Mike started martial arts thirty years ago in Falls Church, Virginia.
He was one of those very young six year olds. He had a fantastic teacher, a young man from Korea. He knew just how to balance compassion with discipline and Mike certainly was not an easy child. Yet this young man demonstrated the patience of a saint - a saint who was fun. On days that are hard and his patience is tested, Mike thinks of him.
Mike's family relocated to California and about three years later, Bruce Lee inspired him to jump back into the pajamas and has been in them ever since. Mike spent the better part of his youth competing in karate tournaments which lead to full contact which in turn lead to competing in amateur boxing. He attended U.C. Berkeley and San Francisco State University studying Psychology and Sociology. In 1996 he met and fell in love with Karen. They became partners in their marriage and partners in their business.
Over the last decade Mike's training focus has been on grappling. Training daily in Jiu Jitsu under Charles Gracie and earlier under Caesar and Ralph Gracie has had a profound effect on him. He likes the fact that in Jiu Jitsu, boxing, Judo and wrestling, form follows function. This principle has been implemented into all levels of student training, hence the school's name, Practical Martial Arts.
Karen began training in 1996 after Mike shattered her skepticism of the martial arts. She originally misunderstood martial arts as being either violent or just goofy. But after training with Mike and various others, she was hooked. Realizing that there's more to it than just punching and kicking, she enjoys stand-up as well as grappling and has taught just about any of the classes on the schedule. Karen loves the Little Dragons and Women's Classes most. She hopes to develop young girls into strong confident women. Her focus now is balancing raising their son born in November 2003 with managing the business.
Her background, originally, is in education. She earned her degree in Art Education at San Francisco Sate University followed by her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential at Dominican University. She has taught Fourth Grade, Health Education to teens, child abuse prevention to elementary school children and worked as a to young kids having difficulty adjusting to school. This background has been the perfect compliment to Mike's wide ranging martial arts history.
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