I have been a student of the Asian Cultural arts for many years. The culture and traditions of the Asian nations, for me, have always held a special wonder and great deal of respect. My studies eventually lead me to the Martial Arts.
I started my training in Tae Kwon Do... that was short lived. The American Tae Kwon Do simply did not hold my interest or respect. Nor did I feel any pride in my Instructor, both of which are extremely important.
After some time I then moved to Traditional Muey Thai Kickboxing. I stayed here for more than three years, yet the whole time it felt "empty" to me. The highest objective was to beat your opponent into unconsciousness in the ring, before they do it to you! This was not conducive with my personal philosophy. This, together with a, shall we say, humbling experience with a beginner Kung-Fu student, caused me to leave Thai Boxing.
I then started training in Chinese martial arts. I went from one to another; trying Wing Chun, BaGuazhang, Xing Yiquan, Taijiquan, Taoist Deer and Bear Boxing, Fukien White Crane, One-Arm Boxing, Jeet Kune Do, Preying Mantis, Eagle Claw, and an "American" Hsiao-Lin Temple Boxing System. I never stayed in any long enough to gain any kind of proficiency; only to grab the basics. These were all wonderful martial arts, and I would like to study some of them in-depth someday. However, they were not exactly what I was searching for.
Certain personal beliefs of mine drove me to find a traditional system from the mighty, time-tested Shao-Lin Temple. I had been out of training for some time and for several months had planned to take classes at another Kung-Fu school in my area, but for some reason I never started. I was even making plans to travel to the east coast to study with a Master there. Then, one day, I stumbled upon a school that was just opening up; The Shaolin Lohan School of Kung Fu.
I quickly scheduled an interview with Sigung Cabais; all students are interviewed before admitted into the school. When I walked in I found a some-what smaller Asian looking gentleman in a Hawaiian-type shirt behind the desk. When I shook his hand I remember the power of his grip and the definition in his forearm. I also remember the feeling; the energy. To attempt to put it into words would only cheapen it. It is a feeling I have had only one other time; upon touching the Daibutzusama ( Japan´s Great Buddha of Todaji Temple ). The feeling of timelessness, tradition, and honor... the Spirit of Shao-Lin. I knew then that this was my Sifu. I found what I was looking for.
I am a deep believer that everything happens for a reason and that everyone has a place in life. However, it is up to each individual to make it happen. The old proverb states that "When the Student is ready, a Master will appear." I believe that I came to this school at the right time in my life; the time when I was ready.
I have grown much in being here. I have come to know myself. I have formed bonds with my brothers and sisters in this school. I have overcome fears. Yet I am only a baby taking his first steps. I have only begun what promises to be a long and hard journey... and I look forward to it. We must embrace the struggles of life, for it makes us stronger, better people, and after all it is the path that is my goal. Only by overcoming ourselves will we find true peace and happiness.
-Sihing Kevin Mitchell Sears-