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I have practiced martial arts since I was 13, starting with Judo. At the time, I stood at a puny height of 5ft 4in, weighing a little over 49kg. Being smaller than everyone else in the dojo, I often became a ‘throwing object’.
In looking back, I realise that I was very fortunate to have a Sensei who was also a Malaysian national coach. His name is Leong Chuan Wai. In fact, he was so adept at imparting his skills that all the black belts exponents became national players. Four years training under him was tough. Three hours a day and hundreds of kicks and punches each session!
I stopped training once I moved to Canada. Upon graduation, I returned to Malaysia, and I trained with a Shotokan practitioner for one and a half years, then continued Shitoryu at a local college. Later, I would joined the Shotokan Karatedo International Malaysia.
I can say that Karate changed my life. It strengthened me physically and mentally. That's probably why I have never ceased training for the past ten years.
Discoveries of JKD and Kyokushinkai
Three years ago I became interested in other forms of martial art. A menacing incident in 1996 changed my view towards what I had been learning. I got involved in a free-for-all fight with 7-8 thugs in college (detailed story in Part II). I was greatly frustrated that I could not control the fight and I truely understood Sosai Mas Oyama’s comment after winning the First Japan Karate National Championship (my translation from Japanese). In his case, sparring with an opponent did not mean physical contact. He felt that a well-trained karateka can react in counter or counter-attack even when an opponent’s fist is one inch from contact. Both Oyama and Bruce (who incidentally made a similar observation that non-contact sparring will create confusion in a real fight) remarked that the point system does not represent one’s ability in controlling street fights.
Today I am with Kissaki Kai karate. This is the karate that I have been searching for the last three years. I find Kissaki Kai better than sports karate and contact martial arts like kickboxing. I'm learning something that doesn't depend on age for the ability to protect myself. To find out more about this revelation (you too can discover what karate was originally meant to be) by scrolling down and clicking at the Kissaki Kai link.
These are pages dedicated to training and links to other very good sites:
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