Here are the videos from the Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony held on Friday June 29th as part of our Black belt Ceremony. As you know we inducted Grandmaster John Dube and Master Joyce Farrell. Enjoy the videos.
With a deeply sadden heart I regret to inform you that one of my Masters’ Master John Dube has recently passed away. I received the telephone call yesterday notifying us that Master Dube lost his battle against his health issues which he has been dealing with for several years. Mainly the past 2 years or so have been the worst. He was always a fighter and never gave up but this time he lost the fight. He’s finally at rest reunited with his late wife and daughter. Survived by his sons, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. It rained here for a bit yesterday and I now know why. It was god crying as Master Dube was probably up there training and sparring with god and kick his butt! LOL 🙂
I will admit that it was pretty hard to teach three Taekwondo classes and a fitness kickboxing class after hearing the news of his passing. Some of you may have noticed I was quieter than normal. I do apologize. I just needed some time with my thoughts. See it would be easy for one to remember how Master Dube spent his past few years and how he passed by I would rather remember him for how he lived. He was a great Master of Taekwondo but an even greater teacher of life! He stood a man who has lived a difficult life from time to time but never once did he let that get him down. He always had a smile on his face and he faced every challenge with the bravest of hearts and a clear sharp intelligent mind. He thought with his mind but listened to his heart. He was a gentle man yet very strong and powerful. He knew you needed a balance and was a living example of that. He always took care of his family before he ever took care of himself. He had wisdom like no other person I have ever knew. He was a great technician of martial arts and a greater teacher. He had knowledge that many masters combined wish they had.
I remember the first time I met Master Dube. It was late February 2004 at the Ontario Open Martial Arts Provincial Championships in Hamilton Ontario Canada. I was just standing around in the crowd waiting for my division to come up so I could compete. He saw my uniform said Cobourg and he came right over to me and asked if I was from Cobourg and he said he knew people from there. Later that day I got the privilege to judge some pattern divisions with him. I sat down beside him and notice he had no stripes(degrees) on his black belt. I asked him if he was a black belt and he said no I am a 7th degree black belt. He said this very kindly. He so could have chewed me out like some other masters I know probably would have. I also got to compete against him in the adult black belt korean forms where I got 4th place. I believe he won higher up than me. The last time I saw Master Dube he told me a story about this particular tournament. He said that I had gone up for one of my events and I guess some of the others said “Oh what can this little guy do/!” Master Dube said “You keep watching him, he’ll surprise you some day.” He was the first person to believe in me as a competitor.
I have been lucky enough to have been a several tournaments with him since that day both competing against each other as well as judging along side each other. We even have had to judge each other. Always being unbiased and strictly fair judging. Some times we sucked and lost and other times we rocked and won. I remember the last tournament he ever competed in. It was at the Battle of Warriors International Taekwondo Championships held in Georgetown Ontario. This tournament brought in competitors from across Canada, United States, and United Kingdom. Master Dube was in his late 60’s and his health problems just started to get worst. He was competing in the Korean Black Belt Forms division against competitors 20 plus years younger than him and he won!! He had superior technique, balance, and execution. What a way to retire for the second time. Yes I said for a second time. Master Dube once retired from active competition many years ago after winning the Canadian Nationals. His Master told him to retire and focus on teaching. So he listened. After the passing of his Master he returned to active competition in his fifties and continued to dominate. He traveled all across Canada, United States, and Europe. Winning 100’s of championships and seeing the world with his wife. That’s how he wanted to live his life and he did it!!!
I have been lucky enough to know Master Dube for a short eight years but that time is invaluable to me. He has taught me some invaluable lessons and I’ll carry on his teachings and legacy to my students. Some lessons will be taught to the massive while others lessons will be taught only to a few. Keeping with tradition of the martial arts and teachings of it. Certain lessons may only be passed down from one generation to the next to a handful. Master Dube knew stuff that a person with true integrity and self control should only know. I always hated it when he told me to hit or attack him as I knew I would be in a lot of pain. But I always did what I was told as I knew the lessons would be value. I have also come to know that if you do not do what a master says the outcome won’t be as nice as what was asked of you. One must do exactly what one is told so that the teachings can be done properly otherwise you aren’t learning what you new to learn. Even at a supposedly elderly age Master Dube was not a person to be messed with. I or anyone else I knew knows better than to challenge him to a fight or sparring match. He knew some scary things showing true power comes from knowledge and wisdom and not of sheer physical strength.
Every time I ever had the pleasure to meet with Master Dube he always taught me many of lessons both in Taekwondo and in life. Most of the time the lessons were not so obvious at the time. Others were immediately empowering the moment he taught them. I carry the lessons he taught me inside. Never to forget them. I use some of them with me students. I will be more aware now to pass along more of his knowledge. It was his knowledge that eventually help me become a world champion. He told me about 5 years ago that I was going to be a future world champion. First person to believe in my dream of winning an ISKA World Title Belt. I am very glad I got the chance to show him the belt in person. You could tell how proud he was of me and that belt. He never would take any credit for helping me win. He said that it was all me. He said I may have open the door for you but it was up to you to walk through it. He said the only thing he will take credit for is taking my fear away. That he did!
There is so much I can write about Master Dube but I would be here for many months writing it all down. I have written a few other blogs about him over the past few years. Search for them and read them. Remember who he was so he is truly never gone. He was the only Master that I had to call Master. I could not bring myself to call him John. He never asked to be called Master but I had that much respect for the legend and the man he was. If you ever met him you were blessed. If you never got the chance to than you truly missed out. I’ll do my best to cary on his teachings and his legacy. I am sure you’ll hear me talk about him a bunch more. Probably not right now as it still saddens me but soon.
Well it has been a week since I reported the results for our Team Wolverine at eh 2011 US OPEN and ISKA World Martial Arts Championships. See the last blog for full results. We did amazing well.
I have took the past week to relax my mind and body from training. I relaxed, had some fun with some good friends. I did some reflection on the tournament and my life in general. I sit here writing this blog with a clear mind. I know what i want. I am moving forward with my goals and needs.
Okay now onto my reflection of the 2011 US OPEN and winning the ISKA World Championship for the first time. Well I am very proud of our Team Wolverine. They did an amazing job. They trained very hard. They got down to the tournament and did exactly what they were trained to do. They did their bests at that moment. Winning 15 US OPEN Championships and placing 3rd at ISKA Worlds for Women’s Creative was just a bonus to me.
Okay now for the big thing that most people are wondering about. How did it feel to win the ISKA World Championship Belt for the first time.? Well it felt pretty good at the moment. But I will tell ya, it is never the same as one would envision it to be. I am proud of myself for accomplishing a goal that took four years to achieved. I was extremely happy that I had Team Wolverine there at stage side supporting me. I felt good that I had my parents there to witness it. I was proud to have my little cousin there to see me win. He wants the belt now. LOL I am graceful for all the holders, set up crew, fellow competitors who helped me and supported me. I thank all the parents of all the competitors in their support of the team and the school. I also am graceful for everyone who dropped me emails, Facebook messages and the one person who kept texting me from back home making sure I was focused and was gonna bring home the hardware. Thank you to Master John Dube who told me years ago that i was gonna be a world Champion some day. Thanks to Master Veronica DeSantos for inspiring in. Thanks to those special students of mine that inspired me to be the best i can be. Thanks to any of my family members that have showed me their support. Thanks to everyone that was looking out for me at the tournament and taught me to think like a champion. Thanks to the instructors at our school for believing in me. Thanks to everyone who wished me congrats after it was all said and done. Even though this belt is mine and I was ultimately the one that had to do the work and win it, you had a small part in it. If I missed anyone I am sorry. I just want everyone to know how much I appreciate everything.
SO what is next? Well let’s win some more belts. Let’s continue to grow ourselves into the best we can be.
Well it has been just over a week since I wrote my last blog which was about Master Joyce, Master richard, and I’s 43 grading from almost two weeks ago now. Today I want to talk about my visit with Master Jogn Dube.
I was in St. Catherines this past Sunday visiting one of my Masters. Master John Dube. A quiet martial arts legend and Martial Arts Hall of Famer. I went to see him for two reasons. One was to pick up Master Joyce’s and I’s Kukkiwon certificates from our Kukkiwon grading back in October 2010. Second reason was to just have a nice quiet visit with him. Master Dube is now 71 years old now and has a few health issues so I wanted to make sure I had the chance to visit with him. He is the first person to tell me that I will be a World Champion some day. ANd he was right. I won two World Championships back in 2010. Master Dube is the one that really got inside my head and eliminated all doubts about breaking. I can now pretty much strike anything knowing I won’t hurt myself. Master Dube is the kind of Master that can really get inside your skull and make you do things you would have thought impossible before. While I was visiting with him he gave me one of his old trophies which he won after coming out of competition retirement at 51 years old. Master Dube had retired after winning the Canadian Nationals at the Canadian Games as per instructions by his Master, Grandmaster Kim. After Grandmaster Kim passed away Master Dube decided to come back to the competition circuit down in Buffalo and he was his first tournament back. This was a special tournament to him and he wanted me to have the trophy. So come by my office and take a look at a trophy from a legend.
Now while Master Dube and I were talking he had a few words of wisdom and so here they are. Hope I got it as close to what he said as possible.
” SUCCESS, SUCCESS IS WHEN I GET UP IN THE MORNING, GET DRESSED, GO DO WHAT I WANT TO DO WHEN I WANT TO DO IT AS LONG AS I DO NOT HURT ANYONE ALONG THE WAY. I COME HOME AT THE END OF THE DAY AND GO TO SLEEP. TO ME THAT IS SUCCESS.”
Master Dube also said people ask him about having lots of money as part of success and this is what he had to say about that.
“MONEY IS NOT NECESSARILY SUCESS. MONEY IS SOMETHING YOU SPEND BEFORE YOU HAVE IT. MONEY IS SOMETHING YOU USE TO BUY A BUNCH OF CRAP YOU REALLY DON’T NEED SO YOU CAN IMPRESS PEOPLE YOU REALLY DON’T LIKE. MONEY IS NOT EVERYTHING. AS LONG AS YOU CAN LIVE COMFORTABLY, THAT IS SUCCESS WITH MONEY.”
Master Dube never did make tons of cash but he always fed his family and lived his life the way he wanted. We can all learn from his life. When he talks to you he is always fully engaged in your conversations and always has a smile on his family. If you ever get a chance to meet him please do so.
Hope you enjoyed reading thios blog as much as I enjoy listening to Master Dube talk.