“He’s very charismatic, he’s very strong, he’s very much a leader, despite how goofy he can be. He’s very disciplined, too.” Junior multimedia major, Arianna Khalil, spoke of the leader of the Martial Arts Club at Point Park, Albert Ho. “He’s one of those people that puts others first before he would defend himself, and I think he’s just a good role model.”
Ho is also a junior at Point Park, studying criminal justice in hopes of becoming a police officer. He started the club in his sophomore year.
“I wanted to reach out to potential students with interest so I could share my knowledge with them,” Ho stated.
His mother pushed him to train since he was just six years old. Now, he says it’s the desire to become better that urges him into training.
Ho has been training for the last 13 years, studying the styles of Shaolin Kung Fu, Wushu, and Tang Soo Do Karate.
During his freshman year of college, Ho tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).
“It’s actually a funny story,” Ho stated. “I saw a technique I was close to proficiently doing. I ended up practicing that move without warming up or stretching, which was a dire mistake.
According to Ho, he performed the technique a couple of times. On the second or third attempt, however, he was “down for the count.”
His left leg took eight months to recover, but he had to wait an additional four months before he was able to train in his martial styles again.
“I felt powerless as time passed by during my recovery,” Ho stated.
Since starting martial arts, Ho said that he has grown grown significantly both physically, and mentally.
“I’m more physically disciplined and mentally. I’m more agile, athletic, and just the martial arts philosophy alone has made me humble of what I do.”
Isaiah Rebujio, freshman intelligence and national security major, and member of the martial arts club, says that Ho is very passionate in training.
Rebujio found the club on Point Park’s version of Org Sync and decided to give martial arts a try. He joined the club without prior experience or knowledge.
“I wanted to learn because I wanted to do something active and I’m having a lot of fun, in there,” he said.
According to Rebujio, his first time watching Ho perform was “really something.”
“What’s not to admire? I mean, he makes a really good show, of it. It’s not just show, I’ve been behind the cushion and his kicks have power, too,” he stated.
Ho has taught Rebujio numerous kicks and some self-defense grapples, since his first time with the club.
“When I joined (the martial arts club), he was a teacher, but we became friends, after a while,” Rebujio said.
According to both Rebujio and Khalil, the club is not a teacher to student setting, but instead peer to peer.
“We teach each other,” Khalil stated. “When we train together, we learn from everybody. Everybody has their own styles and own knowledge to share.”
Khalil joined the club during her sophomore year. She practiced the Tang Soo Do style for about seven years during her childhood.
“I stopped training almost six years prior to college. Once I was introduced to him and got into martial arts again, it brought me back into the humility and discipline that I had kept up for so many years,” she stated
Since Ho is one of the more experienced fighters in the club, he does a significant amount of instruction during meet ups. Khalil has trained with some “terrifying” instructors, but says that Ho is anything but.
“He’s very supportive. There are a lot of people who don’t know what they’re doing, so he’ll help them one on one,” said Khalil. “He’ll lighten the mood, if someone is getting frustrated at some of the more advanced things.”
Ho also has a funny side, according to Khalil. At one of the club’s training sessions, without music, he started dancing.
“It was a room full of people and he just got distracted and started dancing out of nowhere,” she giggled. “He didn’t realize he was in a room full of people. He suddenly snapped out of dancing and realized we were all done with our training and were staring at him.”
Khalil stated that Ho embodies the three main principles of martial arts in his fighting and in his performances: courage, honor, and respect.
“I think he showed the most courage when we performed at a showcase last semester and it was in front of at least 150 people,” Khalil said. “We bother performed independently, and beforehand, he was terrified. But once he was on the floor and started, even though he lost his balance at one point, he kept going, and that takes a lot of courage.”
According to Khalil, Ho spoke only of the positives of the performance, after it was over. It was only during the next training session that he started to analyze his mistakes, but used them as a learning opportunity.
Outside of the club, Khalil said that Ho is very “bright and cheery.”
“He tried really hard to get to know each and every one of us and when he sees us, he acknowledges us,” she said.
Ho wants to continue training in martial arts, but does not want to teach on the professional level. “I’d like to stay as a student, always learning and thirsting for more training.”