How has your training made you into the person you are today?
It was at a school demonstration in the fall time of 1997 that Dr. Len gave his famous “drop your backpack and run away” demonstration. I remember distinctly that shiny red kick shield that he used as a back pack. As I stood in the cafeteria of Crocker Elementary School doing kicks with the entire 1st grade, I gazed up at that stage and instantly knew that I wanted whatever that is in my life. My parents later followed the recommendation of the school (in light of my new diagnosis of ADHD and ODD) and signed me up at FMAC. It was Feb of 1998, that I received my White Belt and my journey began.
After my first class I knew I was right at home. After the first 10 weeks of training I knew that Kenpo was what I wanted to do with my life. I would watch in awe as Dr. Len and Mr. Troy moved with so much power, definitive precision, and control. Their mastery of the art showed me in fine detail what I aspired to be someday. It was when I was 12 years old, as a green belt transitioning into the adult class, that I first noticed the beauty and the magnitude of what I was learning and in my eyes this is when my training truly began.
Beyond the physical aspects to the training what I gained above everything was perspective. In that I developed a sense of character that would prove to be my saving grace in many situations; ultimately molding me into the man that I am today. I eventually came to terms with the said disorders and learned to overcome them. Through growing up with FMAC I gained a solid foundation that I have built my life around. I am fortunate to still be a part of something so great and doing what I love.
It was the Principles of Kenpo that molded the way I process information and handle situations. It was the example of the life that Dr. Len (a true master of the Art) lived that taught/still teaches me how to use my limitations/hardships as opportunities to be something greater than myself. I realized that life is as a Kenpo Technique, rather than attempting to use my training to deal with obstacles, I can trust that the training has given me the tools necessary to find success in the midst of struggle. This is what I have discovered as well as that I have much more to learn. Only now I have my children to pass this tradition on to with the sincere desire to give them the foundation that my mentor Dr. Len has given to me.
Which Black Belt Character helped you the most?
Of all the character traits that have been woven into my way of life Indomitable Spirit has been the most important. It is the basis of my faith in everything that I believe in being a sacred part of my journey and contribution to society. Without the strength of my faith I would not be where I am today. It is that faith that pushes me to strive for constant and never-ending improvement.