During this time he received many trophies and awards for Kumite and Kata. He earned his Black Belt in Shotokan in 1988. While in the United States Army he was taught military hand-to-hand combat and had a "4 and 0" amateur boxing record on the Army Boxing Team. He was severely injured in 1993 and was no longer able to compete. In 1994 he was introduced to Gracie Jiu Jitsu which still in the U.S. Army and practiced this until his Honorable Discharge in 1995.
 
In 1999, Kru Jilani worked as a bodyguard for a large security firm in Manhattan where he taught his coworkers knife and gun disarms. He drew upon his previous experience of teaching self-defense to Military Police in Germany and Texas and is a well-respected self-defense instructor.

In 2000 he had the honor of studying the art that inspired him - Wing Chun under the tutelage of Sifu Alan Lee. It was not until several years later that Kru Jilani met, whom would later become his instructors, brothers, and close friends - Kru Hamza Maisonet and Kru Esteban Maisonet of the Sityodtong lineage who meticulously and patiently taught him and his wife, Kru Allisha Gonzalez, the Art and Culture of Muay Thai and who bestowed upon them the title of Kru.

Now Muay Thai has become an integral part of Kru Jilani's life and although his previous injuries do not allow him to fight professionally, he still trains vigorously and teaches and spars often. With training that spans close to four decades, Kru Jilani certainly has a lot of experience and techniques to share with anyone interested in Muay Thai and self-defense.