New England Workout. . . Big Success! Congratulations to ALL Participants!
I just wanted to drop you all a line and tell everyone what a good time we all had at Sensei’s Fedele Cacia & Andrew Moores regional workout Saturday. There were a total of 88 people on the floor all working out together in friendship. There were no arguments, disagreements of any type, it was great. Even though we all have many different points of view on how we teach and practice our Uechi Ryu / Shohei Ryu. It’s just great that we can all come together on the floor and train in mutual respect, we showed and talk about our different ideas and opinions, in friendship and respect. There were about 10 different Uechi Ryu Associations and groups represented, along with at least eight to ten – 7th dan’s or above present. I was at the regional along with four of my students, Ed Duncan, Vladimir Fookson, Steve Diorio, Alex Cloherty. Also Sensei Steve Diorio had two of his students attending also, for a total of seven students. We all had a great time working out with old friends and making new friends.
In attendance was special and honored guest, the most senior master present, Master Sensei Van Canna 9th dan. It is always great seeing you Van Sensei.
Personal note – You all know my direct and life long sensei (1969 to date), is Robert J. Campbell. However, what many do not know is that I am truly, truly honored and humbled to be able to list the following Uechi Great sensei’s as my secondary instructors. These are the men who’s class’ I attended regularly as I worked and trained my way to Shodan and beyond at the old Mattson Academy in Boston I am deeply grateful to them all. – Just think about this, all these great instructors all in the same one dojo teaching. There will never be anything like this again in one dojo. Sensei’s: George Mattson, Van Canna, Walter Mattson, Arthur Rebesta, Jimmy Maloney, Ed Huff, Clarence Von Wilder, Justin Testa, Buzz Durkin, Tom Powers, Paul Simon’s. I list them to show them respect and honor. I never forget where I came from.
This event was especially enjoyable for me, because I saw old friends that I have not seen in many years. I saw friends that in some cases I have not seen in over ten years, and it was just like yesterday we were all on the floor training, talking and laughing again together. Some friends I have not seen on over a decade were there, friends such as – Sensei’s: Tracy Rose 7th dan, from the Butokukai association, Joe Montanino 7th dan, from the Okikukai association, Chip Quimley 6th dan from the Okikukai association. In addition to that, It was great sharing the floor again with my old friends and dojo mates – Sensei’s: Vinny Christiarno 7th dan, Peter Blackman 7th dan, Darin Yee 7th dan, Jose Aja 7th dan, Steve Perry 6th dan, Harvey Libergott 5th dan, Jerry Gross 5th dan, Harry Steffington 5th dan, Mike Ross 5th dan, Tom Hallahan 4th dan, and so many others, I lost count.
I can not forget to mention one special visitor that popped in during his lunch break from his C.P.A. office’s in Newton and Natick, just to say hello. - I just wish he brought a gie with him. That would be my old friend Sensei Andrew Thom. Some of you may know his brother, Uechi Sensei Henry Thom from California. It was just great seeing Andy again. This was truly an enjoyable event.
If you were unable to make this event, I highly encourage you to try to make the next one. It really was an enjoyable workout.
Again, a VERY special and personal Thank You to Sensei’s Fedele & Andrew for hosting this event.
Personal perspective – As I get older and I hope a little wiser. It’s time to put petty differences aside and remember who our true friends are. As a very old and dear friend of mine for 35 years (Jerry Gross), told me yesterday. along with the 170 pounds I lost, I also lost the chip I had on my shoulder for many years. He was right. It’s hard for an old Marine to change his ways, but not impossible. I did it. In fact, some people did not even recognize me yesterday, now that I weight 158 lbs.
Life is good.
Take care, Jay Sal.