One thing that Dom has been passionate about since he was about six (6) years old has been martial arts. He has been learning it and practicing it in one for or another since then.
Dom started practicing martial arts by mimicking things he saw in the movies and on TV shows like Billy Jack and Kung Fu. He would also learn from friends that studied martial arts when he would work out and spar with them.
In the early 90s, Dom started studying Hapkido at a studio while he was living in Virginia at a that was called Yung Sung Lee Hapkido Studio. One of the things that Dom loved about studying at this studio were there self-defense techniques that were very applicable. He also really enjoyed studying under Master Kim whom was the head instructor at the studio at the time. Unfortunately, Dom wasn’t able to study there for long.
After that, Dom found a Tangsudo instructor on the submarine tender he was stationed on when he went back to Norfolk, Virginia. He studied with a guy that was a third (3rd) degree black belt in tangsudo and third (3rd) guy a few days a week. Again, Dom wasn’t able to study with them for long.
When Dom got out of the U.S. Navy, he introduced to a guy by the name of Sensei Todd Stimmell by his (now) ex-wife. Sensei Todd studied Matsubayashi-ryu karate, which he learned while he lived in Columbus, Ohio. While studying with Sensei Todd, Dom acquired a love of kata and bunkai that he still has to this day. While Dom studied matsubayashi-ryu karate, he reached the of blue belt which is second level in their five (5) level system, staring from five (5) and going to one (1). Dom stopped studying with Sensei Todd when Sensei Todd joined the U.S. Airforce.
After Dom moved to Thailand, he had a chance to study Muay Thai with a monk for about six (6) months. While studying muay thai, Dom learned how to adapt his round kick to make them more effective. Dom really enjoyed his time studying muay thai and working with his instructor’s head students.
Then, while Dom was studying yoga, he got an opportunity to study Mixed Martial Arts (mma) with BurnShell Team that practiced at Chulalongkorn University here in Bangkok. During the short time Dom trained with the BurnShell team, he really got to do a lot of work with his grappling.
Near the end of Dom’s teacher training for yoga, he found an instructor that started teaching him Tai Chi. He studied tai chi for about six (6) months in 2013. For one reason or another, after about six (6) months, Dom was asked to no longer study tai chi with his instructor.
During his time in studying martial arts, he has been able to study with and under some pretty amazing people.
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