The bump and grind
by Justin David Gause
(Sumter, South Carolina)
I started in Shotokan Karate-Do back in grade school when I was 11 yrs old. My instructor was a 2nd Dan Blackbelt named Bill Mathis in Sumter, SC.
I studied Karate until i was 14 then focused more on my school studies and Karate took a backseat for quite sometime. When I was 18 yrs old I joined the US Marine Corps and our basic hand to hand combat style was Japanese Judo at that time.
I studied Judo until I was 22. After 4 years in the military I was Honorably Discharged and then became a SC Corrections Officer with the Prison System.
I studied Japanese Aikido for 4 yrs until I was 26. After I was tired of guarding prisoners for 5 yrs I became a laberor. During this time I got into Pancrase Wrestling and studied for 3 years until I was 29.
I then began studying the Korean art of Taekwondo and Muay Thai Kickboxing. I have competed and had success in the following style tournaments: Shotokan Karate, Boxing,
Shoot-Wrestling, Taekwondo, and Muay Thai Kickboxing. I am now a Certified 1st Dan Blackbelt Instructor in the art of Taekwondo and Judo.
I have had some great teachers and some not so great but that goes with life, you have to take the good with the bad and try to learn a valuable lesson in every aspect of the proccess as it will make you a better Martial Artist in the long run.
There is no such thing as the best style because both Grappling and Striking are equally important. I believe that as Martial Artist we must combine different techniques and styles so we can apply this in "real world conflict" for Self-Defense.
As instructors we must cover everything as the student progresses from Karate, Jui-Jitsu, to MMA.
I encourage all Martial Artists to stay very fit, practice forms, and compete from time to time as this will keep you're reflexes strong and overall outlook on the Martial Arts very Open for future opinions.
Do not limit yourself to one particular style because that will make you forget to improve your weaknesses.
I hope I have reached out and touched someone's heart with this message as I continue to practice and study martial arts so I can remain very sharp as I hope all of you do as well.
Peace Out!Linda's reply
Thanks for sharing your history and story Justin!
You have so much experience. Your commitment to continuing education, discipline and practice are confirmation to being a true martial artist in mind, body and spirit.
I always like to hear from the black belts that really walk the talk!
I agree with you on all points - practicing different disciplines is important and a compliment to your development and growth as a martial artist whatever your primary practice may be.
Even if its practicing yoga or tai chi, to help with your breathing, calmness and posture to grappling or weaponary, its all a benefit.
You are one of the extra special practitioners as you have had to think and act as a martial artist for work in real life situations.
Many of us have only experienced confrontation in grading and tournaments or other safe environments.
Thanks for visiting our site Justin. Would love hear from you more as you continue your journey as a leader and teacher