Ramsey Veitch, Sensei, has been involved with the martial arts since he was a child and has been training consistently for over ten years. Veitch Sensei possesses a deep passion and understanding of the martial arts and devotes much of his time to them. Sensei trained and still trains on a weekly basis at Aikido Masters Self-Defense Academy under Soke-Dai David Nemeroff earning black belts in Aikido, Kempo, Iai and Ken-Jutsu and holds rank in the other arts of Aiki-Jutsu, Ju-Jutsu and Kobudo (Okinawan Weapons). In addition to training regularly, Sensei also assists and teaches classes at his instructor's dojo.
Living an active
lifestyle, Sensei is constantly on the move and enjoys an array of activities
on a daily basis such as disc golf, volleyball, skiing, rock climbing, archery, biking, hiking, mentally
challenging games, the occasional round of dodgeball, etc. One thing that sets
Veitch Sensei apart from other martial arts teachers is his fondness and enthusiasm
for the arts. The Sensei simply wants to inspire others to live an active, complete and satisfying life... with confidence.
“Teaching martial arts is
a passion of mine and is my way of giving back. The martial arts are
more than fighting to me, they are a way of life. I have the gift of teaching well and enjoy educating and spreading my knowledge. It's not a job being done, it's a passion being fulfilled.” – Ramsey Veitch, Sensei
Below are answers to important questions concerning the Sensei and the martial arts:
-Why is teaching important to you?
vital to the martial arts. Without dedicated teachers, they would surely die
out and traditions would follow. I implore individuals to learn some form of self-defense. You never know when you may need it. Also, not only is it an exciting feeling to share your
knowledge with others, but teaching actually helps improve and expand my own
knowledge of the arts.
-How did you become involved with the martial arts? Who do you admire?
As a child, I would run around my neighborhood and fight invisible people with karate kicks and weapons. Around age 12, my father and I joined a Tae Kwon Do school and did that for a year. While growing up, I admired Steven Seagal as well as other martial artists but Steven Seagal stood out the most and I simply wanted to learn what he learned… Aikido. At age 20, I found a school and just signed up knowing that one day, I will be as good as Seagal. Since then, I have come to appreciate other martial artists such as Bruce Lee and Miyamoto Musashi. I recommend other Martial Artists to discover them as I did. Their knowledge of life and the arts is profound.
-Why do you study more than one art? Is one better than the other?
The fact is, I never intended on learning more than one, it just so happened my instructor is experienced and teaches more than one art so I naturally gravitated towards learning them. As time went by, I learned that no single art is superior to any other art. Every art has its pros and cons. Therefore, the best way to become truly proficient is to study multiple arts in their entirety; a striking art, grappling art and a throwing art. However, if someone studies a single art in depth, they can still become very skilled and defend themselves well. Quoting Miyamoto Musashi, ' Become acquainted with every art '.
-What is your take on the martial arts and their effectiveness?
cannot train with 100% conviction in the dojo or else there wouldn’t be anyone
to train with. It is important to remember to train as if you were in a real
life situation. How you train in the dojo will determine your effectiveness on
the street. Every attack is dynamic in its own way which means that no matter how many scenarios you practice, when the time comes to defend yourself, the attack given will be completely new. We must train multiple scenarios and perform drills to teach ourselves how to react to being attacked. Also keep in mind that when it comes to self-preservation, anything
goes in the street. These points should be stressed well during training. My favorite quote regarding self-defense training is by Bruce Lee, "Absorb what is useful, discard what is not, add what is uniquely your own".
-What is your view on fighting and defending yourself?
If at any point
in time that you are in a life-death situation or a physical confrontation you
cannot walk away or escape from, you must do what is necessary for preservation
of life. If you are someone who decides to confront someone and "throw-down", do
so with caution; you never know what the other person knows and no matter how
good you might be, there is always someone more skilled. I do not personally
condone fighting and believe every physical conflict can be avoided or
prevented. Unfortunately, we cannot always avoid or prevent confrontations. Put pride aside, it might just kill you.
-What is your view of the MMA and cage-fighting? Do you do this stuff?
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is indeed an exciting sport but I do not cage-fight and do not have any intentions of doing so. The MMA is as close as you’re going to get when it comes to real-life fighting due to it being full-contact. However, it does have rules and rules limit one’s ability to defend themselves. Overall, the MMA is a rough sport and an intense activity, therefore the athletes deserves plenty of respect.
-What do you mean by "Traditional" and "Modern" martial arts?
Traditional martial arts are those which are practiced in their entirety. This includes all of the basic and advanced principles, techniques, katas, nomenclature and especially proper etiquette. This is necessary to both preserve the martial art's uniqueness and integrity as well as promote discipline with the student. It would be extremely convenient to only study life-saving self-defense skills. Even though practicing the "eye-gouge" everyday and mastering it would be beneficial, it would also be boring, dull and would not teach you anything else other than severly injuring someone. Also, as I mentioned before, studying an art in its entirety will present you with more options for when the "eye-gouge" is not an option as well as open your eyes to the vast knowledge of the martial arts arena and inhibit ignorance or naivete.
Modern martial arts involves taking the principles learned throughout a particular style(s) and integrate them into the world today. For example, swords are not used today nearly as much as in Feudal Japan, but the principles we learn through training with the sword relate to how we may defend against a baseball bat or a machete. We also train with other bladed objects such as a tanto or knife. Samurai warriors had these in their arsenal and were well trained in both use and defense against a knife. Additionally, the martial arts world constantly evolves, therefore adapting and learning to defend against relatively new fighting styles (MMA and BJJ) is pertinent to training.
-Why can’t someone buy a book or learn the martial arts online?
You can. It is not
advised, however, that someone learns any martial art in any way other than under the
supervision and guidance of a qualified instructor. You must learn the basics
and be corrected until then. As you become more advanced and knowledgeable, you can look into books and
video to gain perspective into new techniques, applications or principles as
you will understand them better at this point.
-How long does it take to get a black belt?
there is no length of time that will guarantee a black belt certification.
Being a black belt is dependent solely on how hard you train and how quickly you
advance. Everyone learns at a different pace. If you train hard and consistently, you could obtain a black belt in
about three to five years. A "Blackbelt" is defined as someone who possesses the basic knowledge and principles of a particular martial art; it does not mean you he/she knows how to defend themselves. Please keep in mind that a true martial artist should
not prioritize achieving rank over acquiring skills. If your mind is focused on
rank acquisition, it will take you that much longer to advance.
-What is your advice for beginning students?
Trust your instructor. Train every day and focus on what you did learn as opposed to what you didn't learn. Remember your
goals and reasons for training. Do not become discouraged from your training.
Training will be intense, repetitive and frustrating. Perseverance and persistence
is the key to advancement. Success doesn’t happen over night and requires work. Everyone makes mistakes and no one is perfect... even the highest ranked martial artist will get hit or cut. Strive to be the best and you may be surprised at what you find.
"Be the change you wish to see in the world" - Mahatma Gandhi