I wish to thank all of you who attended and supported this year’s martial arts SummerFest making it one of the most successful events since it was first created in 1983. Also thanks to all of you who sent me email expressing how much you learn and enjoyed the event. Certainly one of the most memorable email was from Lisa Tanner and I hope she won’t mind the reprinting of here. Perhaps some of you who elected not to attend camp this year will change your mind after reading Lisa had to say about she felt about attending
Dearest Sensei Mattson
I want to thank you again for creating such a wonderful experience thru Summerfest. We began our journey this year with mixed emotions; excited to once again have the opportunity to learn from such great martial artists, but with heavy hearts because our own leader was not joining us. Victor sensei has guided us to become part of a bigger Uechi Ryu community outside of our home province of Nova Scotia, and we are forever grateful that he has shown us the way…this is not just figuratively speaking…last year he literally showed us the way! he got us to Plymouth without getting lost and I cannot say the same about my cars GPS!
The weekend went by far too quickly and as we drove home Sunday and Monday I had time to reflect, I seriously believe I suffer from P.A.E.D (post awesomeness enlightenment disorder) because with each small task I was doing a phrase, Idea, or lesson will come back to me: “find the void”, in every void there’s an attack waiting”, “create a void”, “effortless effort”, “affirmative action” are only just a few.
Then there is the camaraderie…what can I say, It is displayed everywhere, on the field or in the lounge and even followed us to the sandwich shop, old friendships growing stronger and new ones setting seed.
I enjoyed how the new format played out, It allowed for extra time at a particular station, to me this was very relevant as I had Harry’s attention for kata exploration 30 minutes longer! I have been working on Seiru for over a year now and just wasn’t getting inspired by its movements, Harry peeled that kata like an onion helping me to see each layer and its relevance to the whole “onion”.
My time spent with you on Sunday morning prompted me to re-examine why I feel the need to “force’ breathing or strike too quickly (light bulb moment…is very different than swiftly with purpose to which I confused speed) as a smaller framed lady martial artist, I think I had preconceived the need to prove or show my strength (light bulb moment once again…the only person needing to know my strength is me…feeling it really is better than showing it).
As you can see, Summerfest is a journey of self discovery for me and finding out my roots in this art. The only way I could calm the overwhelming excitement on the drive home (two days and nineteen hours of driving) was to sit in the back seat and write my thoughts; that when read aloud to Patty and Kristin were identified as poetry…another moment of self discovery because when they exclaimed “we didn’t know you wrote poetry!” my response was “me neither”.
I am sending them along for your enjoyment, however I made Patty and Kristen promise me not to laugh when I read them aloud from the backseat of my VW, with dirty jungleplex feet and still wearing last nights make-up (traveling is not glamorous). Sensei Mattson…I give you permission to laugh, because i believe your heart laughs withe people and not at them!
Sincerely yours in budo
P.S living, breathing, and BEING in sanchin, that is the epitome of our being. I may have never been to Okinawa, but I’ve been to Plymouth Ma, where many great masters gather. xo