Tim Cartmell has lived what, for many of us, would be the martial artist's dream.. Starting at a young age, Tim had the opportunity to study one of the most practical styles of Chinese martial arts for street fighting ever taught in this country, Kung Fu San Soo. After twelve years of intense study in this art, Tim moved to Taiwan and spent another ten years refining his skill in the internal martial arts. During his time in Taiwan Tim had the opportunity to study Xing Yi, Ba Gua, Tai Ji, and Yi Quan with some of the most highly skilled instructors Taiwan and mainland China had to offer.
Those that have met Tim know that he is not a martial arts hobbyist, he is a martial arts enthusiast to the highest degree. He will talk, share, demonstrate and compare martial arts with anyone, no matter what style, what background, or what their experience might be. Although his background is extensive, he does not have the martial arts prejudice or ego that many who train in China tend to develop. He loves to explore what every style and every system has to offer and his keen sense of practicality in martial arts sees the virtue in all styles and training methods that work effectively in the combat scenario.
Tim's depth of knowledge and skill, good nature, openness, fighting experience and ability, and his skill at explaining the principles of martial arts to students, make him one of the most talented martial arts teachers in this country. In late 1994, Tim moved back to the United States with his wife, Gu Feng Mei after spending just over ten years practicing and teaching in Taiwan. He now lives and teaches in Westminster, California. This interview was conducted in Pacific Grove, CA, February, 1995.
How did you get started in martial arts?
When I was young, I can't remember where I first heard of martial arts, but I always wanted to study, so when I was eight years old I started asking and about the time I was eleven my parents finally took me to a Tae Kwon Do school and I practiced Tae Kwon Do and Hapkido for less than one year. I liked it, but it seemed a little simplistic and repetitive. It was about that time that the Kung Fu series came on TV. I became interested in this and so I started looking for Kung Fu schools. I started practicing at a Kung Fu San Soo School. I studied at that school for a couple of years. I enjoyed the San Soo because it was a very practical, street fight oriented Kung Fu. About two years after that, one of the teacher's at that school, Ted Sias, left and opened his own school. Ted's kung fu was first rate. He was my first instructor and an excellent teacher so I followed him when he opened his own
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