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Yondan - Black Belt 4th°

1989
Joseph Sagarese, Theresa Sagarese, Paul Munchbach, Harold Ford, Dennis McCoy, Chris Bennet, every student I ever taught, every opponent I ever faced, every peer I ever worked with

I began training in the martial arts at the age of 11 despite being advised to avoid such activities.  I studied hard for seven years, acquiring my senior brown belt rank before leaving the area for the military at the age of 18.  I returned from the service holding a black belts in Ki-Do-Ryu Karate and Tae Kwon Do at the age of 24 and resumed training and teaching with Grandmaster Paul Munchbach and was quickly advanced towards my Second Dan in Nemuru Karate.  During this time, I began to train in various additional disciplines to enter into the practice of Mixed martial arts, which saw me quickly acquiring proficiency in boxing, Muay Thai, and black belts in both Japanese Jujitsu and Judo.  A few years later, I had acheived my Third Dan in Nemuru.

The Arts have given me one true place to call home - when nothing is going as it should, and problems abound outside of me, I simply retreat into myself, my art, and my inner dojo.  There, and only there, do I find solace from the challenges of the world, and only in that solace do I find what it means to be a martial artist; that I can focus, I can persevere, and I can achieve any and all things that I desire.  

 

My goal in the martial arts at this point is minimal for myself, as I have done everything from win traditional championships to MMA bouts, I have fought for my country and learned to quiet the mind, and I have been a student, an instructor, and everything in between. 

The only goal I have at this point is to provide an example of what being a martial artist entails for my students; loyal, honest, persistent, honorable, humble, and dedicated.  While I am human and will fall short, I hope that those who train with myself and look up to me find that I am making the best effort that I can to be the person that they deserve for an instructor.  

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