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Why I founded 8 Hands Martial Arts

Interdisciplinary Martial Arts (IMA) is a discipline that I created back in 2012 after seeing the inner workings of some of the greatest martial art schools in America, leaving me disappointed in the emptiness of the form and the discrimination against many who were not already considered qualified; deemed financially capable, of hetero-normative culture, lacking ability physically or mentally, or of athleticism.

I found the nature of most western practitioners lacking the bushido spirit of the eight virtues. Being one of the many dedicated students of the arts, both in military mindset and in creative pursuit, that had been discriminated against, even as an instructor, I took the principle form from my elders without the attributes they assigned that ultimately weakened and disgraced the art.

Self-Defense was a passion from a young age, as I grew up in the streets of Reno Nevada. Criminal activity was a rite of passage for the economically challenged and only those that conformed survived. Safety and security was a luxury not afforded in my early years. I found that surviving was possible through becoming one of the guys and running in line with their desire. Adventure, exploration, and discovery was the main interest of those I kept company with. When I wasn't out finding trouble, I was getting into it at school and home without effort. This freedom juxtaposed with the imprisonment of societal discrimination kept me in constant strife and need for protection.

Fortunately I found that my grandfather was into the martial arts and trained with the Reyes Family. This created an interest in learning the art of combat and fitness. Through training with family, neighborhood groups, both formal and gang affiliated, I learned many foundational skills. Many skills were the art of reading the environment, knowing the character of the company you kept, and the evasiveness of getting caught in the middle of fights. Lesser skills were of the greatest desired, those of technique, following instruction, and repetition beyond fatigue. The practices inspired my desire to learn strategy and tactics of warfare. With the naïve motivation to become a sniper, to be on the fields of war, and to give of my loyalty to a greater cause, I enlisted into the Military.

As fate would have a hand in my destiny greater than my own awareness, I became a medic instead, and learned the art of healing. After two years, I suffered a near fatal accident and had my 1st unintended out of body experience. This incident set the trajectory of learning simultaneously the art of justice and of self-development. As one of the many divine interventions I have experienced in my life, this was one of the most pivotal. I learned about the limitations of power, and the cruelty of mankind through selfish interests. After joining the IRR, and leaving college, I found myself diving into the martial arts again. Yet, this time it was with the desire to study human behavior, their fears, and their vices.

With an open heart, and compassion of a healer who had experienced the heaviest of hands from man, I ventured to help anyone who had a desire to improve. This element of development fired my pursuit of transformation and deepened my hunger for knowledge in the ancient arts of power. I embraced the challenges with my students that they faced in their development, and embodied the energy from their moments of pain to the joys of accomplishment.

When seeing the commercialization of the art, abuse of students through discrimination, and the politics of tournament life, I vowed to purify to the best of my ability the essence of what ever form I happened across without focus on the aspect of financial gain. I moved to Colorado to start fresh and create a discipline that is less about the codification of movement and the physicality of the art, and more about the development of the individuals warrior spirit and virtuous lifestyle.

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