Welcome to another installment of our Spotlight! series. I'm excited to feature our first man of the series -- I wouldn't wan't my brothers to feel left out! *smile* Today, I'm pleased to introduce you to Sifu Ben Hill Bey. Sifu Bey is a Master in the traditional Ba Gua Zhang style of martial arts, which he has practiced for over 30 years, and author of a new book on the art entitiled Ba Gua Zhang: A Historical Analysis, in which he explores the origins of the art. (Click here to visit Sifu's YouTube channel and see him in action!) Recently, he shared some of his thoughts with me:

Who is Sifu Bey?
I'm really a simple man. I like to laugh, very analytical, moody from time to time. serious when its time to be so. I'm real big on loyalty.

What prompted you to get involved with martial arts?
At 5 years old I got my first taste of martial arts from a T.V show -- I've been hooked ever since.

Do you have any upcoming events or new areas you're branching into?
Yes! First, I'm very excited to have just released my first book, Ba Gua Zhang: A Historical Analysis, which is available at
www.lulu.com. Also, on August 28, I'll be running the "Push Hands" Division of my Partner's All Traditional Martial Arts Tournament here in New York. It's gonna be big. I'm also getting ready to make some training DVDs. A lot of good things are happening!

What is your biggest dream or aspiration? What would you do if money was no concern?
My biggest dream is to have a large following of highly trained students. If I had the money, I'd host the best single style tournament ever. The biggest issue is getting the true masters of my art here [to the US], so if I were in the position, I'd bring as many as I could here. Real teachers of my art are far and few here in the US, so to get some of them here is a real dream.

Any advice for Ase Ire's readers?
My advice is to do plenty of exercise and pay attention not only to your diet, but the food itself. Eat as naturally as you can. Also find as many reasons to laugh as you can. Life can be hard and a lot of us can't get away to take a real break, so laugh. Whatever moves you to do so, use it.

Modupe (thank you!) Sifu Bey for sharing your time with Ase Ire! Don't forget to visit Sifu Bey on YouTube and see him in action!

Spotlight! is a space to shed light on people who are doing interesting, inspiring things. Know someone you'd like to see the Spotlight! on? Contact me!