I was first introduced to martial arts when my son Eric started taking classes from Sifu Terry Neill almost 10 years ago (1996). I sat in the back of the class every week watching and becoming more and more interested. I met Sifu Jefrie Dix when he would come and guest-teach the class on occasion when Sifu Neill was out of town. Fast-forward to August of 2010 when Sifu Dix held a weekend Combat Kenpo Karate Camp at his home and allowed Eric, who was 12 y/o at the time, to participate. When I dropped him off for the first day of camp, Sifu Dix introduced us to his wonderful family and all of his students who had come up from California for the camp. Everyone was incredibly kind and welcomed us warmly.
While there, Sifu Dix offered to show me the dojo which was still under a bit of construction. When we walked inside, I knew instantly that I was supposed to be there. I had my first lesson in October of 2010 and was hooked. Undeniably, the beginning of my journey was more difficult than I care to admit. To say that I am not a natural athlete is a colossal understatement; but, I embraced the Combat Kenpo principle “The test is in the training” and I haven’t stopped. Through the challenges, Sifu Dix stuck with me and believed in me until I believed in myself. His patience, encouragement, and dedication to his students’ practice is unsurpassed and I am a better martial artist, and person, because of this. I have also been fortunate to get to know and train with his other Combat Kenpo students from Oregon and California and I admire them all tremendously. I feel lucky and proud to be part of this family.
Five and a half years, hundreds of lessons and thousands of hours of training later, here we are. Receiving my Black Belt from Sifu Dix is one of the greatest accomplishments of my life (April of 2016). I am both honored and humbled to be one of his students and look forward to training with him for as long as I can. I received my 2nd Degree Black Belt in October of 2018.