The Founder of AZA s.o.m.a. (Eugene Halliday) entered this world on 13 May 1963 in Pretoria, South Africa. He started his Martial Art career on 1 May 1969. In 1981, he joined the South African Police Force. In 1983, he entered a clandestine Counter Terrorism unit where he was submitted to severe training in armed and unarmed combat. His experience of reality during the bush war in Angola and the cold war in South Africa contradicted his view of reality he received during his formative years. Because of this, his quest into the deeper levels of Martial Arts that came into manifest after a near death experience at the age seven, intensified greatly.
In 1995, he experienced a profound awakening! After this awakening, he initiated a system that concentrates on co-operation instead of competition.
When asked at what time he perfected his system, his answer is always, never. He says that nothing in nature is ever completed and for that reason, nature is perfect. He explains that the AZA system always flows in harmony with nature in all her glory. He believes that change is the only thing that never changes, thus he encourages his students to embrace impermanence. He literally take his apprentices from A to Z and back to A for a new beginning in life!
He just smiles when people refer to him as Master, since he prefers to be called Eugene. In his opinion, no one can become a Master, but anyone can strive for it, and continuous striving is synonymous to Mastery!