Hello, readers of Jewell’s Gems.
My name is Jennifer Jewell, and I’m honored to be Sifu Jewell’s wife.
I am taking over this post so that I can tell all of you just how important Sifu Jewell is to me and what he’s done for my life. You may learn a thing or two about him that you didn’t know, but, first and foremost:
He deserves all the love and support you, his readers, can give him.
Sifu Jewell came from humble beginnings. He fought hard against the discouragement his family bestowed upon him. He was constantly being told that if he tries anything new, he might become disappointed if he’s not successful. It was this nonsense that made him decide to try anyway and work extra hard to be successful. It instilled in him a work ethic like I’ve never seen before. He became focused and determined to prove the naysayers wrong.
Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. But he always tried.
He took writing classes all four years of high school and into college. A few of his pieces were published in his high school literary magazine and in our college newspaper. When I met him in 1993, he would let me read what he was writing. It was good, even back then. And it was diverse. He could write about anything.
Sifu Jewell paid his way through college. He worked long hours at a few places just to pay tuition. He took the public transit bus to class. Unfortunately, it took him a little longer than his peers because he ended up getting married (sorry, not to me, I’m wife #2) and raising children. His dreams suffered due to lack of time. He had a family to take care of now. But he never forgot his goal.
The writing took a back seat, but he trained in the martial arts whenever he could. He met his sifu in 2001 and trained with him at 2:00am, after his overnight security shift, several times a week. The voices of his discouraging family kept repeating in his head, “it’s better not to try at all than to try and become disappointed.” That was his fuel. He made it his mission to prove them wrong. He pushed himself to learn quickly and steadily moved up the ranks of Wing Chun. After 17 years, he has earned the rank of 3rd Degree Black Sash.
All of this without the support of his family or friends.
It’s funny; I have always felt that it was my job to take care of him, no matter how far away I was. Boy, did I fall short.
He would make time for me whenever he had an hour or two to spare, which was not often. Sometimes we’d go a few years without hanging out. Being in another state made it hard to see each other, but we still kept in touch.
23 years after we first met and we finally figured out that we should be a couple, he was working two jobs and putting himself through school trying to finish college. He was divorced by this time and his children had grown, so he was pouring his heart into writing papers and doing research. I was proud of him for not forgetting his goals. I felt like I was interfering with his studies, and I promised him that I wouldn’t take up his time. His education was just as important to me as it was to him, and I swore I would do anything I could to help him achieve his degree. He finished his Bachelor’s Degree in 2015 and went straightaway to his Master’s Degree. He graduated with a Master of Arts in Exercise and Sports Psychology in 2017. And he was working full time at the hospital.
Again, all this without the support of his family or friends.
He’s only ever wanted to do two things in his life:
- To teach Wing Chun
- To be a famous writer
Fast-forward to now: he is a published writer, but he’s not in the ranks of J.K. Rowling or Mark Twain. He’s getting there, but he needs your help. Take a chance and read his poetry anthology, As Winter Fades: Reflections In The Pond. Those poems are the last 25 years of love, loss, heartache, whimsy, rage, despair, happiness, and childlike innocence that he’s gone through. Those poems are from his life, not just some junk he made up to sell books. And the photos were chosen based on the mood of the poem they are with. Soon, he will have published his second book, The Wisdom of Wing Chun. He explains how studying this internal martial art has played a key role in his life. It’s very informative and well-written, and it’s not a common topic. He’s also working on a few horror stories that are really disturbing, but in a good way, especially if you like the horror genre.
Come take a Wing Chun class with him if you’re in Baltimore. He’s a really good teacher. He’s patient and encouraging and easy to understand.
Check out his YouTube tutorials. We’ve been shooting these for almost a year and they are good demonstrations of what the art of Wing Chun looks like in theory and application.
Finally, if you don’t feel like close combat is your thing, take a private Tai Chi lesson. Yes, boys and girls, HE TEACHES THAT ALSO!!! And he’s really good. He was tapped to lead a class of mixed ages at a church function last year, and they all loved him. He kept getting complements about how well he taught and how informative the demonstration was.
So what has he done for me and my life? He’s shown me what it’s like to be truly in love with someone. He’s taught me that it’s okay to cry. He’s taught me that it’s normal for someone who loves you to do something nice for you (whether it’s taking your dish to the sink without asking or cheering you up with a box of Western fries) just because they want to, without expecting something in return. He’s taught me to laugh at myself. He’s taught me to love my body. He’s taught me that a good partnership isn’t about winning battles in a war. He’s taught me how to let things go, especially toxic people who remind me that I’m not good enough for them and that I’ll never meet their expectations no matter what I do. He’s taught me how to be curious about things and to never stop learning. He’s taught me to not blame myself for things that really aren’t my fault or out of my control. He’s taught me that what I went through with my first marriage was not normal. He’s made me incredibly happy, even though I struggle with my adjustments. It can’t be easy for him, but he’s never given up on me. That, my friends, is true love.
Dear readers, this is my testimony to why Sifu Jewell deserves your attention and support. He has a lot to offer the world. He’s kind and smart and funny (most of the time, or at least he thinks he is), and he is dedicated to his craft. He will share his ideas and knowledge about topics that will provoke the best conversations. He’s open-minded and honest, and will always look at both sides of a debate. But best of all, he’s the most considerate, loving and caring husband and father anyone could ever want. The children and I are blessed to share his life, and we love him more and more every day.
Spread the word to everyone you know. Sifu Jewell really is a priceless gem to be treasured and admired.