Tonight Sobukan did something special. We performed at the Paper Crane Ball at the Hilton to raise money for the Childhood Cancer Association, a very noble cause.
My son Sei, Dan Scibs, Daniel Carlesso, Geoff Tynan, Steven ‘Pacey’ Pace, Takumi Nishiyama, Umehara san and I performed a short martial art skit that symbolised a child’s successful battle against cancer.
I mediated on stage while Sei played with a paper crane to Umehara san’s flute music represented the innocence and tranquility of life before cancer.
Pacey, Geoff and the two Dan’s entrance to the beat of Takumi’s drum symbolised the emergence of cancer. I fought back against escalating violence, winning at first, then finally succumbing to the overwhelming nature of the disease.
Sei then demonstrated the power of a child’s will fighting against the odds, and defeated the attackers. We then returned to a life of peace and normality.
The 500-strong crowd enjoyed the performance, particularly some of the more spectacular techniques such as flying kicks and the hanuman knee, and reacted predictably to the groin strikes. The audience absolutely loved Sei’s takedowns, kicks, punches and wrist and arm locks – you can probably hear the cheers and applause in the video.
Unfortunately we didn’t have a cameraman so no pictures of the event, but I have a picture of the dinner.
We then went out for a feast at Himeji restaurant: Yamazaki whisky, ramen, karaage, sushi, yakitori, nasu dengaku, edamame and takoyaki. It was a miracle a dozen of us were able to get a table without a booking on a Friday night, but we squeezed in.
A huge thanks to:
– The organisers of the Paper Crane Ball for the opportunity to participate in this event
– JAFA President Mike Dunphy for suggesting Sobukan martial arts 総武館 for this event
– Everyone who helped out tonight, including Gail Umehara and family members of all the performers for permitting them to be part of this
– Everyone else at Sobukan for their patience while we rehearsed for tonight
See you on the mats!