Aloha from the Big Island of Hawaii.
I entered into the world of martial arts at 18 years old, attending Jr. College in Rocklin California, 1980. Sierra College offered a Kenpo Karate course which I entered as a hoot, because at the time "everyone was Kung Fu fighting". (Corny song, I know !) I found there was alot more to this than met the eye. Shortly after, I left for the U.S. Army, Military Police School. Many of my fellow recruits had some form of combat skills they had learned, and I was intrigued with this as I was entering that world. As a college football player I had relied on my aggressive attitude, strength from lifting weights, and an overall athletic ability which hardly ever let me down, but this was different. I plunged forward, grabbing up as much knowledge as I could from whoever was giving it, but it was missing organization. It was haphazard and piecemeal. After living through the weird life in the Army I settled down into civilian life & moved to Hawaii as a lark, no plan, no job, uncharted waters.
1984 on the Big Island of Hawaii, was pretty raw. Jobs were scarce, and I was newly married. Working as a landscaper at a local condominim complex, I rode my bike to work & learned to surf at "Magic Sands" beach, which I lived right in front of in a very small house. You had to fight for your waves, and as a new "Haole" boy on the island I got my share of stink eye, "what you fukah" bullshit & had to take what lumps came my way. I gave as much as I took & finally renewed my search for the skills I needed to fill the void. As I saw the birth of my son, at 25 years old , Daddy had to find a real job, grow up & be a man. After several tries, I was accepted into Hawaii County Police Dept., a hard task for a Haole boy from the mainland. I knew that now I had to achieve the martial arts skills to maintain the job I was now embarking upon. It was here, during the training on the job I was introduced to serious, organized, martial arts, and the people who knew them.
Finally accepted into the HCPD, I went through training which included a 2 week, weaponless defense training course. Leading the training was Sensei Julian Shiroma, a Kenpo Karate instructor & police officer. The 2 weeks spent learning basic police curriculm along with the martial influence sparked the fire & I left knowing I hadn't had enough. I began working the streets in Kailua-Kona Hawaii as a rookie police officer at 29 years old. Older than most of the young men coming out of this class of recruits. In September 1990, Sensei Shiroma lined me up for a "Law Enforcement Seminar" with a new guy in town who was teaching some "amazing stuff" called silat, from Indonesia. I attended the seminar and met my current teacher, Dr. Bahati Mershant.
I have now spent 22 years, studying, training, teaching, & loving the arts of Southeast Asia. Laughed, cried, dined, got drunk with, and most of all , trained with some of the most world renowned Kuntao Silat men in the world. I cherish my time with all of them. I pass on the knowledge they have generously bestowed upon me, with those who show the same desire I did when I began. It's not an easy study, & for most it's a thankless task to try to find, the 20% who might carry on. Many try, few continue. I fight my own battles, but know that my center revolves around the core of training that keeps, myself, my family, my close knit crew of MEN, ( real men ) safe & alive to continue on & do the same for their sphere of humanity.
There is much to do, and time is running short. I hope all of you find the thing that makes you happy & makes certain that your legacy, your gift to those in your family, lasts for the ages and makes them say " remember what he said, it's why this clan is still intact ".