Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Who is Vincent Otieno?

Who is Vincent Otieno-Sabunnim?

Vincent is a very quiet man who tends to hide his accomplishments under a bushell basket. His short and lanky stature belies the true champion within. Vincent is the owner and founder of the Otieno Martial Arts Center in Sterling MA. He had previously operated 2 other dojangs (schools), one in Leominster and another in Ayer MA but has now settled in Sterling. Vincent hails from Kenya where he grew up and started martial arts training as a young boy. After seeing some Bruce Lee films, he stated, "I want to be just like him." So, he found the nearest martial art school and joined. His first exposure in training was in Shotokan Karate under the first teachers to introduce Shotokan into Kenya.

Over the next couple of years Vincent proved to be a fighter and discovered the art of sport Taekwondo. He switched styles to train under the "father of Taekwondo in Kenya" and quickly established himself as a pre-emminant champion defeating rivals one after another. His skills gained national attention both as a member of the Kenya National Olympic team but also rising to team captain. Note: in Kenya, Taekwondo atheltes are held in great esteem. Vincent had a small school in Kenya where he taught Taekwondo to other potential champions. Training in Kenya is not like training in the US. It was (is) brutal in the 110 degree heat typically outdoors. Vincents favorite practice is what he refers to as "jungle training" which to all descriptions is an arduous, difficult yet satifying training to hone skills and build an undefeatable spririt.Vincent encourages his students to "fight like a wounded lion.", we can only guess where this concept came from.

Vincent went on to win medals at a number of competitions including the All Africa Games held in Zimbabway bringing contestants from all around the world. As member of the Kenyan national team he went on to the Olympics when Taekwondo was being introduced as a demonstration sport. After that he has settled in the USA competing in a number of regional tournaments and persuing his college education. Now he has again opened his own school (Otieno Martial Arts Center) in the US and has been bringing Olympic style training to students of all ages. He has trained about 50 students so far and his new school in Sterling, MA is only just starting with about 9 students. Vincent is aspiring to put together a world-class team of fighters and he himself is looking to return to competition.

1 comment:

  1. Vincents class is great and he is an excellent teacher! Come on young adults/adults, come join a class!