He started his martial arts in 1975 at St. Paul, MN YMCA with Sensei Robert Billington who was stationed in Okinawa, Japan in the US Army. While in Okinawa Sensei Billington studied under Sensei Ankicki Nakamura Okinawa Shuri-Te Karate. Sensei Billington taught in MN and WI for many years.
In 1992 Mr. Peterson traveled to Okinawa 9 times to train in karate with Sensei Ankicki Nakaumara. He also trained at the Shuri Dojo with other students of Sensei Chozo Nakama. He also did research on each trip and met many Masters from Okinawa Karate. From Sensei Ankichi Nakamura he received 1st Degree Black Belt through 5th Degree and his Shihan Certificate(Master Teacher)
In 1996 Mr. Peterson met Master Tony Sandoval in Minnesota and trained with him. Sensei Sandoval was highly decorated US Marine and spent many years on Okinawa studying with many different teachers. From Master Sandoval he received his 6th, 7th and 8th Degree Black Belt. He was also giving Kyoshi title certificate (Expert Instructor).
Mr. Peterson during martial arts training he had also trained for a short time in Motobu-Ryu, Kajukenbo and judo.
In his quest to keep learning and getting back to the early roots in the martial arts lead him to Cai Li Fo Kung Fu. His teacher from Minnesota had lived and trained in Foshan, China for several years. Sifu Peterson traveled to China and studied under Mastet Wai Leung who awarded him his coaching -teaching certificate.
Currently Sifu Peterson is teaching Ving Tsun Instinct Kung Fu in several locations in Prescott Valley, AZ. Sifu Peterson had met Master Lee in China and joined his international organization and has trained in China learning this system. Master Lee issued Mr. Peterson his teaching certificate. Due to Covid 19 , Sifu Peterson hasn’t been able to travel to China for more training but continues with Zoom training.
Master Lee’s group accepts students from all ages and walks of life in China. Master Lee has said that your training brothers and sisters are now your Kung Fu family once you join the association. Training sessions in China are unique where families support the students and they have brought dinner for the students at the Kwoon(Chinese Training Hall). Master Lee also spends time with each student during the training sessions. The annual association celebration in December is supported by students, families and local kung fu martial artists. There is over 100+ people at these annual celebration.
Sifu Peterson in AZ will carry on this same tradition of training in Ving Tsun that’s’s been created by Master Lee.
In January 2021 Sifu Peterson retired from his job in Minnesota. He worked as a patrol officer in a high crime area with a partner at times for many years and had numerous encounters with violent criminal element. He’s also studied /watched hundreds of violent crimes on video tape being committed. This experience has given him significant insight into the criminal element. He’s also traveled the country attending numerous firearm schools. His final position at his department was a police supervisor (Sgt).