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Extravaganza Weekend in Boston

What a firework of emotions and impressions. It all started relatively simply. Sr.GM Ron Lew and SGM Al Dacascos invited me to this Cervizzi's Martial Arts event to take part in the course and tournament and to support Sr.GM Ron Lew in teaching. I had to take advantage of such a unique opportunity. So off I went on the plane to Boston. A super professionally organized event, from the pick-up from the airport to the return transport, punctual, cordial, always helpful.

There was a welcome event for all participants on Friday evening. For me, this was an excellent opportunity to make lots of new contacts and get to know interesting people. It didn't matter what rank anyone had, everyone got on like one big family and I immediately felt included. I was the only foreign participant that evening and at the course. And there were a lot of high-ranking guests, grand grandmasters, senior grandmasters, grandmasters, professors and lots of sifus. When I got home, I started to work out which celebrities I had met there in person.

The course started early on Saturday morning. Six mostly grandmasters taught an hour at a time. Everyone was free to choose which lesson they wanted to take part in. I opted for Escrima. Sifu Resita realized that I was ahead of the others and so I was given the opportunity to support the lessons. I found it very interesting that the participants covered the whole spectrum between young and old, all belt colors and even some disabilities. Sr. GM Ron Lew also taught one hour of Escrima and one hour of Carambit. Of course I was there to support him. SGM Al Dacascos' lessons were super interesting and showed extreme effectiveness for self-defense. They were all primarily about self-defense in the respective style, from Shaolin Kenpo to kickboxing. I was pleased to be able to demonstrate good basic knowledge in the individual lessons and received recognition for throwing techniques and ready-to-use variability. Again and again I felt that skill plays a major role here and that each belt color is willing to learn from the other, in both directions.

A gala event was held in the evening. Around 500 participants filled a huge hall. There was a very high-quality lion dance at the opening. Even the musicians were a delight to listen to. Then young and old performed a dance with fans and lots of acrobatics. This was followed by speeches and then a very impressive award ceremony. The organizer Soke Paul Servizzi 10th Dan personally presented many children, young people and adults with trophies and certificates in various categories, awards for best fighters, special commitment and exceptional development. Disabled people were also among the recipients. All of them were loudly celebrated. A moving atmosphere with a lot of appreciation, esteem and respect. Then everyone celebrated exuberantly and here, too, I sensed no difference between teachers and students, all a happy unit, where you could see the fun of being together.

The tournament also started early on Sunday. I met Son Le from Taiyo Hamburg. He had combined a family vacation with taking part in the tournament. We were the only foreign participants. Son was very successful, taking first place in form and fighting. He even took first place in the blue and black belt classes. A really great performance, we can be proud of that. I competed in the form class with the FuHawk, which I learned from Sr.GM Ron Lew. In the end, I was only a hundredth short of first place. But I am very happy about the silver medal, because first place went to an athlete from the local club with an absolutely convincing performance. I don't begrudge her this victory, because all the children and young people from her club had been cheering for her and then cheered with relief. Then came my second start, weapon form with the whip. This form was also a first for me at a tournament. Everything went well and I was quite happy. When I finished, there was suddenly thunderous applause. The judges put the scoreboards to one side, showed ten with their hands and shouted "ten,ten" at the same time. First place with this form, I was especially happy for Sr.GM Ron Lew, who had taught me all this and was now enjoying the success. People I had never met before came up to me, shook my hand and explained that they had never seen anything like it before. I was very impressed.

That was basically the end of the weekend. On Monday I was already back on the plane home. What remains is deep gratitude that I was able to experience this. I have absorbed this atmosphere of warmth, respect and appreciation. It motivates me tremendously to continue my intensive development on this path and to give something back. The words of SGM Al Dacascos are fitting: "Respect is a mirror, you get what you give."

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