Monday, August 31, 2009

The Next Generation

The year was 1993 and a special gathering was held by a group of nearly thirty people to bring a focus back to many disperse ideas. The event included a set of training sessions designed to propose the statement, "Here is the truth." Some eventually let this knowledge lapse into the annals of time, where others nurtured the seeds and harvested them into abundant fruit. At that time, I observed that those who attended that class would form the core of the next generation of Danzan-Ryu leadership. This has come to pass.

Yesterday, I had the great pleasure to attend the "Summer Slam" kata and Sumo tournament in Woodland Hills, CA. The event was sponsored by Sensei Greg Poretz and his Kenshokan Dojo. The atmosphere outside was warm (over 100 degrees) and a little overcast (smoke from the La Canada fire near Burbank). The atmosphere inside was exciting. The competition ranged from pee-wee white belts to master black belts. The competition was tight and the presentations were all enjoyable to watch.

I had come down from the bay area to this event because my two original teachers: Mike and Steve Belzer had decided to compete in this tournament. They had been two of the leading competitors in the 1970's and 80's in these types of contests and having them back on the mat after nearly 30 years was an event I could not miss. The brothers did not disappoint. Their presentation was exciting, dynamic and real. It was a true pleasure to see them perform again.

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