Hello everyone, finally getting rested up and putting boxes where they belong in the house.
What an amazing week we had last week. Meeting Sifu Andrew Kimura and breaking bread with him, couple of the candidates, Silvia and Jose was fantastic. He loves burgers as much as we do. For a first time in Texas, he adapted very quickly, with Jose giving him a quick tour of the town and all, I think great moments were made, so we thank Jose for making that happen. Then Thursday everybody started coming in more from far than near unfortunately but great memories, nonetheless. Seminar was held Thursday evening, and it was everything it was supposed to be, full house and wide eyes. Sifu Andrew had a good time with us, and we loved seeing him in action and we thank GM Matt Emery for making this connection possible as now we have even more friends for life.
Banquet was on Friday, we stopped counting at 130 plus which was great for the restaurant, we apologize if some got to eat sooner than later but next year, we will be on top of that more. As always, we had the best MC that we could be so lucky to have. Sensei (Miss Sylvia from CTL) always imparts such wisdom, humor and spirituality in her words, love that woman. Everyone stepped up to the plate to help, my sis, Chodan Silvia did everything to take pressure off my plate, ran a good raffle, would’ve been better with Miss Pat though. But Heather stepped up to help along with Steph’s mom Miss Denise. We gave out a bunch of awards, gifts, tokens of appreciation, one special note, Miss Johnetta Hodge of Chicago flew in for the week to represent the late Chodan Tenise Smith and we loved it and she had a good time as well.
The TKA Buskers as I named them, but I don’t think they liked the name so most likely they will change it next year, but they all got together and jammed out three great songs, with GM Matt on drums and cajon, GM Sandy on flute and tambourine, Coach Logan on guitar and vocals along with his son Elijah on Saxaphone, Master Ram on Trombone and drums topping off with Sifu Oscar knocking out the trumpet. And we even forced Sifu Andrew Kimura to sing the last song from the Rolling Stones “I’m not waiting on a Lady”. People had fun, fun, fun and the video is posted, I looked over and I was just amazed at the talent that was before me, made me feel great and we all were collectively being part of something bigger than us.
Newly inducted into the TKA, Sifu Andrew Kimura, Sensei Adam Lawson, GM Robert Aguilar and newly promoted Chodan Pat Monahan who couldn’t be there unfortunately. On Saturday at our conference, testing commenced with three new candidates passing and being the first from the ground up in TKA achieving their GrandMaster status to 7th Dan, Chil-Dan- GM Lowell, Lyle, GM Mike Jones and GM Dan Walthers. Lots of blood, sweat, tears, and broken nose were so ever present. Great seminar by Coach Chris Campbell with assistance from Master Shannon and other people. Special kata presentations by GM Matt Emery and Sifu Andrew Kimura and well as a small demo from GM Gabriel Green who by the way was field promoted on Friday at the banquet with 8th Degree, Pal-Dan ranking.
Special thanks via Charity Bezoni who made the special cookies with our newest logo purchased by Master Shannon. A lot of agendas and up-front paperwork done by Master Stephanie DeLoach, sound system all three days by Master Jose Ramirez and one person who did not sit the entire day of the conference was Master Eric Jones who came the night before and set everything up and then tore everything down. He adds so much value. The hotel was great and thanks to all the people who came out and supported, martial artists, grandmasters, family and friends. I think we did the 28th Annual TKA Banquet & Conference such justice this year and thanks to everyone for buying up all the shirts and contributed to the TKA to help take some of the burden off of me. Your Blackbelt Council thanks you as well. Sensei Andew Moody will get this added to the TKA page and make sure the appropriate folks get added to the GrandMaster page. If you could please send a small bio to Sensei Andrew to add to the page as well as picture of your choice that would make his life so much easier.
Johnny K. Thompson, GrandMaster, 9th Degree
President, Tang Soo Do Karate Association
Ambassador, International Martial Arts Council (IMAC/HOF)
Chodan, Chu Ida Yong Tae Kwon Do
Sifu, Bai Lung Chuan Fa
Retired MSgt (USAF)