#TBT Best of The Best: Final Bout

From the 80’s thru the mid 90s, American films had some great martial arts films. Although some possess a typical storyline (i.e. seeking vengeance towards deceased loved one), many of these films reflected the reason why martial arts was apart of pop culture. For example, Best of the Best was perhaps one of those great martial arts films which executed excitement with its epic storyline and martial arts choreography. In fact, this film actually demonstrated the true nature of sport martial arts. This particular match is the final bout against team USA and Korea. Philip Rhee who portrays Tommy Lee of Team USA  faces off with Team Korea and Tae Kwon Do champion, Dae Han (whose his real life brother Simon Rhee). Tommy’s moral code as a martial artist is tested because Dae Han is the man who killed his brother (typical in films right).

Despite the great basics and choreography, I was more pleased about the integrity Tommy faced in this match. Here you have a person who has the chance to settle the score against their ultimate adversary. Despite his repressive moments and illegal hits, Tommy fought hard to overcome Dae Han. However, this true test was the compromising decision to finish him. Instead, he took the high road during the guidance of his coach (James Earl Jones) and teammate (Eric Roberts). During the present moment, it doesn’t always feel great to take the high road based on conflicting moments. Reflecting back at those moments it make us appreciate the right decisions we make. This fight demonstrated it entirely in the best metaphorical way possible.

Industry Night

me and my lady..

My lady and myself decided to step out in style at a local “industry gathering” hosted by a couple of my good friends from Glass Label. The idea of the gathering was to have local creative people network in a social setting. Creativity was from photography, film, modeling, styling, fashion, music, etc. It was great to see some old faces and new faces (contacts as well). Another good night with people who knew how to have fun!


When the Integrity of Art battles Fame…

basquiat (2)

This morning, I got the chance to watch a bio-film about Jean Michel Basquiat. I was already intrigued about his work as artist due to his affiliation with pop artist, Andy Warhol. Being an artist requires integrity. How can we stay true to ourselves when we can’t stay true to our art/craft/aesthetic. Whatever we do as art (in my case, martial arts and fashion) should be treated like a sanctuary. A utopia where negativity becomes positive or creative energy, Lines aren’t always straight, and coloring outside the lines, etc.

Despite his efforts to remain true, he was inevitably exploited from his talents whereas it destroyed himself and the very few people who supported him when he had nothing. As I watched this, I question the battle between fame vs integrity. Is this price of fame we all strive for? Do we confuse success with fame?  People constantly dissecting our lives like a scientist performing a genetic experiment? Will my integrity be altered in such circumstances? Some of the most artistic and influential people are often the most loneliest. A high cloud where the layman would not begin to comprehend. The only language that speaks to them is the art, not the artist.

glasses me

The truth of the matter lies he wanted the drug of fame but unaware of what side effects it could deliver. For example, he was a heavy drug addict. A man’s escape from reality has manifested into a tragic exit. From a series of unprecedented short comings, I became angry of the inability to become a top martial artist competitor, having my fashion label, and styling work. I resented the phrase, “in due time”. However, I reflected from my shortcomings and appreciated it. Experience added fuel to push forward in life. Moderation is key!! Excessive dosage of anything can plunge the individual. This is what I have learned from Basquiat. Seeing how people can treat you and how you treat others (Whether you in the elite or an underdog) is essential. No matter what we experience, must maintain that integrity. I will use his life as a lesson of awareness (minues the drugs; I am drug free). I hope my years of martial arts experience helps reinforces that.

“Iron Will”

Simply Gorgeous

In my opinion, this is probably one of the best fighting scenes during the late 90s. Jackie Chan is widely known for his spectacular and unique martial arts choreography throughout his career. Through the influences of the late comedic actor Buster Keaton and Chinese Opera combat and acrobatics, Jackie has created something martial artists and non-martial artist would enjoy filled humor and finesse! Majority of his main scenes provide a particular message. In this scene from the romantic film, Gorgeous, Jackie was an out of shape business defeated from an outdoor boxing match from the opponent (Bradley James Allen) shown in the video. Due to his defeat, he seek to train more frequently (not for competition, but for himself). His dedication for training showed us how much we need to always sharpen our skills so we can ready at all times.

The opponent offers him a rematch which he accepts. The choreography displayed beautiful striking and aerial kicking while complimented the individual fighting styles. Eventually, Jackie recognized he must alter his fighting style to overcome his opponent. Naturally, the alternate style was more fluid and “bespoken” to him. Sometimes, it takes a few hits for us to wake up and change our current position to outweigh those particular outcomes.  I love the contrast on the stylish minimal black and white ensembles as it reflect the yin-yang concept throughout the match! This is one of my favorite fighting scenes ever!

The Power of “Ki”


What is Ki?

Here in the West we tend to measure strength in terms of muscle power, while in the east they often refer to the “power of the spirit.” However, what would happen if a person was able to truly tap completely into both, simultaneously? Ki or Chi development is exactly this, but it takes years to properly develop. It begins and ends with Abdominal deep breathing. This wondrous universe throbs with pulsating energy, and energized particles known as negative ions pour down from the sun during the day, to all living things. At night, these same ions are released as positive ions from the earth. It is no secret that it is because of this, the ancient masters practiced outside during the early morning hours, in order to immerse their bodies inside, and out with the energy of life itself.

“Ki”, like any other force can be misapplied negatively depending on the point of view of the practitioner. Therefore, strong Ki doesn’t necessarily mean good ki. They knew that if the knowledge fell into the hands of those that seek to hurt, maim, and destroy, a terrible perversion of power would be unleashed upon the world. However, more often than not these individuals of ego, only go after what they believe to be effective, or worthy of what they deem to be practical. As a result, this “McDonald’s have it your way” approach leads most of them to not go after all of the knowledge necessary to truly reach their full potential. And this is good.

This is the reason that the ancient masters sought only to train those who they believed possessed a “spirit” worthy of the cultivation of “Ki”. Decent individuals who possessed humility, respect, morals, and cultured spirituality. These human beings went out as beacons of light, spreading dignity, refinement, and love into the world. And only when necessary, to defend another’s life, or their own, did they use their cultivated “Ki” against another living person. Again, “Ki” begins and ends with Abdominal deep breathing, and there are no shortcuts. Yearly, practice within the seasonal elements themselves … with the intent to cultivate the breath of life, the ultimate gift that the “Creator of all things” has blessed us with during our human forms, but only for a very short period of time.


Karlie Kloss and Joan Smalls – House of Style

MTV‘s House of Style is going to be making a comeback with my 2 favorite models, Joan Smalls and Karlie Kloss.

The news was announced last night during the VMAs (I was too busy watching the Democrat National Convention instead #shrugs). Together, the 2 will be bringing the music and fashion world together just like their predecessors Rebecca Romijn, Cindy Crawford, etc.

Despite the fact the once popular show was around before either of us were interested in fashion, it has changed. It will be great to see how they present these two worlds as they venture behind the scenes of fashion shows, photo shoots and music videos. I am very eager to see how they host the show. I am very sure they will slay it on the camera as well as the runway!

“Iron Will”