Xiang Jing Yao
Location: Westfield, NJ
Phone: 908-233-0199
Email: xiangyao@martialartskoncepts.com

Although my passion to be involved in Martial Arts, especially in JKD program, started from very young age, I had no chance to start my martial arts training until 1995. One of the reasons was that I grew up in Japan and the main martial arts over there have been Karate, Judo or other Japanese style martial arts. Another reason is that culturally in Japan martial arts are more for men and the environment is not very welcome and open to women. My parents did not allow me to join any martial arts school when I was little. In 1995, I happened to know there was a group which I could join and learn JKD program. My first instructor, Sensei Takeshi Uchino, who had learned JKD under Sifu Rick Faye for several years when he lived in the United States, organized a group to share his JKD training experiences. He encouraged women to participate and I finally started my martial arts training.

In 1996, I moved from Japan to Baltimore, MD, the United States and found there were tremendous chances of learning various martial arts including JKD, and the opportunities are equally open to men and women. I looked for the school with JKD programs, my first love in martial arts, and I studied JKD first under Sifu Thomas Clark, who trained with Guro Larry Hartsell. In 1998, I moved to Bethesda, MD and started training under Guro Mike Krivka. Under Guro Mike, I have been always fascinated by the depth of Jun Fan/JKD Concepts, Filipino Martial Arts, Muay Thai, Maphilindo Silat, Lameco Eskrima. I am deeply grateful I have been able to train with him and have such great experiences.

During my training years with Guro Mike Krivka, I have begun to think more about my goal in martial arts, what I can and would like to do in my martial arts career. My interests in martial arts grew and I spend some time practicing Muay Thai boxing with Kun Kru Mike Moses.. In 2001, I took the apprentice instructorship (level 3) test under Ajarn Chai Sirisute, Thai Boxing Association of the USA, and now I am certified as an apprentice instructor under Ajarn Chai.