Grandmaster C. Ferraro, 9th Degree Blackbelt (9th Dan) began his training as a boy in 1967. He took part in the art not for fighting or self-defense (the study of the martial arts wasn't a popular activity back then), but because he was infatuated with watching local blackbelts working out with each other. The first time, he recalls, was "Like watching an eagle soaring high on the wind currents". The instructor's movements were graceful but all so powerful. The technique which was quite visibly effective seemed so effortless. All the eyes of the practitioners were steady, confident, and peaceful.