Flashy Warrior

I dreamed a world where my two passions, martial arts and fashion, would co-exist in to pop culture! Recently, this collection by Walter Van Beriendonck captures a very vibrant take on my ideal aesthetic. I love how incorporate the colored Obi (karate belt) with the looks. The only problem is the average people would not even know how to tie a karate belt (unless they went to youtube). Seeing this collection makes me believe I am on the right path towards something.

Fight of Flight

13033_1239643025491_7579739_n #tbt 5 years ago was a fight or flight point moment. Losing my brother really took a tow of me, which I even considered on hang up the martial arts forever (obviously, I haven’t quit). Granted, this was an unprecedented emotional experience for me; therefore, I didn’t know where to go. I mainly trained by myself, no school backing me or anything. I needed time to figure what’s my true purpose. I competed at a martial arts tournament in Cincinnati as verdict for my future direction.

13033_1239643065492_13435_nDespite my oppressing moments, defeat was not an option. I went all the way to fight for overall grand! God shown me the light to never quit no matter the circumstances and do what you are passionate about! From then on, I recognized my purpose. Personally, thank my parents and my son being at my corner through it all (celebrating my victory with my pink polo and denim jacket ūüėČ )!!

Iron Will

#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.

The Prophet of Martial Arts- Grandmaster Henry Cook.

sifu cook
When it rains, it pours. My spirit was heartbroken due to the news of my grandmaster recently passed. For years, I always heard many extraordinary stories about him with my sifu. I knew he was great because he taught my instructor. How can a small frail man be so powerful and skill? the truth skill has absolutely NOTHING to do with size and strength. It’s in the spirit of the individual. The warrior spirit has no discrimination; therefore, he was epitome of that!

cookGrandmaster Henry Cook was (always will be) one of the patriarchs of the martial arts/science community in Louisville. The martial arts community is molded by his knowledge, integrity, and skill. The 7 Wind Flying Fist System was founded on June 29, 1973 by Grandmaster Henry Cook, who is well versed in the field of martial arts. His knowledge of both Martial Science and combat were outstanding.

The grandmaster and myself (along with my son) several years ago.

The grandmaster and myself (along with my son) several years ago.

Grandmaster Cook was all about the life of budo (the martial way)! There was never a moment how love of the art did not express him.  Despite his heavy training  He gave significantly back to community increase awareness for women to protect themselves in domestic violence, rape, etc. During the 70s and 80s, he created the Nightwatch, an organization whose target goal was to protect the people in their neighborhood. Throughout the years, he has achieved many awards and build a great rapport throughout the region. A fighter who lived 25 years after the doctors told him he was not going to make. He managed to inspire many more people (including myself) through the course of those years. As your spirit resonate through many of us, you and your teachings will never be forgotten.

Fist of Fury: Dojo Fight

I am not gonna lie back in the day, Me and my little brother always wanted to go to other people’s martial arts schools imitating from this scene.¬† That was a childish yet arrogant stage, but who doesn’t live moment they see in the movies lol! Bruce Lee took care of business with the karate school in Shanghai in Fist of Fury. Talk about a one man army! By the way, were those real people he was swinging? Comedy I tell ya!




“Iron Will”

Hiroshi Shirai-Kata Hangetsu

Sensei Hiroshi Shirai performs for the kata, Hangetsu. The beginning of this kata exhibits a beautiful flowing motion followed by beautiful dynamic strikes. His foundation in his stance are perfect! Despite the open martial arts tournament, the Kiahs (shouting which emphasis on power) are done at a bare minimum. They are only performed when necessary.

Black History Month Tribute: Steve Nasty Anderson

I have concentrated so much attention of the black individuals in the fashion world, I neglected some of the people who made contribution in the martial arts world. One person I am extremely proud to pay a tribute towards Steve “Nasty” Anderson. He is arguably the greatest fighter in sport karate of all time!

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Steve Anderson was the jack of all trades. He could kick and move like a lightweight and punch hard like the heavyweight he was. The amazing about him is the desire to win. Losing was nowhere near his vocabulary. If had to do some trash talking in the process, best believe he is gonna do it!

Fighting in the heavyweight against some big names in sport karate such as Anthony Price, Richard Plowden, Terry Creamer, etc. was a difficult task all of its own! Back in the 1980s, you are talking about having over 30 men in the same division fighting in at 2 rings (whereas today you are lucky to have 12 – 13 people in the division)! He has won title after title and even had a televised fight against Boston TKD’s Billy Blanks.

He truly possess the attitude every fighter should. Steve Anderson is certainly the Muhammad Ali of sport Karate.

The state of karate part 1 by Jadi Tention

Here is one of my favorite martial arts fighters growing up, Jadi Tention. He has won countless sport karate titles in fighting. He also fought with various teams such as John Paul Mitchell, Straight up, and All Stars. The vlog he made is quite TRUE. We are currently in a state which karate is not respected. Some of you should know the reason.  This is only part one. part 2 will be coming soon!

Homage friday: Fist of Fury

Apparently we do not live in a black and white world as assumed. Different nationalities were discriminated as much as the civil rights movement, etc. Fist of Fury was one of the martial arts classics which performed like so. Bruce Lee has made a huge impact in the martial arts culture. This scene is perhaps one of the classic fighting scenes ever. I’m all about peace and prosperity, but you had to feel him. if you messed my teacher up and disrespect my school, I would be mad too lol #jussaying. Anyway

Prof.Eric “Gomani’ Jefferson’s Seminar

A great friend of mine happened to have a martial arts seminar at the downtown YMCA. The whole concept of the seminar was to develop a couple of effortless techniques to defend yourself in a hostile environment.

Sensitivity (key component in wing chun) builds brain memory to provide second natural reaction . Once you are completely confident with your block/striking, you should rarely have a fear of getting hit. However, if you never use to taking a strike, I suggest you spar more lol.  Over all the seminar was good for those seeking to learn self-defense and add something new to your arsenal.

Gomani explaining his concept

His martial arts certificate

True Story: Gomani and I were not always on the best terms. In fact, we were like rivals as teenagers. Two people from different schools, backgrounds, and strong sense of pride (in the art) can really cause friction. Ironically, for several years I wanted to squash the beef. Instead, I didn’t want to be the loser of this battle.¬† Sometimes the people who tend to help you at your worse moments of your life suddenly appears for support really shows who they really are. Sometimes you can’t put a price on genuine support; You have to be realistic about situations and let your pride go.

Pride can often burn bridges from reaching your true potential. We all can learn from each other. The love for the martial arts has caused a greater bond towards helping one another opposed to destroying each other. osu!