The Conference of Martial Science was a huge success. Everyone made the trip and all went well.
After a quick opening statement, Sensei Annesi was introduced and from there he delivered a keynote address about acceptance, research and vision.
Sensei Minatani arrived from Mass. early Friday morning, much to the surprise of everyone but me, because I was in on the ruse. Sensei Corey then delivered a research statement asking all to practice what was being shared with an open mind and to follow those directions as close as possible allowing for the info to be understood as it was instructed not from another stylistic perspective.
Sensei Annesi then took the floor again and connected the lines of cadena de mano to Aiki-ju-jitsu. Sharing with us multiple variations off the brush, check, strike entry into beautiful Aiki takedowns and throws. At the end he shared with us a version of randori in which he was attacked by multiple opponents using the concepts and techniques he shared during the 2 hour session.
Guro Hoover's paper on Sensitivity was next delivered with the help of Guro's Riley, McCluskey and Allen of NSI. George's ideas of development training to enhance sensitivity were well thought out. His visual examples with his assistants and the basketball well taken and enjoyed.
Datu Worden hit the deck next and rocked the group with Natural Spirit Kuntao, translating simple but effective movement through a series of concepts using the stick, knife and empty hand. His candid approach to effective work on the street is always well received and delivered with so much humor, that it shakes the tension from the room and allows you to feel and know the real Datu Worden.
Following Mr. Worden was Guro Shaun Eastman, whose scheduled demo turned into a hands on session on knife tapping. Shaun picked up that intensity adding the free cuts within the drill and ending with a quick demo, assisted by his son Brock, sharing the additional development layers of the tapping drill and its benefits in preparation for actual defense.
Then it was my turn to read my "Paper in Response." A philosophical look at Bruce Lee's meaning, through my eyes at the word, Simplicity. It appeared that it was well received and I appreciated all the comments I had from the members of the conference.
Following me was Guro Jeff Bray. His presentation of knife from the Filipino Dumog point of view was extremely amazing. Jeff is a hidden treasure within the ranks of NSI and proved once again, he's got serious game and a tremendous amount of knowledge to share. He locked up his partner in more ways than one using his legs effortlessly, thus keeping his hands free to do the detailed work against an opponent.
Lastly, I again was honored to be on deck and share, also taking knife to another level, sharing some knowledge and crediting another instructor MAA James Keating for his work. Within the context of Mr. Keating's thoughts were teachings about form. I tried to relay my message about what should be taught in forms, especially modern forms and what to look for in traditional style forms. Thus taking what was offered as knife vs. knife, I asked the players to look at it from a counter knife point of view using empty hand application vs. knife, staying structured within the geometry of the knife sets themselves.
Lastly we closed with Sensei Cale Merkley sharing his work in martial arts video production and some of his work, including the future DVD of the conference; soon to be a 3 DVD set with over 5 hours of instruction and research presentation.
We closed by honoring Sensei Annesi and Datu Worden with plaques for achievement in the arts and lifelong dedication.
The raffle went well with both tomahawks from American Tomahawk and Andy Prisco.
One was picked up by one of Guro Eastman's students from Ellensburg, Washington. The other was won by our own Guro George Hoover, who promptly asked that it be given to me for my work on the conference. I am deeply humbled by that and will not forget the way it was handled, as quite a surprise. Thanks again George.
People credited for our presentation, by Jeff, Corey, George, Shaun and myself were MAA James Keating, Datu Kelly Worden and Sensei Tony Annesi. Without those senior instructors and their help with our vision, we might not be where we are today as leaders in the arts.
Afterward we went to dinner and enjoyed ourselves. Great food, good conversation and a wonderful end to a huge day left many smiles if not bulging stomachs.
Thanks to all that came in to make the 1st conference a success. The 3 fantastic men who accompanied Sensei Annesi from Massachusetts, the folks from Spokane and Ellensburg and the family of NSI, both close and extended. And of course, all the instructors who gave of their selves and shared during the day. The Landmark Convention Center, especially Donald our setup contact, Donna in the office and their great crew.
Much was accomplished this weekend. Look to next year when we do this again at the 2nd annual Conference of Martial Science.
Wa. State Director-WRCMA
Ken Smith, Jr.
"Battle until the opponent surrenders"