My interest in martial arts has been very sporadic over the years. When I was a teenager I started Tae Kwon Do in 1986 in Chatham Ontario, Canada. I studied under Master Sun Jung who was a very accomplished Korean competitor. Before leaving for University I achieved the level of green belt. This began my martial arts dry spell. I dabbled at the University of Waterloo Tae Kwon Do club and a club in Toronto but I found that the pressures of school were too great for me to consistently participate. I also found that I would rush into training to try to achieve the level I once had, injure myself, and stop training.
After graduating I briefly trained at a Jiu-Jitsu club in Kitchener Waterloo. This was the first time I was exposed any real throwing, grappling and rolling combined with striking. It was very different from the striking I was used to. I remember I took some hard falls in class and my resolve weakened.
In 2000 I moved to Brentwood, Tennessee in the United States. My dry spell continued until 2007 when I realized one of my colleagues (Joe Pickering) was a brown belt in Judo and training in Columbia TN under Terry Spencer. By this point my 180lb frame had achieved 215lbs and I was ready to try something new. I started doing two classes a week. The falls I was taking set me back more than once and I had times of severe doubt about continuing. One thing that was obvious though was that I was shedding the weight and quickly. Terry is an awesome motivator. He took us through rigorous exercise and some very competitive training techniques. My doctor introduced me to the wonders of Ibuprofen and as a result, I stuck with Judo and my weight came off. Jim Irvine came to Columbia, TN from Texas to complete our Judo instructor team. I was up to training four times per week for a while, two-to-three days in Judo and one day in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (in Murfreesboro, TN). At my lowest weight I was competing at 167lbs. During the last 5 years I took another year and a half off for personal reasons but I still was involved in helping out with Judo tournaments where I could.
In 2012 the instructors started teaching Judo at the Tennessee BJJ Academy run by BJJ black belt Ray Casias. I am back in class one day a week now and am excited to be here. I hope that soon I will be able to ramp up my training so that I can take advantage of both the high quality BJJ and Judo instruction at this location. In the meantime I will muddle along enjoying my Judo journey and share an antic dote or two as they come along.