Royce Gracie Student(?) joins Kuk Sool Won
I tried looking up this guy at bjj.org and google, and can't find **** on him. You'd think someone with a Royce Gracie background in BJJ would have some kind of notice. Also apparently trains under Leonardo Xavier (http://www.leonardoxavier.com/).
Martial arts instructor joins Kuk Sool Won
By Kirk Ehlig
Published December 21, 2006
Longtime Baytown martial arts instructor and fitness trainer Joseph Cantu recently joined forces with Tommy and Jennifer Nance of Kuk Sool Won.
“This unification is the most exciting and promising collaboration for the martial arts Baytown has ever seen,” said Jennifer Nance.
Founder of Cantu’s Karate and TKS Martial Arts, Cantu has taught martial arts and fitness training in Baytown since 1994.
He was approached a few weeks ago to team up with the Nances, former competitors for business, and decided to move his operation to their newly acquired additional building space at their location.
“I think we reached out to each other at the right time,” Cantu said. “But all credit is due to Tommy and Jennifer for having the foresight for such an idea.”
Bringing many years of experience in various kinds of martial arts to the Nances’ school, Cantu will teach Karate, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and other fitness programs at the school, located at 2827 North Alexander Drive. Cantu will also consult the Nances and other martial arts programs in the area.
“This gives me an opportunity to help another school,” Cantu said. “They’ve done so many good things, and now I would like to help them get to the next level.”
Kuk Sool Won opened in 2000 by the Nances. Throughout its existence, it has become popular for after school and fitness programs.
“It’s very unusual for two martial arts schools to come together and say ‘lets do a little unity here’,” Jennifer Nance said. “We’re totally two different kinds of martial arts.”
Kuk Sool Wun is a Korean martial art system that is known for its hard soft style with fluid motions combining multiple techniques such as joint locking, pressure points, healing methods and meditation.
Karate is a martial arts school that originated in Japan and is a widely popular style today. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a form of grappling and ground fighting and is a big influence of today’s mixed martial arts styles. Helio Gracie, who modified the fighting style from Judo, started Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in the late 1920s. Cantu studied Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Royce Gracie, a descendent of Helio, and Leonardo Xavier.
“I think it provides a unique opportunity to get the best of both worlds,” Cantu said.
Cantu will also bring his yearly fitness program called Bikini Boot Camp, which is for women. Registration for the program is being held now, and the boot camp will start on Jan. 15.
“It’s a drop a lot of weight, real quick kind of a fitness program,” said Jennifer Nance.
She added that Cantu will use training, diet planning and nutrition to help people to shed those unwanted holiday pounds.
For more information on Kuk Sool Won or Cantu call 281-428-4930 or visit their Websites at www.ourbaytown.com/ksw or www.mindbodysport.com.
Xavier is a 2nd degree black under Saulo Ribeiro and Royler Gracie. But can't find any rank whatsoever for this Cantu guy. Cantu also apparently has his own martial art system "Cuaucalli."
The Great Yamashita
Joseph Cantu's enterprise has now morphed into TKS Martial Arts. The BJJ program is taught by a Robert Cantu, perhaps a relative of Joseph Cantu. What's interesting, though, is that Robert has changed his surname from Cantu to Yamashita:
Here he is in all his blue belt glory, right gi lapel crossed over left:
Hey, I thought I'd go ahead and update this with what I know. I live in Baytown and when I was looking at MA schools in Aug 2006, I investigated both of them (in addition to the other 2 in the area). TKS is currently located in an older shopping center on Alexander, about a mile from Kuk Sool Won Baytown. KSW Baytown is in a free standing building further North on Alexander.
Joseph Cantu was at TKS (which was called Cantu Karate a couple years earlier), and he was married to Julie Palmer, the current owner of TKS. Robert Cantu was listed as an instructor on the old version of the website. Looks like Joseph and Julie got a divorce and she kept the business. Robert changed his name to Yamashita, but I don't know if Cantu was his original last name and/or related to Joseph.
Meanwhile, over at KSW Baytown, Tommy Nance purchased the garage just behind the dojang. The new building was an auto mechanic shop. After the annoucement of the partnership between Tommy and Joseph, Joseph rented space in the secondary building to continue teaching his students. I am not sure which style he was teaching in the new facility, but when he was at TKS he was teaching MMA, BJJ and traditional karate.
Apparently In Hyuk Suh (KSW founder) or maybe In Joo Suh (World Wide Chief Master) took issue with the article and called up Tommy for an explanation. It seems KSW was not keen on any kind of competing style being available in the same space. The situation seems to have been defused because Joseph was not teaching in the actual dojang building. However, Joseph only used the space for about 3 months. No sign was ever put up indicating he was back there, although there was a "KSW welcomes Mr Cantu" on their sign for a while. Last I had heard, Joseph was living in the Sugarland area on the other side of Houston. I don't know if he is teaching or not.
I cannot attest to the quality of Joseph's instruction or his skill level. When I was looking for a MA school, his class schedule was incompatible with my work schedule and I did not get to visit a class.
Man I have been away from Baytown to long. I didn't know sensei joined with Kuk Sool Won. Never saw that happening. And Robert was Joesph's adopted son.