My journey in the martial arts world began in 1985. I was 4 years old when I started learning from my father, who held black belts in Judo, Dim Mak, and Tae Kwon Do. After several years of learning the basics, I enrolled in my first dojo, studying Shito-ryu under Master Robert Winkler. I trained there for 2 years and earned the rank of green belt.
At age 10 my journey continued over to the Korean side of martial arts when I began studying Tang Soo Do under Sah Bum Nim David Wilson. Over the next 5 years I made martial arts my life and when not playing other scholastic sports, I practically lived in the dojang.
In 1995 I was named USJKC Competitor of the Year in kumite and kata. Additionally, I won the US Open Nationals in Charlotte, NC in kumite, forever deemed as a National Champion. Later that year at age 15, I finally earned the rank of Shodan and was granted the nickname of “Dragonfoot” by my father and Sah Bum Nim Wilson. Soon after accomplishing these great tasks, I hung up my gi so that I could focus more on my school.
In 1999 I joined the US Marines and was stationed at Camp Pendleton, CA where I briefly participated in the newly forming Marine Corps Martial Arts Program and earned a green belt. That was the end of my martial arts career and journey.... so I thought.
After 20 years, I returned to Hickory, NC and in 2017 I searched local Karate schools and when MVKC popped up, it was a no-brainer. In addition to knowing him when I was growing up, Master Armstrong's reputation precedes him, so I enrolled my son in Ching Sai Do. It wasn't long after that, Master Armstrong talked me into coming back and allowed me to keep my rank of Shodan. I was recently promoted to Asst Instructor and I currently have both of my children enrolled at MVKC, where the sky is the limit! Update Chris recently tested and acquired his Black Belt in American Ching Sai Do in January of 2019