5th Degree Senior Black Sash
As a kid I suffered from chronic asthma which prevented me from pursuing organized sports like basketball and football. Regular hospital visits and the daily use of medications were prominent features of my childhood years. As I got older, my asthmatic condition improved, but I was on various medications well into my teenage years.
Having chronic asthma was not the only health problem that I faced. At the age of 20, I was diagnosed with lymphoma. The recovery lasted over a year and left me 40 pounds lighter.
Shortly after that time, I began training at White Dragon La Mesa while attending college at SDSU. My days were packed with classroom studies and my evenings were filled with Kung Fu and Kickboxing classes. After a few years of training, I was invited to enter White Dragon’s Instructor Training Course.
The completion of the training eventually led me to a position as a part time instructor at the La Mesa school then to a full time position at our Clairemont location. I eventually became the Chief Instructor and then, in 2002, I was promoted to the level of Sifu by my teacher, Master Nathan Fisher, and his teacher Grandmaster Doc Fai Wong.
Over the years, I’ve enjoyed competing in a wide variety of tournaments held both nationally and internationally. More importantly, my students have competed and achieved some of the highest honors, including overall grand champion awards at the Dragon Cup Championship and the International Chinese Martial Arts Championship (ICMAC). In 2012, one of my top students, Jerime VanDergriff, was promoted to the level of Sifu and charged with running the White Dragon School in San Marcos, CA.
During my time at White Dragon, I have also developed a passion for traditional Chinese Lion Dance. I find lion dancing to be a great blend of physical training and artistic expression. Watching our team perform at Lunar New Year celebrations, weddings, and other cultural events, is always a thrill.
Today, after nearly 25 years of training at White Dragon, I’m so much healthier. My asthmatic condition is managed through regular doses of exercise and a healthy diet. The days of worrying about cancer recurrence are long gone. I attribute much of this to the kung fu lifestyle. It has played a major role in helping me to stay fit, strong, and healthy.