From left to right: Roland Craeye, Master Rahsun Herkul, Grandmaster William Cheung and Sifu Eric Oram.
From 1985-1991, prior to establishing my business in 1992, I competed throughout Europe in Combat Savate, a full-contact French martial art and sport, also known as French kickboxing.
Combat Savate focuses on practical self-defense and combines elements of western boxing with graceful kicking techniques.
From 1991-1994, I trained in Dutch style kickboxing. Dutch style kickboxing was founded in the Netherlands in 1976, and the founders brought both Muay Thai and Japanese kickboxing together to create the Dutch version of the kickboxing art.
In 1994, I moved to the US and soon after I started training Wing Chung Kung Fu under Master Rahsun Herkul from the Global Traditional Wing Chun Kung Fu Association in Hollywood, CA.
I became one of Master Rahsun Herkul Closed-Door Students and over the next 5 years also studied with Sifu Eric Oram in Santa Monica, CA and Sifu Joe Sayah, in Encino, CA.
The aforementioned instructors each studied and taught under Grandmaster William Cheung who inherited the complete system of Traditional Wing Chung from Master Yip Man and was responsible for personally introducing Bruce Lee to Wing Chun in 1953.
Grandmaster William Cheung was a close friend and senior training partner to Bruce Lee in the Wing Chun system under Yip Man. I had the opportunity of attending a number of Grandmaster William Cheung's seminars and also studied Chinese Meridian Therapy (pressure points) directly under him .
In 2013 I hosted two separate seminars in Texas with Master Rahsun Herkul to help solidify the basic principles of the Wing Chung system I began teaching at my DEFEND workshops later that year.
From 2000 - 2002 I was a Student of Sensei Hayward Nishioka, who taught Olympic Sport Judo at Los Angeles City College and won a Gold Medal for Judo at the 1967 Pan American Games. He won five consecutive national championships from 1965 to 1970. He ranked 5th in the world in 1965 and 1967.
More recently, I've studied true authentic Muay Thai in Los Angeles with Pro fighter Ming Freeman, a bantamweight professional Thai boxer and boxer. I also had the chance to take lessons from Coach David Huey, who has trained many professionals and champions; coached, cornered and traveled with them around the world.
I also studied under Kru Santi Sakkomkai who has more than 100 professional fights under his belt. He’s fought the best of the best at the prestigious Yamaha & Magnum tournaments in Bangkok and was a regularly nationally televised fighter of Channel 7, Lumpini, Omnoi & Rangsit Stadium in Thailand. Kru Santi Sakkomkai holds a BA in Physical Education with an emphasis in Muay Thai.
Muay Thai or Thai Boxing is the art of eight limbs, where the pairs of feet, fist, elbows and knees are used in combat. It is said to be the most effective form of stand-up fighting and combat sport, proven everyday in Thailand.
Most recently I trained at Wildcard Boxing in Hollywood, owned by renowned coach Freddie Roach and home to many of the best professional fighters in the world.
The knowledge I've gathered training in fight sports and martial arts over the years has been a great influence in creating myDEFEND method. It showed me what works and what doesn't work at all in an ambush situation. Having thousands of techniques archived in your brain can actually be a disadvantage when you only have a split second to survive.
In my lifetime I've disarmed a handgun twice in a real life-threatening situation and I've also dealt with multiple attackers, several times. But it wasn't my fighting skills that ensured my survival, it was my level of alertness and personal awareness. That's why I focus mainly on teaching situational awareness in my workshops. Teaching people to analyze their environment and to be aware can save lives. I only teach a few techniques based on biomechanics, because they are the ones that can save you when your brain freezes.
I've been holding self-defense workshops regularly since 2013 and in the process have helped countless people become aware of their strengths and abilities as well as their situational awareness.
Black belts hold up pants. Real world self-defense saves lives. Learn more about DEFEND method.