I have a wife and two kids. Having been on the losing end of a few rough encounters, I started looking for a functional self defense system that I could use to keep my family safe. I explored a few arts and spent considerable amount of time in each. 4 years into my martial learning, I had second thoughts about self defense.
The martial arts I experienced, either required many years of training to be effective, or they were more suitable for combat sports.
It seemed odd that I was training in techniques that were "sports" in nature or that it only worked if I was handling someone smaller sized than me.
Common sense tells me that people that are likely to find trouble with me or my family, are going to be larger size, or in larger numbers.
I realised I was blindly following systems based on their marketing. I wanted something practical. When faced with an attacker, I needed to know I can depend on myself.
I should feel somewhat confident after 4 years of training, but sadly I feel no more confident than before.
I started searching again but could not find anything that suited my purpose. I was on the verge of giving up when my research led me to Tommy Carruthers.
I was a little wary as I have tried Jeet Kune Do (JKD) before. However, Tommy had just started his Facebook account, and Tommy's daily updates resonates with what I was looking for.
Finding a Teacher, a Mentor
In 2013, I decided to take the plunge and invited Tommy to Singapore for a 2 day seminar.
Up to the point when I welcomed Tommy at the airport, I was still skeptical as to whether this was the guy that can give me a solution to my self defense problems.
Everything changed, from my first question for him at dinner. He was the real deal. He has spent so many years of his life pondering over the same questions I had and he has managed to worked out most of the answers.
While hosting Tommy, I managed to dig deeper into the principles behind Tommy's development of JKD. Tommy was always able to present a simple, direct, logical approach to all my questions with regards to training for realistic self defense.
I knew that this art was what I was looking for. With Tommy's instructions to guide me, I discarded all previous martial art knowledge and only trained in Tommy's Jeet Kune Do.
-John Low Jiayong
Becoming an Intercepting Fist Organisation Group Leader
Pursuing Jeet Kune Do has always been a personal journey. I was content with having Tommy guide me, and a few close friends to train with.
However, Tommy reminded me of my frustrations in finding a functional art. There might be many others, with an identical purpose to mine, but unable to find a martial art that suits them. If Tommy's teachings helped me gain confidence in keeping my family safe, then there is responsibility for me to help others find that same confidence. With that I agreed to be tested in 2014.
As I was already experimenting and searching for self defense techniques for the past 4 years, it was easy for Tommy to shape my training principles and methods. For the entire year, I trained with extremely close consultation with Tommy. I often took videos of my unofficial training group back to Tommy for feedback, and we will rework them again with Tommy's inputs week in and week out.
I was tested in Oct 2014. It was a gruelling 2 hours. I was tested not just on my knowledge on JKD, but also on the ability to teach concepts, and to represent him well.
I managed to pass and was recognised as Tommy's first group leader in Singapore.
Now, my group follows a set of lesson plans that I designed and was approved by Tommy. Group sizes are kept to a small number to ensure every student receives my personal attention during each lesson.
"I believe in Quality over Quantity. Tommy only comes to Singapore once a year. I strive to provide the same high quality training to my group members in between Tommy's visit. That way, anyone can have access to this wonderful art, as long as they are seeking the same goals as us. - John"