“Absorb what is useful, discard what is not, add what is uniquely your own. ” – Bruce Lee
Our head instructor, Sifu Roosevelt Legette has had a lifelong passion for martial arts. His desire to learn and master the different styles has made him an engaging and knowledgeable teacher.
Sifu’s interest in martial arts started in 1973, when he was just 8 years old, in the small town of Chester, Pennsylvania. Spending much of his time watching martial arts movies and playing martial arts with his friends in the streets. It was then that he encountered his first teacher who was practicing in the park.
This man was Sensei Rick Barry who taught Tae Kwan Do. After submerging himself in the style and philosophy of Tae Kwan Do, Sifu Roosevelt found that it didn’t fit his personality and he began his search for a new teacher and style.
After studying Tae Kwan Do for a while Sifu Roosevelt felt that it did not fit his personality. Later he found another Instructor Sensei Ken Brown in 1978 who also studied Tae Kwon Do and a good friend of Sensei Rick. Sensei Ken’s Tae Kwan Do was different. His training methods were hard, gritty, and street savvy this gave Sifu Roosevelt a new spark. It was here that he made the connection. He learned the realism of martial arts as a Self-Defense, a way of fighting, and the pure combat of the art.
Next came Sensei Willie Craig, (1979) who was a good friend of Sifu Roosevelt’s father,and often came around to do work for Sifu’s father. Sensei Craig taught the young and eager Roosevelt, Jujitsu, Shotakan Karate, enclose fighting, ground techniques and throwing techniques. After training with Sensei Craig for some time Sifu Roosevelt felt that something was missing. He felt the martial arts that he had learned up to this point did not completely fit his personality as a fighter. Sifu Roosevelt still in search of an art better suited for him, met Sifu Michael Fitzgerald.
Sifu Fitzgerald taught Jeet Kune Do, the one art that Sifu Roosevelt felt most connected with, it fit his fighter personality. Sifu Roosevelt felt he learned more in just a few weeks than he did in months in the other arts. Sifu Fitzgerald always encouraged Sifu Roosevelt to learn different arts. Taking Sifu Fitzgerald advice Sifu Roosevelt found his next teacher in 1990, Master Steve Sun of the Siulum Martial Arts School.
Master Sun instructed him in Kung Fu: Tiger, Crane, Mantis, Eagle, and Wing Chun. Master Sun was also a doctor that specialized in Acupuncture and pressure point manipulation. This is where Sifu Roosevelt learned pressure point and joint manipulation. Sifu continued his training with Sifu Fitzgerald and Dr. Sun for about two years before he was in a car accident and unable to continue his rigorous training regimen. Sifu Roosevelt moved to Delaware in 1994. After about a year or so of not being able to train the way he wanted and being away from his teachers he began to lose interest.
In late 1995 Sifu Roosevelt came across the Siamese Kung Fu Academy where after talking to Sifu Ron Succarotte, Sifu Roosevelt’s interest was renewed and began instruction in Siamese Shaolin Kung Fu under Sifu Succarotte. While training under Sifu Succarotte, Sifu Roosevelt continued practicing his Jeet Kune Do honing his skills learned under Sifu Fitzgerald. After about five years under Sifu Succarotte in the Siamese Kung Fu system, Sifu Roosevelt decided to move on feeling that he had established himself as far as he could in the system. He started to focus more on Jeet Kune Do.
After trying to get in contact with his old JKD instructor Sifu Fitzgerald, he came across Sifu Guru John Lopez who Sifu Roosevelt became a full instructor under in Jeet Kune Do and Kali Silat. Sifu Roosevelt is also training and testing under Sifu Ron Balicki in Jeet Kune Do and Kali Silat and Sifu Fran Archangelo in Tai Chi, Leho Bafa and Baqua.