, at the same time, as Airman Carlos Norris, know today as Chuck Norris.

 

My father started teaching me techniques when he returned to Luke AFB, but I began my formal instruction in 1966. When he took over as commander of a jet fighter squadron I had to take a little time off but started formal training again in 1971 under an American instructor, Steve Merritti.

 

The 1970s seemed to have been the golden age of sports psychology so my teammates, my instructor and I read every thing that we could find about winning in competition. I recently attended a masters level sports psychology class at Radford University and was surprised to find that after thirty years away from researching the subject, I was the star pupil of the day. I was more conversant on the subject than anyone in the class. I was very fortunate to have learned so much about the subject during those earlier days. That was a time when I learned most of the tactical knowledge that I possess today and it has enabled me to become a more successful tournament fighter.

 

College Funding

For a year and a quarter, I worked as an orderly in the Maricopa County Psychiatric Ward, which served the entire greater Phoenix area. When an individual displayed irrational behavior, they were brought to this facility for observation. We did not have the luxury of receiving patients that were diagnosed and sedated even when it was obviously necessary.

 

We were expected to put patients in restraints, virtually ever day, and it was not unusual to have to do this 8 or 10 time in the same day. Often, I had help but sometimes I had to fend for myself against patients weilding objects taken from a gurney or other metal equipment. While I was fortunate to have avoided personal injury or the need to ever hurt anyone, I was constantly in harms way.

 

During that time, I honed my skills out of necessity in confrontational environments. Some patients displayed amazing feats of strength during violent psychotic episodes. I learned the practical application of self-defense when I had to help patients through these periods by utilizing non-injurious control so that they could be medicated and/or tested for medical maladies.

 

For another year and a half, I worked in a more traditional roll as the lead bouncer in a nightclub I was reluctant to take the job but the owner vigorously recruited me for months because he had never seen me loose my temper.

 

We had the standard crop of altercations there, but I had the luxury of trying to reason with patrons first. As in my previous job, I had to "keep my cool" and leave anger out of the equation so that I could render a clear assessment of situations as they arose. When force was necessary, I tried to make the exchange brief and decisive in order to minimize the chance of injury to either party or additional involvement by others. †

 

My employer later expressed his pleasure with my work when he was interviewed for a magazine article about his new successful venture. He said that he didn't have bouncers, he had sociologists. †††

 

††††††††

 

Karate

In 1973, my second instructor went to law school so I started studying ShotoKan karate under Shojiro Koyama. This College educated Japanese instructor provided me another opportunity to become classically re-trained.

 

Gichin Funakoshi, who introduced Karate to Japan in 1922, founded this most prestigious style of Japanese karate. ShotoKan is the primary style that is taught at the top colleges in Japan so it has traditionally drawn and produced the best in education and performance.

 

Instead of being based on historical anachronisms or the theories and practices of one very successful man, this style is based on literally thousands of papers on the subjects, from kinesiology and applied physics to biomechanics and mental focus. All this theory was tested in fights to the death that we would today call dueling.

 

Over the next 17 years, I obtained a skill set that was based on sound body mechanics and physics. At the same time, I scoured magazines for other techniques. When great masters or dominant competitors caught my attention, regardless of their style, I would get on a plane to go to learn from them. I trained with Bill Wallace http://www.superfoot.com and Jeff Smith http://www.jeffsmithkarate.com among others.

 

Luckily, the ShotoKan organization is big enough to provide a "seminar circuit" for ranking karatica to tour which allowed manyof them to come near me. This combination helped me to successfully compete against amost any style, in a wide range of venues, from open styles to closed traditional tournaments.

 

When Anheuser-Bush decided to pick the best 15 fighters in America, for its Budweiser National Karate Team, I was selected to be a charter member. This team was chosen from all styles. When we had our first meeting, in Long Island NY, we were paired up so that we could all fight for a while. It was sort of an icebreaker and the time when the selection process order would be established.

 

After catching everyones attention with a particular attack that I used, I was asked to try it out on the top rated fighter on the floor. I was able to complete the same technique on the much taller fighter, more than once. With that, sparring was stopped for the day and I was asked to explain, to the entire team, how I implemented this deceptively timed technique from such a long distance away.

 

 

Diversification

In 1990, I moved away from Phoenix Arizona, where I had grown up, to accept a new job. That is when I began to really diversify my training. While still practicing and teaching ShotoKan Karate, I started attending myriad classes and seminars as they became available.

 

In 1993 I began training in a gym that was owned by Jearle Southerland who also liked to work out in several different disciplines. We went to train with one of his instructors Surachai Sirisute "Ajarn Chai", a famous Thai champion and the founding President of the Thai Boxing Association of the USA. http://www.thaiboxing.com/ajarnchai.html We also trained with his friend Joe Lewis, the greatest kick boxer that this country has ever produced. http://www.fightingmaster.com/legends/lewis/joe_lewis.htm While Practicing Karate, Kickboxing became a main stay of mine for the next ten years.

I also began the study of Brazilian Jujitsu Grappling (ground fighting) In 1993 I attended a Ralph Gracie seminar and tournament and was immediately impressed. I then began the study of Brazilian Jujitsu Grappling (ground fighting). http://www.ralphgracie.com seminar and tournament. Jearle brought Tony Cecchine http://www.catchwrestle.com down a couple of times to teach us "Catch Wrestling" as well.

In 1998, I started adding training sessions with Erie Boggs, a Sports Ju-jitsu World Champion and his team. They specialized in blinding stand-up skills with grown fighting and transitioning from one to the other. http://www.sportjujitsu.com/bci3.html †I'll get back to the team later.

From '93 to 2000, I split my training hours between Grappling, Karate, Boxing, Kickboxing and other martial arts.

From '93 to 2000, I split my training hours between Grappling, Karate, Boxing, Kickboxing and other martial arts. http://www.grappling.com/index.asp
I have continued training at Kevin Pyles' American Martial Arts Academyhttp://amaa.cc here in Winston-Salem,NC where I now reside. This school is affiliated under Prof.Carlos "Caique" Elias, http://www.caiquejiujitsu.com One of the first of the Gracie group to come to America.

 

Boxing

I always wanted to measure myself against professional boxers so when I had the opportunity to study under a boxer, I jumped at the chance. I was wise enough not to spar with him but instead, picked his brain and went back home to practice what I had learned.

 

Karate fighters are notorious for getting in the ring prematurely and getting taken to school. This often happens because; fighting with such padded gloves is extremely different from near bare knuckle fighting. The padding changes the focus of their punches so much that they loose most of their effective power. The size of the gloves makes blocking very different as well so they are rendered almost helpless in the boxing ring at first.

 

In addition to lots of footwork drills in a narrower stances and bag work, I practiced bobbing and weaving as much as I could. Where getting hit is concerned, I have built a career of having as close to a zero tolerance game as possible. I have never been knocked out or seriously hurt and I didnít want to start now, but boxing is based on administering many, easy to get, lower quality blows to set up your opponent, before going for a knock out punch. Conversely, a good Karate fighter would plan to execute one deadly strike at the beginning of the fight.†

 

It took two years, working up from beginning kickboxing aerobic students to true boxers and just asking them to throw punches at me so that I could practice avoidance at close close range. When I felt that I was ready, I began training in professional boxing gyms including the famous Mr. Macs gymnasium in Baltimore, MD. While working out in the gym one day I noticed someone intently watching my actions. I was gratified when told that he was the former heavyweight champion of the world& Hasim Rahman . http://www.boxinginsider.com/news/stories/71162520.php No one knows it all!

 

I finally got in the ring with true pro(s), some of which were his sparing partners... and I had a blast! I find that most boxers are not as skilled as top-level karate fighters but make up for this difference by applying emotionally charged tactical pressure and stamina. A common phrase used by boxing commentators is that, "Boxing is 20% technique and 80% perspiration."

 

Sport Jujitsu

In 1996, a friend gave me a videotape cassette tape about a sport that was becoming popular at the time. He thought that I would be good at it and asked me to accompany him to the National tournament the next weekend. I decided to try it and I won that day. I returned a few weeks later to take a bronze medal in the World championships.

 

Two years later I made the US team and won a gold medal for team competition and another for individual in Vancouver, British Columbia Canada. Leads England held the 2000 games where I won another gold medal in individual competitions and helped my team win its third consecutive Championship. In 2002, neither the US, nor the team from Great Britain went to South Africa because of 911. The Brazilians became the 2002 World Champions and they hosted 2004 World Sport Jujitsu Games in Sao Paulo.

 

In 2004 I won another gold medal in individual and a silver medal for team competition. I was the team captain, fighting in the super-heavy weight division for the Brazilian pay-per-view event in Sao Paulo. †

 

 

In Conclusion

This all speaks to the level of instruction that I have been exposed to over the years. I have never been typically athletic but knowledge and hard work has helped me to become successful. The more I learn, the more I find that good technique transcends style. It is only the context and application that is different.

 

I continue to seek out individuals that have acquired a deeper understanding of the basic techniques in order to learn from them. I want to learn the kinds of techniques that can improve anyone's game, if they are willing to learn and practice hard. I hope to be able to pass this knowledge on to others, for a very long time to come. ††