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Published:July 4th, 2008 10:06 EST
Glenn Brandon Burke, M.A.Ed, Interviews Top Martial Artist

Glenn Brandon Burke, M.A.Ed, Interviews Top Martial Artist

By Glenn Brandon Burke (Mentor/Speaker)

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(Weekly Columnist)


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Motivational Speaker, Glenn Brandon Burke, M.A.Ed,

Interviews Top Martial Artist


This week I had the honor and pleasure of meeting one of the most incredible people I`ve ever met. Hey, I may go as far as saying he`s possibly one of the single greatest people, ever! But I haven`t yet met everyone in the world. But being from Las Vegas, I`m willing to wager that he`s one of the tops.


Who am I referring to? It`s none other that Master James Matthews, 8th Degree Black Belt in Kung Fu San Soo, former bodyguard to the Hollywood A-List, and one of the nicest, most honorable and giving people I know. And I`m proud to call him a friend!


The USA, Martial Arts Hall of Fame has awarded Master James Matthews the coveted Humanitarian of the Year award.  He received this award because of his passion for abuse prevention and building of confidence in the children of his community.  He is being honored for his commitment to humanity; a few of the thing he has done in Shasta County include  women`s self defense courses for the Women`s Refuge Center and local therapists, the Girl Scouts` Annual Self Defense 101 program,  Bully Prevention programs at local public schools, victim/witness rehabilitation programs, elementary school assemblies on respect, and annually participates in the International World Record Project Action Kick-A-Thon (a non-profit organization that provides scholarships for school age children to take martial arts classes).


Master James` purpose in life is to improve his community one-child-at-a-time. Master James recalls the very moment he knew he was making a difference in a child`s life, and that was while teaching a self-defense seminar put together by a local therapist to help children, when all of a sudden, one of the children fell to the floor screaming, finally cried out, "if only I had known this stuff before, Grandpa wouldn`t have been able to do to me what he had!"  


Walking away from that experience, weeping, Master James realized the healing and empowerment that martial arts provide for both children and adults -- men and women. In martial arts, the goal is prevention. Sadly, says Master James, "more often than not, people do not think about prevention until someone screams, "Help! I`ve been hurt!"  


Master James began training in Kung Fu San Soo at the age of 13, in Los Angeles, CA. At 28-years-old, he relocated to Redding, CA, and in 1995 opened his first Kung Fu San Soo School.  After a few years of focusing his teachings on prevention, he realized that he was getting results in areas he had not expected.  For instance, he had a star basketball player lined up next to a chess club champ, next to a kid that`s been in special education since kindergarten, next to the little princess and they were all working together and respecting one another.   


These were kids that would have been hesitant to speak to one another at school.  Now they are all sharing gratitude, kindness and encouragement with one another.  They had learned tolerance, diversity, respect, and some really great self-defense skills in the process.  Master James realized that he had a formula in his lesson plans that taught not just strong self-defense, but strong character skills. He decided to take his school format BIGGER and serve more people. 


In 1999, Master James earned his title Master.  Over the last 10-years, he has developed a specialized children`s program that promotes positive attitude and self-discipline. He now owns and operates PhD: Healthy Living through Martial Arts and specializes in preparing children and adults for life and leadership; by reducing stress, increasing confidence, building self-esteem and self-discipline all while protecting & promoting family values. 


Master James discovered after years of working with children, parents, teachers and child Psychologists that at the core of every child is the desire to please. We all like the atta-boy or girl, "right? ? 


The programs he`s developed provide children with the tools, knowledge, and self-discipline to live in social harmony and to be respectable as well as be responsible. As a result the whole family is happier, the child`s grades go up, and the number of atta-boys and girls they receive makes them feel great about themselves. They`re full of joy! And the added bonus is the healthier lifestyle and the gain of greater physical condition! 


Not all Martial Arts schools are created equal.  At PhD: Healthy Living through Martial Arts there are no trophies for sparring. Master James` philosophy does not promote fighting as a sport.  His students learn the first day that Kung Fu San Soo is a form of self-defense and they only use it if they feel they are in harms way.  At PhD it`s not all about the kicking and punching it`s the development and cultivation of strong character.  


Here at PhD: Healthy Living through Martial Arts we offer the best children`s programs you will ever find!  Children are the future of our community and society as a whole. PhD: Healthy Living through Martial Arts provides the students with the tools and lessons they need to actualize their greatest potential; mentally, physically, and spiritually, said Master James.   


Master James welcomes and encourages both children and adults to take his classes and or bring his program into your school or workplace. 


Due for release at the end of this summer is the Master James E-Book entitled, Go Bigger: Healthy Living through Martial Arts, for only $12.95, and will be available through his web site: Also, pick up Master James as a friend through his My Space page at