Today's interview is actually with my uncle, Randy Crew. He is my father's brother and served in the military with him in Vietnam. I decided to ask him some questions.
What is your background in the martial arts, and which arts do you practice?
I was first involved with the martial arts while in the service. At that time they taught some basic Tae Kwon Do as part of our hand-to-hand combat techniques. In 1972, after returning from Vietnam, I began training in Bushidokan Karate..a mixture of severl different styles. When my instructor sold his dojo and moved out of state, I started training in traditional Chinese Kenpo and have been doing so since 1973. I earned my 5th degree black belt about 5 years ago. I have also studied Tae Kwon Do and, for a brief time, Hung Gar Kung Fu.
Why do believe it is important to practice the martial arts?
Traditional martial arts is more than just 'fighting'. It incorporates mental conditioning, spiritual conditioning, physical conditioning, self-control, and so much more. I believe that it helps a person to deal with whatever they may encounter in their life.
How has the philosophy of martial arts influenced your daily life?
It influences me in virtually every aspect of my daily life from what I do at work to decisions I make about what I do at home. It also helps me when I am dealing with other people. I guess it allows me to look at more than just the surface things in life.
Who or what inspires you as a martial artist?
I don't know that any one person or thing inspires me as a martial artist. I was certainly inspired by some of my early instructors such as Jim Harrison and Al Tracy. I guess I would have to say that what inspires me the most is the quest for self improvement and continuing knowledge.
What advice would you like to give to other martial artists?
My advice would be to continue to train and learn. There is an old saying that a black belt means you are now a real student of the martial arts...with the emphasis on student. I am still learning after more than 38 years in the martial arts. I would also advise people to train and learn the mental and spiritual aspects just as much as they do the fighting arts.