Bio: Since I was 2 or 3 I'd wanted to study the martial arts. I know this because I remember seeing a Bruce Lee movie in my old apartment, which would have to mean I was 3 or younger. I was probably more fascinated by the sound effects and his goofy screaming, but regardless it instilled something inside me.
My first physical confrontation was the summer between 1st and 2nd grade when I misused some words and got my ass handed by a 6th grader. I vividly remember him asking me if I wanted to fight, and I replied "sure!", not understanding the pain involved in getting hit. I thought it would be fun, like in the movies. We walked in a circle for probably 2 minutes and I tried to throw a spin kick and fell on my back. He then sat on my chest and punched me until he got bored. I learned two lessons that day: 1) Avoid fighting because it hurts, and 2) karate is a lot harder than it looks on TV.
When I was 9 (1990), I finally started taking karate lessons at National Karate under instructor and professional kickboxer Scott Masterton (red pants). He was the coolest guy I'd ever seen. His motto was "It doesn't matter if you win or lose, as long as you look good". Because of him, I attended every class I could. Since his specialty was kickboxing, his classes emphasized sparring much more than any of the other instructors. I became one of the best underbelt fighters in my age group. In 1994, Masterton left and was replaced by Mark Schindler, who was then replaced by Geoff Driscoll, who was then replaced by Will Hill. My best friend Nate and I decided to switch locations since our school was completely unstable. We went down the street where Mr. Driscoll had moved only to find out he rarely taught class.
It was early 1996 when I decided to start my own dojo and teach my classmates who were interested in learning martial arts. I also decided to start studying Ninjitsu through a private shidoshi. I opened the school with Nate in my basement - it was called Tiger/Snake Dojo. Nate had joined Ninjitsu with me, and we were assigned animals which reflected our fighting styles. Nate was an offensive kicker. Lots of combos, like a Tiger. I was very defensive and would save my energy for the openings where I knew I could hit, like a Snake. Our first week we had 8 students. After 3 months or so, we were up to over 15 students! Not bad for a 16 year old teaching in his basement. We eventually had to move into the garage to gain some space, and 2 years later, the school had to close due to some family issues.
Before the dojo closed, National Karate had found out about us not only teaching in my garage, but also competing in the local tournaments under my own school. They pulled us into the office and had a "talk" with us about being disloyal to the National Karate family - more like the mafia. They basically told us never to come back. Nate and I went to USA Karate and obtained our black belts there. So much drama...
In 1997 I began teaching rape-prevention at my highschool. They had a self-defense course, but no males were allowed to attend. I wanted to be involved since it was martial arts as well as a chance to train for an hour during my school day. Since I could not attend, I offered to help teach. The teacher realized I knew more about the subject than she did, as far as the physical aspect was concerned, so while she taught the statistics and emotional side, I taught the physical side. After I graduated highschool, I continued to teach 2-3 rape-prevention classes a week at two highschools in my area, as well as continue my training in sport karate. I also began studying Southern Mantis and Northern Shaolin kung fu.
In 1999, I began practicing extreme kicks with Nate and a couple of his friends. I was introduced shortly after to two websites - Yellwboy.com and Bilang.com. Both were sites dedicated to tricking (extreme kicks). I dove heavely into tricking and eventually in 2002 I decided to build an extreme tricking community website where tricksters could upload their videos and see what crazy tricks other people were doing.
In 2003 I became a nationally-certified personal trainer and have been training off-and-on over the years since then. I specialized in Active Isolated Stretching and manual-resistance training, and in 2005 I became certified in group fitness instruction. Group fitness sparked a new life in my training and since then I've continued studying human performance and its relation to martial arts.