marital arts journey began in the early 1970's when a close friend
of mine told me about his experiences training with longtime Chinese
Kung-fu Grand Master, Ark Y. Wong in Chinatown (Los Angeles).
This event coincided with the initial release of numerous martial
arts movies, and the preview of the Kung-fu television series
all which served to peak my interest in martial arts even further.
I began instruction in Hung Sing Choy Lay Fut in the summer of
1972 first with Sifu Frank Pramicias, then having the honor of
training with his instructor Sifu Toon Wong Lem. Sifu Lem had
trained in Xin Hui China under the Buddhist monk Sai Yut at the
Woon Fong Temple (Temple in a Cloud on the Peak)
After moving away to attend college at UC Santa Barbara in 1973,
I explored other fighting arts offered by the university including
Shotokan and Goju Ryu Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Judo, Hsing I, and
Yang style Tai Chi Chuan. I competed in several tournaments as
a member of the UC Santa Barbara Karate Club. Following graduation,
I returned to Los Angeles to resume training with Sifu Lem, this
time balancing graduate school, marriage, and full time employment.
I also trained under Sifu Nan Schwartz of West Hollywood.
In 1996 I relocated to DeKalb, Illinois to take up a position
as Assistant Professor at Northern Illinois University. It was
my great fortune to learn that traditional Kung-fu was being practiced
in this small community. Sifu Arthur Berry, founder of the Chinese
Kung-fu Club of DeKalb, has been a kind and thoughtful mentor,
unreservedly sharing his vast martial arts knowledge.
The club has always seemed to be more like a community of family
members than a martial arts organization, and I cherish all relationships
with my Kung-fu brothers and sisters. I was granted the rank of
Black sash in 2001 and first level Sifu in 2002. Despite these
accomplishments, I realize that my journey has not ended; it simply
marks a new beginning.