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Patrick
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Joined: 01 May 2001
Posts: 28847
Location: Los Angeles, California

PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 7:15 pm    Post subject: [KF 500k] Member Interview: CredoTe Reply with quote

Member Profile

CredoTe (View Profile)
Joined: July 26, 2013
Posts: 290

Interview

Where are you from?

The central Ohio area. There are a few on KF who know who I am, but I'm not ready to go public with my identity, sorry.

Why did you get started in the martial arts?

From my viewpoint, I started in karate when I was eight years old because I was an explosive, energetic little boy that loved the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Karate Kid, and pretty much any action flick that had MA in it (I called them "karate movies" when I was little). It was great: I could scream loudly when I punched something and not get in trouble for being too loud; I could hit things without getting in trouble or hurting anyone; when I was doing kata, I could pretend I was fighting off big bad monsters or ninjas to save the damsel in distress and save the day! Hiiiyaaaa!

From my parents' viewpoint, I had a very short fuse growing up, and they saw my interest in karate as a means to find a safe way for me to burn all my angry energy. My short, angry, explosive temper was a big problem for me, and others, and my parents were desperate to find a good, positive, safe medium to express all the energy my anger/temper generated. I would say it worked, for the most part.

Why have you continued to practice them?

Later on, my interest in karate and MA shifted from Ninja Turtles and Van Damme helicopter kicks to Bruce Lee, the art itself, philosophy, learning to defend myself against bullies because I was picked on a lot (thank you, angry temper ), etc. So, I continued to practice karate with those things in mind. It was about this time in my life that my MA changed from Matsubayashi-ryu to Hung Gar (Siu Lum) kung fu. My Hung Gar training went almost hand-in-hand with my special interest in Bruce Lee and philosophy (I was only about 14 at the time, so I'm not sure how much I really understood philosophically...).

Later on again, my focus in MA shifted again with less on Bruce Lee and philosophy, and more on the art and truly learning to defend myself in life and death situations on the street. At this point, I was back into Matsubayashi-ryu, now with my current CI, and had the understanding and maturity to give everything my all for more adult reasons (not to defeat monsters or ninjas).

Now, I continue to focus my training on self defense and the art, but these have evolved into almost totally new aspects. The main things I'm focused on, as mentioned below, are techniques/bunkai/oyo that are practical and effective, and infusing Te (Ti) into my Matsubayashi-ryu to make my art as close to Osensei Nagamine's art as possible.

I hope to continue practicing my art to continue growing in skill and understanding, as well as evolving into the best martial artist I can be. If my journey, especially the Te (Ti), leads me to other karate/Shorin-ryu styles, so be it. Also, if that means I end up taking a different art to supplement my Te (Ti) journey, like judo or jujutsu, so be it.

Please briefly describe the styles of martial arts that you have taken.

I've trained in Matsubayashi-ryu for 21+ years, now. Matsubayashi-ryu was founded in 1947 by Osensei Shoshin Nagamine (1907-1997), and is a form of Shorin-ryu, which is one of the major styles of Okinawan karate-do.

Nagamine Osensei's most influential teachers are said to have been Ankichi Arakaki, Chotoku Kyan and Choki Motobu. Nagamine Osensei named his school "Matsubayashi" in honor of Sokon "Bushi" Matsumura and Kosaku Matsumora, the two great Sensei who taught Chotoku Kyan and Choki Motobu. Incidentally, Nagamine Osensei's nickname growing up was Gaajuu Maachuu (sometimes Chippai Matsu), meaning "tenacious pine tree."

I trained in Hung Gar (Siu Lum) for three years. Hung Gar is a southern Chinese martial art usually associated with the Chinese folk hero Wong Fei Hung, who was a master of Hung Gar. Supposedly, Hung Gar was named after Hung Hei-Gun, who learned martial arts from Jee Sin, a Chan master at the Southern Shaolin (Siu Lum) Temple.

What is your grade or level?

Despite being in martial arts for around 24 years, I'm just a Nidan (2nd dan). Most of my peers with around the same amount of experience are 4th or 5th dans, but I'm comfortable where I am. My chief instructor has a few times thought about promoting me to keep me on track with others in our area, but I humbly decline without proper testing. I will get there in my own good time.

Do you teach?

Yes, I've taught self defense (adult and women's) and full traditional Matsubayashi-ryu (Shorin-ryu) since 2004. Currently, I am part owner with my chief instructor of a dojo in Ohio. He and I regularly instruct six classes a week for three different age groups (kids, youth and adult).

We also occasionally run seminars for local and state law enforcement officers in our area. We have trained many officers, from city and college campus police, to deputy sheriffs and Ohio State Highway Patrolmen. In the past, we also had the privilege of training an FBI agent.

What are your first memories from training?

The strongest training memory from my childhood days was soon after I started. I was eight years old, and was testing for 9th kyu (yellow). After I had gone through kata, kihon and step-sparring drills for my test, it was time for me to break a board. The board was a simple 1 inch (around 2.54 cm) pine wood set across the top of two cinder blocks. My Sensei instructed me to break it with a standard hammer fist strike. I took my position, aligned my fist with slow practice executions, and when I was sure I was lined up correctly, I struck that board with all my might and a big kiai... WHACK! The reverberations through my hand and arm told me before I saw that I didn't break it. I tried again and again, no avail. With my hand red and throbbing, Sensei stopped me, told me, "Good try, we'll get it next time."

Ever since that day, when I couldn't break that board, I made a pact with my inner self to never let a failure stop me from getting better and prevailing. When I give something my all, like martial arts, I come away contented, knowing that I am a little better than I was yesterday. Even if I come up short on something, I just need to give it my all and I will eventually succeed. Indeed, when I tried to break that board the next time, my hammer fist was the best my eight-years-old self could muster, and I smashed through that board on the first try.

What has been the highlight of your training?

Ooh, this is a tough question; it's difficult for me to say that any one thing or period has been the highlight of my training. But, if I were to pick something, it would be the fact that I've been able to keep my MA journey going and come back from a near-death experience. Back in 2008, my appendix ruptured and almost killed me. The emergency surgery and recovery took their toll on my body, halting me from any hard training for a few years. I gained some weight, lost some flexibility, and was going down to a dark place. But I bounced back with help from family, friends, mentors; I have my flexibility back, I'm back down 30 pounds (around 13.61 kg) and continue to drop, my strength is back, and my skill is back in top shape.

What do you do when you're not training?

I'm married and a nerd, so when I'm not training/working out, I'm taking care of my family, tinkering with computers, and playing nerdy games. I enjoy good role-playing games like The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Baldur's Gate, The Legend of Zelda, etc; but, my favorite is old school tabletop Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. My friends and I try to get a gaming session in when we can. Some guys have a billiards or poker night, we have D&D night.

I am also heavily involved with my church. I am a youth minister and assist our church's youth director with all youth group activities. There are two age groups involved, middle school (grades 6-8) and high school (grades 9-12).

What do you do for a living?

I am an aspiring engineer/IT nerd with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Engineering. Currently, I am a network administrator, technical writer and lab tech for an engineering firm. As network administrator, I manage a small Windows peer network, guest networks and company website. As technical writer, I assist the Responsible Engineer (licensed P.E.) with drafting and compiling final project reports as part of deliverables to customers. As website manager, I collaborate with our private contractor (who's in charge of website design) on site content, as well as security policy implementation.

In the past, for several years, I was a field engineer stationed in Georgia at a paper mill where I was part of a team performing preventative maintenance, system tuning and optimization, and network administration on an array of process automation equipment. I've also spent time as a QC (quality control) tester for a small electronics company in Ohio, as well as a documentation specialist (technical writer) for an online shopping cart company.

Who are or were your martial arts heroes?

From film/entertainment: Bruce Lee, Jet Li, Jackie Chan, Chuck Norris, Tony Jaa, Chow Yun Fat, Donnie Yen, Michelle Yeoh, Ziyi Zhang; Pat Morita and Ralph Macchio (even though they weren't really MAs).

From life/history: my first Sensei (the one who's currently teaching me Te), my current CI, Shoshin Nagamine, Choki Motobu, Chotoku Kyan, Chosin Chibana and Anko Itosu.

I would also include Wong Fei Hung, Sokon Matsumura, Kosaku Matsumora and Tode Sakugawa, but my knowledge of these older masters is much more limited.

What are your favorite martial arts films and/or shows?

Classic MA/action flicks are a given, i.e. anything Bruce Lee, Jet Li, Chow Yun Fat, Jackie Chan or Chuck Norris. Ip Man with Donnie Yen; Ong-bak and The Protector with Tony Jaa; etc.

Of particular note, movies like the original The Karate Kid trilogy and Forbidden Kingdom (Jet Li and Jackie Chan), IMHO, are some of the best at showing the essence of Karate/MA. Not the fantasy stuff seen in Forbidden Kingdom, but the foundational aspects seen in it as well as The Karate Kid. Two of my favorite scenes in Forbidden Kingdom are (a.) the ma bo (horse stance) training where Lu Yan (Chan) is teaching Jason (Angarano) the proper foundation/form of ma bo (and, subsequently, Lu Yan and the Monk (Li) end up fighting over how to properly teach Jason), and (b.) the nighttime campfire scene just before Jason's training starts where Jason thinks he knows all this stuff and Lu Yan gives him the metaphor/analogy about the full cup of water ("empty your cup").

In The Karate Kid I, one of my favorite scenes is near the beginning where Daniel is being chased away by the Cobra Kai punks on bikes and they trap him against a fence and start beating him up. Then, Mr. Miyagi comes over the fence and fights them off. Even though the fight scene is slowed a bit, I think that scene does a good job of giving viewers an idea of how karate/fights would really work on the street. No flashy stuff, no flips, just no-frills movements, strikes, etc. to get the job done. Of course, the training in the rest of the movie introduces viewers to the concept of bunkai/oyo without actually explaining what it is, which was very clever.

The Karate Kid, Part II is my favorite of the trilogy for two reasons. One, it takes place in Okinawa, birthplace of karate. Two, the movie introduces viewers to the concept of power generation (koshi/gamaku) using the little drums, again without actually explaining what koshi or gamaku are. Absolutely brilliant, IMHO.

As for other movies and/or TV shows: the Bourne Trilogy with Matt Damon and The Bourne Legacy with Jeremy Renner, Avatar: the Last Airbender (Nickelodeon / DVD), and Person of Interest with Jim Caviezel and Michael Emerson (CBS) are all great movies/shows. With the Bourne movies and Person of Interest show, I think they greatly illustrate how MA would be used in real/street situations; again, no big flash, no big flips or aerial moves, just effective no-frills techniques. The Avatar series is just great fun and, like Forbidden Kingdom, I think shows the essence and spirit of the eastern MAs (my favorite characters are Toph and Uncle Iroh, and my KF user icon is an image of the Earth rune).

Where do you see yourself going in your martial arts journey in the next few years?

I envision I'll continue to train in Te (Ti) and infuse it into my practice of Matsubayashi-ryu in order to make it as close to pure Matsubayashi-ryu/Shorin-ryu as I am able.

For the past 6+ years now, we (my CI and I) have been searching for the core of our Matsubayashi-ryu karate, the soul and root. We're experienced and knowledgeable enough to understand that something wasn't right with our karate style (the way in which we executed waza, kata, etc.); things just didn't make sense. The way in which we used the techniques and movements in kumite/grappling training and real situations just didn't match up with what we were told by our then big wigs (the higher ranked Senseis above my CI). Our kata and historical facts didn't match up with what Osensei Nagamine passed on; basically, our Matsubayashi-ryu didn't match Osensei's Matsubayashi-ryu.

Our journey slowly led closer to Osensei Nagamine's true way of Matsubayashi-ryu, but the essence we were missing that we were slowly discovering, we didn't know what it was called.

Fast forward to just over a year ago (as of the writing of this answer). An MA expert, the same Sensei that I got my start in karate with back when I was a child, visited our dojo and became a part-time recurring instructor. He's an expert in several MAs and MA concepts, including the missing essence we were trying to put into our karate. He called this essence "Te (Ti)," and from his explanations, the 6 years we've spent so far finding it turned out to be just the beginning.

Over the past year, this MA expert helped us synergize bits and pieces of Te (Ti) into our karate. It has made a huge difference, and been very beneficial. I am fortunate enough that he's taken me under his wing and is teaching me on the side on an occasional, but recurring, basis. His method of training and teaching is so different from what I've experienced in my 24 years of MA that when I train with him, I wear a white belt. It's truly awesome and mind blowing.

This is why part of my signature is "Remember the Te!"

Do you remember how you found KarateForums.com? Why did you join?

I was on a different forum for a few years that was Matsubayashi-ryu/Shorin-ryu specific. It was shut down for a reason unknown to me. I searched and lurked for several months on a handful of forums, including KF, before I decided to register and start posting. As of now, I am only a member/poster on KF, no other MA forums.

I joined KF because, at the time of my "lurking," it seemed to have the most interesting and knowledgeable topics and discussions. The posters stayed on topic and shared great/insightful thoughts, stories and facts, and provided links to sources, videos, etc; not to mention many of the humorous responses I've seen. Even when discussions would turn into heated debates, the posters kept them civil, mostly, without turning into a yelling or trolling match WITH ALL CAPS ALL THE TIME.

Why did you stay?

The exchange of ideas, opinions, facts, history, etc. in great discussions/threads keeps me here. The depth of the knowledge base and keeping the past/history of the arts alive for future generations is paramount. As the MA evolves and goes into the future, its storied and illustrious past will play a key part in its survival. Just as important to me is that I've learned as much or more from the folks here at KF as I've given. I always want to learn more, so I'll be around for a while, I think.

How, if at all, have you used KarateForums.com in your classes or training?

I've used KF mainly to pass on historical facts about other arts. In other ways, I'm using some DIY tips from Hawkmoon to eventually build some training equipment for use in my dojo.

Are there any members here who have had a particular influence or impact on you?

Bob (sensei8), bushido_man96, tallgeese, Reece (RJCKarate), Wastelander, Harkon72, Lupin1, Hawkmoon, Patrick, mal103, ShoriKid, Kusotare, yamesu, ps1, JusticeZero, MasterPain and lowereastside, just to name a few. I've learned something or many things from each of them, enjoy their posts (in fact, I always look for posts from them), and look forward to learning more from them.

Can you share a memorable moment within the community where you received great advice or an experience that really affected you and your martial arts journey?

There's not so much of a particular moment, but, rather, the people of the community who give great advice on a daily or weekly occasion. Pretty much every day or week, I find great advice from Bob (sensei8), bushido_man96, tallgeese, Wastelander, Harkon72, Lupin1, Hawkmoon and mal103. At least once a week, I find great advice from Patrick, ShoriKid, Kusotare, yamesu, ps1, JusticeZero and lowereastside. And, at least several times a month, I find great advice from Reece (RJCKarate) and MasterPain. To be clear, the difference in frequency of great advice between these folks doesn't take away from how much I value them.
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Patrick
KF Administrator

Joined: 01 May 2001
Posts: 28847
Location: Los Angeles, California

PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As part of these member profiles, in honor of reaching 500,000 posts, I wanted to invite a couple of newer members who have made an impact. CredoTe is one of these.

Thank you for the great contributions that you have made thus far, CredoTe. I appreciate your kind words about the community and I'm glad to have you as a part of it.

Thanks,

Patrick
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tallgeese
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 04 May 2008
Posts: 6879
Location: McHenry County, IL
Styles: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Bujin Bugei Jutsu, Gokei Ryu Kempo Jutsu, MMA, Shootfighting, boxing, kickboxing, JKD, Pekiti Tersia Kali

PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CredoTe, thanks for the kind words. I have to say that you're experience shows in your posts. Your level of knowledge is obvious. It's great to have you aboard and we too look forward to your outlook.
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gheinisch
KF VIP

Joined: 09 Jan 2003
Posts: 2140
Location: Newnan, Georgia
Styles: Hon-Shin-Do - Shodan

PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great interview CredoTe. Sounds like you have had many ups and downs on your journey. You are to be commended on your resilience and focus too achieve your goals. Thanks for the contribution you've made to KF.
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yamesu
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 13 Jul 2004
Posts: 1391
Location: Oceania <-> Asia
Styles: Kyokushin. MT. Arnis. Judo. JediMantre.

PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 4:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing, and for the kind works!
Looking forward to sharing and gaining more with/from you into the future.
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DWx
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6455
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great interview CredoTe. I always like reading your posts for your knowledge and experience.
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Hawkmoon
Pre-Black Belt
Pre-Black Belt

Joined: 17 Jun 2013
Posts: 891
Location: MK in the UK
Styles: Kyokushin

PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 6:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good, kind words... thank you!

To be honest I'm looking forward to seeing/reading more form you as things move and grow here!

Keep posting sir keep posting!
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lowereastside
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 31 Jan 2013
Posts: 211

Styles: kung fu

PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:40 pm    Post subject: [KF 500k] Member Interview: CredoTe Reply with quote

Thanks Patrick for the heads up. And Credo-te THANK YOU VERY MUCH for the mention - it was really nice of you. And lets not kid ourselves Credo-Te I find your posts informative along with other's on this forum. This is the only forum I post on - the reason no XX is tolerated and the informative info that's put out.

Angelo
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Patrick
KF Administrator

Joined: 01 May 2001
Posts: 28847
Location: Los Angeles, California

PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My pleasure, Angelo. Thank you for the kind words about ouyr community. They are greatly appreciated.

Patrick
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ShoriKid
Pre-Black Belt
Pre-Black Belt

Joined: 14 Dec 2007
Posts: 900

Styles: Matsubyashi-Ryu, Okinawan Kempo, wrestling, bits of BJJ

PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CredoTe,

Thank you for the kind mention. I always enjoy reading your posts knowing we come out of a shared beginning. And, I get to ponder how my journey, though starting the same as someone else's, has diverged greatly now.
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