At the age of ten, when my family and I came back to America, I realized I had a passion for soccer. However, I was unable to play on a team due to financial circumstances. At
thirteen we moved to San Diego. My parents worked a lot, so I began spending time after school at a local Boy’s Club; which happened to be just up the street from where we
lived. It was a great outlet for a boy with lots of energy. It was at the Club that I met many people whom I still call friends today. They also have stories of what a big impact the Club
was in their lives. One of my favorite things to play was soccer, and since most of the Club members were Spanish it worked out well. “Soccer was in their blood as it was in mine .
Soccer at the Club was what glued us together despite our different cultures. .
Once outside of the Boy’s Club doors the only outlet offered were gangs, and I was in the right neighborhood for that too. But my parents taught me better than that. I had been
going to the Boy’s Club for about six months when I thought I knew all the programs the Club had to offer… Except for one. The Club offered a karate class which was held on
Thursday nights. I had first learned of this class by accident. One day my brother and I stayed at the Club a little later than usual. I was walking into the gym when I heard lots of
screaming and shouting. I wondered what was going on so I walked into the room which was always locked, and I saw someone who looked like Chuck Norris and a bunch of
kids doing karate. I got so excited, yet I was suddenly saddened because I new of the home finances. Regardless, I sat down and watched the class.
I returned the following week. The Sensei (teacher), Sensei Randy Langawski, asked me if I wanted to try out the class. I had to refuse because I knew I was unable to pay. As
I sat there, I could not help myself and I did more than watch the class from where I was sitting. I jolted my arms and legs with the same motions as the class and did it with the
karate students every “kiais”(Shout). After class, Sensei Randy waited for me outside the class room. Instead of asking me if I wanted to try the class he said, “Karate is free if
you’re a member of the Boy’s Club.” He must have read right through me. When I heard that, I officially became the happiest kid in the world! Inside I was crying happy tears, and it
was at that moment that my life would change. “Till this day I steal tear when thinking of that moment” Thank you Sensei Randy For changing my life.
” I became a martial artist.” I studied with Sensei Randy for six years in the system of Isshinryu. My brother and I became his two highest ranked students ever to date. It was
with Sensei Randy that I had learned most of the traditions, morals and discipline that the art has to teach, much like the karate and Ninja movies that we grew up with. Sensei
Randy taught me a lot on how one should carry , he was teh one who also taught how to punch and kick. ” The art of Isshinryu sums up how a person should carry themselves
with these I studied with Sensei Randy for six years in the system of Isshinryu. Sensei My brother and I became his two Randy donated many of his years teaching karate to
children like few words, “The whole heart method.” myself. I pledged to do the same, to give back the same gift that was given to me. Due to health problems Sensei Randy had to
stop teaching karate and thus karate at the Club existed no more.
I started working at the age of 13 in a local Italian Restaurant as a busboy, I learned a lot about the business and now owner of an Italian restaurant myself. I attended college
with the hopes of becoming a physician assistant, but later realized the medical world was not for me, so I studied business with a minor in Japanese. I’m also a certified
masseuse. On occasion you can find me singing karaoke or playing the guitar to some Italian songs. I love languages and the music world.
When I was seventeen I walked up to a park and Aikido was one of the arts being taught. The price was right so I studied with Sensei Jerry Jamel for two years. To me, Aikido
was a graceful way of practicing the art. It can be seen performed by one of the top ranked martial artist in the Aikido Federation. This person is Steven Seagal, but most of his
movies portray a harder form of Aikido. In the summer of 1995 I studied Goju karate with Sensei Gabe Renaga, who is a North American champion.
I like to get myself involved in many things. Thus this involvement is was set me out to join the US Army in October, 1995 and graduating top of my class. In the Army I was an
engineer and a chaplain’s assistant. While in the Army I continued my studies in the Juun-Ryee system. I even tried out for the All Army Karate Team but as luck would have it I
broke my ankles. In late 1998, I got out of the military and focused the next four years of my life working a vigorous sixty hours a week, attending college full time and maintaining
karate. In 1999 I trained with Sensei Johnny Killer under Master Alonso Wilson. By 2000 I Returned to my original roots of Okinawa style. Now studdign the art of Shorin-Ryu
I have also spent a lot of time in the tournament circuit. My first big competition I was sure that I would get last, but I cried as the judged game me my 1st place trophy. The
arts made me believe what I always knew but never practiced- if you put your heart into it you can achieve anything your heart is set on. I had won not only “The International
Tournament”, but also a “Regional Tournament” and in 2001 “The World Championships.”
My Martial Arts training began in 1989. I have been taught numerous arts under great teachers, and in most cases, only achieved the rank of brown belt. Due to circumstances
I was unable to be ranked any further. I was beginning to think that I was cursed and was never going to earn a black belt. The color belt a person wears is not of importance, but
after fifteen years it was a chapter in my life that needed closure. In 2003, I was called and told I would be tested for my black belt. I waited nearly 14 years for this day. It was a day
I will never forget. I took a good beating during my testing, but it did not matter because I was numbed by the feeling of what it would be like to finally have my dream come
true…and it did. I passed my test and was ranked shodan (black belt). I was now one among the ranks of black belts. I was always a martial artist in my heart, but I was now
honored in the eyes of my Senseis to join them in their rank. I have studied Kendo, which is the art of the sword. I study Shorinkan Shorin-Ryu karate under Kyoshi Nabil Noujaim,
a great man who is widely respected and has many accomplishments in the martial art world and who studies under 10th Degree Shugoro Nakazato Sensei.
After many years I held true to a promise. I took the place of Sensei Randy at the Boys & Girls Club of Vista and now teach classes. I want every child to realize that they can
reach the stars no matter what their story might be. It’s easy for a child to believe that he/she does not have equal opportunities in life, especially when living in an area in which
mentally does not offer positive ideas. I fell into these sad beliefs but thanks to the opportunity the Boys & Girls Club gave me I managed to turn myself around. I realized I could
achieve more in life if I follow my heart because I truly believe, “you can do what ever you set your heart on”. It’s an intense feeling teaching karate; this gift that was once passed on
to me. It’s a part of my life as I hope it becomes that to someone else.
What the Boys & Girls Club of Vista has done for me I cannot put in words. Sometime in 1992 when I was going to the Boys & Girls Club as a member I was selected as Youth
of The Year. It felt nice being the one recognized out of thousands. I also realized that not everyone can be chosen. Learning karate gives one a feeling of importance, and they are
because they are learning an ancient art that goes back thousands of years. One of my biggest goals is to own a home on my private vineyard. Another one of my goals is to
become the Mayor of Vista some day. My heart is not set on it but I have thought about it. You never know what calling God has for us. For now I can put my time where my heart
has always been and that’s with the Boys & Girls Club of Vista.