I didn’t include this information here for a long time, because I didn’t feel it was relevant. However, we each make Taido our own, and some people have asked me for more details about my background and experience. Perhaps this will clarify some things.
Below, I’ve listed a year-by-year account of some noteworthy events in my Taido career and some other major life events. In some cases, I’ve stuck to the facts, and in others, I’ve added additional commentary.
- I was born on 24 June in Atlanta. Every patient in the hospital was miraculously cured.
- My father and I began practicing Taido on 4 October.
- I competed in the US Taido international championships.
- I was chosen as a founding member of the first Top Gun class and was elected as an officer in that class.
- Top Gun was originally included not only advanced application practice, but Taido theory as well.
- I became the first student under 18 years of age to be admitted to the Kishi Kai.
- Kishi Kai, at that time, was a class for adult brown and black belt students. Training included theory, application, and detailed practice of hokei.
- Along with Carlos Martinez Jr. and Eddie Perez, I became the third person under 18 years to be awarded a Taido black belt in America.
- I competed in the first Taido world championships and international friendship tournament in Japan.
- This was my first trip abroad.
- Training for the tournament was administered by John Okochi who had become my mentor in Taido.
- All of us who went to Japan on this trip (about 25 people, including children and parents) got a clear picture of how different Taido was in the rest of the world compared to what we had been taught.
- I was voted to be the intermediate (teen) class president.
- Along with Negishi Sensei, I was also responsible for running the trainings for these classes.
- I accepted a scholarship to study physics at Georgia Tech.
- I assisted in operations of the international Taido friendship games.
- Mitsuaki Uchida and I became the first people under 20 to be awarded 2dan in America.
- Bryan Sparks and I founded the Georgia Tech Taido club.
- I traveled solo to Japan, visiting dojo in Yokohama, Fuji, and Hirosaki over a period of two months.
- I began studying Literature and Sociology at Georgia State University.
- I traveled again to Japan, this time for three months.
- I judged the US Taido 25th anniversary championships.
- I was awarded 3dan.
- I began practicing basic T’ai Chi.
- I began studying yoga.
- I helped organize and was a main judge at the US national championships.
- I was awarded 4dan.
- I graduated from college and relocated to Japan to teach English.
- I joined Negishi Sensei at the Yokohama Taido dojo.
- I competed in several tournaments around the Tokyo area.
- I visited Atlanta to assist operations of the US Taido 30th anniversary tournament.
- 100% of my students from Georgia Tech won medals in at least one tournament event.
- Taido/Blog was born.
- I began practicing CST (Circular Strength Training) training methods.
- I traveled to Australia for the second Asia Pacific Games.
- I placed second in “Taido no Hokei” (creative hokei) and third in team jissen.
- I visited US Taido summer camp to see my first students test for black belt (Shelley Matthews, Bolot Kerimbaev, and Laura Sparks).
- I competed in several tournaments in Tokyo and Kanagawa.
- I placed in a couple of team jissen events and won a nengi award.
- I returned to the US.
- I began training in Kaikudo Karate and Gracie Barra Jiu Jutsu.
- I traveled to Holland for the European Taido championships and international friendship games.
- I began writing occasional articles for the Finnish Taido Kamae magazine.
- I moved back to Japan and joined both Taido dojo in Osaka.
- I began training in Judo.
- I attended various training camps and seminars.
- I competed in the 18th all-Japan workers’ championships.
- Placed third in -mei hokei division – the youngest person to do so.
- I competed in the 42nd all-Japan championships.
- I got married and started a new business, doing freelance web design.
- I was awarded 5dan Renshi.
- I lead the training at a seminar for students at Kobe Gakuin University, who went on to give their best performance in several years at the all-Japan university championships.
- I assisted with a training camp for the Finnish National Team in Tottori.
- I assisted with preparations and execution of the World Taido Championships.
- I broke my arm in the International Friendship Games.
- I received certification as a Circular Strength Training (CST) Instructor.
- I judged the first Australian Taido national championships in Sydney.
- Kaneko and I taught a series of Taido seminars over the two days.
- I founded GMB Fitness to teach athletic movement and agility for adult physical education.
- I relocated to Honolulu, Hawaii.
- GMB raised over $15,000 for the relief efforts after a 9.0 magnitude earthquake a tsunami devastated northern Japan, affecting hundreds of Taido students.
- I began training in Parkour.
- I visited Sweden for the first time, training in Gothenburg with the Swedish and Australian teams.
- I attended the Taido seminars in Helsinki prior to the world championships.
- I taught and assisted with the European championships in Sweden.