Our Sifu's Roots and Journeys.

At the age of 11, Joe Flores, Jr. joined the Boy Scouts in San Angelo, Texas. After one year in scouting, being that he excelled in boy scout work, he was asked to help with other troops and to train scoutmasters. One of these, Troop 313, had a temporary scoutmaster who was also a judo instructor at Goodfellow AFB in San Angelo. This leader, Sgt. Edward Donlon, started a judo club with his troop members. This was Mr. Flores' introduction into the martial arts. It was a more passive form of fighting (defense) than that of his father, Joe Flores, who had fought light-heavyweight for 10 years as a professional boxer and won the Texas title twice.

The judo instruction became a major interest in the scout troop and although the troop worked to excel in scouting, they practiced judo four times per week. After four years of training, Joe Flores, became the principle instructor and took over the training after Sgt. Donlon moved away from the area to a new military assignment. When Sgt. Donlon left the team, Mr. Flores had been awarded the 1st Degree Brown Belt, at the age of 16.

Upon completion of high school and one year of college, Mr. Flores was still with the Boy Scout troop and continued training through his college year at Angelo State University.

In 1966, Mr. Flores joined the U. S. Army at a time when the Vietnam War was in full force. He felt it was time to help defend his country, so, even though he had a deferment to stay in college, he volunteered to go. His first permanent assignment after basic and AIT (Advanced Individual Training) was in Korat, Thailand. His job there was in ammunition supply and storage, combat support to Vietnam. Since Thailand was a neutral country to the war, American soldiers could not carry weapons, so the military arranged for soldiers at Camp Friendship (Korat) to study Korean Tae-Kwon-Do from Korean experts. This was a very hard "bone-crushing" style, since it was the only immediate defense a soldier might have against the enemy in hand-to-hand combat (the hand-to-hand training learned in basic would not be enough). Mr. Flores was awarded the equivalent of a 1st Degree Brown Belt rank after eight months of almost daily training. (The Koreans did not issue belts).

In 1967, he returned to the states and was permanently assigned to 'Nike Base' (home of the Nike Hercules guided missiles) in Alvarado, Texas. There he worked one and one-half years as a supply clerk and armorer. During that time, without his fellow soldiers knowing of his training, he traveled back and forth between Fort Worth, Dallas and Alvarado to train in styles and arts such as American Tae-Kwon-Do, jui-jitsu, Savate, Aikido, Choy-li-fut, and other arts that lasted only a few months each.

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