How did I come to be so desirous to become a teacher of the Arts? My journey probably started at about 10 years old in the basement and backyard of my childhood home on the Eastside of Milwaukee. That is where I owned 2 pairs of boxing gloves, and was always being challenged to box/fight, until one fighter tapped out, and I NEVER tapped out. I was determined never to get beat on my own turf, with my own gloves, and I developed a hunger to learn the correct way of boxing. So I would spend hours in my basement, and backyard shadow boxing, and pretending that I was a professional boxer. Needless to say, the real fights on the streets of Milwaukee made me realize that it was more to fighting than just boxing. There was grabbing, biting, spitting, and minor weapons to consider in a fight on my block.
I never tossed boxing out as an idea, but the Martial Arts entered into my life by the age of 20, where I studied at the first Black Martial Arts School in Milwaukee, Kempo Goju established by Master Warren. After studying and advancing in the art of Kempo, for several years and competing in local tournaments, I was invited to a seminar in Chicago to attend as a spectator. To my surprise, I walked into a heavenly environment of at least 50 or more Jujitsu Black Belts. Never seeing this amount of men and women of color in my life on one mat was amazing and mind opening.
After the experiencing such glamour, I decided to travel to Chicago 2-3 times a week and study VSK JUJITSU under Grandmaster Anthony Muhammad for several years. Upon meeting Grandmaster Anthony, he introduced us to his teachers Grand Professor Florendo Vee, Dr. Moses Powell, and Soke John Davis as the catalyst to our style of survival fighting that is called VSK JUJITSU. A style of fighting that contains every aspect of survival when it comes to fighting or self defense.
Hard work paid off as I taught children and Adults Jujitsu in private and in the dojo for several years as a Brown Belt, but was acknowledged by my peers as a dedicated teacher, trainer, and fighter and was presented with my Black Belt by Sensei William X Johnson in the presence of the late Master Abbas Yassin, and Sensei Andre Muhammad.
Through my Martial Arts years I developed a passion for cooking and loved the etiquette that it brought in my life. I attended Culinary School for a few years, and the road to a fun culinary experience took off for me as I won several Culinary Scholarships and recognized as a Who’s Who in the Culinary Arts in America. The highlight of my educational accomplishment was to win 1st Place Gold in Plate Presentation at Wisconsin Midwest Food Show. The following year I placed second with a Silver medal.
In 2004 I entered into the Milwaukee Fire academy and accepted another one of my callings as a first responder. I practiced Yoga every morning, following an instructor on the television before training, helping me to get through the grueling training, and eventually worked as a firefighter for the Milwaukee Fire Dept. where I was fortunate to keep my cooking skills sharp, as the fire house cook, by entering into cooking contest, and demonstrations. In 2015, while on a routine medical run, I was grazed by a bullet shot by an unknown shooter and caused me to do a lot of self reflection.
Yoga would soon re-enter my life daily as I began to feel, and see the stress that first responders, and other public servants suffered through their careers. I begin to practice Yoga daily under my own instruction, until I met Joanna Brooks of Embody Yoga and attended her class weekly to sharpen my skills and knowledge. I then decided that I would love to show people how to improve their lives and become a healthier and happier person, by teaching what made me successfully feel, and look good.
I believe that we all have a purpose in life, and we must never give up finding what our passions and purpose in life is. I have decided to be a teacher, only with the mindset, that I am forever a student.