Dear Sensei Mattson
I had a blast at Summerfest!
I was in awe of all the knowledge and skill coming together under one roof with just one purpose, to teach and learn from each other. I witnessed teachers becoming students and also students learning to be good teachers. I traveled from Nova Scotia with Victor Swinamer and his son Aiden, I thought I was embarking on a journey to learn Karate and improve my Uechi ryu studies.
My journey was much more than that, from the moment the car turned onto the highway I felt like I was in the company of “old friends” even though I have only known Victor in passing, My own Sensei, Kristen Amirault was also with us and although we see each other at the Dojo regularly have not had the opportunity to really get to know one another, by the end of our weekend we were finishing each others sentences like an old married couple.
Dave Lamb and his students were staying at the same hotel as us and we clinked glasses, broke bread and shared life stories, we found out that even though living in different countries and coming from so many different paths, we are all on the same road, and alike in so many ways, we share many of the same interest, but what really stood out was the respect and caring nature of all these students of Uechi Ryu, I think that this is the un-taught lesson in Uechi style, it just happens, and when it does we become better versions of ourselves.
I am a nurse here in Canada, and I remember a dying patient once asking me “do you think we are all just born to die” I did not answer this question quickly, but after a pause I replied that “its what you do with the in-between that really matters” and as we drove back from summerfest I realized what I had to do with my “in-between”, I left feeling re-energized and renewed, ready to live my life in the moment. As a nurse I see many older people not living their lives to the fullest, I now know that I should not fear getting older, I was proved this many times over the weekend as I looked around, Sensei Spencer has hands that are much faster than my eyes and I could not block any of his reikens( even though on his instruction I had my hands up and knew what technique he was throwing….WOW!) It was an absolute honour and privilege to be able to perform sachin for you and Sensei Durkin,( even though I found myself in the hotel bathroom mirror at 3am, working on getting my shoulders down) and even better when I was able to show my correction the next day.
Also, thank you for signing my book and standing for pictures, I understand how busy those days of summerfest must be for you, but you did so graciously.
I am counting down the days until next summerfest, and would like to extend an open invitation to you and Susan if you are ever planning a trip to Nova Scotia, that you will always have a place to rest your head and be catered to.
sorry for rambling, but I just wanted to let you know what summerfest has done for me, and without you there would be no summerfest…so thank you again.