Budo My Journey
People who were born in the Sixties, Bruce Lee inspired too many of them to start “Kung Fu” training. But only a very few peruse this life long journey till their End. Many of my fellow training partners now walk around with a big belly, they all claimed they are too old and too busy to train. Me on the other hand, never stop training and learning. I still remember reading a Chinese Martial Art book in which it said “ 3 years of training you would achieve a small success, in 10 years you would complete your training (三年小成, 十年大成). I must be stupid because I began Martial Art training at the age of 16 and 1 was still learning yesterday from Grandmaster Azuma (Founder of Kudo). By February next year, I shall be 48. Martial Art learning and training to me is a never ending story.
Nonetheless, it began in 1980 when I came across a book “This is Karate” by Sansai Mas Oyama. I did not understand the different in Karate style at the time, to me Karate is Karate. I actually started following everything written in the Book for years just on my own. But my first chance to begin formal Budo training was Judo back in 1983. I trained very hard for 2 years and compete under my University team in Scotland. Later, I also compete under the University Karate team until my graduation in 1987. Returning to Hong Kong I trained mainly in Goju-Ryu Karate for many years. I reached national team level. Although I was quite successful in Karate Kumite, I never felt satisfied with my training. For a while, I trained in Kyokushin at Sogo; Muaythai at Mongkok Market (花園道街市); Wing Chun at Top Fight ( 廸輝 ). My Karate Sansei did not really encourage us to cross train different style, however, I think otherwise. For example, Muaythai knee and elbow techniques are fierce. Wing Chun hands are extremely effective at close distance combat situation. Both styles contain very rich contents in their system. At the end, I turn away from point sparring Karate because there was simply too much emphasize in competition and too much time spent in learning how to become a referee.
I could not remember exactly when, maybe 1982 I accidentally came across a Daidojuku Karate-Do DVD featuring some really outstanding character representing in the Style 加滕清尚; 長田賢一 and 市原海樹. And I watched UFC 3 when 市原 fought Royle Gracie. Of course, I was a big fan of Ken Shamrock, Funaki and Bas Ruttan in King of Pancrase. I told myself this is the kind of Martial Art I would love to do, but how?
For many reasons I began my own business in 2002. I was so lucky to be able to set up my own gym next door. This marked the beginning of my Mix-Martial Art training until now. I contacted the Author of a MMA book in Hong Kong, he introduced me to other friends who are training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Hong Kong. I later decided to ask BJJ black belt instructor to come to Hong Kong to teach, it was back in September 2004. They are very expansive and my resource is not abundant. When Professor Chet Quint arrived in Beijing, I was thankful to be able to train under him a week in every three months in Hong Kong. I could not afford to put him in a hotel, every time he came he slept in the gym, his passion to spread BJJ in China is second to none. His concept to treat BJJ as a Martial Art rather than a Martial Sport had had a great impact on what I am doing today. Our relationship continued for a full year until Professor Daniel Charles (Nova Union) started to resident in Macau 2006. Professor Daniel will travel from Macau to Hong Kong every Wednesday night to teach in the gym, 95% of our blue belt was promoted by him, and I earned my purple belt from him at the beginning of a very casual training session at Impakt gym in Central on 3 September 2008. I thought it was a dream, but it was real.
Like most 21st Century people, we spent many hours in front of Youtube. I normally check out BJJ videos and plenty of selection would pop up as my most favorite one. One day my favorite selection came out with Kudo 3rd World Championship. It was so excited to see the development of Daidojuku Karate to Kudo. Being deeply impressed by the fighters’ performance, I started to introduce striking skill into my class again, for almost 4 years doing only grappling, it was difficult for me at first. Later I decided to turn my Thursday night class into only striking and throwing, using the best of my knowledge to mix my stand-up and ground techniques. I emailed Sansai Azuma (Founder of Kudo) in early May 2010, he quickly responded to my queries. Originally, I meant to ask him to come in September 2010, so that I have sufficient time to prepare myself. However, he could only come in mid-June. If you have bear with me until this point, and if you have attended the 18, 19 June 2010 First Daidojuku Kudo Seminar in Hong Kong, you would have known the outcome already. I was awarded 2nd Dan in Kudo on 19 June 2010. I was asked to do 6 fights : 3 Kudo rule, 2 kyokushin rule and 1 grappling. I knew the 6 people who sparred with me on that day (2 were my students, 4 others I had never met) had help me to pass my grading along the way. I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you, very much appreciated. It was my best Father’s Day present.
Lastly, I want to let anyone who kept up with me to know that Budo help me much in my life. To achieve your goal and to gain great satisfaction, you need to work hard and sweat. There are no short cuts but to keep up your own spirits and move on. I try to run my gym in this positive way to motivate all my gym members, they will pass on this positive energy to their friends. I like Kudo because I share the same vision with Grandmaster Azuma. Through pursuit of learning Budo (for whatever style you are in),you develop spiritual and physical strength. To be able to study hard and train intelligently, you would form excellent personality and thus you contribute to the Society.