GM Powell was my longest dojo instructor. I recieved a 3rd degree under him. His system was Universal Tae Kwon Do. It was a veryecclectic style, we learned to kick, Goju punching, Judo, Jujitsu and this is where I was introduced to Arnis. At the time my teacher didn't know what it was so he called it Karate sticks. I was hooked. This school opened my eyes to martial arts in general, I thank you for everything you've done for me. After his school closed, I made it a point to study each of the disciplines for clarity.
I remember walking past a Kung Fu school near china town and seeing a flyer in the door advertising this teacher fresh from china. I said to myself let me get with him before America corrupts him, which never happened. One year later I became a private student for 12 years until his passing. I have had several Tai Chi teachers but Sifu Chen knew all the forms and what I loved most of all was the fighting aspect of Tai Chi Chuan. Sifu Chen was very big on the translation of these moves into real combat. I will miss him dearly. Rest In Peace
I was on this journey to study every art that my first teacher incorporated in his system of Universal Tae Know Do. Jujitsu being one of them. I was looking for something that fit my then personality, I had heard of a system called Miyama Ryu Jujitsu at the YMCA in harlem on 135th street after watching one class I signed up Gm Harris impressed me as a dedicated father of 9 kids and a combat vet. This style was a combination of Jujitsu, Kodokan Judo and Aikido the founder of this system was Antonio Pereira who recieved his black belt from the Aikido founder. Everything about this style was geared for the streets. I had worked my way up to being his best and most violent practitioner.
GM Judah was given the style Soul Goju by Supreme Grand Master Peter Urban. He was told by GM Urban that the bible was written about Black people and that his path to heaven had to come through black people. Judah is the smartest martial artist I know. He had most of the bible and the Koran commited to memory. I remember trying to challenge him on passages and he would always win the test. He lived with me for one year and my training consisted of trying to pull trees out the ground, body conditioning, fasting and plenty of Makiwara body striking. Judah would travel around the country checking and challenging chruch leaders on their doctorines. He is a very special person in my life.
GM Presas is the father and founder of Mordern Arnis. He sacraficed everything to promote his art around the world. He has produced many instructors around the world. I consider him to be a genius when you take into consideration that we all learned in seminars. We just followed him where ever he was teaching. I officially started learning his system in 1984 and I became his friend. GM Presas has promoted me to the highest rank 8th degree Black Belt in America. His Canadian wife Yevette was there when it happened and we were all going to go to dinner, Remy could come at the last minute in order to get a special massage. I will miss my friend dearly and I have pledged to uphold his system. I am the only fighter in his system in America and I have produced 5 world champions to date. I teach and promote authentic, realistic Remy Presas Modern Arnis.
GM Atillo, is the last in the line of the original Lorenzo Saavedra Eskrima and the last to have a highly publicized death match fight in Cebu the Philippines. His style is call Balintawak Eskrima. It is a very in close system of fighting. I started with Atillo in 2005 until the present, I would travel to San Bernadino, California several time a year to get instruction. He is like the ever ready bunny, once he gets start he doesn't stop. Many times I had to remind him to break for lunch or dinner. I was up until 2016 his only fighter, now he has some good fighters.
THIS AWARD WAS PRESENTED TO ME BY GM CRISPULO ATILLO AND GURO DAN INOSANTO (BRUCE LEE'S INHERITOR) WITH OTHERS TO KEEP UP THE STANDARDS AND LEGACY OF ATILLO BALINTAWAK
Here I am at Guro Dan's school in California recieving my inheritors plaque. There is so much history all over the walls. He has study from many masters over the years, he is definitely an inspiration to us all. He is one of the humblist persons I know.
This picture was taken in my school with Grand Master Crispullo Atillo. To his right is Tom Bolden and Pete Vargas, to his left me Doug Pierre, Ken Lehrer and Rick Lin, also good training that day.
I HAD TRAINED SINCE 1977 UNDER SEVERAL TAI CHI MASTERS, BUT SIFU CHEN TAUGHT THE FIGHTING ASPECT OF TAI CHI WHICH IS THE CHUAN (FIST). BEING A FIGHTER THIS WAS RIGHT UP MY ALLEY. I WAS A PRIVATE STUDENT OF HIS FOR 12 YEARS UNTIL HIS PASSING, I WILL MISS HIM DEARLY, REST IN PEACE.
The founder of Modern Arnis. Before most people ever heard of Arnis/Kali/Eskrima, it was Remy Presas who really introduced the art to the world. He sacrificed everything to promote his art. What makes his art different are our 8 empty hand forms. Here he is helping me build my school in an abandoned drug infested building on the "lowerside".
GRAND MASTER CRISPULO ATILLO IS THE LAST OF THE ORIGINL LORENZO SAAVEDRA ESKRIMA STYLES, HE HAS SURVIVE DEATH MATCHES. I AM ONE OF HIS SUCESSORS/DICIPILE. HERE I AM TRAINING IN ONE OF HIS STUDENTS YARD IN CALIFORNIA. I STARTED TRAINING WITH GRANDMASTER ATILLO IN 2005
I HAVE HAD SEVERAL TAI CHI CHUAN TEACHERS SOME HAVE WRITTEN BOOKS BUT SIFU CHEN COVERED ALL THE MAJOR STYLES AND INTRODUCED ME TO THE FIGHTING ASPECT OR THE CHUAN OF THE ART. I WAS A STUDENT OF HIS FOR 12 YEARS BEFORE HIS PASSING IN 2005
In 1992 my first trip to the Philippines, part was spent in Manila and the other part in cebu. while there i trained in the home of Iting. He survived losing half of his intestines coming to the aide of a friend who left him alone. one death and 6 entries in the hospitl he made it out. I made sure I got his instructions.
Here I am training with the inheritor of the Illustrisimo system, GrandMaster Toney Diego in my hotel room. I tried to learn from as many sytles and system that would let me which were basically all the major one.
Her I am in Manila at GrandMaster Ernesto Presas school with his wife and extremely talented son
Here I am after driving for 4 hrs in one of the worse snow blizzrds to date to attend a Dragon Society seminar with the head of the society. The young lady is Annesse one of his top students
Here we are in GM Tatang's home. GrandMastr Marcapacal is the one that GM Illustrisimo gave his blade system to and I am learning as much as I can about that aspect of the art. This took place 1/92.
PICTUER TAKEN IN HIS OFFICE. HE HAD MASTERED ALL OF THESE WEAPONS. HE IS ALSO THE YOUNGER BROTHER OF GRANDMASTER REMY PRESAS.
This picture was taken in front of GM Ilustrisimo's home. GM Ilustrisimo to my right my student Chi Wah Lee on my left and Toney Dieg at the end to my left
Once again in training mode. Here we are on the island of Leyte in the Philippines. GM Sioc was helped thru college by GM Presas, when he found out I was Remt student he became our guide and historian. He knows many systems and styles.