After summer camp officially ends, and everyone starts to relate all of the highlites of the weekend, I love to read all the testimonies because some people inevitably say it better than others. Long story short, what a camp.
Although this was a very tough camp for me with my wife recovering from back surgery, and it being the first time I could not stay all three days (left after the Saturday test), it will be a weekend I will not remember. Once again, meeting new friends like Henry Thom sensei, Joan Niedie (sp?)sensei, and all the others who passed my way is what it is all about. Reacquainting myself with old friends like Len, Raf, Mike A., Roy, "Be Like Moy" David, Gary, Vinnie sensei, Dan sensei, and all the others is just as gratifying. Seeing my students enjoying the camp as much as I do and coming back year after year to celebrate this Uechi experience is near and dear to my heart. This includes my adopted student from Pennsylvania, Alan, who is getting better each time I see him.
My "personal" favorites this year were listening to Campbell and Niede Sensei under the tent. What great stories they have. You two ought to write a book. Working with Walter Mattson Sensei on kata. It's a different perspective, but it made me think about everything I am doing. Of course, working with my own sensei, GEM, on Sanchin. That always put me into perspective. But the thing that will live in my memory for quite sometime will be that test on Saturday night. You can't say anything about the board of seniors there. When will that ever be duplicated? I hope those who participated this year will come back year after year. But what a performance from the candidates. I won't say anything different than what you already have read about Mike R., Tracy and others. They were all simply awesome. But I do want to add my kudos to one of the people who tested, who perhaps wouldn't necessarily get a lot of attention. Brian Stoia's (sp?), the first person to perform, form was incredible. I was so enthralled by what I saw and felt from him. Not only did he express power from each strike, but he was extremely accurate with each technique. What an awesome display. This is NOT putting down anyone of those other incredible displays of form from the other candidates, it's me simply stating what stuck in my mind. Thanks Brian!
What about your thoughts?