My life is more or less defined by passion. Passion for creating change with my photography, passion for my family and passion for my development in the martial arts.
I am not any one of those, yet I’m all of them. They can’t really be separated as I see them as a whole being. Me. One identity comprised of various passions.
My photography, or to be more precise, my photojournalism, is a defining quality for me. I started at the bottom of the food chain with my career in the mid 1980’s and worked hard to earn my way toward the top. My long-term documentary project on immigration has been exhibited at the California Museum of Photography, at Visa Pour L’Image in Perpignan, France and at the International Photojournalism Festival in Gijon, Spain. Fourteen of the images reside in the permanent collection at the California Museum of Photography. Clients include Smithsonian magazine, Sports Illustrated, TIME, Newsweek, The NY Times Magazine, the Southern Poverty Law Center, NPR, Target Corporation and Costco Wholesale. I’m blessed and thankful to earn a living pursuing my passion.
With a loving and extremely supportive family, I’m able to pursue my passion for the martial arts. My wife, Judy, has been there from the beginning of all my passions and supported them 100%. Despite a relatively late start, I’ve been fortunate to train uninterrupted in a variety of disciplines. The training has evolved from a standardized curriculum in Hapkido to a more personalized, constantly evolving approach in the Filipino arts. I have experienced a tremendous mental transformation while training at the Inosanto Academy in Muay Thai, Silat, Kali, BJJ and JKD. The respect, humility and appreciation for the arts exhibited at IAMA, from Guro Dan Inosanto himself down through his staff of amazing instructors, has profoundly impacted my training.
I’m blessed to have received instructorships under Guro Dan Inosanto in Filipino Martial Arts as well as in Lee Jun Fan Gung Fu and Jeet Kune Do. I’m honored as well to have received instructorship under Ajarn Chai Sirisute in Muay Thai. Acknowledgment by my instructors is never taken lightly and fuels my passion to train, research and evolve while giving back to the community as a teacher.