Dr. Maung Gyi and his Wisdom, an American Living Legend in martial arts and the Godfather to my son Garett Lee
The world has been blessed with great, great men in our society and in the martial arts community. We have seen men and women rise to almost perfection and become legendary figures in movies, television and other ventures. It is a journey of ego, but controlled ego, if under the right teachers. These lessons are taught by someone before the legends made their names in the martial arts. They had teachers who were very special, great men like Dr. Maung Gyi.
I know he has touched a lot of lives and most of all this is a love letter to a man that changed my life and journey in the martial arts, this is the wisdom of Dr. Maung Gyi.the godfather of my son
Teacher of Teachers
My first remembrance of Dr. Maung Gyi was fighting the Bando guys in Ohio. They were animals. They wore all black, won everything in Kata and weapons and, most of all, I remember they hit very, very hard! I actually got knocked out by one of those animals at the Official Karate Magazine Regional event in Ohio, then got beat by Tokey Hill. Tokey Hill was from Sensei Don Madden’s dojo in Ohio and was a pure animal inside the ring, but such a gentleman outside. Because of his efforts and hard work, we will have USA Karate-Do in the world Olympics, his dream, our dream!
The second encounter was in 1982, Houston Texas and Sensei Larry Lunn, ous, come in my life as an instructor and friend. He was under Grand Master George Anderson out of Akron Ohio but had spent some time with the Bando guys.
He taught me the Eagle Kata from Bando and to this day it is part of my Black Belt test for mandatory Kata and Bunkai, lots of seconds, a few firsts, Grand Championship wins, State titles, a National Black Belt League World Championship, not a bad journey for a Kata from Bando.
Then it is 1992 and Zulfi Ahmed comes in my journey and we are traveling all over the world, rivals in Sports Karate, but outside the arena, we were very close friends. Zulfi Ahmed’s style was called Bushiban. He had Matshibushi Ward from Okinawa, was the Budo or Bushido part, then the Ban was for Bando, enter Dr. Maung Gyi again in my life.
My son is born and of course, I give him to Master Ahmed, Grand Master Ward, and Dr.Gyi and they are part of the reason he does immaculate Japanese Kata and were the Head Judges at his first and second Dan test.
Though the years Dr. Gyi would come in and do seminars and share with us his knowledge and divine wisdom, one seminar I don’t remember what year it was.
Garett was performing with me doing my sword routine in front of Dr. Gyi , afterward Dr. Gyi came up and said “Garett ,I predict great things for you, here is something for you to help you on your journey, I have carried this everywhere with me, but now it is for you, it’s heavier than normal, I filled it with sand so I can do more damage”.
I stood back in awe and saw my son received a gift that was obviously very special.
A black, bamboo walking Jo, filled with sand, Dr. Gyi had just finished his seminars using it beating up opponents and showing his way of beautiful martial arts motion and technique.
In those many years, I would absorb as much as I could in the short times we were together.
I looked forward to our yearly encounters at Bushiban Headquarters and at the Black belt test where I have become part of the Bushiban martial arts family.
Then the moment Dr. Gyi changed my direction in my attitude and help me make decisions that help create the Museum and the Living Legends Celebrity Roast.
I had just received the 1997 Golden Greek Award from Texas Sports Karate and I was at the event of the year, Bushiban’s celebration with Dr.Gyi, he called me into the main office and sat me down, I thought I had done something wrong, but again it was just another lesson in the journey.
He put his hand on my knee and looked me in the eyes, it was a special moment.
he said, “Gary, you have spent your life knocking down things and being a warrior, now it is a time of healing, now you reverse you momentum and put it to good, build the Museum, always tell the truth, put your energy to raising your son, I believe in you”.
It did change me, that moment, knowing a great man, not just a great Black Belt, a founder, mentor to hundreds, he cared enough to share with me, it was motivating and now you understand why I am so passionate about the project of the Museum of Sports Karate overall.
So now you will understand the heart of this letter, Dr. Gyi is a great teacher and he has taught me to share and to believe in miracles, for life is just a moment in time.
Dr. Maung Gyi taught me, not so much in the art of combat but the art of healing and thinking of others a special gift to pass on in the world today!
So you see Dr. Gyi is a great man of wisdom and thought and because of him he has helped create a healing for all of us, look around there is someone you know that is special and was put there to help you and guide you on your martial arts journey, seek them out, share with them, listen to them, share with them, hug them!
The History of Traditional Karate Pioneers, Legends and Champions in the 20th Century.™