Jul 2009 27

Mr Roberto Sharpe is a martial arts guru, someone who has spent twenty five years of life honing his craft in New York. Over the years he has practiced Tai Chi, bagua, Xingyi, capoeira, judo, karate, boxing, jiu-jitsu, xuejiao and others.  What’s most notable about what he has to say concerning his art is that he has adapted many styles to form his own way of fighting (martial street art) which is more reminiscent of “western boxing” whilst still paying homage to the Chinese culture from which his main martial art (Tai Chi) is derived.

In the interview above he talks about his development as a martial artist and how this flourished into him becoming a full-time teacher and his martial arts philosophy. He says that its based on liberation – “liberation from crass materialism, stylisms and egoistic traps that we fall into as people when we become good at something” to quote him loosely. Like Bruce Lee, he has become so accomplished in the various arts that he has studied that he is now looking to free himself from their limitations.

Bruce Lee said of his Jeet Kune Do: “I have not invented a “new style,” composite, modified or otherwise that is set within distinct form as apart from “this” method or “that” method. On the contrary, I hope to free my followers from clinging to styles, patterns, or molds.”

As a true practitioner of Asian martial arts, Roberto does the Asian thing and practices openly in the park. Just like in China, or Chinatown for that matter, where throngs of people gather in public spaces to study their martial arts, so too do Roberto and his students. In fact, it was as a function of practicing outdoors that people started requesting lessons from him. A holder of degrees from both Columbia University and New York Law Roberto never envisioned that he would be making a living teaching martial arts full time. In fact, up until a few years ago he wasn’t. After law school Roberto was a parole defense attorney. When Bloomberg came in to office, however, his hard stance towards crime left little room for Roberto’s job. Thus, Roberto made the switch to full-time instructor, a job he finds equally fulfilling. “To me, they’re all part of a similar mission which is try to help those who need the help…[Such as those] who are in prison who can’t possibly help themselves.” (quoted from where more footage of Roberto Sharpe is available)


  1. pepe says:

    Brother rasta,i would like to share some words with you..
    justice and peace.

  2. Gene says:

    I am Asian – not one of those kung fu ones, but of course one who embraces kung fu as his heritage and culture. I’m so inspired by Roberto’s Youtube movies, and his style of teaching – humble, humorous, New York cool, yet tough. Superstar! I live far away from America, but I will be followin’ from the Net. Respect brother.

  3. Struggle E Stylez says:

    How do I get in contact with this brother?

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