How many years have you been involved as a martial artist?

I’ve been training since 2001 from the age of 11.

What is the most difficult obstacle you had continuing your training?

Cross-training consistently in Karate and BJJ while also balancing my odd work
schedule over the years. Also, passing guard on BJJ black belts...less like an
obstacle...more like a fortress.

Why did you pursue martial arts?

I’ve always thought martial arts were cool, even from a very young age. Initially, I was
drawn to the martial arts because of the physical skill sets they are known for. As I
matured as a martial artist and as a person, I began to pursue martial arts not only for
the combative skill set, but also as a lifestyle.

Were you bullied in your youth?

Having been the scrawny, short kid with glasses in middle school, I can confidently say
that I gave off a dorky vibe (I’m sure my mom would disagree, of course). I was bullied
on occasion. Luckily, having practiced martial arts from an early age gave me the
confidence to brush it off when it did occur.

How long have you been teaching martial arts?

Maybe I’m weird, but I don’t like to say that I “teach” people martial arts. I’ve been
sharing my knowledge with people, in one capacity or another, since 2006 when I was
made an assistant instructor at my old TKD dojang. Since that time, I have sought to
mentor less experienced students in my home karate dojo and BJJ academy.

What kind of teacher are you?

I personally consider myself more of a mentor or a guide than a teacher. I believe that
each student has the capability of becoming his/her own greatest teacher if you foster
the right knowledge and the freedom to experiment. I try to inspire creativity and critical
thinking in my classes and I’m huge on concepts and principles. I want every student to
gain the ability to apply what they learn in class with the effectiveness that comes from
deep understanding.

What do you teach best and what don't you do well?

I gravitate toward close-in, empty-hand training. I’ve had exposure to Kobudo but I am
nowhere close to being an expert.

Do you consider yourself a good martial artist?

I was a Lifeguarding and Basic Life Support instructor for many years. I have been very
fortunate to have had the opportunity to attend several regional and international
instructor training courses in the Aquatics Risk Management field.

What do you recommend for students who have anger issues?