first became interested in martial arts when I was 4 years
old watching the old Bruce Lee films and Samurai Sunday.
My formal martial arts training started in 1986 in the art
of Isshin Ryu Karate. Throughout the years, I studied other
various styles including Seito Matsumura Ryu, Shorei Ryu,
and Tae Kwon Do/ Hapkido. After studying these traditional
Japanese and Korean styles for 11-12 years, I still had
higher interest in Chinese styles. Unfortunately, Kung Fu
was never offered in the area I grew up in. When I decided
to get my Bachelor's degree at Northern Illinois University
met a random student that was talking about a Chinese Kung
Fu Club on campus. Once I heard the details, I had to observe
the class myself. After observing the kung fu class for
the first time, I was drawn into the club by watching Sifu
Berry's fighting drills that incorporated a mixture of different
strikes and Chi Na (joint locks). Hand techniques were a
weakness of mine at the time. After observing this unique
style and having approval from the Sifu to train, I instantly
signed up for the class. I have to admit, after many years
of training, the art of Kung Fu was the first of styles
to not only challenge me physically, but mentally as well.
After several years of training with the club, I have learned
to be a well rounded fighter, student, and teacher. Sifu
Arthur Berry has not only become one of my favorite instructors
over time, but has also become a personal father figure.
And for the first time after training with 4 other schools,
the Chinese Kung Fu Club of DeKalb is the first martial
arts school to become my second family. Whether I am still
training with them or not, they will always be my fellow
kung fu brothers and sisters.