We are YOU.
We represent YOU.
For many of us, martial arts have shaped our lives. It has empowered us to become the people we are. For those of you who believe the same, I ask you to join me and the many proud martial artists around the world, uniting with honor and integrity to bring Martial Arts into the 21st century.
Our promise at the WFM is to bring you into our family and provide you with support for your martial arts heritage, provide you with opportunities to come together and make a difference in our art, the community around us and the world we live in.
Together we can make a difference.
Martial Arts is my life.
On my father’s side, I come from a long line of German Warriors, the Krauthakel, the front line of the Medieval German Knights. On my mother’s side, I come from a mix of Spaniards and native warriors in Colombia, South America. Like so many of us in America, I am the first generation of my family born in the USA.
My parents were so proud of making it to the USA and being from two separate cultures, not speaking the same language and bonding as they learned English together. My parents were proud and excited about leaving a legacy with their first-born child.
Sadly, at 7 years old, we moved into a new neighborhood, and I was hospitalized from being attacked by a gang. Shy, introverted and sad, I spent most of my life scared of the world.
Until, like many of you, I saw a martial arts superstar on TV - Bruce Lee!
Two days later at 10 years old, I was taking my first martial arts class with my 3 year-old brother, Richard. One year later, I was touring around the world with Martial Arts legend Jhoon Rhee.
At 11 years old, I was one of the top junior martial artists in the world and my 4 year-old brother was the Mozart of martial arts. He had learned all the curriculum from beginner to 2nd degree Black Belt and was capable of taking on kids a few years older then himself -- a legend by his own right.
By 1990, we had been in movies, tv shows, had modeling jobs and been covered in print by US Magazine, Newsweek, Ripley’s Believe It or Not, Washington Post, International Fighter and more.
By the time I retired from competition, I had won the most prestigious tournament in the world at the time: The Diamond Nationals. I had won the Diamond Nationals ring, was the WAKO national fighting champion, was on the WKA USA team and toured around the world on the Pasqua del Budo Tour with the President of WAKO. Ennio Falsoni.
My brother and I trained with Brandon Lee, son of the late Bruce Lee, and Linda Lee gave me a scholarship to Princeton University. I eventually decided to pursue my true calling, and by the time I was 22, I had 2 martial arts schools with 22 satellite locations.
Martial Arts had definitely become my life, my faith and my service.
I am thankful for these memories and want you all to have the great experiences like I have, with even greater opportunities.
I ask YOU, to become a part of passing down our martial arts to a new generation of heroes, to provide the leadership so they too will be inspired to make the world a better place.
Just as Brandon Lee did to me, I pass this on to you, my martial arts brothers and sisters.
Life is about Legacy. Keep the Faith.
Your friend in the martial arts,
World Director, WFM - World Federation of Elite Martial Arts