Aug 11 2013

More Kind SummerFest Letters

canada sfest pic2 canada sfest picDear Sensei Mattson

I’m writing to thank you for the amazing time I had SummerFest.   I train in New Minas, Nova Scotia with Patty Young.  Lisa Tanner, my student, roommate for the trip, and now friend, wrote you an email which I have read now several times.  I think she did a good job at summing up my SummerFest experience as well as hers.  It was an amazing journey in which I learned so much and met many wonderful people.

I wanted to thank you for SummerFest and especially for the time you spent with me Friday afternoon, going through my Kata. I approached you hoping to perform Sanchin, and could not believe that you worked with me, along with one of your virtual dojo students, for almost an hour on all of my kata.  I’m grateful and honored for the time that you spent with me, for you patience and instruction.  You kept referring me “Cynthia” and I corrected you once and then realized that I would I answer to any name you chose to call me.  I know that I got my moneys worth in that hour.  Thank you.  In her letter, Lisa mentioned working on kata in the bathroom at 3 AM. I found myself in the same bathroom an hour and a half earlier trying to get through Kanchin, which I was not able to do for you (at least she was smart enough to turn the light on).  If you remember, I started performing Kanchin, got lost partway through, and ended with the last half of Sanseiryu.  I do apologize for not practicing more before coming to Plymouth.

You asked Victor Swinimer if I was his student, and he said that I was not but that we sometimes train together. He and I spoke about this later and I told him that I do consider him to be my Sensei. I began my training in 1994 under Sensei Bub Pelham, who left our club in 2003. A year or two later Sensei Swinimer took us under his wing and we have been grateful for that. I only get to train with him a few times a year but have much respect and admiration for him and am constantly asking him about Uechi history and guidance on Kata, Bunkias and Kumites and look forward to whenever I get to work on Superempie with him.

On Saturday after doing a session with the Buzz Durkin, I asked him to watch my Sanseiryu kata. He spent 20 minutes just working one-on-one with me, I was grateful. What a caring, giving and talented person he is.

My only regret that it could not have been longer and that I did not get to train with and meet everyone there. By Saturday afternoon Sensei Swiminer was calling me the energizer sponge, I did not want to stop and could not get enough.  I, like Lisa, am re-energized and renewed, excited to apply what I have learned and definitely hoping to return.

Thank you again


Kristin Amirault

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