As I drove back from the airport today, my thoughts were on my visit to the Chi-I-Do Dojo in San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico. I was overcome by emotion, and now as I compose this post, the tears are still streaming down my face. It is rare in ones life to discover a new home and a new family and that is exactly what I found in San Lorenzo. I expected this trip to b
I posted well over 300 pictures from the San Lorenzo Dojo classes. I tried to capture the relationships and emotions of the people there besides the usual "karate class" pictures. I learned a valuable lesson in San Lorenzo, one that has nothing to do with how to block or punch or kick. I learned that the most powerful force we have to put inside our technique is "emotion". Emotions change the world. Emotions create new life with love and emotions take away life through hate. They say there is a fine line between love and hate and that is where the power lies. I practiced with Nelson, one of the teachers of San Lorenzo. He is a brute of a man, so damn powerful. Nelson laughs easily. He has no ego. Nelson is the embodiment of Okinawan Goju Ryu and a teacher of the art. No one in the dojo had an ego. Everyone there smiled and laughed easily as you'll see in the photos. I don't think anyone can really master Karate without being able to easily laugh and cry, and in San Lorenzo they sure know how to do both. I think one of the best pictures is of a little boy sitting next to Kayo as Kayo was watching Bai teach duck walking (which was pretty funny as you can well imagine). This boy was looking up at Kayo with such awe, enjoyment and innocence. In one quick glance I think he expressed what we all feel about Kayo.
The Dojo gave Kayo a plaque honoring him. This is what it says…
"Sometimes it is difficult to express gratitude to someone who has given a lot without expecting anything in return; but the satisfaction of harvesting the fruits of what has been taught. Thank you for sharing your friendship, knowledge, wisdom and humor throughout all of these years."
Given Today, July 1st, 2012
Gilberto Melendez Felix Sensei and Nelson Borrero Sensei
Friendship, knowledge, wisdom and humor are the hallmarks of a great martial artist and teacher, not just the ability to kill. Kayo does indeed give us those gifts, everyday and I am very honored to call Kayo my teacher and my friend. Thank you Kayo for inviting me on this journey and thank you to all my new friends, family and Chi-I-Do brothers and sisters of the San Lorenzo Dojo.