Located on Broadway, a few blocks from the N train in Astoria, NY, is one of Dino Orfano’s newest institutions. Training gear and Bruce Lee literature line the walls in the lobby of the Queens location, one of five New York Martial Arts Academiesthat Orfanos owns and directs. Orfanos has dedicated the past forty years of his life to spreading and nurturing martial arts and the teachings of Bruce Lee. His connections to Lee come from his instruction with Ted Wong, who trained privately with Bruce, and Chris Kent, student and assistant to Dan Inosanto, a student of Bruce Lee.
Orfanos is the only person certified as an instructor of Jeet Kune Do under both the Ted Wong and Dan Inosanto lines and his experience is lengthy—he trained for fifteen years in traditional martial arts, is a fifth degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, a first degree blackbelt in Chinese Kenpō and a brown belt in Shotokan, and is a full instructor in Jeet Kune Do, Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do, Brazilian jiu jitsu (under Grandmaster Reylson Gracie), Kali, Pencak Silat, and Jun Fan Gung Fu. Photo by Andy Jimenez Orfanos’ hope is that his students take Bruce’s notes and disciplines and apply them to their own lives.
He emphasizes the diversity in the individual—what is right for one person may not be right for another. Through knowledge of kinetics and physics, you find your own unique style and personal expression. Philosophy and spirituality are main concentrations in Bruce Lee’s teachings and at Orfanos’ academies. Students are taught the connection between body and mind and how to positively affect the communities around them. Through charity participation (Save a Young Life Foundation, Maria’s Love Foundation, St. Jude Children’s Hospital) and clothing drives (Wounded Warrior Project), the NYMAA is bettering the community and setting examples about the impact support and outreach can have.
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