All photos courtesy Analu Lopez Photography

Sifu Yamel Torres’ decades long career in martial arts began when he was just twelve years old and he saw his first Bruce Lee movie. His interest piqued, Sifu Torres began training in his New Chinatown Chicago neighborhood. Since then, his Seven Star Mantis Chinese Martial Arts School (3717 N. Ravenswood) has been arming Chicagoans with knowledge of the traditional arts of Kung Fu, Tai Chi Chuan, and Qi Gong. Sifu Torres takes time out of his busy teaching and training schedule to answer some of our questions.

Who is your favorite fictional hero?
Bond,  James Bond.

When your friends come to visit Chicago, how do you show them a good time?
Going out to see the sights of  Chicago and good restaurants.

What do you miss most about being a kid?
Discovering school, discovering places. . . Discovering my world.

What’s the best part about being a grown-up?
The ability to advance on many different levels.

What is the worst part of your job?
I don’t really feel there is a “worst part” to my job.

What part of your personality do you most want to be remembered for?
(For being) driven and outgoing.

What was the best road trip you’ve ever taken?
Driving from Albuquerque New Mexico to The Grand Canyon in Arizona.

You wouldn’t be caught dead, where?
The desert

How do you spend your days off?
Practicing Kung-fu & Qi-Gong

What is your favorite holiday and how do you celebrate?
Christmas. With my Family having a great dinner and usually catch a movie before or after dinner.

What’s the best rumor you’ve ever heard about yourself?
That I was a Shaker-n-mover!

What book has changed your life the most?
Messages from the Masters by Brian Weiss, M.D.

What’s your personal motto?
Live each day like its your last day on earth.

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