Saturday, October 01, 2011

East Coast Good News

Jeff Burger ("All it takes is all you got"), after years of teaching in other people's schools, has finally opened his own. It's in Peabody, MA (which is pronounced sort of like pibedy there).

This makes me happy and this is the big news I've been sitting on since I was in Boston, patiently (ha!) waiting for the official announcement.

Jeff is part of my ECBT (East Coast Brain Trust), one of a handful of people I go to for reality checks, advice and ego control. It's a pleasure to drink coffee with someone with such deep experience. Jeff stories: Once upon a time, a young karate kid decided to try kungfu, but it was right at the beginning of the kungfu craze and he was observant enough to notice that all the new kungfu schools were just new signs on old karate schools. "Hmmmm, what to do?" he thought. It seemed logical that he must go to China.

So he learned some Cantonese (completely wrong dialect for where he was going) and went. His first exposure was one of the tourist trap, state-run schools. It struck him as suspiciously easy. So he picked the best instructors and asked where they had trained...and he wound up in a far more dingy, far less comfortable training center with very few tourists and tons of hard work. He loved it.

Then he got curious and did the same thing in Thailand to learn Muay Thai. Again, not at one of the resorts pretending to be a school. At the place where the poor kids hoping to break out of poverty and into a little fortune and fame trained to give and take a beating.

So, in Jeff, you've got a guy who can and has taught pro MMA fighters how to improve their strikes and clinch work...and he can also teach stuff like rope dart and iron fan. And tai chi, but I hear he's looking for a yoga instructor to rent some time in his building. Evidently he can't teach that. Yet. If he decides to, he'll probably feel compelled to go to India.

Two other things. He's a former bad guy. Not super bad, but he's spent enough time in that strata that much of the bullshit in self-defense training won't get past his filters. When he teaches SD he is teaching how to deal with someone the way he used to be, how to deal with predators that he knows very well.

Last thing- unlike yours truly, Jeff teaches kids, and he (and Jess) are good with them. He's run a non-profit for years to get MA classes to kids who can't afford them (or, I guess, technically, to get the kids to the classes, but you know what I mean.)

He credits martial arts with giving him a reason not to become a criminal. He uses the K.I.C.K. program to pay that forward.


JessicaLee said...

Thank you, Rory.

From J+J

Anonymous said...

Good on you, Jeff. The SD community needs more people like you in it. Maybe if there were more, I wouldn't drink so much.

Then again.........

Miss hanging out with ya Rory. I need to keep my own personal bullshit filters in place. You, Marc and Aaron are that to me. Oh, and my wife.

Next scotch and hookah are on me.

law dawg