I began my studies in the martial arts many years ago while in high school. Interestingly, I have come full circle….My first exposure was during a 10 week judo course with a friend. This course was offered by what was then called the Wyomissing Institute of Fine Arts and is now known as the Yocum Institute, which is home to our school.
After that, I studied for about 3 years at another school in the Reading area before wandering into one of Sensei Snyder’s beginner classes. That same night I threw away my current rank of brown belt from the other school and joined Mr. Snyder as a new white belt. That was 1986….
Since then Sensei Snyder has guided me on the path of learning, teaching and competition that has led me across the US and Canada as well as parts of Europe. In 1992 I helped Sensei Snyder open and grow East Coast Karate, which was the largest and most successful martial arts school in Berks County. I was also very fortunate to know and often train with Sensei Seikichi Odo while he was still alive, thanks to Sensei Snyder. I currently hold the rank of 4th Dan-Renshi Karate and Kobujutsu in Sensei Odo’s style of RyuKyu Hon Kenpo Kobujutsu. Sensei Snyder also awarded me an Instructor’s License at the time of my promotion.
Some highlights of my years of competition include numerous local and regional tournament wins, a 1st place in Kumite (fighting) at the USKA Internationals in New Orleans and being rated by Black Belt Magazine as a top 10 competitor nationwide in Kumite, Kata and Weapons.
In real life I am a Mortgage Banker with Univest Home Loans out of Souderton, PA and live with my wife Arlene in the Mohnton area. I received a degree in Electrical Engineering from PSU and have studied Finance and International Business at Albright College.
I attribute the successes in all aspects of my life to my experience in the martial arts over the past 39 years.