For Sifu/Guro Bud Thompson, it started with a passion for bodybuilding, nutrition and the gangs of a 1940s East Los Angeles. Growing up as a Caucasian minority in a neighborhood dominated by Latin gangs, Sifu/Guro Bud developed a natural interest for self-preservation. His first introduction to martial arts was a Japanese Karate system, which intrigued him though he always felt its framework was limiting.
Sifu/Guro Bud continued to focus on bodybuilding and nutrition for the next few decades. He served proudly in the Army from 1948 to 1950, and also purchased and successfully ran a nutritional supplement business in Hollywood, providing nutritional health guidance and supplements to some of Hollywood’s biggest names.
In 1965, Sifu/Guro Bud’s course was permanently altered when he met two people who would influence the rest of his life. Bruce Lee and Dan Inosanto quickly became the bastion of Sifu/Guro Bud’s martial arts education. “From that day forward, I knew I had found the art I had always longed for. In fact, the teachings of Bruce Lee and Dan Inosanto became my inspiration in life.” Sifu/Guro Bud continued to see Bruce Lee and Dan Inosanto routinely. “They would always come to Hollywood to check out the book stores for their research on martial arts. They would stop in to get refreshed at the lunch counter and pick up nutritional supplements.”
In the fall of 1973 Sifu/Guro Dan Inosanto and his close friend and student Richard Bustillo founded the Filipino Kali Academy/Chinese Gung Fu in Torrance, California. Sifu/Guro Bud began training shortly after its inception, and after a short three years was secretly voted into the Jeet Kune Do (JKD), and honor Sifu/Guro Bud has never forgotten. During his continued training, Sifu/Guro Bud joined several prestigious organizations including Kali Association of America, National Arnis Association U.S.A., and West Coast Eskrima Society. He also served on the Torrance Academy's demonstration team.
After training for several years Sifu/Guro Dan Inosanto honored Sifu/Guro Bud by asking him to take over classes while he began what would become a worldwide circuit of seminars in Kali. Sifu/Guro Bud continued training at the academy (now called I.M.B. Academy), and served on the Board of Directors for the Jeet Kune Do society until founding his own academy, The Kali Academy of Martial Arts/Jun Fan Gung Fu in Whittier.
“At the Torrance Academy I trained under some of the world's finest and most recognized martial artists: Grandmaster Floro Villabrille, Tuhan Ben Largusa, Guro Greg Lantayo, Master Johnny LaCoste, Sifu/Guro Dan Inosanto, Sifu/Guro Richard Bustillo, Sifu/Guro Jerry Poteet, Sifu/Guro Larry Hartsell, Guro Lucky Lucay Lucay, Sifu/Guro Teddy Lucay Lucay, Sifu/Guro Jeff Imada, Master Angel Cabales, Master Leo Giron, Ciriaco Canete, Grandmaster Pendakar Paul De Thouars, Guro John De Jong, Guro Steve Plinck, Punong Guro Edgar G. Sulite, Grandmaster Professor Wally Jay, Sensei Mits Yamashito, Tuhan Leo T.Gaje Jr., Sifu Hawkins Chueng, Sifu Francis Fong, Grandmaster William Chueng, Gilbert Tenio, Sifu Nino Bernardo, Pendakar Suryandi Jafri, Art Saxel, Pedro Carvalho, Nonfah Scharadecho and Ajarn Chai Sirisute."
"To them, I would like to give my thanks and appreciation for instruction, insight and their allowing me to be a part of their lives."