Book launch party on December 12th, from 6-9pm at Jefferson Community Center. It’ll be a fun event with World of Martial Arts demonstrations, drawings for 10 minute chair massages and book signing. “A Kung-Fu Master’s Journey” is an 8.5″x11″ formated book with over 150 pictures and 127 pages of memories and personal thoughts! It will be available that night. 6pm Lion Dance 6-7pm Introduction and discussion, light horderves and refreshments 7-9pm World of Martial Arts Exhibition, featuring:
- Sifu Tony Au – International School of Martial Arts and Master Minh Huynh Vovinam
- Sensei Clifton Jackson – Shito-Ryu Karate
- Sifu Blake Emery – Tai Chi
- Sensei Michael Bowser – Shorin-Ryu Karate
- Instructor Cecil Longino and the Academia della Spada
- Sabunim Mike Shintaku – Tang Soo Do
- Sifu Shawn Miller – Baat Ying Baat Faat Kung-Fu
- Sensei Joe Pavesi – Chinese Okinawan Karate
- Sifu Rusty DeJesus – Wushu
- Sensei Jonathan Bannister – Iaido and Aikiken
Book signing and massages will take place at this time also. Books will be available for $22.00 at this event.
When I was eight years old I wanted to take Karate classes. In the early 1960s television shows like The Detectives, 77 Sunset Strip, and Surfside 6. I was impressed with the power of the “Karate Chop” and the knee strike. Since these shows identified the ancient, secret art as Karate, I wanted to learn it.
Back then, Hollywood knew very little about martial arts. The knee strike and knife hand were the only techniques I saw in the mid 60s. Far from what we see today, there were no flashy kicks, joint locks and throws. Certainly there was no such thing as “wire work” back then. Still, even with the most basic of techniques demonstrated on the television, I was “hooked.” I felt that with learning Karate, I could have power, and toughness.
One day I asked my father if I could have some money to take Karate lessons. He asked: “Why do you want to take Karate?” I replied: “For self defense and exercise!” Dad looked me in the eye and asked if that was the real reason. I affirmed my interest. Dad then said: “I’m going to teach you something better than Karate. I’m going to teach you Kung-Fu. It is what all martial arts come from.”
I looked him in the eye and I asked: “Dad, are you making this up?” He laughed and assured me this was real.
I didn’t know that my father was a Choy Li Fut Kung-Fu master. My father was just my father. This was the same man who lied to me a year earlier. I remembered we were at the Cedar River getting river rocks for my mother’s friend. My father caught a small 4” trout that legally had to be thrown back in. I saw the little fish and like any little kid asked: “Can I keep it?” My father stated: “Okay, but I’m going to put it back in the river now, and I’ll catch it back before we leave.” And I replied: “Okay.”
How can I trust him with this story in mind? Besides, I never heard of Kung-Fu. I was an eight year old and eight year olds know everything.
My brother Steven and I used to tussle all the time. You know… typical for two brothers. I was 15 months older and even as a seven, or eight year old, I was creating wrestling moves. I always won and my father would hear about the conflicts from our mother when he was home.
My father worked swing and graveyard shifts at Boeing, so it was tough to catch him with any free time during the week. Weekends were also a challenge, as was always hunting, or fishing whenever he had the chance.
My father stated that he would teach Steven Kung-Fu so my brother would eventually kick my butt! So, my father started to teach him, and I would stand around begging to learn. He continually refused, but one day he finally broke down said: “Okay.” I was finally able to learn Kung-Fu. We always had horse stance training. He also made us do push-ups. Eventually, we started to do basic blocks. That led to basic strikes and a kick. As we got more involved, I quickly learned and became better than Steven. He got discouraged and then quit.
I continued training under dad. His many stories about Kung-Fu heroes kept my interest in learning Kung-Fu.