Sifu PHILLIP "PETE" STARR began his training in the martial arts in 1956, beginning with judo. Within a year, he received instruction in traditional kung fu in the basement of a small Chinese grocery store. He continued his training, also earning black-belt grades in two styles of Japanese karate (third dan in Kyokushin, first dan in Shito-ryu). His primary kung fu teacher was W. C. Chen, a direct disciple of one of China's best-known masters, Zhang Zhaodong. From Master Chen, Starr learned taijiquan (tai-chi chuan), xingyiquan, baguazhang, and a form of shaolinquan. He began teaching Chinese martial arts in 1967 at Parsons College in Fairfield, Iowa. After spending several years in law enforcement, he opened his first full-time martial arts school in Ottumwa, Iowa. He entered competitions and earned the title of U.S. National Champion five times, the last time when he was sixty-three years old. He was named to the National Rules Committee of the United States Karate Association and became the kung fu chairman. Later, he was named to the list of the Rocky Mountain top ten competitors. Starr has gone on to train in Arnis, becoming a certified instructor under Tuhon Leo Gaje and Jeet Kune Do.