Master Greg Lacey
I have been a native of Northwest Alabama for all my life. Born and raised in Hayleville and moved to the Shoals area around 1980 when my father took a church to pastor. I began my martial arts induction during the early years of high school with my first instructor teaching Budokwon. He left the area to pursue a military career but I soon found an instructor teaching Shotokan. During my time of studying Shotokan we worked out with many other styles and instructors. Tae Kwon Do, Kenpo, Tang Soo Do and other karate styles were more like brethren and we would get together outside of our normal class times to work out with each other.
This was the main era where I learned that we are all brothers in the arts regardless of style. I made many friends during this time and learned that one must not just jump into a style and stay there, but endeavor to learn as much as one can. As luck would have it, my Shotokan instructor left the area to pursue a career in Illinois and I was left again trying to find a class that would suite my needs. I continued to work out with friends on the weekends and drop by classes from time to time, but never really joined another style until I met Grandmaster Blanton around the mid 1980's. He taught a class under the Tae Kwon Do style but taught us several different types of styles including pressure points and nerve usage.
While studying with Grandmaster Blanton I have had the pleasure of also studying under several organizations and instructors. Among these have been an instructor to Elvis Presley and Bill Wallace, a direct student of Bruce Lee's, one of the worlds leading nerve experts, one of the highest ranked Judo practitioners in the U.S., a great grandmaster in escrima, the man that the Blood Sport movie was written about, and many other highly respected martial artists. I have made many friends in my journey thus far and hope to be able to be as much a service to them and others as they have been to me. I have had the honor of being recognized by numerous organizations including Tae Kwon Do, Kenpo, Jui Jistu, Judo, Kung Fu, and other styles with memberships in some of the organizations ranging from the US to overseas. I have also had the privilege to have been inducted into hall of fames on different occasions, recognition by the Black Dragon Fighting Society, and recognition at the Shinja Hall of Honors.
I trained with Grandmaster Kang Rhee under Grandmaster Blanton. Grandmaster Kang Rhee recognized our style of teaching as Mang Ho in 1993 due to the various styles and techniques that we participated in and taught, and in 2002 Grandmaster Blanton was granted Sokeship by the American College of Martial Science.
I currently uphold the rank of 7th Degree Black Belt in the art of Mang Ho Ryu and hold various other rank within other systems. I hold the office of Vice-President and State Rep. of Mang Ho along with other honors from some of my other associations. We teach hard core / real self defense techniques along with controlled / tournament style techniques for friendly competitions, but we also train the soft core / inner styles to help cultivate the inner chi/qi and help focus the mind. It is my belief that True rank is shown by the actions of the practitioner, not by the belt they wear. My main goal in martial arts is to learn as much as I possibly can and to teach that knowledge to others in a way that promotes core values, mainly honor, dignity and respect.
While working as an HR, Safety & Health Manager I can assure you that Martial Arts has impacted my way of life and has helped me to be a better person, handle situations with proper respect, and to help others onto the proper path in life. To me this is a lifestyle, not just techniques, that most likely will take a lifetime to even reach the halfway point. But, it is the moments in this journey and the friendships along the way, that make it worthwhile, even if I never reach the end.