OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I entered my first martial arts training class at the tender age of 11 in 1983.  I have trained seriously in five separate styles of martial arts, and attended countless seminars spanning different countries, states, territories,  and provinces.

Although it is not my primary vocation, I have found a tremendous value in holding a valid security license, and working part time in the security field.  My primary security function has been event security…  you know, concerts and the like.  This type of work is great for part time employment.  I did spend a year working at a local bar as a bouncer, and have even performed bodyguard, and VIP protection work…  Although this work was rare.

The greatest value gleaned from working in a security capacity, are the moments when you clash with unruly patrons.  No matter how many times you practice a hook punch defense in the dojo, the consequences of failure are always greater, and more unpredictable in a real physical altercation. (when that big guy is swinging at your face, closed fist… with the intention of knocking you out!)

Back to the arts I have trained…  Although I have trained many different martial arts, I really only seriously trained three different types.  Traditional karate (Kempo, and Chito Ryu), Jeet Kune Do, and Traditional Jiu-Jitsu with a few years of Brazilian Jujitsu throw in just for fun.

It breaks down like this …

  • Kempo karate Mid 1983 – 1987
  • Chito Ryu late 1991 – early 1993
  • Jeet Kune Do 1991 – 1996
  • awarded apprentice instructor ship
  • operated JKD school for two years of Okanagan falls
  • taught JKD throughout the Okanagan Valley for the “creative fighters guild” Kelowna, Penticton, Summerland, Naramata, (Oh those wonderful satellite clubs)
  • awarded phase one instructor ship directly from Paul Vunak in LA 1996
  • Jishin Ryu Jiu-Jitsu late 1995 – 2008
  • achieved 1st Dan black belt October 1997
  • achieved 2nd Dan black belt November 2000
  • achieved 1st Dan black belt in Tai-Jitsu 2001
  • Sogo Ryu Ju-Jitsu mid 2008 – present
  • achieved 1st Dan black belt January 2011

Additional information:

With a burning passion for personal protection, and self reliance information, I sought after and received qualifications including…

  • BST 1 and 2 (security clearance, fingerprinted, criminal record search)
  • handcuff and restraint course
  • protection services specialist
  • defensive shotgun tactics training
  • rappel master qualification
  • small arms familiarization course
  • sky dive qualifications course
  • black badge IPSC qualification course (not current)


I started training Brazilian Jiu-jitsu with the Jeet Kune Do club in 1995 and have trained it off and on ever since.  Sadly, I was never consistent enough to make very serious progress.  I was however awarded my blue belt by Marcus Soares in August of 2011.

In addition to the sporadic Brazilian jujitsu training, I continue to train in Jeet Kune Do.  From the moment I started training JKD, I knew I would always train it in one capacity or another.  Over the years I’ve been blessed to be a part of a small group of highly trained individuals who get together semi regularly to train practical, effective self-defense…  Primarily a blend of the Sogo ryu Ju-Jitsu, Brazilian jujitsu and JKD.  It is so refreshing to train with people that have precise control over their technique.  You never have to worry about an overzealous choke, or wrist crank. It’s about control friends.

Teaching the martial arts has been an especially rewarding activity.  I have helped many people move from a low ranking belt, as low as white belt…  make it to black belt. I have worked with people on a “one on one” basis to help them achieve this at an accelerated pace.

Although I am not running a school these days, I train the Sogo ryu Ju-Jitsu with a very small group, perform my personal training, and look forward to the next training session with the “inner circle of black belts.”

You can contact Al at: viperfist (at) gmail (dot) com

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About Al Bargen

Al Bargen regularly writes on the topics of fat loss, fitness and the martial arts. His articles, reports, videos, and now books help you achieve not only your fat loss and fitness goals, but also in areas of self defense, and personal protection. With over 25 years of experience in these areas, Al is a genuine expert.

Disclosure - Many articles will contain affiliate links for recommended products or services. These are personally used and reviewed by Al and he’ll receive commission for any resulting in sales.

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