(DJ Joey Wells is a well known deejay and music producer from the Bay Area, CA. His mentors who have guided him each have played a vital role in the building of Kevin Hart's HartBeat Production team. Mentors become the relationships in your life that not only share with you wisdom, but who become the reflection points at the most critical decision points in your life.)
In 1990, I had an encounter with an prominent figurehead within the martial arts industry. The conversation lasted about 45 minutes as two teenagers shared a moment watching the forms semi-finals at the prestigious Battle of Atlanta. As my senses were extremely heightened with all the amazing adult talent, I had enough courage to ask the following question. When are we going to fly?
At that moment, he began to share the vision of what we know of as Martial Arts Tricking. He asked me, "Could you imagine spinning twice in the air and hook kicking?" Being a young teen beginning my national competition career, I was focused on my basics and foundation. It never crossed my mind. He then taps me on the shoulder and says, "watch this guy". As I look up, there stood a long haired gentlemen with a black KI uniform branded in gold, HO.
Was this the guy that I heard and read about that was starting a creative forms revolution? Yes it was! As Steven Ho stepped on the floor the entire crowd chanted, "Hooooooooooooo!!!" It was the most powerful and intense feeling. As he ran his first section, the late teen that I was speaking with says, "Watch this..." OMG, Steven floated with the highest spinning hook/round kick. His chamber was so tight that his heel was touching his chest. The man was levitating. It was at that moment when I not only heard the vision, but now I had my ROCK STAR reference to begin my journey.
Fast forward 4 years, I was back in Atlanta as a seasoned competitor. Long hours at the studio running my performances and continued mentoring from my coaches, I felt I needed to simply take a chance. The only attributes that I had at the time were my basics, conditioning, and patience, but most important 4 years of visualization. The Steven Ho performance became a figment of my imagination as years passed, however that moment stuck with me.
The tipping point was literally looking right at me. The WMAC Masters production team and Master Pat Johnson were at the tournament scouting talent for the upcoming show. After daytime competition, I went back to the hotel and convinced myself I had to attempt the 720 hook kick. It was time. With no practice and fully on faith, I got LUCKY!!!! (Preparation meeting Opportunity). All I had going into the kick were great coaches, mentors, and the roots of Jhoon Rhee basics. What made this kick so special to me is that my 1990 conversation that I was having to envision the 720 was none other than Ernie Reyes, Jr. The circle was complete.
I wanted to share this story to let you know that everyone wants to be the "1st". What one tends to forget is the foundation and path was already paved before you. A Martial Athlete recognizes the competitive mind set to keep score/win is only momentary. The consistency of developing martial foundation along with being patient through visualization and meditation is what makes the journey monumental.
I want to take this opportunity to thank DJ Joey Wells (Kevin Hart: HartBeat Productions/LOL Network) for inspiring this blog. For my coaches/mentors: Charlie Lee, Francis Pineda, Steven Ho, and Ernie Reyes, Jr., I thank you for every moment spent and every wise seed you have placed within me to nourish your vision.