I started martial arts when I was 14, trying various styles like tae kwon do and karate. When I was 16 my friend and I found this guy training some students in a parking lot. My friend Tom Moy had just immigrated from China and started a conversation with the instructor in Chinese. The instructor (Sifu) was Andrew Chung, and he was starting a new school to teach Wing Chun kung fu and San Shaou kick boxing. This guy was the real deal, a strict traditional teacher and a practicing Buddhist who taught philosophy as well as fighting. The style was designed to fight in very tight spaces, it used very short powerful strikes and low stomping kicks to the groin, knees and feet. I had found my Mister Miyagi, I trained with him off and on through my teens and early twenties. I always remember Sifu saying ""martial arts is not about fighting." I thought WTF, of course it is. We spar and drill all the time to fight.
My Father passed away in 2003, and it left me in a rut emotionally. I was questioning my faith and had lost all interest in my creative endeavors. I went back to train with Sifu for the next 3 years. I eventually stopped training to make time with the family. Jen and I would often argue about how much time I spent training. I realize it was unfair to her, we used to work out together at the YMCA and now she was left home alone with the kids. I had always been interested in BJJ and one day Jen came home after a bad day of work and asked if they offered family rates for Jiu Jitsu. I was searching for a gym that very next day. I found our gym and BJJ coach Marcelo Meleiro. The whole family fell in love with training and our coach Marcelo. I am very fortunate to have the situation that I now have. Jiu Jitsu along with faith, family and friends has helped get me through some tough times. I now understand what Sifu meant, martial arts is not about fighting…it is about self discipline. It is about defeating yourself.
"It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell."
Posted by Tom