Jeff's Story


Jeffrey was born in South Vietnam and has determined that he is 11/16 Vietnamese and 5/16 Chinese. Oppressed by the post-war regime, his brave and cunning parents spent years planning for a daring escape. Jeff was only three years old when he and much of his family fled from Vietnam by boat, under the cover of darkness.

Jeff's family made it all the way to Indonesia where they lived in a refugee camp for a year, before being welcomed into the United States. They settled in "The Valley" near Los Angeles, where Jeff grew up and went to school.

Jeff started training in the martial arts at the age of five and continues to be passionate about it today. In school, Jeff developed a knack for math and physics, which led him to study Engineering at Harvey Mudd College, of the Claremont Colleges. It was there that he met his wife-to-be, Erin.

Jeff got his first job doing digital circuit design for an aerospace company in Southern California, and began studying towards a Masters degree at UCLA. Jeff now works for Canon's research arm in Sydney, Australia. In addition to martial arts of all kinds, Jeff enjoys rock climbing, photography, hiking, camping, snowboarding, motorcycling, and of course, traveling.

Fun Facts About Jeff

  • In recent years, Jeff has developed a close relationship with his employee discount at Canon. Consequently he now considers himself an avid photo enthusiast.
  • Jeff can probably beat you in a fight, or at least lose with style. He has a blackbelt in Taekwondo and Hapkido, and has studied several other forms of martial arts including Kenpo Karate, Shaolin Kempo, Tang Soo Do, European Fencing, and most recently, Capoiera.
  • If Jeff were to change careers, he would most want to be a filmmaker or a professional photographer. Or maybe a martial arts fight choreographer?
  • Jeff was one class away from completing a second Bachelor's degree in film! However, he was distracted by a certain girl in his senior year of college.
  • Jeff is fluent but illiterate in Vietnamese (southern dialect). However, his primary language is English with a yanky accent.
  • Jeff did his postgraduate study in Photonics (think Captain Kirk: "Phasers on stun!"). He also studied Plasma Physics (that green gooey stuff they have on the Star Ship Enterprise). [written by Erin]
  • Currently the top destinations on Jeff's travel list are Thailand, Japan, and Peru.
  • Jeff is the oldest of four boys. Having four boys is considered lucky in Chinese superstition; however, Jeff's mom, who has always wanted a girl, would beg to differ.
  • In high school, Jeff was one of the 100 semi-finalists for the U.S. Physics Team competing in the International Science Olympiad. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, he didn't make the final cut.
  • For someone with a math-and-science brain, Jeff has a terrible sense of direction. He often relies on Erin to remember where he parked and which streets end up at a dead end.