Exposed and somewhat trained in various martial arts, including Shotokan Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Aikido, Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, my focus lies within Kung Fu. In the summer of 1987, I commenced formal training of my core discipline at Siu Lum Studios of Havertown, PA. Under the direct instruction of Grandmaster Dr. Steven Sun, I had trained over the ensuing years to the rank of certified 4th degree master in Tiger-Crane Kung Fu.
Tiger stylists of this system generally focus on low, immovably strong stances; kicks seldom rise above waist level, hand strikes impart powerful, destructive force; attacks are direct upon an opponent. Practitioners of this method typically exhibit an outward physical prowess due to the demands of maintaining low stances coupled with strength and endurance conditioning.
Forsaking the grounded, physical demands of the tiger, crane stylists rely on mobility, flexibility and circular attacks. Practitioners of this method stand more upright (often on one leg), perform an array of kicks ranging from head to toe, performing several quick, successive, flowing techniques to subdue an attacker from any angle.
When a student becomes adept in both styles, the results become devastating.
As with any student of any martial art, each individual is inherently drawn more to certain aspects than another; in so doing, though everyone is taught the same techniques, each may learn something different.
In my 30+ years as student and teacher, I have developed traditional methods of training, and applied techniques into practical real-life situations that anyone can learn. I formerly was a regionally ranked competitor in forms, weapons, and sparring. Aside from winning several tournaments and recognition within the tri-state area, I nationally placed 4th in two-man weapons forms in 1991.
To this day, I still appreciate the role of student and learning new things within the martial arts as I am currently training as an advanced white belt in BJJ.