On April 26, I gathered a few of my students and headed to Cromwell Connecticut. I met my first student at 5 am in the morning and drove an hour to Braintree and picked up another student who volunteered to take this ride to represent me and compete in a tournament hosted by 2 of the nicest guys I’ve had the pleasure to meet.
The ride there wasn’t bad because they both fell asleep there leaving me alone with the radio and my great voice. The ride was a little longer then I’ve thought because it was still dark out and my voice wasn’t so good. No complaints from my two students because they were asleep.
Upon arrival, I was greeted by John Griffin and Ernie Harriman, the promoter of this tournament. Both of them great people and long time Uechi-Ryu practitioners. I’d offered to help and did what I could to help their progress.
The tournament started with the singing of the national anthem by an actual person. We then separated the different categories and proceeded with weapons, followed by kata and then kumite.
In between, there was a breaking demonstration which I have not witness since the early “70s”. This was performed by Tom Piacentini, John Griffin and Rob Schulman. They were very impressive as they broke 2×4 over their arms, shins and body. The last was breaking a baseball bat with the wrist. Kids, don’t try this at home.
The tournament was a huge success. My students had a great time. If invited back, I will try to bring a few more of my students next time.