Head of the Zirger Academy Of Jeet Kune Do
Movement in all its forms have always been a source of entertainment and provided a sense of personal achievement for Shawn, so it wasn’t surprising that martial movement became a consistent theme in his daily activities even before he started formal training at the age of ten.
Shawn studied many martial arts over the following eleven years. Hungar Kung Fu, Shotokan Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Mantis and White Crane Kung Fu as well as Muay Thai. At that time Shawn thought very highly of his own skill set, and prowess in fighting. Though he had taken on very little of the philosophy of the arts and was more than a bit of a showboat.
At 21 years of age, Shawn began studying alternative medicine, seeking a career where he could be of service to his community while pursuing his own goals. Ultimately this study led to a career in Massage Therapy, beginning with training in Toronto at the Sutherland Chan School of Massage. Shawn currently teaches Orthopedic Testing and Treatments for Massage Therapy at Institute of Complementary & Alternative Therapies in Toronto. At the time the study of the shamanic teachings of the North American Native peoples brought forward the idea of a warrior – healer ideal. Shawn began to identify the enigma that made up the majority of his time investments; building the knowledge and modalities of the healing arts in combination with the development of martial skill and tactics. A pursuit of Warriorship
In 1991 Shawn began training Jeet Kune do Concepts at the Kabayama Bushidokan with Makoto Kabayama, in parallel with his studies in massage therapy, anatomy, and orthopedic testing. Makoto was and continues to be everything one might expect a master martial artist to be, capable and monkish. The following decade saw reality based training that surpassed all of his previous experience. Humility was no longer a way to act, it became something known in the training. Questioning, ideals against reality, developing capacity, even under duress, to recognize the shape of a moment in time and the opportunities for control. Drilling to turn form to technique, and that to tactics, this and more separated the study of JKD from all of Shawn’s previous martial training.
In the spring of 2001 Shawn opened his school under the Progressive Fighting Systems banner, with the blessings of Makoto, and the head of the system, Paul Vunak. Since then Shawn has grown his school and continued to teach and study Martial Art attending the greats and seeing Martial Arts as one complete community.
“There is something amazing, to be learned from each culture, and the martial art they produce”
Shawn teaches seminars, in many different settings. Reality based training programs tailored specifically for the group in training.
Notable among these groups are Havergal College, a prestigious private educational facility, who selected Shawn’s Self Preservation program as an integral part of their physical education program over the past seven years. The students and teachers at Havergal agree that the program provides critical information, and a transformative experience that results in safe habits and greater confidence.Shawn is currently working on an educational video series that promotes fitness while teaching the basic mechanics of Jeet Kune Do.
Through progressive and straight forward teaching the Zirger Academy of Jeet Kune Do is making this art accessible to more than just professionals and elite fighters.
Currently Shawn is developing remote training programs for leaders in areas where there is no Jeet Kune Do instructor to be found. The progress is very exciting, watching as new groups begin to train, with guidance and away from the gym.