I began training in martial arts only 3 yrs ago as a supplement to my weight training. My reasoning was that I needed something to give me another challenge. I was bored with just weights and the odd cardio vascular workout that I was performing at the time. With that when I found myself laid-off from work with all the time on my hands that a lay-off provides I began looking for a martial arts school that fit my needs. The Black Arts Society is indeed the perfect school for me! The kind of training I receive allowed me to progress quickly through the rankings without spending huge amounts of money. Master Gus Michalik gave me the training and the support to achieve my current ranking. I must also thank Master Ryan Bowen along with Master Mike McEwin and Master Ted Rice for contributing to my training. I know without their help the road would have been much more difficult. I should give special thanks to Ryan Bowen for continually making me strive for higher and harder goals. With his help and training I have been able to take Master Michalik’s teachings and translate them into the skills needed to enable me to compete in tournaments. At the age of 34 in my first ever tournament I was able to finish third in my weight class at a Canadian national jiu-jitsu tournament last spring in Niagara Falls Ont. Also with Ryan Bowen coaching me I was able to compete and finish second just 2 weeks later in a Tae Kwon Do tournament competing in both contests at the Black Belt level. I feel very fortunate to have accomplished so much in such a short time.
The amazing thing is that three years ago if someone would have told me that I would be where I am today I would have never believed them. Now I have begun training others and passing on my knowledge and experience. Its extremely rewarding being able to take the lessons I have learned and teach them to people who were like me, wanting to learn. I am now becoming more involved in the teaching aspects of Black Arts with the Police Tactical, Military and Airline Security courses its becoming even more rewarding.
My hopes for the future are that I continue with teaching and training for tournaments with the hopes of gaining more and more knowledge and experience to pass on to other students. I hope to be a mentor for others so that they may go on and compete and have success in martial arts.