Sensei S. had a brilliant idea some months back: getting teachers who've influenced him over the last 30+ years together in one room to present seminars on martial arts. Last weekend, we got to soak up the fruits of his vision at the "Afternoon With the Masters" seminar at SUNY Purchase.
The five masters - S. Henry Cho Tae Kwon Do Sa Bom Nim Vernon Slader, American Karate Systems Master Kevin Thompson, Hapkido and Jee Do Kwon Tae Kwon Do Sa Bom Nim Walter Eddie, Zen-Do Kai founder Master Michael Campos and Chinese and Nisei Goju/Isshanryu Karate Master Khalef (Pete) Williams - have each studied their respective arts for at least 40 years - so, yep, they brought lots of knowledge to the table, for sure. Hard not to be immediately humbled when in the presence of such an amazing array of dedicated martial artists.
We worked lots of stuff in those four hours - including seemingly small things like stances, flexibility improvement and learning to kiai from the tanden. Between sessions, I scrambled to my notebook to jot as much info down as I could so I could work on it later in hopes of being better able to retain it. I'd had the distinct pleasure of working at other seminars with three of the masters my group was paired with - and was amazed at their knowledge and willingness to share it each time - but I have to admit that I'm still a little star-struck about actually meeting and working with SBN Walter Eddie. I mean THE Walter Eddie - O.M.G.!
Can you find me in the group photo above? I'm the wide-eyed karateka on the bottom right. My son is holding my shoulders to keep me from floating away :-)