Grandmaster DeMasco was recently interviewed in the Brazilian media, related to work he is doing in South America. He shared some of those questions with us.
What was your first exposure to the Martial Arts?
Actually, my first contact was in the Air Force. I was a boxer in high school and had a dream of being on the Air Force boxing team. I was stationed at Pope Air Force base in South Carolina, but I didn’t get along much with the southerners. They saw me as just another Yankee and they were still fighting the civil war down there in their minds. Basically, they didn’t like me. I had heard about a karate class on the base, so I tried it. Ironically enough, I hated it and walked out. I didn’t get past the stretching. In boxing, we never stretched and in that class, they told me to try and do a split. That was not going to happen.
If you quit your first class, when did the Martial Arts become your life’s passion?
After the Air Force, I started college again and decided to give the Martial Arts another try. I was home in Brockton and I ran into a former high school friend. When I saw him, he looked terrible. He told me that he had entered a full contact kickboxing match and his opponent was a good boxer and gave him a severe beating. He then asked me to teach him how to box and he would teach me an Okinawan style of martial arts. I agreed. I loved the training but it was a boring style.
Later on, I worked as a shoe salesman to pay my way through college. I ran into another high school friend, who told me he was taking a style called Kempo. He said it was based on animal movement. The idea intrigued me, so I went to his Kempo school to inquire. Well that was the place for me. I loved the 5-animal style because incorporated a lot of hand techniques.
In the coming days, we will continue to share portions of this very personal interview with Grandmaster DeMasco.