I have a lot of testimonies, but I will only share with you a few. God has been very good to me. He has protected me, watched over me, taught me, humbled me, strengthened me, settled me, but let me tell you he is not yet finished within me.
My first encounter with Martial Arts was in 1968 when I joined the karate club in Junior High School, where I studied for two years. I was not ranked because this class was part of the schools' physical education curriculum and did not have belts.
I then studied under Mr. Willie Short; learning the art of Shota-Con Karate and earned a yellow belt.
I started working for Firestone Tire and Rubber Company in South Gate, California as a maintenance mechanic. In 1979 I was repairing a machine when it came down and crushed my right forearm off. After ten surgery's and two years of rehabilitation I was finally able to use my arm to some degree.
I wanted to take karate again so; I went over to the 109th Street BKF Karate School where I met Professor Robert Humphery and Professor Robert Temple. I began studying karate again and later received my black belt.
Then came another obstacle. As long as I could remember I was having problems with my balance. After many years I was diagnosed with a brain tumor and was given thirty days to live. I was shocked but I knew I had two things going for me; Jesus Christ and the love of my family. The surgery went well and I was to be released within five days, unfortunately that five days turned into more than six months due to complications. Some of the complications included three bouts of pneumonia, four instances of meningitis, spinal fluid leak, two more surgery's and dysphasia. When I was released from the hospital I had gone from 248 to 140lbs. I had a feeding tube, was wheelchair bound and had one functioning ear.
I went through physical and occupational thearapy at home, which helped me learn to eat and walk again. It was very frustrating as you could only imagine, but with GOD'S help I am here.
After rehabilitation I continued my studies with Professor Robert Temple. I received my second degree Black Belt in 1994 and my third in 1997. In November 2001 I had received my Fourth Degree Black Belt.
I have worked with several of the Great Grandmasters such as: Steve Mohammed, Dr. Stanford McNeal, Mr. Cliff Stewart, and Pastor Dr. Donnie Williams. My chief instrcutors are Professor Robert Temple and Professor Carl Scott. My school, JJ's Kenpo Karate was located at Daisy Gibson Elementary School in Palmdale California where I have taught and molded future karate generations for three years. The school was later relocated to Antelope Elementary School in Littlerock California to better reach those who were financially less fortunate. I now teach at various Los Angeles County community parks to which allows me to reach a wider audience of students.
I would first like to Thank GOD, for with him all things are possible. Next I would like to thank my family for giving me the strength and courage to accomplish my goals. Lastly I would like to thank all of my instructors for sharing their knowledge, wisdom, and encouraging me to go after what I wanted.
One of the verses in the bible that really answered a lot of my questions is 1Peter 5:10. I have always had a question that I could never get around to asking him. I knew that God had been so good to me I just didn't ask, though the question was always burdening me. Why Me? When Reverend Lyn Battle gave me some scriptures to read and I read Peter 5:10 it answered everything I wanted to know. The scriptures said, "But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus. After that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you." This is the answer to my question and when I heard this answer, it was very encouraging. Thank you Jesus.
On January 15, 2005 I received my Fifth Degree Black Belt and am now a Master. I never thought I would make it this far. I know with God's help and allowance I will go even further.
On September 20, 2015 I was promoted to the rank of ninth degree black belt and title of Sr. Grande Master.
I thank God for all of my achievements and allowing my set backs to take place, because it has made me a stronger person.