“Studying Martial Arts has been a labor of love. Like many of my fellow nominees, Martial Arts is something I do every day of my life"
I was born into a family who practiced Martial Arts. My Dad's family taught Martial Arts. Growing up in Asia, Martial Arts was part of Physical Education classes required during school. After moving to Palo Alto, CA we were forbidden to use Martial Arts because my parents feared we'd get into trouble fighting. I began taking wrestling in Junior High School to learn how to defend myself. It wasn't until after High School I began retraining in Martial Arts, beginning with Karate the Wing Chun, Shaolin Kung Fu, weapons (sword, bo staff, escrima), Taekwondo and Judo. I helped train students while I was part of Pacific Coast Karate at Foothill College for thirteen years. I then decided to combine my Martial Arts skills & start my own school and Chang Tai Do Karate & Fitness, Inc was formed. I have been teaching classes at multiple community Recreation Centers throughout the area I live to promote community bonding & safety.
I have had many inspirations in Martial Arts throughout my life. It all began growing up in Asia watching Martial Arts movies starring Bruce Lee & Shaw Brothers productions. Bruce Lee was and still is my idol growing up because he was a strong Asian role model who was not afraid to stand up for the Asian culture. I watched hundreds of movies throughout my life. My all-time favorite movies are Enter the Dragon, Five Deadly Venoms & Spiritual Kung Fu. My siblings & I often duplicated Martial Arts using our own choreographed fight moves, using household items like broom sticks & tree branches as makeshift weapons.
I have always had a passion for Martial Arts and as I grew older, my passion grew as well. My family left Vietnam to the United States when I was eight years old. We did not have much as we arrived as refugees to a new country and did not know the language. My family was sponsored by St. Marks Church in Palo Alto, CA when we arrived. There were very few Asians living in Palo Alto at that time. My Dad forbade us to use or demonstrate any Martial Arts in fear of getting into fights & being deported back to Asia. I was teased a lot and bullied because I did not know the English language – other kids thought I was dumb. People also made fun of me because of my Nationality. When I was in 3rd Grade, first year in America, I was standing in line, waiting my turn to play hand ball at school when another student walked up to me and punched me on the side of my head which made my head hit the wall. I went home after school and my Mom punished me. I asked why and my Mom said the school called stating I was involved in a fight with another student in which I broke his hand. I told my Mom the other boy hit me! The incident made me realize I need to be more aware of people around me and I needed some way to protect myself against bullies and sometimes my older siblings.
I continued to watch Martial Arts movies and practiced on my own without my Dad knowing. Martial Artist legend Jackie Chan is another inspiration. I enjoyed watching each and every one of his movies. His Martial Arts skills, incorporated with comedy were fascinating to me.
In 7th Grade, I discovered that wrestling could be something I could use to defend myself. A large inspiration in wrestling was my coach Edward Hart who was also the coach for 1980 Olympian wrestler David Schultz & his brother 1984 Olympian wrestler Mark. I convinced my Dad that wrestling is a school “sport” so he allowed me to participate. Wrestling was my way of practicing moves for close combat. I continued to wrestle throughout High School. It turned out to be a good thing because one day in High School, as I was walking to my class a boy lunged a butterfly knife at me. I was able to disarm him, turning to punch him in defense only to realize he was one of the students from the Special Education class. I quickly pulled my punch short of hitting his face. I realized that day, if I did not have Martial Arts and wrestling skills, I would have not reacted as quickly. I could have been seriously injured or killed that day.
I began studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA after High School. I had to take PE credits and decided to take a Martial Arts class. I wanted to take Kung Fu since my heritage is Chinese but only Tai Chi and Karate were offered. I chose Karate classes then joined Pacific Coast Karate which was taught by the same instructor. The first person to inspire my training in Karate was my friend Juna. She trained in Karate in Japan and had this explosive power in each of her moves. I decided at that point that I wanted to be as powerful in Karate. There were many other inspirational instructors during my thirteen years with Pacific Coast Karate. I was able to train in seminars with great Senseis like Kazu Yokoda, Hirokazu Kanazawa, Hidetaka Nishiyama, Eric Roberts and Brian Keast. Training with great Senseis greatly impacted my drive to study Martial Arts because I realized I wanted to become a respected instructor for future generations. I decided to learn as much as I could about multiple Martial Arts styles. I studied, read books, watched movies and videos in Wing Chun, Kung Fu, Grappling, Tai Chi – anything that would enhance my abilities. With the knowledge and abilities I collected, I started my own style of Martial Arts, calling it Chang Tai Do Karate & Fitness, Inc. I wanted to learn more about the roots of Karate and Kung Fu so I decided to take a journey to China with a few of my students. I had the opportunity & privilege to train multiple times with Shaolin Warrior Monks at the Shaolin Temple in China.
Michael Huey began his martial arts career at the age of 11. He studied Shotokan Karate under Kancho John Chang for over ten years. Throughout those ten years training under Chang Tai Do Karate &Fitness, Michael has attained his Shodan(First Degree) and Nidan(Second Degree Black Belt). Since Michael has been with Chang Tai Do for more than ten years, he has participated in various activities for his group, such as competing in tournaments and promoting martial arts since he believes that teaching martial arts in the community will help build a safer and better environment for our community.
Michael is currently assisting Kancho Chang with teaching classes for the cities of Sunnyvale and Los Altos parks and recreation program. In 2014, Michael became a certified Referee and Judge through USA National Karate Federation. Michael graduated at San Jose State University in 2016 with the bachelors degree of Business: Management Information System.
Michael is currently working as technical support agent for 22Miles Inc. and is the builder of this fantastic website.