Usually wearing his pristine bright white chef uniform as culinary manager and chef for the Royal Canadian Pacific (RCP), you wouldn’t know Andrew Carine wears a black belt in his spare time. He holds a 6th degree black belt in the martial art of Jeet Kune Do (JKD), trained under the lineage of famous martial artist, Sijo Bruce Lee. Canadian Pacific Magazine sat down with Andrew to talk about how a mild-mannered chef became an internationally recognized martial artist.
Born in the United Kingdom, Andrew started martial arts at the age of eight and quickly grew passionate about the art. After completing culinary school in London and working at prestigious hotels such as the Dorchester and Savoy, Andrew wanted a change of pace and moved to Bermuda. There, he met a martial arts instructor, Prof. Gary Dill, who had been a student under Sifu James Yimme Lee, one of only three people certified to teach JKD under the famous martial artist Sijo Bruce Lee. He quickly became enthralled with Jeet Kune Do.
The philosophy behind the art is one of self-expression coupled with combative fighting skills using kicks, punches, grappling and even elements of fencing for footwork. The motto behind Lee and JKD is “Using no way as a way, having no limitation as limitation.”
Andrew has been involved with martial arts for over 45 years and has 27 years of training under Dill, earning his 6th degree black belt during this time. He has also personally trained with Guro Dan Inosanto and Sigung Taky Kimura, the two others certified by Bruce Lee, as well as Sifu Francis Fong and Guro Daniel Lonero. In 2011, Andrew was inducted into the Martial Arts Hall of Fame in Orlando, Florida as a JKD instructor and won the prestigious Instructor of the Year award.
What makes this achievement so remarkable is that while he was working towards his black belt, Andrew was also working his way up the ladder in the culinary world eventually certifying as a Chef de Cuisine; the highest-ranking chef title awarded in Canada. The process to becoming Chef de Cuisine is similar to what you might witness on TV shows such as Top Chef or MasterChef, but the process is much more arduous and exacting (and, shall we say, realistic). Two years of practice culminates in a high stakes live creation in front of a panel of culinary judges. CP was lucky to gain Andrew three years ago to manage the kitchen for the RCP and he now oversees all things food-related for the CP Training Centre, the 1881 Lodge and Ogden Station cafeteria, all at CP headquarters.
Not one to rest on his laurels, Andrew recently started a small Jeet Kune Do school – Manx Martial Arts Academy – in his basement gym. Andrew’s heritage is from the Isle of Man, where the Manx heritage and language is a unique part of the Celtic island state. The motto of Manx culture is, “Whichever way you throw me I shall stand.” This statement holds true in many facets of life and is especially appropriate for the study of JKD.
How do you become a student of Manx Martial Arts Academy? It’s not easy. In fact, Andrew has only a handful of students and to train with him, you must meet with Andrew in-person to discuss your ambitions. Andrew strongly believes in the philosophy of never forget where you come from, never forget the people who helped to get you where you are today, and acknowledge the source of your success because without foundations you have nothing. If you, like him, have this same outlook and believe in the core values of Jeet Kune Do, only then might you be accepted to train.
Don’t expect to reach a black belt in just a few years, however. It takes many years of dedication to become certified. Just ask Andrew’s wife Regina. She accompanied him earlier this year to E. Hunter Harrison campus to help demonstrate Jeet Kune Do at a Lunch and Learn. She is currently at Level 9 of a total 12 levels – well on her way to her black belt, but even this has taken seven years.
From culinary arts to martial arts, Andrew is a proven master.