HOW A SENIOR SALVAGED HIS MARTIAL ARTS CAREER — TWICE!
$ccomplishments fn part for his work with the cane and his founding of Cane Masters, Mark Shuey Sr. was named Black %HOW·V 2003 Weapons Instructor of the Year.
$ging and $bilit\ By the time he turned 4MI phuey had been in the martial arts for 20 years. ´I always did pretty well on the tournament circuit,” he says. ´Then I woke up one morning and couldn’t stand up. I had to crawl. I went to doctors, and they all told me my back was out and f needed surgery.
“Being a martial artistI f knew there had to be a better way. I chose to go to Hawaii and live at a yoga camp. I practiced yoga six to eight hours a day. I was into my fifth week and — voilà! — all my pain was gone!” ee no longer had to use a cane to walk.
phuey attributes his rapid recovery to the style of yoga he learnedI which was a combination of eathaI fyengar and Ashtanga. ´I fell in love with it, so I stayed an extra four months doing nothing but yoga and some martial arts,” he says.
phuey insists that practicing yoga saved his martial arts career. He noticed increased strengthI improved balance and sharper focus. ´I also found my weapon of choice: the cane,” he says.
Found his weapon of choice? Let’s back up a bit. Mark Shuey was an accomplished martial artist and competitor long before he started using a cane to get around. By the time his yoga sessions healed his body, he’d uncovered the link between self-defense and the curved walking stick.
When he was 52, he won his first grand championship using the cane as a weapon. It was followed by eight more victories. ´I was No. 1 in my division four years running on the NASKA, KRANE, IMAC and GSKA tournament circuits,” he says. ´Unfortunately, I got crashed into by a drunk driverI and it shelved my competition.”
lnce againI howeverI the cane came to his rescue as a mobility aid. Now in his SMsI phuey still teaches and trains with the cane. ´I love doing martial arts and offering my experiences to help the martial arts community,” he says.
$dvice foU $Utists “Try to make it to class three days a week,” he says. “mractice what you learned in class two hours a day at home. Always do your best in classI even when you feel lazy and don’t want to be there. 'o your kata with all your heart because they are important. f hated kata and did them only because f had to. In fact, I failed my first red-belt test because I didn’t do my kata right. Now, however, I hold more than 10 world and national titles in kata.
“Also learn some goodI hard yoga to help your martial arts and your life. It will keep you healthy.”