It took me a few days to recover from the BWI last weekend, but here is my summary.
WOW! What a great weekend! I picked up Mr. LaBounty on Friday and we headed off to the Waterfront Hilton in Huntington Beach where many of our guests were staying. As soon as we walked in we saw Sean Kelly and Ranier Schulte in the lobby. While checking in, we saw Brian Duffy and his wife as well.
After checking in, I took a walk down to the patio and joined Tom Bleecker and Ranier having lunch. We were joined shortly by Bobby Lawrence and his wife. I then went up to my room to finish up some last minute issues. When I went down to get my car to head over the banquet hall, I saw Mike Pick, Gilbert Velez, Doreen DiRenzio, and Frank Trejo among others. To see that many great Kenpo leaders in that short a time period told me that the weekend was going to be a great one.
The banquet was spectacular. Major congratulations go to Barbara White for putting together a remarkable evening. The International Journey was released and people were lining up to get autographs. We setup a signing table and it was quite a sight to see all the honorees in one place. Check out this picture:
The banquet started with Barbara and Bob White welcoming everybody and thanking them for their service. After dinner was served, we heard a fascinating presentation by our keynote speaker Dr. Daniel Amen. Dr. Amen gave all of us a lot to think about while discussing how our actions affect our brain.
After Dr. Amen, Master Ken and his Enter the Dojo crew had the crowd laughing out loud as they presented the devastating power of Ameri-Do-Te. Master Ken finished his presentation by reminding us the purpose of the BWI weekend, to raise funds for the RFKC. That segued perfectly into the live auction. The highlight of the auction was the uniform donated by Rich hale that had signatures of 80 of the top Kenpoists in the world. The winning bid was $3,100 and will help send 6 more kids to camp.
The banquet finished with more reunions, stories and autographs.
The next day the tournament kicked off at 9 AM. We had close to 300 competitors and thanks to all the volunteers, everything ran smooth. After forms competition, we took a quick break for intermission. We presented the Steve Hearring Award then we had a demo by Paul Dye and his team. It was quite a treat to hear all the kids and the rest of the audience react to Mr. Dye and teams intensity.
Individual sparring was next and the competition was fierce and fun. We finished with team sparring. Thanks to all the volunteers and the hard work of the judges, we finished competition by 2:30 and were done with clean up by 4.
We then had a great time at the post tournament pizza party with more reunions, stories and camaraderie.
After more socializing on Saturday night and Sunday morning we bid farewell to our guests.
Finally we came to the purpose of the weekend. On Monday night Bob Whites Karate Studio was honored to present a check to the Royal Family Kids Camp for $50,000. This donation will allow 90+ children to attend camp this summer and receive the unconditional love provided by the RFKC. This donation also brings our 7 year total to $311,000, not bad for a small event that started in the parking lot of our school.
I cant explain how proud and humbled I am to be part of this great cause. All I can say is Thank You and we will see you next year.
For the kids,