All of the instructors at Jow Ga Kung Fu are good and competent, but Mr. Gerry Tala is the toughest you will ever meet. Yes, he is a formidable combatant whose punch can carry even the largest of men across a room and kick does stop one in his tracks. I must say, he does have a stare that causes spontaneous palpitations and induces illness in even the strongest of constitutions. But it is not his abilities in a match that make him so tough. It is how he challenges his students to become better. Mr. Tala himself says that he accepts nothing less than excellence in form and effort. He is a no nonsense highly critical developer of people. He instills in his students a work ethic that transcends the walls of the school. He doesn’t simply train people to fight, but he trains people for life. He demands much of his students.
It is a bit of an irony to know that Mr. Tala is a highly talented no nonsense instructor that drives his students to being the best they can particularly when you learn that he was a man who was forcibly enrolled in to Jow Ga Kung Fu. Mr Tala makes it clear that the reason he joined Jow Ga Kung Fu was not because he wanted to be there, but because his parents forced him into it.
He says they felt him to be socially isolated and inactive, and were concerned about his future choices. He’s not sure why they chose Jow Ga Kung Fu, but he believes it was a wise choice.
When commenting on the early years at Jow Ga , Mr. Tala states that though he had other interests he worked hard at kung fu. Mr. Tala notes that there is something within him that makes him want to be the best at whatever he does even if he doesn’t like it. Mr. Tala says that in the early months after joining he began to find that the more he participated the more he liked it, even that he was actually good at it. He states that on weekdays he would come early and stay late and on weekends he would spend 8-10 hours above and beyond structured practice hours. Looking back on it, Mr. Tala realizes how much that undesired enrollment changed his life, made him confident, even considerate. It grounded him in a way. Mr. Tala states that life is often like that where your choices are limited but that is not the time to pout and rebel. That is the time to gain the most you can from the experience so as to be prepared for what comes next.
For Mr. Tala what came next was leadership. After three dedicated years of study and self-building, Mr. Tala was made assistant instructor. He states that his parents, already proud of the man he was becoming, saw even greater positive change as he took on the responsibility of caring for the progression of other students. Just as he received, he began giving one on one instruction to students. He taught form, culture, and etiquette. As a leader once in the position of the new students, Mr. Tala came to realized the importance of repetition, self-consideration, environment considerations, and work ethic. When you come to any class that Mr. Tala teaches you will see that these guiding principles to his instruction manifest in every activity that he calls for.
Now a full instructor, having dedicated more than half his life to Jow Ga Kung Fu, Mr. Tala reminds his students often “to believe in the method as it will produce quality not only in kung fu, but in you and the work you do.” When watching Mr. Tala demonstrate his form, you can see the conviction of this artist. He believes in every step, punch, kick, and block. It is not a dance for him. It is a way of life. He is an invaluable asset to this organization.