MASTER ERNEST HYMAN III
JAN / 2012
My name is Franklin Puello, and welcome to Martialforce.com Online Martial Arts Magazine. I have been associated and trained with many Masters of the Martial Arts who became well respected, and established Training Halls to continue the Martial Arts legacy. With this said many of them were already parents, or became parents and those children trained at the Dojo and learned the Martial Arts from their parents, and at times from other Martial Arts Teachers. Searching to explore the effect of the Martial Arts training in Children of Martial Arts Masters’ views and valued opinions of Martial Arts Training, I have embarked in the search of young Martial Arts Teachers who continue their parents’ Legacy. For this end and because I have had the great fortune to learn from, and share Budo- The Martial Way with Grand Master Ernest Hyman II, of the “HARLEM GOJU INSTITUTE” and in my quest I continue this Series with the man I am about to introduce. Greetings and Oneigashimasu, Sensei.
Interview by Franklin Puello
Online Martial Arts Magazine
Martialforce.com: Before we begin, please tell our readers your full name.
ERNEST HYMAN III: Ernest Hyman III.
Martialforce.com: Where were you Born?
ERNEST HYMAN III: New York City in the year 1974
Martialforce.com: Where did you grow up?
ERNEST HYMAN III: New York City & Tarboro, North Carolina where I went to high school
Martialforce.com: What is your current occupation?
ERNEST HYMAN III: I am employed with the Department of Juvenile Justice. I also work with G4s as a corporate Security Officer
Martialforce.com: When was your first introduction to the martial arts?
ERNEST HYMAN III: The Martial Arts has always been a part of my life for as long as I could remember.
Martialforce.com: What Style of Karate?
ERNEST HYMAN III: GoJu Ryu Karate
Martialforce.com: Who was/ were your instructor/s?
ERNEST HYMAN III: Some of my instructors were Abdul Mussawir, Master Shim and most importantly Grand Master Ernest Hyman.
Martialforce.com: Can you tell our readers what a typical day of training was like back when you were Training towards your Black Belt?
ERNEST HYMAN III: The goal of our training was not geared towards obtaining a Black Belt; they were constructed to build strong minds and bodies. Each day was different in its own ways; consisting of physical conditioning, stamina, and endurance. Anything from running in the snow to knocking down walls. Grand Master Hyman’s main focus back in those days were geared to extreme makiwara training (Striking Pad), Kumite and breaking down kata.
Martialforce.com: Did you ever enter Competition?
ERNEST HYMAN III: Yes, Grand Master Hyman would not have it any other way.
Martialforce.com: Describe your preparation to enter the competition Arena?
ERNEST HYMAN III: Well I would like to share, but it is a closely guarded family secret.
Martialforce.com: What was tournament competition like when you were first introduced?
ERNEST HYMAN III: When I was first introduced at the young age of 7, tournaments were very different then what is happening now. Back in those days you were actually able to witness great masters at work performing kata, kumite and weapons. Today such scenes are replaced with commercial martial arts and people playing Karate. For example (and feel free to disagree with me) 10 year old black belts, 6 year old grand champions, toy weapons, etc… Although cute, it sets a bad tone for the Karate scene as a whole. When I was first competing, we had to work just to hold a weapon.
Martialforce.com: Can you tell our readers who were some of the Noted Martial Artists you trained with/ Competed against?
ERNEST HYMAN III: I had the pleasure of training with Carl T. Smith, Daniel Stewart Sr., Franco Sanguinetti and many others. I also had the pleasure of engaging in competition with Derrick Williams, Felix Vazquez, Earl Woodbury, Halbert J. Lee, Jonas Nunez and many others.
Martialforce.com: Would you describe specifically how you developed your teaching techniques?
ERNEST HYMAN III: Although I stick to a Japanese teaching style, I learn from the students which techniques work best for them and adapt to enhance the teaching and learning experience.
Martialforce.com: Since I love Kata I derive pleasure in this next question prefaced by "Kata is said to be “The Essence of Karate”; “It contains Many Secrets", and since the phrase has become a Cliché. Do you believe the practice of Kata is useful and important?
ERNEST HYMAN III: Very much so!!!!
ERNEST HYMAN III: For anyone that is learning Karate, they know that kata is the System..
Martialforce.com: What is your Most Favorite Kata?
ERNEST HYMAN III: That’s hard! It’s a toss up between Suparinpei and Kururunfa.
Martialforce.com: What makes it / them so Special?
ERNEST HYMAN III: I love “the places they take me” and “the stories they reveal”.**That is an answer only obtained from one who has truly trained and performed Kata as it should be, for this experience has to be personally lived.
Martialforce.com: Can you tell us about your relationship with the Master of the HARLEM GOJU INSTITUTE, your father Ernest Hyman II?
ERNEST HYMAN III: Like the art of Karate, my relationship with my father Grand Master Hyman is very complex. There is the father-son relationship, and the master-student relationship. At times it was hard to find the balance.
Martialforce.com: How was training with him?
ERNEST HYMAN III: Training was difficult in the sense of duration and demands; he was, and still is, a hard master to please, he always felt we could do more.
Martialforce.com: How would you describe his Method of Teaching?
ERNEST HYMAN III: His method of teaching was and still is simple; work hard or go home.
Martialforce.com: Do you still learn from him?
ERNEST HYMAN III: Yes, everyday!
Martialforce.com: Are you presently training others in the Art Karate?
ERNEST HYMAN III: Yes, I take the opportunities offered by the Job and personal life to teach at the Dojo sharing my experiences and love for the Art.
Martialforce.com: When did you start developing a Teaching style?
ERNEST HYMAN III: Even though I was placed in the position to teach at a young age, I did not develop my own style of teaching until I was third kyu.
Martialforce.com: What is your teaching style or methodology?
ERNEST HYMAN III: I have a traditional and progressive teaching methodology.
Martialforce.com: Did your father, Ernest Hyman, guide you into a teaching style?
ERNEST HYMAN III: Yes
Martialforce.com: How would you compare your Philosophy of Teaching to your Father’s Philosophy?
ERNEST HYMAN III: My father’s philosophy is simple, “He swings, and you swing he goes to the hospital you go home!” My philosophy is to develop in self and students a strong aura, and this will serve to prevent any conflict!
Martialforce.com: How would you instruct Kata Training to a Martial Artist of the present generation, who may not believe in Kata?
ERNEST HYMAN III: There is no Karate system without the Kata. If they do not believe in Kata then they must know they are not learning true Karate. My job is to show them the way and lead them in the direction of enlightenment about Kata as the essence of any System of Arts. Kata (although not called this in every Art or system of study) is a series of techniques precisely put together to practice in the hope of perfecting techniques and understanding of principles. This is a usual occurrence in life.
Martialforce.com: Do you feel that Martial Art teachings learned from your father played an important role with who you are today?
ERNEST HYMAN III: Yes, the principles of Goju are applicable not just to the Martial Arts (Physical Fitness and Self Defense), but to Life itself. The same principles regulate behavior and motivation to strive for higher goals.
Martialforce.com: Can you identify aspects of your life or accomplishments that you directly attribute your success in, to the training received in the Martial Arts?
ERNEST HYMAN III: Through the training I was able to develop a sense of self worth at an young age. I was able to build a strong character, which opened a lot of doors and made me the man I am today.
Martialforce.com: What would you say is your greatest achievement in life and The Martial Arts?
ERNEST HYMAN III: My greatest achievement in my life is being able to teach and inspire others in the Martial Arts’ way of life / Bushido.
Martialforce.com: Do you believe The Martial Arts training would be beneficial for any youngster or adult?
ERNEST HYMAN III: Yes, that is why we teach; to inspire others.
Martialforce.com: How would Martial Arts training benefit them?
ERNEST HYMAN III: The goal is to give them a strong sense of self to develop a strong mind, body and spirit; this translates into applying the principles of righteousness learned in Goju to all other aspects of life (work, play).
Martialforce.com: What are your thoughts on cross training in regards to other styles of Martial Arts?
ERNEST HYMAN III: First one must build a strong foundation, then whatever is built on top will stand strong.
Martialforce.com: What other Martial Arts Styles, if any, have you trained in?
ERNEST HYMAN III: Kendo, Kobudo, Pa-kua, Tai-chi, Hapkido, Aikido and Jujutsu.
Martialforce.com: Have you trained with Family members, and / or taught any family members?
ERNEST HYMAN III: Yes, I was trained by mother and father. I trained with my uncle, brothers and sister and in turn taught my younger siblings.
Martialforce.com: How would you describe growing up a Hyman?
ERNEST HYMAN III: Because of the length of time it would take to describe being a Hyman, I will save this answer for another time. Growing up a Hyman: That’s an interview all by itself!!!
Martialforce.com: How tough in terms of discipline was growing and learning Martial Arts from your Father, GM Ernest Hyman II?
ERNEST HYMAN III: As stated it was arduous and difficult at times. My father, GM Hyman II, wanted us to be the best at anything we did.
Martialforce.com: What do you advise to youngsters who say: “my parents are too strict”?
ERNEST HYMAN III: Ha!! You did not have my parents; a Karate Master for a father and a Deputy Warden from Rikers Island Correctional Facility for a mother. These “children” who complain about strict parents, just don’t know strict!!!! And what is good for them.
Martialforce.com: How different is it to teach Family, or strangers?
ERNEST HYMAN III: There is no difference, as a teacher you expect the best effort and high accomplishments of your students no matter who they are.
Martialforce.com: What modifications have to be made, if any, in teaching family?
ERNEST HYMAN III: As I said, no modifications are needed, if the teacher teaches to impart knowledge and refine skills.
Martialforce.com: Who do you feel was your biggest influence in Karate or life in general and why?
ERNEST HYMAN III: I am influenced by all the Warriors/ Masters that came before me. Every single one of them, including my parents, deposited a seed that grew inside and motivated me to strive to achieve, and guided me to become a teacher.
Martialforce.com: Define Tradition in the Martial Arts; do you think Tradition is important?
ERNEST HYMAN III: Tradition is something handed down; it must have lineage. If you want to study true Karate- Do, it is important. knowing your predecessors, their history, how and where they started the study of the Art, who were their teachers and their teachers’ teachers, why learn to apply the principles taught and train as hard as we do, etc.
Martialforce.com: What are your views on evolution in Karate?
ERNEST HYMAN III: To that I say, “Onko Chishin.” This means, study The Old to have / to understand the New.
Martialforce.com: What do you think about rank in Martial Arts, and the present practice of fast and advanced promotions?
ERNEST HYMAN III: There is nothing wrong with rank in the Martial Arts. As my father would say, “The quality goes in, before the belt goes on.” As for the present day practice of fast and advanced promotions, it has cheapened the ranks.
Martialforce.com: Do you believe youngsters (12-20 Yrs.) could/ should be holders of rank above Sandan?
ERNEST HYMAN III: I say, “No!” but I am not the Karate Police!
Martialforce.com: What are your Long and/ or Short-term Goals in Martial Arts?
ERNEST HYMAN III: My short term goal will be to start my daughter (Akira Lin Hyman) on the Martial Arts path. My long term goals are to open up “The Hyman Clan Dojo”, and to retrace the steps of the GoJu heritage in Okinawa.
Martialforce.com: Are you involved with any Martial Arts Association?
ERNEST HYMAN III: Not in so many words.
Martialforce.com: Would you or Do you advocate for Martial Arts students to participate/ support Open Tournaments/ Competitions?
ERNEST HYMAN III: Yes, it is a part of Martial Arts training, but should not be the main focus.
Martialforce.com: Do you continue to train and teach?
ERNEST HYMAN III: Yes, I train all the time but I teach when I can.
Martialforce.com: Where is/ are your Dojo?
ERNEST HYMAN III: At the Harlem Karate Institute located on 109th Street and 2nd Avenue 3rd floor in the Tito Puente Junior High School.
Martialforce.com: What would you share with Parents or Kids who want to be involved with the Martial Arts?
ERNEST HYMAN III: I would tell parents to take it seriously; it is not a baby-sitting service. They should research there Martial Art choices with the same care they would research colleges. To the kids I would share that Martial Arts is a life-long gift that can-not be taken away if they put the work in.
Martialforce.com: Would you advocate young children to attend classes in Martial Arts?
ERNEST HYMAN III: Yes, with parent participation required.
Martialforce.com: This has been a great interview and on behalf of Martialforce.com Online Martial Arts Magazine, our avid and dedicated readers/ followers, and I personally would like to express our gratitude for your participation in this Interview, and contributions to the Martial Arts.
ERNEST HYMAN III: I thank you for this opportunity to further contribute to the Art, through Martialforce.com Magazine,