Hey, I’m Steve and I’ve been studying martial arts on and off for 24 years – intensively for 14 (yes, that belt’s white – explanation below). I’ve always had an affinity for Chinese arts, but I’ve never really discriminated. I enjoy all kinds of fighting arts, whether Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Filipino, Israeli, or American. I certainly have my favorites for different reasons.
When I was young, I was picked on by, well, pretty much everyone. When I entered high school, I weighed all of 85 pounds soaking wet, with a wrestling team record of 2-17 (both wins were due to forfeits). My older brother and his buddies used to beat me up and there was nothing I could do about it. It was really pretty pathetic. I always asked my parents to let me go learn to fight, but they were overprotective and afraid that I would get injured. Ultimately that turned out to be true a number of times, that’s beside the point… 🙂
At 14, they finally gave in and let me study Aikido (Hombu style), which I did for about a year. There, I met one of the best friends I would ever have. He studied Wing Chun Kungfu and turned me on to the Chinese arts. There wasn’t a Kungfu school in my town at the time, so I studied American karate for a couple of years. One day, we got a school of southern Sil Lum Kungfu (if you are unfamiliar, Sil Lum means Shaolin, but in a southern dialect), which was taught by a monk from China. So yeah, I went there for a number of years until I moved to go to college.
After college and starting a family, I moved to Raleigh, NC, where I studied Choy Li Fut and Tibetan Hop Gar Kungfu, along with old-style Guan Ping Yang Tai Chi as taught by Sifu Kuo Lin Ying for about 6 years. I fell out of it for a few years as my job (I’m a financial advisor) got intense and my family grew. Now, my 9-year-old son, Lorenzo, and I study Ninjutsu and have been for about 6 months or so.
It’s always fun to start at a new school and learn a new discipline! I’ve made some incredible friends and have gotten some of the best training I’ve ever gotten between my Kungfu school and Ninja school in Raleigh and Cary. Now I’m an old man (38 as of 2017) and am having the time of my life wearing a white belt again (you actually have to earn your white belt at this school) and fighting with the black belts while learning the new curriculum. So fun!
Anyway, that’s my story as far as martial arts go. I hope you enjoyed reading it, and I hope you get a lot out of this site. I’ll be reviewing things, selling equipment, posting training videos, and answering questions. Let me know if I can help, and I look forward to walking with you on your martial arts journey!