My name is Bayoan (Bee) Cortes, the name both my mother and father agreed to name me until the day I was born. It is the name I choose to use as an Artist, Professional Tattooist, Martial Artist/Self- Defense Chief Advance Instructor, Metaphysician and Web Activist.
I grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan/Morningside Heights most of my life or as I call it Harlem, just a stone throw from Columbia University. I began my journey as a human being living through the amazing and crazy times of the 1970’s in New York City and the Son of Sam Era, when it really was a magical and scary place, the true school of hard knocks!
As a child I had some harsh life and near death experiences at two and a half years I had a tonsillectomy and before the age of 8, I was pushed off a slide and suffered bleeding head injury and soon thereafter I had a serious allergy attack. Even though I encountered such difficult incidents so early in my life, my strong connection to the spirit realms coming from my maternal lineage of spiritual inheritance made me conscious of cultivating and preserving that special gift that was given to me by my ancestors.
I always wanted to be an artist since I was five years old, I had my first easel on my fifth birthday and I have not stopped working on my art ever since. I went to the best Art and Design school in New York City, before the massive use of computers for illustration purposes, basically I received an old school art education with pencils, rulers, brushes, papers and pens!
I Ran the streets in the early 80’s as a graffiti artist/crew member and I have witnessed the creation of the crack epidemic and the devastation and death of an entire generation. I have also seen people and families being affected by the Aids epidemic. Thankfully I had enough street smarts to evade some illnesses of society like incarceration and death. Sadly many of those I knew and called friends did not. I consider myself a survivor of the urban jungle merely by understanding the street etiquette and six sense survival instinct.
I became a professional tattoo artist in the golden age of tattooing in New York City and saw it become legalized in the early and mid 90’s. I worked for some of the best shops and ran my own in 2000 until a year or so after 911, the day the universe shifted for everyone on the planet. Since then I have traveled criss cross around the northern hemisphere like a Ronin to safe heavens where I have pockets of friends and family experiencing life’s daily struggles.
All through these years I maintained the passion of martial arts and became the father of two beautiful girls. I am an advance instructor in a new martial art taught to me by Sifu David K. Tamura founder of 8 System Trapping Locking and Grappling mixed martial arts. Some will call it Post JKD Concepts. For over 16 years I studied and practice profoundly and privately to attain my certification. Since 2008 until this day I taught amateurs in Boxing/MMA and those who just want to learn self-defense or just get in shape. In 2011 I started and developed my own self-defense company called Strategic Edge Concepts LLC for Close Quarter Combat and I am in the process of making this my full time passion as a way of collecting the fruits of my personal harvest.
I am actively teaching private students self-defense to focus on quality rather than quantity. They focus on mastering and learning basic and advanced skills needed to learn self defense and martial arts. I am also continuing my martial arts development in Cheng Style Taiji Quan with 11th generation Sifu Yu Guo Shun who was taught by renowned Sifu Ma Hong one of the top ten masters in China. I am presently also working in attaining a Shodokan Aikido Black Belt from the Tetsuro Nariyama Lineage of the Tomiki Aikido Association of the Americas.
I have chosen this path because in my heart of hearts this is where
my destiny lies. I see this as a righteous path to help those whom I
come in contact with to deal with their daily fears. Empowering my
students and those who cross my path is greatly satisfying on many
levels as well as strengthening my skills on patience and spiritual
awakening. I try to connect on a deep level with those who have the time
and willingness to listen and to those who gravitate across my path.
Every day is a new realization when understanding myself and my place
with the experiences that we call life. My mantra is “Compassion is the
most powerful Peace”, as I have this saying tattooed across my back of
my full tattooed body suit.