As we mark one more lap around our brightest star, I wanted to take a moment and send a shout out to two of my most dedicated and loyal students, Bonnie ‘Bonzai’ Jang, and Elton ‘El Roy’ Pinto. It is a common argument as to which one of these two started with me first, but either way they both were introduced to the martial arts via my kickboxing program I used to teach at All Star Fitness downtown. From there they stuck with me and everything I taught them including Kali, BJJ, grappling and self defense. Both followed me to my group class at NWJJA and both have been consistent practitioners of the martial arts for the past 7+ years.
I wanted to take a moment and offer my respect. You will most likely never read of
these two conquering a UFC belt. I am not sure if either one has a desire to teach the next generation. But they have something that I see sadly missing in many martial arts school now days … dedication and loyalty! I watch student after student bop around from dojo to dojo, freely throwing on a patch or sticker proclaiming their loyalty to THEIR precious tribe. That is until they find their NEXT precious tribe and jump ship. These folks neglect one of the martial arts’ most important lessons of dedicating yourself to a teacher and a practice. I suppose the quantitative definition of “dedication” can be argued, but I do not mean the modern day equivalency of “dedicating” oneself to a job for a year, perhaps two (after that you overstayed your welcome at most modern tech firms!).
I wish you two all the best on your martial path. I hope you never have to use what I have taught you, but I also hope you will never forget my lessons. You have all my respect and gratitude, for you have taught me more then I could ever wish to impart upon you.