My name is Dennis Pounall and I’m feeling incredible at 54 years old .I live and work in Elliot lake with my wife Jane Pounall a yoga teacher and published author and my dog “Bubba” “The deconstruction dog”. I have been practising martial arts for about 32 years, since the ripe age of 13 when I got my first introduction to the arts in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England I started with Shotokan Karate, with my older my older brother Kenny Pounall. Currently I am a Primary Care land and air paramedic in the prehospital emergency care field in Northern Ontario working for a company called Air bravo corp. we specialized in air medevac transportation . This involves the transportation of sick, injured or ill patients from one hospital too another. Sometimes for specialized testing, some times for operations, and sometimes as a organ recipient’s. We also transfer neonatal and premature babies in isolates along with a special teams of doctors and nurses.
Well lets get back to the story;
My first style happened to be Japanese Shotokan Karate and got me hooked until my family relocated to Canada. A couple of years of adjusting in the new home put a break on practising martial arts, but, by the time I turned 20, I resumed my hobby with studying Aki Kempo Karate Do under Master Ken Hayashi and Ron Yamanaka. This unique hard-style karate with the emphasis on speed and power kept me focused for the next 5 years and earned me a brown belt 2nd stripe at the end, before I moved on to Master Ray Zwicker, the study of an eclectic style known as Kali Jujitsu.
This system is based on Indonesian knife fighting and Escarima with some Jujitsu strikes, chokes and submission techniques.
This was lots of fun, all our training was outside in the summer and in a basement in the winter. I then moved back to Mississauga ,and decided to further my education.
A unique opportunity the first step
I went back to school to study to be a Registered Massage Therapist. This was very useful, as it gave me a unique, a detailed knowledge of how the human body worked and how it moved. Anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology were my favourite subjects. I then discovered my primary system, a Chinese Okinawan Style Called UechiRyu Karate do,or Pang GI Noon Gung fu, a kind of Okinawan Kempo. This was a unique style as it had both Internal and External training, hard and soft techniques, linear and circular applications. This was the first time I was introduced to Chi Kung “Breath Energy work”. Uechiryu contains movements from the Tiger,Dragon,andCrane Gung fu techniques. Kanei Uechi (1910-1991),the son of the founder of Uechi-Ryu karate who inherited the system.
For the next 13 years I concentrated on achieving a rank of Nei Dan and prepared for my San Dan. My beloved teacher was a York University Music professor named Master David Mott, who was behind my initiation into Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. As a teacher he was outstanding, his skill was undeniable, his dedication unquestionable and his insight unique.
He introduced me to both the internal and the external aspects of the discipline of martial arts training. By combining aspects of Buddhism meditation practices and philosophy with Taoist healing qi kung and meditations. He always advocated mindful practice with precision and detail. He said we should strive for the five Excellencies, Music,Art,Martial skill, healing knowledge, Poetry.
I graduated with diplomas from both sciences and made a career as an Acupuncturist and Registered Massage Therapist for the next decade.
My next step went along the path in Taijiquan and classical Yang Style Taijiquan for more than another decade under Master Ho Lo Lam. Receiving the rank of Assistant Head Instructor was just another honour I was presented with along the way. Art and science of Taiji Boxing deepened my level of understanding and appreciation of the various depths of the ageless dynamic system of “self preservation” and “Enlightenment”.
I am currently adding the intriguing techniques of Kook Sool Won, a Korean martial arts system that complements my Taiji Boxing. The natural surroundings of Elliot Lake the ultimate training playground!!
Jewel in the Northern Ontario wilderness
Just like the Ancient Taoist priest they sought clarity through being in nature and listening and observing it's majesty and understanding it's natural cycles with eyes wide open. So I hope to glean a small sample of this clarity away for too much distraction here in Elliot lakes raw beauty and four season weather..
This makes for a tranquil and serene environment, as well as for a peaceful place to live, train and meditate. I aspire to share my extraordinary natural surroundings in the near future through workshops, summer camps and teacher exchanges.
Thank you all for taking the time to read my story, and I look forward to sharing and hearing your journey on this martial path to health and peace and Vitality!!