When did you first take interest in the martial arts?
In 1971 when as a 10-year-old child, I watched Bruce Lee as Kato in the TV series, The Green Hornet. I thought wow! He is so magnificent, and I wanted to move like him. It was his intensity, focus, and concentration that I admired most. I also wanted to know how to protect myself.
Who was your first teacher?
At age eleven it was to my good fortune to learn that a man name Richard Lazarus was teaching Ju-jitsu in my hometown of Bay Shore, Long Island. He was a New York City detective. His dojo was an extension to his home. He treated his students like family.
How long did you study Jujitsu with Sensei Lazarus?
I studied Jujitsu with him for about eight years. Studying martial arts with Sensei Lazarus was just what I needed as a young man. His lessons were very challenging. We would work out for hours with puddles of sweat pooling around our feet. While in zenkutsu or kiba stances we often had to grip the floor with our toes just to keep from slipping and sliding in the puddles. By age 14, Sensei Lazarus awarded me my first black belt. I continued my studies with him until I went away to college in 1978.