My Story

I began training in the martial arts for over 35 years ago.  Having been an only child, I was bullied and picked on a lot as a child.  One day I was watching a movie where the little guy getting pushed around used what seemed like magical techniques to fight the bigger guy and defeat the bigger guy.  That little man was the legendary Bruce Lee. 

 

Wanting to know how to perform and utilize these techniques, I attended a local Tae Kwon Do (TKD) school with his best friend Paul and fell in love with all things martial arts.  The focus and determination was something he had never seen in anything before.  I was never really interested in regular sports and with his mom mostly working nights and weekends, most forms of extracurricular activities would have been difficult.  So instead I attended every class possible with his friend.  

 

Mr. Kim would let me on the floor to train whenever possible.  Paul’s dad was also a black belt in TKD and would further assist his son's training and use me to help by being Paul's training partner.  Paul didn’t really care for the martial arts, but I simply couldn’t get enough.  Once my mom had the money to start paying for lessons I became an official student of the martial arts and never looked back. 

 

At age 10, mother and I relocated to the south side of Chicago, and the martial arts become more of just something fun to do, they became his outlet.  Having a stepfather who wanted nothing to do with him and a mother who worked a lot to provide, I delved deeper into the world of martial arts.  It was my outlet for the issues at both home and school, as well as what kept me out of gangs and trouble.  The martial arts gave me the focus and determination to finish off my final years of school with honors.

 

Besides those last couple years of school, I was never really a good student, nor did I really seek to attend further education.  Instead, my mother and I decided the best option was for me to join the U.S. Air Force.  My first assignment was an HVAC/R technician in South Dakota and there I was able to start training in the arts of Tang Soo Do and Ninjitsu.  The military then relocated me and my family to my dream location of Japan and I was given the chance to train in right in downtown Tokyo.  It was during that time overseas I was honored to earn three Black Belts simultaneously in the arts of Aikido, Filipino Kali and Jiu-Jitsu Submission Fighting from A.J. Weimer and the Martial Arts Unlimited Association.

 

The discipline the martial arts that I learned throughout all these years of training have paid off as I was presented the distinguished graduate award from the Air Force tech college.  I have also completed my associates degree from the Community College of the Air Force now has my bachelor’s degree in computer science with a concentration in web development.  Furthermore, I just recently finished my master’s degree in IT project management.  I earned the award of Suma cum laude with a GPA of 3.83 and now I am in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in business management with a concentration in digital marketing.  

 

Currently back in the United States, I own and operate Keishidojo Martial Arts and Fitness Center and have been open here in Sumter for 10 years.  That hunger still lives on today as I have now has over 10 different black belts in various disciplines that cover weapons training to striking and grappling arts.  I am still is perusing my dreams and training with martial arts legends Carlos Machado, Dan Inosanto, Erik Paulson, Helio Soneca, and Ron Balicki just to name a few. 



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