Friday, October 21, 2011

Conversations with Philosopher & Kenpo Master Sifu Mack

Kenpo Master Dr. Alvin Mack
Portrait artist: Ed Parker, jr.
My son began kindergarten in Okinawa.  In the afternoons when I would go to pick him up from school, the style and rhythm of boys' play was different from what I had been accustomed to at home in the United States.  Learning that Okinawa, this beautiful island off the coast of Japan, was the birthplace of karate, suddenly put the kids' skillful playground kicking and open-handed strikes in perspective.   Upon returning to Texas, I looked in vain for a martial arts training experience for my son, which resonated with our year in Asia.   And then I met Sifu (teacher) Alvin Mack.  This amazing Kenpo master is one of the most gifted teachers I have ever known, explaining to students that his style "is about grace and inner peace rather than power."  Sifu Mack can also be intimidating, in that he demands focus and precision from children whose educational  experiences have never given priority to the harmonizing of mind and body and the cultivation of self-discipline.   However, he teaches with such compassion, energy and humor, that his students have come to love him as have we parents. I began this series of conversations with Philosopher & Kenpo Master, Sifu Alvin Mack,  in an earlier blog, [please click here].  

Sifu is a world-renowned master of kenpo karate and a 7th degree black belt. As an actor he has worked as an extra in such films as Blade & Blade II, Necessary Roughness, True Friends, Pearl Harbor, and Shaft. Dr. Mack has also appeared in the TV series Walker Texas Ranger (1990-2001), Sons of Thunder, and The president's Man, as a featured extra for stunts. He has coached the US National Team in international competition and been inducted into the U.S.A. Martial Arts "Hall of Fame," “The Hall of Heroes” in Los Angeles and the United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame.  Sifu Mack founded the Universal Martial Arts Academy & Training Center (UMAATC) based in Denton, Texas, after retiring from law enforcement. It is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving At-Risk Youth and Battered Women.

I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate Sifu Mack on a monumental achievement. 
Last week he was voted into the United Federation of International Grandmasters in Austin.  Dr. Mack was also promoted to the level of  9th degree black belt, a stunning achievement.  Wow and well done!

In today's blog, Sifu Mack will explore:

If you quit once, you'll quit again.

We are the sum total of everything we've ever learned.

The martial arts teach children how to focus.

We've established a College of the Martial Arts.

RELATED POST: Conversations with Philosopher & Kenpo Master ( Sifu) Alvin Mack: On Self-Defense, Bullying & Being a Single Black Male