As far back as I can remember, I've been fascinated by the martial arts, especially by the Chinese and Japanese martial arts. Unfortunately, my circumstances have never allowed me to study at any martial arts school for very long, but I'm still on the look-out for a school which fits me well that I'll be able to settle down into.

My first experience with martial arts was a Kung Fu school in Long Island which taught Hung Gar. Hung Gar is a combination of the five animal styles (Tiger, Crane, Snake, Leopard, and Dragon), though it concentrates mostly on the Tiger and Crane styles.

I was only at the school for a few months during a summer vacation in high school, but even so I enjoyed it tremendously. Kung Fu has a very fluid motion which is powerful and enthralling. It also has a grace which is very pleasing to watch.

During my senior year at Alfred, a jujitsu club formed which Beth and I attended. The ju-jitsu being taught was actually a combination of a particular ju-jitsu, aikido, and judo. The teacher regularly practiced with a local judo practitioner, and before long I was invited to join their practices, where I learned a lot on those occasions when the instructors could make it (they weren't paid, they were just doing it for fun, and unfortunately were pretty busy).

Unfortunately, as generally happens with seniors, I soon graduated and went home to Long Island. I was lucky to find a good judo teacher within commuting distance (Joe Turchiano), and I spent three months learning all that I could before I was to go off to grad school at Lehigh.

When I got to Lehigh, I tried to find a judo teacher in the Bethlehem area, but unfortunately all I could find was a very small class about an hour away. Given the time pressures of graduate school, I just couldn't make it. Looking around, I did find a school only 18 minutes away which claimed to teach Ninjitsu, but unfortunately in practice they were mostly a karate school that really liked push-ups and other cardio exercises. As a poor graduate student, I just couldn't motivate myself to spend the time or money to get 10 minutes of interesting instruction per lesson. Also, at the time, I had a shoulder injury which made push-ups painful, so it was a double-incentive to save my time and money.

I haven't found anything since then, though I'm always hopeful that some day I'll find a school that I'll be able to stick with.