|1984- Meeting Sijo James DeMile|
After having trained in Wing Chun Do Gung Fu for two and a half years under sifu James Clark, I had the opportunity to meet and train with sijo James DeMile. The experience was awe-inspiring. Sifu Clark had possessed fine basic and intermediate skills and I was well on my way to owning them myself. (And feeling pretty good about it.)
When I heard Sijo conceptualize masterfully on the advanced skill and principles of Wing Chun Do, I felt like Galileo turning his telescope on the heavens for the first time and realizing the vast body of knowledge that was opening up to me.
It immediately cemented my admiration and respect for the man. And, when I experienced firsthand his awesome application of technique, admiration and respect was tempered by a healthy dose of fear.
Now, I’ve seen and trained in many martial arts and with some notable grandmasters. But I did not know the meaning of the words, speed or power. He moved like lightning, and seemed to know what you were planning even before you did. The first time I saw him deliver his world famous floating punch, he dumped no fewer than four students on their butts with that one punch.
Within the next year, I had joined the Instructor-In -Training (IIT) Program and begun my wondrous and rewarding journey. The relationship between Sijo and myself that has been cultivated over the years continues to be one of the defining experiences of my life.