Martin is the first black belt under Jacques Patenaude (Sijo), founder of Fang Shen Do (Way of Survival). He’s been training in martial arts since he was 2 years old. As a child, he possessed a natural ability to recall and learn techniques and assimilate them quickly. By the time he was 9, this naturalness turned into another unique ability: Teaching.
He’s always known what he wanted to do with his life, and with his father as a powerful role model, there was no doubt in his mind that owning and running a successful martial arts school was his calling.
At the tender age of 17, along with his parents, he established the first Fang Shen Do School (his family’s unique Martial Art System) in the Montreal area in 1996 after almost 10 years of talks of opening there.
He was the first to be named “Sifu” (Master Instructor) when he was only 20 years old for his contributions to the family’s art and his commitment to excellence both; in the operation of his school and the quality of students he produced.
Later in 2008 he was honored with the title of “Sibok” (Which represents a Senior Master Instructor, or in Chinese Hierarchy, a Great Uncle), this role is very important in terms of offering guidance as well as quality control for all high ranking students and Sifus.
In Martin’s opinion, no other sport or activity comes close to offering the kind of physical preparation, healthy habits and character development the way Martial Arts can.
One thing is for sure: he’s a dedicated martial artist. His main passion is passing down what he’s learned from his father and countless other masters that he’s worked with in the martial arts and sharing the many life lessons one can learn from practicing it.
The secret to his success is keeping a child-like enthusiasm when training and learning.
He advises to always keep what is often referred to as a “Beginner’s Mind”, for it is open and eager to learn. Even if you’ve seen the same technique a thousand times, look at it with this principle in mind and you’ll always learn something new. This is a powerful concept you can apply to every area of your life not just the martial arts.
You’ll often hear him say:
“I’m an instructor sometimes, and a student all the time”
This is the kind of environment you can expect from training in Martin’s martial arts school here in Montreal. The school itself is clean, inviting and very well located right next to the Jean-Talon Metro.