My Martial Arts Journey
My path started by chance one could say. It was the mid 70’s I was a
freshmen at what was then called West Va. State College, it is now
called West Va. State University. It is located in Charleston, WVa
Back then I had yet to recieve any formal training, so I mimicing
what I had seen in the old karate/kung fu movies. I ran into a guywho
had studied TKD, at the Jhoon Rhee school in Wash, DC.
That summer I enrolled at the Joe Jennings Isshin-Ryu Academy.
It was here that I got my first exposure to any formal training.
Just a side note, Mr Jennings would laterclose his schools, move
to California and become the president of Panther Videos, which
were the first VHS taping series of Martial Arts masters worldwide
I continued my personnel blend of what I had learned through my
After graduation I bounced around with work in Upstate N.Y. I relocated
to the Wash, D.C. (DMV) area in the spring of 1985. I strated training in a
Northern Kung-Fu system called Tien Shan Pei under a guy named Sifu
Lee Edmonds. This was my second exposure and it was Kung-Fu. I trained
3-4 x a week, eventually reaching a red belt level( It took 6.5 years).
While I was training in Tien Shan Pei, I ran across a guy named RJ Oak
He was teaching JKD,Arnis,Kempo and Jujitsu. GM Oak would become
the most influential person in my martial atrs journey. He would later
become not only my teacher but my mentor and brother. It was through
GM Oak, that I was able to train with some of the martial arts masters of
the world. They included Wally Jay, Reamy Presas, Roy Goldberg and
Michael DePasquale Sr. just to name a few.
I guess the most important part of the journey is that my sucess lies in
the process. I have come across a plethera of talented martial artists in
my 38 + years. People like Cacoy Canete, Tim Tackett, Hock Hochiem,
Jim McCann and Dean Goldade.
In June of 2016, I had the honor of being awarded the rank of 9th Dan
Soke-Dai American Bujutsu Kempo. GM RJOak created the system and
it was recognized in 1998 by the United States Martial Arts (USMA)
GM RJOak passed away in Oct. of 2016.