I am originally from Fairmont, West Virginia. I have also lived in New York, New Jersey, Ohio and at sea while working aboard cruise ships. I am a professional musician and music instructor. I play and teach bass, guitar, upright bass & ukulele.
I participated in wrestling as a youngster which eventually led me to an interest in martial arts. I studied Shorin-ryu Karate during middle school and high school and later tried out Shorinjiryu in the early 2000s.
I got involved with Systema in 2012 after seeing a description in the Winter Garden activities catalog. I had been wanting to get into something physical again after a long hiatus from martial arts. The description intrigued me, so I attended a class, thoroughly enjoyed it, and stuck with it.
Training at Central Florida Systema has affected my life in a number of substantial ways. It has provided motivation, physical fitness and unexpected psychological benefits. The group at Central Florida Systema is a fantastic support system. Working with them motivates me to want to train at class as well as work on my physical conditioning at home. I want to be in better shape so that my Systema practice is better and vice versa. Practicing, especially breath control work, has helped me to become more mindful, relaxed, focused and has led to a reduction in tension in my music playing and in my everyday life.
David’s Thoughts: If I was asked to “build” an ideal student, it would include the following — openness to learning, big heart, works well with others, adds to the overall energy and willingness to put in the time. These are the same words I would use to describe Jon.
Since Day 1, he has been a huge addition to our Circle. He constantly striving to be better, to improve his skills and in the process, raises the bar for the whole group. Jon is an absolute pleasure to be around. He is steadily developing into an outstanding martial artist. How you ask?
The same way be became a great musician is the same way is becoming a great Systema Practitioner — Consistent dedication and hard work.