|I began my study of martial arts in 1970 or 71. My first art was judo. I did that for a while and then ventured in other directions. For the next twenty years I would study different arts but always find them lacking. Some would be either obviously not practical, or taught in a way that was not realistic in terms of combat. As a result, my interest was never maintained. I did, however, manage to develop a basis of knowledge and some proficiency. While in the Marines, 1983-86, I did teach hand to hand combat in the units to which I was assigned. Finally, in 1990, after graduating from the police academy in Broward County, Florida, I had the good fortune to learn about Chinese Boxing, as taught in the Chinese Boxing Institute International. Prof. James Cravens heads this organization. I studied with him directly from 1992 to 1995. My training with Prof. Cravens focused on principles of combat through a synthesis approach and the art of Hsing-i. This was the first time since a child that I found a method of martial arts that I knew was effective and could hold my interest. Not relying on techniques, their method of training focuses on principles. I found that this made sense to me and did work on the street.
In 1995 I met Master Yan Gaofei. He accepted me as a student and began to introduce me to classical internal martial arts. Since I already had a strong interest in Hsing-I, he used that art as one of the vehicles to teach me. He gave me an individual training program consisting of Hsing-I, red palm chi kung, eight piece brocade and wuji. Over the years, he has shared other internal exercises with me. I currently enjoy teaching at the Traditional Chen Tai Chi Center in Hollywood, Fl. I also compete around the country in various tournaments throughout the year.
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