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3 Questions with Jose Miguel Urzua Morales

[Editor’s Note – 3 Questions is a continuing interview series of martial artists who have become friends to Bowley Kenpo Karate either in real life or online. If you would be interested in participating in 3 Questions, please drop us a line. ]

Name: Jose Miguel Urzua Morales
Practices martial arts at: Wukuentao Kenpo-AKF Chile
Location of the school:Chile

Mr. Petit and Mr. Urzua playing around

Mr. Petit and Mr. Urzua playing around

How did you get into martial arts? –
I started in Kenpo when I was 8 years old, my father was a brown belt at this time.
The day of my birthday he took me to Mr. Arturo Petit´s school. I was with Sensei Petit until his death, and the last rank that I received from him was 3rd Degree Black in 1997.

What is your first martial arts experience like or first memory? –

My first memories… I think my dad in his white gi punching a “makiwara”, he had one in the yard.
Also I remember the smell of sweat in the dojo.

Mr. Garay and Mr. Urzua in 1999

Mr. Garay and Mr. Urzua in 1999

Tell your favorite karate story –
The truth is that I have many funny and memorable stories in more than 30 years of practicing martial arts; some of them may lose their exact sense when translated into English.

This story is very popular among my former classmates at Arturo Petit´s Kenpo School, in Santiago de Chile …

Sensei (as we used to call him) was very preoccupied about the personal aspect of the instructors, he liked to see us always wearing good uniforms, hair combed, clean shaven, patches sewn right and everything perfect.

For a while I left Kenpo and I practiced Korean Karate, however I decided to return to Mr. Petit´s School . During the time I practiced Tang Soo Do I embroidered my black belt with the Koreans symbols of this art. When I returned to Mr. Petit´s School these had to be removed, so my belt looked terrible. Master Petit saw me one Saturday while I was taking classes with Master Jose Garay and watched my ugly belt, He said “Uhhh, your belt looks really bad, when you can get up to my office, there I have some, I’ll give you a new one.”

Mr. Urzua, now with the AKF

Mr. Urzua, now with the AKF

When Sensei Petit left the dojo and came into his office, I went behind him to ask what he promised me. But at that moment his phone rang, so he made a hand signal to me to search through some boxes in his office. He had several new “regular belts”, but I found a brand new “Made in Japan” belt made of fine silk. Of course I thought it was not the one he wanted to give me, but I showed him while he was still talking on the phone with someone. Sensei Petit’s hand told me to take any and I left him to talk privately.

I left the office and put on my new black belt, all my friends were very surprised by the wonderful gift! When Sensei finished his call, he returned to the dojo and said “Uhhhm, Mr. Morales, this is not exactly what I thought of as a gift to you, but you’ve already got it, so take good care of it and keep it. ”

After this, my friends began to wear the worst belts ever to see if Sensei would give them a new one, but he only smiled saying “Not again guys!”.

I still have this relic, and it has great value to me, not only because I got it from my Sensei (a karate legend in Chile and the whole world), but because it represents the dedication and love of a teacher to his students. He accepted me as his student again without conditions, because he wanted me to grow. When he died all of us went to his funeral wearing our Kenpo uniforms and of course I did it wearing that beautiful and shinny silk belt.

Jose Miguel Morales
AKF-CHILE
5thDegree Black
Arturo Petit Lineage

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