One of the coolest and most entertaining parts of the TMNT franchise is seeing the heroes in green fight for their lives against the Foot Clan and their masters using ninja weaponry. Swords, kunai, staffs, smoke bombs, and so many other weapons become part of the arsenal necessary for hand-to-hand ninja combat against the forces of evil. But what makes that aspect even more incredible is that’s also the most believable part of the franchise. These heroes have learned skills that truly exist in the real world, and anyone with time, patience, and talent can become a master of kenjutsu like Leonardo, or a master of bojutsu like Donatello. It doesn’t matter how old that person is, as long as he or she is dedicated to training. That’s what makes Aidan Lok so special.
Aidan is a young man living in New York City who has spent four years honing his own martial arts skills. He trains in Shotokankarate at the Shotojuku dojo with sensei Shihan Kai Leung, and in Yamanni-Ryukobudo with sensei Kyoshi Cleveland Baxter. His commitment goes even further, though, and through support from his parents he has world class coaches like KalmanCsoka, Jackson Rudolph, Danny Etkin, and Matt Emig around often to help him train.
Through his Yamanni-Ryu training, Aidan has learned traditional weapons form, such as the bo and the sai. However, he quickly learned that knowing the traditional means is only the first step to becoming a master and discovering the true potential of his craft. Thanks to his other coaches, Aidan has learned double sword technique, as well as double nunchaku, both of which are far from traditional styles of martial arts, making him an extreme martial artist. “Most people can only do like one weapon, but I like to be able to do a lot of them. Traditional martial artists usually can do bo and sai. Extreme martial artists usually can do bo, kama, double chux, and single sword. I like to be able to do stuff that other people haven't seen. The extreme guys haven't seen any of the sai like what I do,” Aidan said.
His practice with weapons has led to a strong desire to showcase his talent. Beyond competition, Aidan and his father have put together various videos that showcase his talents as a martial artist, including one (HERE) that has this talented young man showing off skills with the four ninja turtles’ signature weapons. Aidan is able to use them all with the skill and precision of a ninja master, and makes a strong case for practice and dedication at any age to learn something amazing. “The video only shows the ninja turtles ones because that makes it a nice video. I do practice with others; I practice and do a few kata with the tonfa.”
Of course, Aidan wouldn’t have picked up these particular weapons if he wasn’t also a TMNT fan. While his viewing has dropped off lately, he says that he used to watch the show all the time when he was younger, and he’s excited for the new movie to renew his viewing pleasure (especially because one of his teachers did stunts for the film). Aidan also refuses to play favorites with the turtles themselves, but his favorite weapon is the hardest to learn, and that’s the double sword technique. So even without a favorite, fellow swordsman Leonardo has earned his respect.
Thanks to his commitment and dedication to martial arts, Aidan Lok has become a very young expert with talent that can take him to the extremes of martial arts. For all the other TMNT fans looking for just the right motivation to learn some of these skills for themselves, Aidan has this to say: “Watching the turtles is a lot of fun, but you can also go out, train hard and be awesome just like them too!” So take Aidan’s advice, and let’s all get out there and learn something new and amazing. If you want to see more of what this talented young man can do, check out his Instagram page and prepare to be amazed.