Martial Arts Bio for Darin Yee
1958 – Southern White Crane in Boston Chinatown. Hudson Street at the Chinese Republican Party Headquarter.
I studied with my Godfather, a well-known White Crane Master in China. My father hired Master Chin’s security company in 1949, and they became lifelong friends. Master Chin came to America in 1957 to escape the Chinese Communist Party. Due to his reputation, he was coerced to teach once his presence was known. He decided to return to China in 1965.
1965 – White Crane and Hung Gar in Boston Chinatown, Bamboo Hut Club. Corner of Beach Street and Harrison Avenue.
Before my Godfather returned to China, he introduced me to some martial arts teachers in Boston’s Chinatown and insisted I continue training. I learned what they had to teach but always remembered his principles. I’ve continued his principles to this day. His six and half years with me were not wasted with me.
1969 – Uechi-Ryu Karate Mattson Academy. Corner of Hancock Street and Cambridge Street.
I was introduced to Uechi-Ryu by a few of my friends from my neighborhood. This group of friends was studying at Mattson Academy and wanted me to see and experience the system. I quickly realized my fighting ability could benefit from the strong, hard training I’d witnessed there. I’ve been a loyal, avid student of Uechi-Ryu since that day.
1971 – Judo and Jujitsu BYMCU. Essex Street
The BYMCU was a block away from Chinatown. Although I was continuously told not to train with weights, I secretly joined the BYMCU to lift for body conditioning prior to training in Kung-Fu in Chinatown. Please realize that training in Uechi-Ryu almost daily did not mean I eliminated my Kung-Fu training. After being caught in a few nage-waza by Ziggy’s students, I grew interested in Judo and Jujitsu and practiced for five months before time constraints stopped this practice.
1975 – Muay Thai and Boxing. Huntington YMCA
I met one of the nicest people I’ve ever met in my life on a job site. I was a pipefitting apprentice, and he was the labor supervisor. His name was Val Boston. I usually walked to Mattson Academy after work, and after my Uechi-Ryu training, I would walk to Chinatown to train in Kung-Fu before driving home after retrieving my car from Chinatown. I trained in boxing to get a feel of what this training was like, but not to pursue boxing formally.
While I trained in boxing, I introduced myself to a group of Muay Thai fighters and asked if I could train with them. They accepted me, and I limped home every day I trained with them.
After about 2 months, Val Boston said he would like me to suspend my time in karate and train more with boxing.
By then, I had fallen in love with Uechi-Ryu and chose to stay with Uechi-Ryu. The valuable training I received from Val was never forgotten, nor did I forget the leg poundings I received in training with my Muay Thai friends. Val and I remained good friends, and he was a tremendous help on the job site.
1978 – Choy Li Fut/Hung Gar Kung Fu. Taishan and Guangzhou, China
Due to my interest in learning the difference between Kung Fu in the United States and that which is taught in China, I asked a few friends who frequently visited Southern China where most of the Kung Fu Masters relocated to hide from the government, that had restricted the study of ancient arts. After several attempts, I finally received an invitation to train with real Kung Fu organizations. I began visiting and revisiting China for further and more comprehensive training 2 to 3 times a year. I would stay anywhere from 2 weeks to almost 3 months at a time to study and train in a few different systems of Kung Fu.
One of the most valuable studies was the understanding of Chinese weaponry. While watching so many of the students worldwide (similar to Uechi-Ryu), I realize the movements are there, but understanding the nuances and usage is completely missing.
Although I’ve trained in many more styles than listed, they were simply for the experience of different martial arts. I am by no means an expert in them. My dedication is White Crane, Hung Gar, Chinese weaponry, and, most prevalent of all, Uechi-Ryu.