• James Parry

Age no limit for Hudsonite Matt Levine

PHOTO COURTESY DIANE PIACENTE After six years of commitment, Matt Levine (left) receives his Black Belt and official certification from former Full Contact Karate World Champion Réjean Major.

Now pushing the age of 70 and when it comes to health and wellbeing for so many 'seniors,' Hudsonite Matt Levine makes no secret of the fact that he finds exercising regularly pretty boring while making it so easy to get distracted.

Which is why, for the past six years, he has been pushing himself to the extreme limit following in the footsteps of martial art legend, the late Bruce Lee. And who just recently received his Black Belt and official certification in martial arts in the discipline from 7th Degree Black Belt holder and former Full Contact Karate World Champion, Réjean Major.

But there's more to the story. Over the years he has trained and studied – in Quebec, Florida, and Bangkok – what is known as Jeet Kung Do or JKD, a multi-disciplinary style that combines the essential elements of kickboxing, Jiu Jitsu, Karate, and Chinese Gung Fu.

Explained Levine in an exclusive interview with Your Local Journal this week, “It's a passion and emotional investment for me, allowing me to be at my best both physically and mentally. It makes one fit, strong, and keeps you healthy. It can also be a release valve to vent frustrations when coming up against something harder or tougher than oneself. And it enables one to feel calm in stressful situations.”

Added Levine, “Martial arts training also keeps you coming back working towards a goal. And it's fun socially. In fact, most folks who participate are friendly and not in the slightest aggressive. It is a passion that we enjoy and we love to see others getting involved.”

Stressing that achieving a Black Belt is a goal but by no means an end, Levine added, “It is only an indication that a person has reached a certain level of competence, a first stop arrived at through lots of hard work and dedication. For example, my trainer, Réjean Major is a 7th Degree master and is now working on obtaining his 8th. Simply another step in the voyage.”

Asked about his own future plans, Levine says he hopes to have his 2nd Black Belt Degree within a year. “You don't have to be muscular or even strong to get involved,” he told YLJ. “Of course, some forms are best left to the younger set and most disciplines can be practiced at any age. But Jeet Kung Do certainly works for me.”


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