By: TR Robertson
Two of the top orthopedic surgeons in San Diego County each practice different martial arts techniques, however, both use their chosen martial arts training and teachings to practice their sport and treat their patients’ medical issues. Dr. Neville Alleyne and Dr. Erik Stark, with Orthopedic Specialists of North County (OSNC), utilize their unique martial arts fields to study and reach high levels of success. While doing this, they have incorporated the teachings of their chosen sport to a personal lifestyle and to gain a better understanding of their patients’ concerns. Dr. Alleyne practices Wing Chun Kung Fu and Dr. Stark practices Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. In recent interviews with each of the doctors, they both discussed the history, philosophy, training, and importance of their chosen sport in their life and in their professional career. The following details those interviews and their story.
Dr. Neville Alleyne, MD
Dr. Alleyne is a member of Orthopedic Specialists of North County, practicing at Tri-City Hospital for 30 years, Chief of Orthopedics at Tri-City Hospital, and President of Orthopedic Specialists of North County. Office at 3905 Waring Road, Oceanside, Ph. 760-724-9000. He holds a Bachelor of Arts – Biology at Columbia College, Columbia University, New York City; M.D. at Mount Sinai, School of Medicine; Internship and Residency at Yale New Haven Hospital, Yale University, School of Medicine; Fellowships at the Spine Fellowship New England Baptist Hospital and Total Joint Reconstruction Massachusetts General Hospital Harvard; Extensive presentations and lectures on back and spine treatment.
Dr. Alleyne’s medical background is extensive and his passion for his medical practice is infectious. Also extensive is his knowledge and passion of Wing Chun Kung Fu. Wing Chun is a traditional Southern China Kung Fu style of self-defense and physical fitness. The practice comprises quick arm movements and use of legs. The teaching includes a form of softness and repetition of performance of techniques, all in a relaxed manner. Dr. Alleyne stated the teaching of softness allows the person to use the forces against him in a manner to throw the opponent off. Wing Chun is mostly hand techniques in a close space and about 30% leg techniques. The energy comes from the center of a person, the Chi. He began his training in Chinatown in New York City.
Historically, the origin of this form of martial arts is unclear. One legend says Ng Mui, one of the Five Elders of China, during the 1600’s, witnessed a crane and a snake fighting. Ng Mui incorporated their movements into her style of Chinese Kung Fu. Later, Ng Mui taught the art of movement to Yim Wing Chun who used the techniques to defend herself against unwanted advances of admirers. With this technique a smaller individual can defend themselves against a much larger person. “Softness via relaxation and performance of technique in a relaxed manner and by training the physical, mental, breathing, energy and force in a relaxed manner to develop Chi, the soft wholesome force, is fundamental to Wing Chun”.
Dr. Alleyne said his training in the system of martial arts helps him identify his patients’ injuries and identify with the patient concerning their injury. It also helps him remain calm by using the breathing techniques and helps him listen to the patient explaining their injury. This also helps when he explains to the patient what is needed to deal with their injury and to deal with the sense of urgency the patient may have concerning their injury. He said, “Martial arts is a way of life, a way to look at life. As we get older, we can continue to live and enjoy life as long as we take care of ourselves”. He emphasized again how martial arts helps a person deal with anger, stress, teaches calmness and patience.