A LETTER FROm
Dear Fellow Martial Artists,
First off, we’d like to wish you a 2019 that is full of happiness, health, and prosperity. We are thrilled to kick off 2019 with another great issue of the Budo Brothers Martial Arts Lifestyle eMagazine.
Looking ahead, we are excited about the new gear we are working all thanks to your feedback and valuable votes. If you haven’t casted your vote for our next batch of products, there’s still time! You can do so here.
In this month’s issue, we are featuring Sifu Kevin Goat - A life long martial artist who promotes the message of gong fu or mastery of one’s self. He specializes in two close quarters fighting systems, Wing Tsun and Balintawak. These two arts have taken the 40,000+ hours under his belt and brought his understanding of his other martial arts into a much more simplistic, practical and spiritual approach. Martial arts has helped Sifu to become what he is today inside and outside of the dojo and he loves sharing his passion with others.
As you likely already know, we donate 10% of our profits to the registered non-profit, Budo Youth Fund. To date, we’ve raised over $10,000 and helped provide martial arts grant funding to deserving youth across North America. In this last round, we ended up funding 10 different families, and one incredible program called IncredAble Adaptive MMA that provides free training to youth with disabilities. The program is run out of the world renowned JacksonWink MMA Academy and these kids get some of the BEST training in the world… Not to mention the life changing benefits that martial arts offers us all. We decided to team up with Century Martial Arts and support the heck out of them so they can continue to change these young lives. In this month’s issue we share Heather & John Winks’ amazing story and show you what the program is all about.
Lastly, we have a call to action - We are firing up our next round of grant funding and we need your help! Read on to learn more :)
Happy Training! :)
Featured Budo Brother
SIFU KEVIN GOAT
One day curiosity struck me and I went through all of my training since I was a child and have estimated that I have spent 40,000+ hours training martial arts, and this doesn’t include the countless hours I have spent studying body movement, theory and philosophy. I don’t say any of this to brag, I only want to share just how deep my passion for martial arts goes, it is built into every fibre of my being and every cell in my body and I still have so much to learn.
My journey in martial arts started when I was 5 years old training Karate & Tae-Kwon-Do, then Kick-Boxing & Muay Thai as a teen. My parents put me in martial arts because, I’ll be honest, I had rebellion in my blood. Thankfully martial arts became the positive medium I needed to mold my abundant energy.
Coming into adulthood I dove deep into the Kungfu world inspired by great movie stars such as Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Donnie Yen, Ip man and of course Bruce Lee. When I started teaching at 19 years old martial arts became so much more than just techniques.
Outside the dojo, at 23 I joined the Canadian Forces. The 3 years of infantry training reinforced strong discipline and true practical combative and martial techniques. Post military, I got heavily involved in training polices forces across Southern Alberta. What I started to realize was military personnel are the easiest to teach. The student’s goals were to create simple effective and lethal nervous system based responses. The police force though was completely different. The students would have to maintain order amongst chaos and control the situation without escalating it, all while being under the scrutiny of bystanders. This is obviously much harder to do. This real world experience made me realize there is a big difference between martial and art.
Throughout my 20’s I continued learning from new Senseis, Sifus, Coaches, Instructors and Professors from various styles of martial arts. Eventually realizing they were all teaching similar things but calling it something else. Different styles of striking and kicking had their own strengths and weaknesses but could easily fall into concepts of circular and linear based attacks. In fact I started to completely disagree with differences in styles and started looking at what really mattered and that was the warrior behind the belt. This is when martial arts showed me the true potential of what is within. I thought to myself, how many of the hundreds of techniques that I know and have trained tirelessly can be used by every single student I teach? At the same time the many years of abusing my body was starting to catch up to me physically. I began to realize that speed, size and strength (all things I could previously rely on) could no longer be my focus as a student nor a teacher. I needed to dive into a world of concepts and self-awareness. If I had a student that was strong and fast but trained with a mentality that they were smaller and weaker than everyone else, this student would be unstoppable.
The majority of my training was focused on weapons, kicking and striking. So I started training the areas I was most weak, trapping and grappling. Wing Tsun and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu were obvious choices to expand my horizons in these areas. I trained and in these ranges both art forms were building sensitivity all over my body and I quickly became addicted. In my down time I would study video after video and immersed my mind into the world of strategy on a whole new level. It also happened to be at the same time when I started training seriously under Guro Joel Huncar in Taboada Balintawak.
Balintawak was introduced to me as a close range stick fighting system and I immediately fell in love. After a competition in BJJ my neck couldn’t take anymore of the abuse and I decided to pursue Balintawak and Wing Tsun. Little did I know at the time what that really meant for my future as a martial artist and business owner.
When is first started training Wing Chun Sifu Kam Leung taught me a concept that I love. I have since modified it with the label ADAPT, Attitude/Ego, Distance/Range, Angle/Footwork, Position/Structure, Timing/Speed. This changed everything as I started to conceptualize all my martial arts into 5 ranges; Weapons, Kicking, Striking, Trapping and Grappling. Wing Chun showed me the answers to many of my previously unanswerable questions. I journeyed to the mecca of Wing Chun and found Sifu Chris Collins. Sifu taught me that first a student must be able to learn, then understand, then perform with the final goal of technical precision. He showed me Grandmaster Leung Ting’s systematic approach to Wing Tsun. Wing Tsun helps your understanding of trapping through deep philosophical concepts such as, when the hand is free it goes forward, be hard yet soft, when it’s dead let it die, don’t move the mountain but move around the mountain. He also taught me to remember to always face your opponents centre and that your structure keeps space and when that space is threatened you must move and move efficiently.
Before I knew it I could hit people and they couldn’t do anything about it because they were trapped. Learning to control the hands of your opponent before trying to strike them and using their own movements against them. Sparring became so much more then just reaction and set-ups and fakes, it became about forward pressure with phenomenal sensitivity, control and timing. My arms started to hit people and I had no idea how, they became their own beast. My Sifu spoke of this but it was hard to believe it was happening. Not only could I hit but in close there was no need to stress or use strength. One of my arms would form “defence” through structure and maintaining space while the other would hit the centre line at will. At first the hands were just starting to touch the face or chest, as time went on I was able to integrate things like knife hands and elbows from previous years of training. Everything I had been taught intellectually started to appear in the physical world.
Meanwhile, my Balintawak training became about memorization of the grouping systems making them become a part of my nervous system. One night whilst training, I started to see and feel my Wing Tsun while I had a stick in my hand. This range showed me how to be comfortable with a stick or knife at a close range that was super fun to train and was creating speed like no other system I trained before. I could trap the opponents stick with my hand better than ever before in my FMA training. The timing from Wing Tsun explained disarms that were realistic vs play. The two arts made each other better, and then my other martial arts started to take on a whole new look and feel. My movements started to became very efficient, and I started to see the truth and efficiency of what I was previously taught. I was hooked on Grandmaster Bobby Taboada’s system of Balintawak.
I represent HKWTA in Canada under Sifu Chris Collins guidance and mentorship. He is an inspirational human being who walks his talk and is helping to build Wing Tsun worldwide appearing alongside movie stars like Tony Jaa and Donnie Yen! I have a Level 6 certification in Taboada Balintawak with hopes of testing for my Level 7 in the near future. Grandmaster Bobby Taboada is a very humble and happy man who supports knowledge and growth through leadership, respect and honor. I am privileged to be able to have met so many people along my journey and am proud to be a new owner of my own dojo, Calgary Gong Fu Academy located in Alberta, Canada. Here I also teach my own system of martial arts that combines kicking, striking, trapping and tactical grappling, this system is a culmination of my 40,000+ hours of training and is dedicated to practical Martial Arts for any body. I am eternally grateful for all of my masters throughout the years, Wing Tsun and Balintawak specifically have helped me become the man I am today.
Outside of martial arts I recently became a Father so my time no longer can be spent devoted 100% to Martial Arts. To be honest, there was a time in my life when I didn’t think that anything would ever be as important to me as training was. When my Son came into this world everything changed, and now I am not only a martial artist and a teacher, but I also want to be a great Dad and be a man that my Son can look up to.
Calgary Gong Fu Academy Inc.
Skills Of The Month
SIFU KEVIN GOAT
WHY BALINTAWAK? THE CLOSE QUARTER FILIPINO MARTIAL ART SYSTEM
How to Train The Balintawak System With Your Students
Wing Chun Trapping Explained
The Bridging Process in Wing Chun
Jackson Wink MMA Academy
WHERE CHAMPIONS ARE BUILT
2018 was a MASSIVE year for Budo Brothers. With your help, we successfully raised $10,000 for our Non-Profit, “Budo Youth Fund” and were able to help 10 different families from all over North America by providing a fully funded year of training in a martial art of their choice.
During the process, we came across a powerhouse couple, Heather & Mike Winklejohn. Both are founders of a non-profit called IncredAble Adaptive MMA that helps young athletes with disabilities glean the therapeutic lessons martial arts training has to offer.
John and Heather are doing some SERIOUS good with special need kids in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and once learned all about their program, Budo Brothers teamed up with Century Martial Arts to support the heck out of their team. Century graciously donated some new training gear for their athletes, and we provided some funding from the Budo Youth Fund to help keep the program thriving.
We recently flew down to New Mexico, got to check out the Jackson Wink MMA academy, and learn more about what they do to produce champions both inside and outside the octagon. Here’s a highlight reel of the experience:
Mike Winklejohn is an amazing MMA coach and has created a facility with Greg Jackson called the Jackson Wink Academy - A world renowned Mixed Martial Arts training academy located in Albuquerque, New Mexico and a home to some of the best MMA fighters to ever grace the sport of Mixed Martial Arts.
Jackson Wink MMA Academy has been voted as a #1 MMA Camp in the world for many years. It is here that Coaches Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn created something truly unique and took the sport of MMA to a totally different level.
The duo has been featured in Sports Illustrated Magazine and numerous other documentaries, radio shows, television programs, articles and news features. Notable athletes under their tutelage include: UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon “Bones” Jones, UFC Welterweight Champion George “Rush” St. Pierre, Carlos Condit, Frank Mir, Gina Carano, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, John Dodson, Holly Holm, Diego Sanchez, and countless other notable names of the sport.
At Budo Brothers, we believe that if you can find the place where your gifts, passion, and purpose all overlap, that is the “sweet spot” where you can create a meaningful impact in the world. Heather & Mike are definitely operating in the “sweet spot,” and the impact they’ve made is living proof! It is their commitment to sharing their passion with the world and helping change young lives that is nothing short of inspiring. We are so grateful to be able to help these amazing people out, and that ability is all thanks to your support that allows us to do what we love; create, learn, and inspire.
Incredable Adaptive MMA
HEATHER & JOHN WINKLEJOHN
IncredAble Adaptive MMA began serving students, on March 26, 2018 but its formation and concept had its beginnings in 2017. We currently serve 35 youth and young adults, ranging in age from 4 years old to 21. Requests for service are increasing. The program takes place on the mats of the Jackson Wink Academy, in Albuquerque, NM. The Jackson Wink Academy is world renowned for its professional mixed martial arts athletes and coaches. The inspiration for the program was the Winkeljohn’s daughter, Autumn. Autumn who is now 19 years old, suffered a massive stroke at birth, resulting in a form of Cerebral Palsy (hemiplegia). Autumn grew up in our small, family gym and participated in the kid’s classes. She gained confidence and fitness but admittedly would become frustrated at times, if she couldn’t keep up or do what she needed her body to do. It was good in that it pushed her but it would have been nice if at times, she could’ve had more individualized help without making her feel embarrassed. Of course her step dad, Coach Wink would try to teach her, but it’s not the same effect when your parents are trying to teach you to do something.
Mixed Martial Arts is the culmination of the best therapies. It requires the use of large muscles, fine motor skills, social skills and language communication. It also helps regulate the neurological/sensory system for many special needs kids. We began to see the many ways in which this sport could be of therapeutic use to so many children but not feel like “work”. It has more than met our expectations thus far. We have seen amazing gains in the students. For example, we have a student who is performing better in school academically now. We have one who is more motivated to do some weight bearing, get out of his wheel chair and use his crutches. We have a young lady, whose weight was a concern and she refused to exercise in the past. She loves to show off her sporty outfits now when she trains. Seeing their smiles and confidence is life changing for us.
All participants of IncredAble Adaptive MMA train for free, with a trained athlete/instructor, as well as receive free gear. The objectives of the service is to allow the disabled to experience the benefits of the sport to include; teamwork, strengthening, confidence, focus and the acquisition of basic mixed martial arts skills. This is all taught in a safe, comfortable environment.
Our instructors are patient but they challenge our students to perform skills and techniques, that the students never thought they would or could do. We also serve at risk youth, giving them a positive outlet for their emotions and exposure to role models in the sport. For example, we have a class of children from a local organization which serves the homeless and disadvantaged. We have had teens in our program, who have a history of abuse and trauma. Currently, the model is such that one of our trained coaches works one on one with the student, or in small groups. Lessons involve teaching the belt material created by Coach Mike Winkeljohn.
The at- risk youth have the opportunity to develop the same skills. Both populations begin to realize the benefits of goal setting and working towards a belt as well as they receive the guidance of positive role models. The expected impact is to create a more independent, physically fit, disciplined and confident group of disabled and at risk youth, as well as to diminish or eliminate the tendency of at risk youth to gravitate towards crime. As many of us know, martial arts is also useful in reducing victimization and bullying. The at-risk youth are paired with coaches/ athletes, who were addicts, suicidal, incarcerated as youth or who have experienced family trauma, at an earlier time in life. Many of our coaches and athletes were once bullied, which the disabled often experience. A few of our coaches have family members who have special needs and are therefore sensitive to some of the issues and effects of having a disability. Our coaches’ backgrounds allow them to feel compassion for this population and a strong desire to help teach what they know.
Continuation of private instruction, group classes and public activities which raise awareness of the program, would help it grow and would allow for IncredAble Adaptive MMA to reach its objectives. Donations and grants are utilized to subsidize payment of coaches, and costs associated with fundraisers and events. We have primarily used fundraising to fund our program. In January 2019, we will be expanding our program to help serve Native American youth and teens, in the Laguna Pueblo of NM. Our goal is to one day expand the program to other parts of the country. We have already had requests to do so. In order to support our desired expansion, it would be necessary to train and ensure that coaches elsewhere can adequately implement a program, with demonstrated competency in working with special and at risk populations. Possibly, prospective coaches would be asked to come and stay for a period of time in the dorms at the Jackson Wink Academy for training and mentoring. Currently our coaches have training in CPR/First Aid and some communication skills training, for working with special populations.
IncredAble Adaptive MMA utilizes student participation and assessment of their acquisition of belt material, up to a brown belt level to measure our effectiveness. In addition, a parent/guardian and participant feedback survey is also utilized. The survey is to measure satisfaction with the program, as well as efficacy of implementation. In addition, coach and caregiver feedback and observation is also taken into consideration. Surveys also help us to determine areas of strength and areas of growth. All families surveyed thus far, have reported an increase in confidence and fitness in their child, since the inception of the program.
We want to encourage anyone who is struggling with a disability or anything else in life that seems insurmountable, to try mixed martial arts and try training in the sport. Mixed Martial Arts in particular, evokes images of violence in the cage, but there is a compassionate and positive side to the sport. Martial arts has proven its powerful, positive effects on so many lives. We are just blessed to be a part of our students’ journey.
BUDO YOUTH FUND
a New round of funding has kicked off!
Hands down, this is the most rewarding work we’ve ever done and we want to keep the momentum going! We’re all martial artists, and we all know the impact the arts have had on our lives and this is such an amazing way to give back and help the next generation. Last year we were able to hit our $10,000 goal and now we want to stretch that goal by 50%!
Our new fundraising goal is $15,000 to provide deserving youth the chance to chase their dreams and train in martial arts.
We are trying something a little different this time. We started a GoFundMe page to make your contributions as easy as can be. If you would like to help support this cause that we are so grateful to be spearheading, you can learn more and donate here:
Round-1 Grant Funding Update
Since completing the grant funding process back in November 2018, every single young athlete has dug in and started training in a big way. Part of the Budo Youth Fund program is us receiving regular updates on how their training is progressing, but more importantly, how much fun they are having! The other main objective of the Budo Youth Fund is to inspire more parents to put their kids in Martial Arts. To do this, we want to share the amazing stories taking place of how impactful martial arts has been on each successful applicant. Here are some early snapshots of what these young athletes have been up to recently when it comes to training: