Guro Robert Guida; North Tonawanda, New York, USA
When did your journey in martial arts begin?
At the age of 17, I successfully persuaded my parents to enroll me in Praying Mantis Kung Fu classes, which I diligently pursued for approximately one year. Subsequently, upon commencing my higher education in Baltimore, I dedicated a year to studying Hapkido. Following my time in Baltimore, I returned to Buffalo and discovered a Nihon Goshin Aikido school, an art form that deeply resonated with me. My engagement with this discipline spanned three years, until my enlistment in the military necessitated a pause in my traditional martial arts pursuits. During my military service, I received extensive training within my units. Upon concluding my tenure in the armed forces, I embarked on a quest to locate my former Nihon Goshin Aikido school, only to find its closure. My fortunes shifted when fate led me to a local Kenpo Instructor. Thus, in 2010, I established my foundational martial arts training under the tutelage of this Kenpo Instructor.
How did you become involved with Filipino martial arts?
My study of martial arts led me to Wing Chun, a pursuit that eventually steered me towards the exploration of Jeet Kune Do. Subsequently, the transition to Filipino Martial Arts (FMA) felt like a natural progression. While my search for local instructors in Wing Chun and Jeet Kune Do proved futile, I fortuitously encountered a nearby school dedicated to Filipino Martial Arts…
Do you operate a club or school, and if so, is it on a part-time or full-time basis?
I manage a part-time school that operates on a full-time schedule. While maintaining a day job, I allocate my evenings and weekends to teaching. This commitment amounts to approximately 30-35 instructional hours per week.
Have you ever received training from Professor Presas?
When did you become a member of the World Modern Arnis Alliance (WMAA)?
5-6 years ago when I met Datu
Among the various groups and organizations, why did you opt for the WMAA?
Certainly, this question doesn’t quite align with common sense. I’m situated a mere 30-minute drive away from one of the seven globally renowned Datu figures in Modern Arnis. The idea of seeking training elsewhere seems rather unconventional, given the proximity and stature of this instructor.
What are your aspirations for the future?
My aspiration is to expand my school while fostering the development of accomplished Black Belts in American Kenpo and Modern Arnis. It’s important to note that I maintain the distinctiveness of both systems in my teaching approach, rather than amalgamating them into something novel. Consequently, my objective revolves around nurturing students capable of successfully demonstrating their skills before both the Kenpo International Board and the WMAA Board.
What would you consider your most significant achievement in the realm of Filipino martial arts?
Attaining my Modern Arnis Black Belt held a distinct significance. Several factors contributed to this, as I hadn’t engaged in testing for nearly nine years. Moreover, my previous test had been an intimate affair with just a few participants. Thus, the experience of testing before the WMAA board, in the company of approximately 60 individuals, carried a unique and momentous sentiment.
Guro Guida’s Martial Arts Certifications
2nd Degree Black Belt Parker’s Kenpo
1st Degree Black Belt Modern Arnis
MSD Kenpo Karate
525 Wheatfield St Suite 25
North Tonawanda, NY 14120
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