I began my martial arts training back in the late 70s as a boy growing up in Waiphahu, Hawaii. My initial introduction was through an after-school Shotokan Karate program. While my early studies in karate were exciting, they were derailed as a brown belt when I was hit by a car. Having to take almost a year off of any sort of overly physical activities killed any momentum I’d built as a budding Karateka.
Luckily, when I was healed up, my father convinced me to join him in his studies under Sensei Seichi Tabata at the Honolulu Ki Society (although I believe it had another name when we first joined — Hawaii Ki Society? Forgive my old man memory!). We continued to practice Aikido until I went away to college in 1990, both achieving our black belts in the system before I left for the East Coast.
Health, work, and life in general caused me to drift away from martial arts for nearly 20 years. In 2013, I worked up the nerve to join my son in his training at the Red Dragon Karate School in Via Verde, California. My eagerness to improve my health, along with an unhealthy case of OCD, had me dive head-first into the instruction offered by head-instructor, Sensei Mike Salcido, and Sensei Jessica Dickinson. Under their tutelage, I gained my First Dan (first degree black belt) in early 2015.
A shot of Shihan Chris Casamassa and I after my 5+ hour testing
for black belt. Not sure which of us was more exhausted!
Now I help instruct students at Red Dragon Karate San Dimas, as well as give private training to adults looking to improve their health through martial arts. I bounce back and forth between training in San Dimas and working out for 2-3 hours a day in my in-home dojo. In addition to Karate and Aidido I am interested in expanding my training I’ve been working in both Kali and Wing Chun recently. Down the road got my eye on expanding my training into other systems — more Judo, Kenpo, and Boxing all have me increasingly intrigued. Studying the martial arts and improving myself has become a major focus for me and I look forward to sharing that focus and that love with the world.