I can hardly write or talk about Summer Fest 2003, without feeling emotion.
This may not be the case for everyone who was there, and my prejudice may be the result of meeting people that I had met as long ago as some thirty years.
Many had arrived from many different states and countries, but all were there to see old friends and in many cases to teach and to learn.
As a Ham radio operator, I have been to many events including flea markets, organization meetings, etc. but I have never felt the warmth, friendliness and always ready to help or teach you.
Most of my praise eminates from the fact that we had so many high ranking and gifted teachers participating in the seminars, teaching any subject matter in the martial arts.
The ratio of teachers to students was impressive, and you could participate in seminars on forms, bankai, fighting, grappling, weapons or other subject matter.
There was a theme in these seminars which was pervasive, among the many teachers. This theme was to educate the participants to what really works outside the dojo, such as a street fight or baroom brawl or other forms of realism.
Many demonstrations also explained the practical use of Kata, when modified to meet the urgency of street fighting.
The practical side was then to participate with a partner.
The attitude of the instructors seemed to quel the idea that only one form or discipline of fighting was effective and to emphasize that your standard training was also necessary.
They would all agree that at some point you may go to the ground and we had our own Mike Murphy, and Joe Pomfret, demonstrating grappling arts for the stand up fighter.
It was a literal buffet table of the world of martial arts and one could ingest as little or as much as one desired.
But after all is said and done, the quality could only be possible because of the organizational ability of Sensei Mattson, and his dedicated belief of a cohesive Uechi Ryu/Shohei Ryu, Shotokan and other Okinawan disciplines, all of which is exemplified by an active, viable and ever expanding IUKF, which advocates these principles created by GEM and the officers and members too numerous to mention.
I hope many of you who could not make it, will be present next year. I would also mention that the current offer of being a IUKF member should be taken advantage of if you
are serious about your art.
Again my many thanks to Sensei Mattson and the many who taught and participated in the seminars.
You will want to keep an ear an eye open for the teachings of Dave Young, who is up there on the same tier as some of our best teachers. No, he does not know UECHI/Shohei Ryu. He does know how to deal with criminals and to teach realism in a confrontation.