Joeseph Faulise | YMAA

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Joeseph Faulise

Mr. Faulise has been training and has had an interest in the martial arts since the age of thirteen. He began training in 1973, when he was encouraged by his mother to try out for the wrestling team at school. He learned that the coach also owned a judo school and began training there as well. He did wrestling in the winter months and judo in the summer months until 1977.

In 1978 Mr. Faulise started training at a school that emphasized striking and kicking techniques, as well as throwing and ground fighting. It was here that he learned to apply his judo and wrestling skills in a more realistic and practical way. He began learning as many different facets of fighting as he could, always looking at the practicality and effectiveness of what he was learning.

In 1983 he moved to Alaska and settled in the small community of Tok. He was looking for a change from city life and as he have always enjoyed fishing and hunting. What better place he thought, than Alaska to do so. He began teaching a self-defense class for the University of Alaska through their rural education program. He taught these classes for two years, working mostly with adults. It was also in these classes that he met his wife Tess.

In 1985, with the encouragement of his wife, Joe opened up his own school. It has been her continual support that has helped Joe get where he is today. After his first year or so of teaching he found himself starving for more knowledge. It was at this point that he felt he needed more training in order to progress as a martial artist. He has always believed that if you want to get better at the martial arts, you must train with people better than yourself. As his school grew and the students progressed, they began going to tournaments in Fairbanks, Alaska, a city approximately two hundred miles distant. This was the nearest location for other martial arts schools or tournaments of any kind. It was at one of these tournaments that he met Master Larry Wick, who runs a Tang Soo Do school.
They began sharing their knowledge and developed a lasting friendship. Master Wick introduced him to many in the Fairbanks martial arts community, including Master Charles Scott who was an 8th dan in Shudo Kan Karate. He put on a yearly open tournament. Mr. Faulise was impressed with these two men and the way they ran their schools. He was encouraged to continue his quest in martial arts studies.

Mr. Faulise continued training on his own and teaching at his school, but felt he needed a teacher and some outside influence. Because most of the clubs in Alaska only practiced one style and 90% of them were striking styles of either Japanese or Korean lineage, he considered looking outside Alaska. During one of his many trips to Fairbanks, Master Wick sensed his frustration and encouraged him to find a system and teacher he liked and to stick with it.

In the fall of 1992 he went to Vancouver B.C. to train with Master Liang, Shou-Yu for nine months. It was here that he also met Al Arsenault and Master Wong, Yuwa along with Michael Levenston. He began training in Bagua and T'ai Chi Ch'uan (taijiquan) with Master Liang. After a month or so he recommended that he try the Wushu classes that led him to train in Sanshou Dao. In Sanshou Dao there are no rules other than not to injure your training partner. Needless to say this class was fairly rough. Al and Joe immediately hit it off; they were yin and yang. While their skills and backgrounds were opposites, they complemented each other. Al helped Joe with his kicking and striking combinations whereas Joe assisted Al with his throwing and ground fighting techniques. At the end of his stay in Vancouver he was graded by Master Liang and Master Wong to second degree black belt in Sanshou Dao.

Mr. Faulise returned to Alaska and reopened his school in the spring of 1993. He continues to teach and train in Alaska still exploring all aspects of the martial arts, but now he has a system and teachers to always return to, which is a great feeling.