Today we celebrate the birthday of 1st generation Grandmaster Richard Lee disciple, 2nd Degree IBFDA certified Richard Lee Black Belt, 2nd tuan under the World Kuoshu Federation, Medical Advisor to the IBFDA, International Referee Level ‘A’ in the World Kuoshu Federation, and all around great fellow: Dr. Panella!
Dr. Panella’s journey into martial arts began in 1991 at the age of forty-eight. He has been an instructor at East-West since 1994. Dr.Panella has been a disciple of Grandmaster Lee since 2002 and he earned his black belt in 2004 at the young age of sixty-one.
Dr. Panella has consistently participated at the International Kuo Shu Championships in Baltimore, MD since 1996. From 1996-2004, he competed in forms and weapons divisions. From 2006-2010, Dr. Panella served as an official of the tournament, judging forms, weapons and as a Lei Tai corner judge. In 2011, Dr. Panella earned certification as a TWKSF International “A level” Referee. He performed as an Executive Referee for the USKSF in 2011 and 2012. Dr. Panella represented the United States as an Executive Referee at the 4th & 5th TWKSF World Kuo Shu Championships.
Dr. Panella represented the United States in forms and weapons competition at the 1st TWKSF World Kuoshu (Kung-Fu) Tournament in Brazil (2003) and the 2nd TWKSF World Tournament in Singapore (2006). He was also a member of the USKSF group that traveled to China in 2002.
Dr. Panella was the Co-Sponsor for the 2012 U.S. International Kuo Shu Championship Tournament in Baltimore, MD. He has also been a constant supporter over the years of the many East-West U.S. teams that have competed all over the world. He is the head of the Senior Advanced Training Department at Richard Lee’s East-West Kung-Fu school.
Dr. Panella is a shining example for the more mature portion of our student body, demonstrating that continued growth and personal development is indeed a life long process. Now in his 70s, he is still training and teaching on a daily basis, and is a great role model and teacher to the students he works with, as well as an inspiration and a joy to have as a training partner for his peers.
Dr. Panella, “Today is the oldest you’ve ever been and the youngest you’ll ever be again.” 🙂 We sincerely hope you enjoy celebrating the incredible life you live with all the people you hold dear. We wish you all the very best for your special day today.
To read more about Dr. Panella, click here.