Letter From Founder

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Letter From Founder, 19 August 2010

Dear All,
It has been a long time I hadn’t write. First, I was lazy. Second, I learnt to use Facebook to connect with my members.
I thought I need to write something to keep this column up-to-date. I want to express my feeling in my Budo journey. For me, it is like having a relationship. My first love was Judo, after 2 years in relationship, I decided its time to move on, I was young and ready for adventure. Quickly I found my 2nd love – Karate. I spent a full 10 years to maintain this relationship. I must confess, I did spent sometime with Muaythai and Kyoshinkai as my treat. I was badly hurt by Karate in 1992. I was forced to break apart from this 10 years of everlasting relationship. My heart was broken. I stayed away from having any affair for the next 10 years to recover from my injury. In 2004 I started with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. It was so different from all my previous lovers and I was totally hooked on. For the next 4 years, I eat and dream jiu-jitsu, the feeling was awsome. I had to train BJJ everyday. I thought I had found my true love. But BJJ has now changed, you just take a look at Mendes Vs Cobrinha in 2009 World Pro BJJ Cup and you will know what I mean. And than, I met Kudo, take a good at Kudo 3rd World Cup, “very very” exciting. Ha, I am now at a cross-road, looking for the right direction and my destination.

Yours faithfully
Henry Chan


Letter From Founder, October 2008

Dear All,
Godish, life becomes so tough nowadays, it is heartbreaking to see my investment going down, and down, and down.......... My budget to support the Academy is suddenly tighten. Anyhow, I have committed to offer three of our guest black belt instructor to teach in the Academy. Hopefully, they will bring along more fresh members and my investment would eventually pay off. I suppose I have nothing to lose at the end because I can learn from them every week, haha! I was recently interviewed by Capital CEO magazine regarding BJJ, it will be published in the coming November issue. The Report asked me “Why you switch to learn BJJ after 20 odd years of other Martial Art training experience?” Well, he is damn right, sometimes it could be difficult for one to give up a style and totally switch to something new which meant one has to take off his black belt. I replied: “I never came across a Martial Art which is so interesting to learn. Its efficient way of applying leverage is truly scientific, and because I am an engineer, I can really appraise its way of applying mechanics. In rolling, BJJ is a chess game and it helps to take away my stress. Obviously, you have to roll with a right person with correct attitude to avoid unnecessary injury!” So it doesn't matter how old or weak or unfit you are, find a right gym and start learning BJJ.

Yours faithfully

Henry Chan


Letter From Founder, December 2007

Dear All,
Finally, I've bought B.J. Penn's book of Mixed Martial Art. As usual, I always checked out the forward pages before going though the contents inside it. That is because I always found it interesting to see what the Authors have to say in their books. I must admit what B.J. said in his forward pages truly touched my heart. I will no doubt recommend all of you to read it if by any chance, it will provide you insight of how to become a Champion. Not just in a MMA world, but a Champion in your own life.
Recently I was hoping to recruit some young promising engineers to help out my Company. The mentality of some of the candidates were exceptionally poor, I can feel nothing in them. They were lack of self-motivation, confidence and vision. I am dare to say the younger generation is not as determined as we were in our young days. So what had happened? I am sure there is no simple answer to that. As a parent of two kids, I am worry about mine could possibly ending up the same. In my opinion, Martial Art will always play an important role in Education because it is not just a Sport. Each individual Martial Art has its rich history, each Art had survived and evolved with time is the fruit of years of diligent research by those martial artists whom practiced before us. To reach the highest levels of the Art that you are representing, you must be on a constant quest to better yourself as a person and a fighter. You must be willing to learn from your losses and mistakes, otherwise you would be left behind. If you bear this in mind as you struggle up the ladder, you will find success. It might not come today or tomorrow. But it will come. With undying determination, you can reach the top of any mountain, not just in your Martial Art world ,but in your life.
Today is my 18th Wedding Anniversary, I would like to say thank you to my wife Kitty. Without her support take care of the Family, and her understanding of my passion in Martial Art. I would not be able to devote my time in learning Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.

Yours faithfully
Henry Chan


Letter From Founder, Nov 2007

Dear All,
Year 2007 is probably the busiest year for BJJ activities in Hong Kong, with numerous black belts seminars arranged by all three active BJJ Club in Hong Kong . So far the most memorable one to me was by Professor Eduardo Telles (the amazing turtle guard master). I trained with him in Hong Kong and traveled with him to Bangkok for his seminars. He really opened my mind to modern days sport jiu-jitsu, the continuous evolution of this fascinating combat art to cope with the challenges not just from the submission grappling circuit, but also from the Mixed Martial Art World.
Talking about MMA, I was just interviewed by TVB Pearl Report. But a very important message was missing in the programme. Below was what I said to the reporter :
“MMA is not a martial art, it is only a event developed by some fight promoters in the States. You may enter these events based on whatever martial art style you have practiced, but BJJ has proven to be one of the most efficient combat style to duel with this kind of fighting events. I can assure you that not many people will enjoy entering such events and get knocked out by 4 ozs . gloves, unless they are being paid to do so. Many fighters take part in amateur events to see it as a platform to reach professional level. But MMA fitness is a different story, and it is fun to cross train with striking and grappling. The cardio training is simply awesome. I have seen guys quit heavy drinking and smoking after devoted to MMA training, they are all over their mid -30' s to 40' s. In a sense, that's is all you need. It is because by the time you reach 60' s and you are still rolling on the mat, you will appreciate how training in MMA fitness has changed your life. 

Yours faithfully
Henry Chan


Letter From Founder, July 2007

Dear All,
This is the fourth time I have updated the website. Apart from replacing the out of date videos with some recent ones, I would like to draw everyone attention that our Club is now also affiliated to Gracie China under Professor Chet Quint. Professor Chet is the only Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) black belt teaching in China . He received his black belt from Professor Pedro Sauer, he also trained with Rilion Gracie in Brazil , the youngest son of Carlos Gracie, Sr. In this respect, Professor Quint has a strong linkage with Gracie Barra.
Most importantly, I have committed to invite Professor Chet to provide in-house training to the Club at a regular three months interval. Professor Chet has kindly accepted my offer. It is the first time our Club will receive continuous instruction from a graduated Instructor, I am extremely proud of this and everyone in the Club who is interested in learning Gracie Jiu-Jitsu would be most beneficial. Again, I emphasize all gradings in Gracie Barra Hong Kong will only be conducted by a graduated Instructor.
Gracie Barra Hong Kong will be one year old by August 2007, I must say thank you to the Club members who have shown great faith in me and support to the Club. I am only a blue-belt in BJJ, I am not a qualified teacher, but I can share with you what I have learnt regarding its fundamental principle and concept. I have practiced Martial Art for over 20 years, however, my way to BJJ has just begun.
Let's get together and hit the mat. 

Yours faithfully
Henry Chan


Letter From Founder, December 2006

Dear All,
This is the third time for me to re-launch my website. It shows my club has continuous to change in the past years to become what it is now. Major transformation occurred after joining Gracie Barra for almost one year, with Prof. Marco stayed with us in August 2006 for a week to help to put the Club onto the right track. We are now arranging one GB black belt to come in March 2007 to stay with us for a month, more technical knowledge would be pass on to us solidly. Later we have scheduled another grading seminar by Prof. Marco in August 2007.
BJJ maintain as a fast growing sport round the Globe, overseas fellow practitioner often drop by to roll with us during their short stay in Hong Kong . Updated information and techniques were hands on, with valuable experience shared with us. This Summer, we welcomed students studying aboard from New York (Brian), Canada (James) and Switzerland (Sam) to train together. In Autumn, we have friends from Sweden and Hawaii came and trained too. In Winter, we are expecting a Gracie Barra Blue Belt from Shanghai and one Purple Belt from Jean Jacque Machado to stay with us for a short duration. Soon Gracie Barra Hong Kong will grow big and strong.
Apart from BJJ, I have also arranged Muay Thai Classes and Karatedo Classes in the Club. Muay Thai has proven itself to be the most effective stand –up striking style. Many MMA fighters with grappling background will cross train with Muay Thai or vice versa. For the long term development of MAA fighter in Hong Kong ,learning BJJ coupled with Muay Thai offered the best choice for the youngsters who want to head in that direction.
As for Karatedo, I have practiced the Art for over ten years. Although I have totally devoted myself now to learn BJJ, it is still fun to do some Kumite with the young boys in the Club once in a while.
Lastly, my Fight Club bank account monthly record is always negative. However, the friendship and happiness that I can gain from the Club in return is in my opinion beyond what money can buy. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for my friends who help and support me along the way, and have contributed to the progression of Gracie Barra Hong Kong namely : Thomas Fan, Monglo, Simon Wilde, Ah Wai, Chun Kit, Bob Sawnley, Chris Munro, Keisuke Kita, Henry Ng, Roger Chow, Victor and Ben Cheung.

Yours faithfully
Henry Chan