Jerry Delaney II
When I first became involved in martial arts in 1987 my reason was simple exercise. Slightly over thirty at the time, I found going to the gym boring, and was looking for some form of exercise that would work my body and stimulate my mind at the same time. After a period of search, I settled on Choi Kwan Do Martial Arts in Farmington, not far from my office at the time. Thus began my journey in the martial arts.
As I progressed through the ranks I found that the martial arts were an excellent form of exercise, most definitely stimulated the mind, enhanced confidence, and my instructors and fellow students were some of the best people you would ever want to meet.
In 1990, I was promoted to the rank of Bo Dan (no degree) Black belt which is the traditional probationary period prior to being promoted to 1st Degree. When the required six months had passed I was promoted the 1st Dan in 1991 and presented a Black belt with my name inscribed in both English and Korean.
In 1993, with the birth of our second child and a job relocation, I drifted away from the martial arts for a number of years. Fast forward to 2007. Now slightly over fifty, I again was looking for some form of exercise that would work my body and stimulate my mind at the same time. A search of martial arts schools in the Monroe area turned up Monroe Martial Arts which taught Choi Kwan Do, the style I had previously practiced. After meeting with the owner of the school, Dwight Werner, his son Josh and daughter Jodi who were both head instructors, I immediately signed up and began my martial arts journey anew. Although the style was the same as I had previously studied, and all of the basic techniques remained the same, all of the patterns and speed drills for each rank had changed. I was coming in as a Black belt, but feeling very much like a White belt. However, all of the benefits I enjoyed earlier in my martial arts career were still there including the fantastic instructors and fellow students.
Once back up to speed, Mr. Werner asked me to become an Assistant Instructor; and soon after that, Head Instructor. The old axiom the best way to learn something is to teach it is definitely true. With persistence, and the help of my instructors and many friends at Monroe Martial Arts, I was promoted to the rank of 2nd Dan in 2009 and 3rd Dan in 2011.
Back in 2009, as a devout Irishman, I was curious whether Ireland had any martial arts that was unique to them. An internet search revealed that they do, Irish Stick Fighting-the art of using the tradition blackthorn walking stick (the Shillelagh) for self defense. I located Mr. Glen Doyle in Milton, Ontario who teaches his family style that has been passed on now for over five generations. The style is known as Rince an Bhata Uisce Bheatha or Dance of the Whiskey Stick.
After several trips up to Canada I became a certified instructor in 2010 and began teaching the use of a simple walking stick for self defense at Monroe Martial Arts. The two handed techniques employed in this style are both simple and effective.