I started training in martial arts almost as long as I can remember. My father was my first actual instructor. He had been a middleweight boxer and also trained in Korean martial arts, Judo, and Jujitsu while serving with the U.S. Armed Forces stationed in Korea. I was six years old when he first put a pair of boxing gloves on me and we sparred. I could barely hold my arms up because the gloves were so heavy. He wanted me to be able to better defend myself following getting jumped by a group of neighborhood ruffians. After a year of introducing me to different holds, kicks, and throws, my father took me to a certain Mr. Choi to start learning Tang Soo Do. I would get lessons and Mr. Choi would get his car serviced at my family’s car wash and filling station. I hated the fact that Mr. Choi’s studio was next door to a fish market because every stray cat in Newark would chase and escort me home each day after class. I’m still not too fond of cats today. Three year later, Mr. Choi’s place was padlocked and plastered with stickers saying it was a state department matter. I never saw him again. It would be around this time that martial arts was starting to take a lesser role in my life. I was now involved with Little League Baseball,Pop Warner Football, AAU Basketball, and even ice hockey. With no more Mr. Choi, I thought that I would be done with martial arts. Oh no, my father would now take me to train with Grandmaster Karriem Abdallah (founder of the K.A. System).
I trained and competed through junior high school but all the travelling, practice rigors, and strain of also being a three sport scholar athlete and karateka in high school took its toll. I had to quit karate but resumed my martial arts training during undergraduate days at Amherst College after soccer and basketball seasons ended for me. I studied Shotokan Karate and Judo for four years under Sensei Kazumi Tabata and Sensei Craig Simmons. Graduate school, jobs around the country, marriage to my lovely wife, Beverly, and two kids, Jordan and Jessica, took me out of martial arts once again.
It was 1999 and my introduction to Shihan Brian Berenbach and Shorinjiryu Kenryukan Karatedo. I went to Stelton Dojo when Jordan, reached the age of six to start him on a journey through the martial arts. He too had a bullying problem at school. Little did I know that I would continue on to earn black belts now in Shorinjiryu, start my own dojo, distinguished myself in international competition earning a number of awards and honors. Jordan’s now a graduate of Ithaca College that has also trained in Tae Kwon Do, Kendo, Iaido, and Aikido. He works part time in retail as well as a production assistant on a reality tv show to earn money to pay bills and school loans, but still manages to lend a hand at tournaments as a very humble and hardworking brown belt.
- Senior Instructor at the Stelton Dojo in Edison, New Jersey.
- Photographer, graphic artist/designer, writer and contributor of materials to The International Shorinjiryu Kyokai as well as well as other Shorinjiryu Kenryukan Karatedo Websites
- Chief Instructor, Hachikenkai Dojo (Stinging Fist) located at St. Benedict’s Preparatory School in Newark, New Jersey.
- Teaches a very popular elective course on the History of Martial Arts at St. Benedict’s Prep for several years.