2004 NEWS UPDATES
ADDED 12/19/04: Sensei Campos would like to thank Master Susan Jackson and the students at Traditional Martial Arts in Orlando, FL for their recent hospitality. Sensei Campos had the opportunity to present a seminar on Wed. 12/8 and attend testing on Sat. 12/11. As always he enjoyed his visit and the great Florida weather during his week there. Congratulations to all who successfully passed testing.
HAPPY HOLIDAY'S to all our members and their families. Thank you for being a part of the ZDK. As we count our blessings let's not forget those who are far away from home serving in the military. We wish them all a safe return.
ADDED 11/19/04: MILITARY HOLIDAY GREETINGS. We received a message from Chandra Miller, one of the TX ZDK members. She provided us with addresses for members of the military currently serving in Iraq and noted that they would be overjoyed to get holiday greetings from anyone. Since many of us are not personally sacrificing much in this "war" it would be a nice gesture to send a card to these guys:
SGT CHRIS MULLEN
Lcpl Brent Yoh
SGT MARTIN GEHRET
ADDED 11/18/04: We recently got an update from the N-NY ZDK group and are glad to hear that they are doing well. Mr. Brown's group is adjusting to their new facility at the Malone YMCA.
COBLESKILL ZDK NEWS: Mr. Ed Davenport has decided that his work schedule makes it impossible for him to continue to personally lead the Cobleskill College program. Since he has been unable to actively instruct the students or Black Belts for over two years and since his career takes precedence over other activities, he has turned the course over to Mr. Keith Stevenson. We know that with the assistance of Brian Cox & Carl Christman, the Coby club will continue to be a strong presence in the ZDK. We wish Mr. Davenport the best and look forward to working with the Coby staff.
ADDED 11/10/04: Congratulations to the following members who recently advanced in rank. C'Jay Castello - Shodan, and Veda Wertz - Nidan, from American Dragon Martial Arts in Altoona, PA; Dave Bruce - Sandan, and Troy Rodman - Yodan, from Bailey's Karate, Rome, NY.
ADDED 11/09/04: Sensei Campos (and Mrs. Campos) returned from New Zealand with an amazing array of pictures. The scenery in NZ is spectacular. Our host Sensei Johnny Kennedy was a great tour guide and we got to see a lot of the south island (Christchurch, Queenstown, Dunedin, etc.). In addition to being a tourist, Sensei Campos presented several seminars and met a number of instructors from several styles and systems. He also was a special guest on What Now, a live kids program that is popular throughout the country and was featured on the national news. They called him "Grandmaster Flash" because of his hand speed and noted that he was almost old enough to be a pensioner!!!
Many thanks to Sensei Kennedy and Rebecca for the wonderful time and all his hard work as coordinator of the trip.
Trip highlights included: 1) Spending a day with Tom Muzila, renowned Shotokan instructor under Master Oshima, while in L.A. He took us around the city and we got to see his dojo. It had that smell of hard work that you find in good dojos.
2) Meeting all of Sensei Kennedy's Black Belts. They were more than willing to abuse him during his review for rank. They all represent his club very well. He is a warrior who produces warriors!
2A) Meeting his students and the students from other clubs that were enthusiastic participants in the series of seminars and classes that were scheduled.
3) Tons of media coverage including an upcoming magazine article in a NZ martial arts mag.
4) Meeting so many excellent instructors from other styles including the Australian Zen-Do Kai group.
5) Seeing so much of NZ. The country is absolutely beautiful!
ADDED 10/4/04: Sensei Campos was the guest of the Texas group from 9/29-10/3 and as always their hospitality was appreciated. Mr. Gifford continues to expand his organization and produce quality martial artists in the process. Thursday evening saw a capacity crowd attend the seminar on gun defenses and control tactics presented by Sensei Campos. Friday was set aside for Black Belt testing and congratulations are in order for the following candidates: JR. SHODAN - Evan Snider & Nicholas Reinoso; JR. NIDAN - Marcus Bautista, Melissa Elder, Zachary Pollock; ADULT SHODAN - Charles Philpott. All the candidates did a phenomenal job! Sunday was spent attending the 12th KickStart (Chuck Norris Foundation) Benefit Tournament organized by Mr. Gifford. This event drew almost 400 competitors and was the largest to date. That didn't stop the ZDK/Safety America staff from starting and finishing on time. Representing Mr. Norris was Ed Sines (Chief Training Coordinator for KickStart) and Mr. Sapp. It was great to spend time with Kwai Chang (Shawn) and the other Sean, Bob Ryan, Bill Hickl, Wade Kirkpatrick, Dose, Sue Jackson (FL), June Gifford and the Gifford family, and all the other staff and instructors over the weekend. This was a full weekend but everything was well organized and, except for a shortage of Twinkies at the Gifford house, there were no problems.
ADDED 9/28/04: The big news is Mr. Brown finally beat Sensei Campos in golf. We hope he takes pride in conquering a "senior" citizen and man with a bad back! Besides that, Sensei Campos had a wonderful time visiting with all of the instructors & students in Northern N.Y. from 9/24-9/26/04. Congratulations to Mr. Randy Gladding on achieving Shodan at testing on Friday evening. The Sat. seminars for the kids, adults, and brown & black belts was very well received as always. Many thanks to Sensei's Brown, Perry, Pepe, Guccione, and all the other black belts for their hospitality and willingness to work hard on behalf of the ZDK. Sensei Campos appreciates the bi-annual invitation and forgives Sensei Brown for the golf whooping. Keep up the great work in N-NY.
ADDED 8/31/04: Ms. Cathie Bagnall of the Greene Dragon Martial Arts club in Greene, NY hosted Sensei Campos for testing and a seminar on sparring on 8/29. As always the GDMA group was ready for the day's activities. It was good to see all the black belt members in attendance and assisting. It is always a pleasure to go to GDMA because of the energy and enthusiasm of everyone there. Many thanks to the resident massage therapist, Colleen, for working on Sensei's back...it feels great! Sensei will be back in Nov. for a follow-up seminar and testing. Congratulations to all who tested.
Sensei Campos has also had the privilege of attending testing at HQ twice since Mr. & Mrs. Streeter took over the dojo. It is great seeing so many students continue to make progress and he looks forward to seeing the club grow under their leadership.
ADDED 8/26/04: NEWS FLASH - We just heard that Panera Bread has agreed to sponsor Sensei Jeff Melander in his competitive effort at the Pan American Internationals in Miami, FL. in Nov. Anyone who has seen Jeff perform Kata knows that his ability and technical expertise is superb. We would like to congratulate Jeff and wish him luck. We are sure his family and students at the Red Dragon Karate club in Ballston Spa, NY are proud.
ADDED 8/21/04: The N.NY-ZDK clubs recently got together and had their 1st annual picnic. This was a great opportunity for the members of the various clubs to have an opportunity to get together and socialize. The clubs from Canton, Malone, & Massena enjoyed good weather and camaraderie at this event
We are finally able to update our news page - it has been a very busy summer! Everyone had a great time at the '04 Super Summer camp. Things got started on Friday 7/23 with testing and we would like to congratulate all of the following 14 individuals on their rank advancement. SHODANS: Roland Lavigne from Red Dragon Martial Arts in Ballston Spa; Pam Patrick & John Pezzino from Greene Dragon Martial Arts (GDMA) in Greene, NY; & Bob Sullivan from the Johnstown, NY ZDK; NIDAN: Andrew Brown from GDMA; SANDAN: Tim Bass, Jovan Germano, & Dave Pepe from the N. NY-ZDK; Bonnie Streeter from the Johnstown, NY ZDK; YODAN: Lisa Caswell, Dave Guccione, Vince Perry, & Andre Secore from the N.NY-ZDK. A highlight of the Sat. night demonstrations and presentations was the awarding of 6th Dan rank to Master Instructor Ron Brown of the N.NY ZDK by Mr. Joel Kirch, his original instructor and Mr. Michael Campos, ZDK Director. It was noted that Mr. Brown was primarily responsible for the reinvigorating of the programs and achievement of several goals in the Northern NY region. His work and effort on behalf of the ZDK organization has been unselfish and exemplary.
SAT/SUN: Even though we lost two instructors just prior to the camp (Ray Dalke & Art Cohen), due to family emergencies, we were able to use our reserve instructor Mr. Brown, Mr. Trevor Nash (fiancé of Casey Marks and a NASKA World Champion), and Mr. Campos to fill-in the seminar slots of our missing instructors. The entire weekend was blessed with great weather and we have had nothing but great reviews from participants. The DJ had the Pub rocking until 1 a.m. on Sat. and from what we have heard the party continued in at least one dorm until the wee hours of the morning.
2004 STAFF: Joe Ansah (USA Goju), Tom & Dana Arcuri (PDR), Cathie Bagnall (Yoga/Meditation), Ron Brown (ZDK System), Mark Cardona (Kung-Fu), Dr. Richard Chmielewski (Emergency Medical Expert), Chris Dammann (Karate), Renee Datto (Kyokushin Karate/Weapons), Raffi Derderian (Kempo), Paul Fracchia (Japanese Karate), Vicki Gillen (Karate/Business), Joel Kirch (Karate/US Marshal), Chris LaCava (Jujitsu), Jeff Melander (Pentjak-Silat), Dr. Cary Najarian (Health & Nutrition), Bob Ryan (Karate/Weapons), Robert Streeter (Iaido & Kendo), Kevin Suggs (USA Goju & CDT), Greg Troup (Camp Photographer), & Bob Pinney (Colgate Karate Instructor & resident problem solver). There were 3 New Staff and 4 Staff returning after missing one or more years as a staff member.
SSS 2004 was a great time and we would like to thank the instructors above and the participants for helping to make our 22nd annual camp a huge success!
ADDED 5/26/04: On 5/7/04 Sensei Campos had the honor of attending the Black Belt Spectacular held in Rome, NY. The event honored Ms. Vicki Gillen’s 30th anniversary as a martial arts student and instructor. In addition to a fun show, there was a slide presentation noting her many competitive and other accomplishments. Sensei Campos had the privilege of awarding Ms Gillen the rank of Rokudan at the event. He noted that she has demonstrated loyalty and commitment to the ZDK for over two decades. She received her 5th dan rank in 1995, well beyond the time in grade requirements for this promotion. Congratulations!
The weekend of 5/14/04 saw Sensei Campos travel to N.NY to oversee black belt testing for the Canton, Massena, & Malone ZDK clubs. It was great to see all the N.NY and Canadian instructors and students. Sensei Campos presented seminars for the children and adult members of the N.NY clubs. Special commendation goes to Mr. Ron Brown for his hard work and effort to promote mutual goals for all the N.NY instructors & clubs. RB is a make things happen guy!
Congratulations to the N.NY Black Belt Candidates: Shodans - Bruce Kenna of the Canton, NY-ZDK; Josh Premo & David Nadeau of the Malone, NY-ZDK; Stephen Jolley of ZDK Canada. Nidans - Caleb Bass & Cheri Langdon of the Malone, NY-ZDK. It was a pleasure to see the N.NY ZDK group working together to grow the various programs and clubs.
NEW ZDK BLACK BELTS
Congratulations to all of the following individuals who have successfully achieved black belt rank over the last several months in ZDK system & affiliated clubs:
TX-ZDK Promotions: Jr. Black Belt rank – Marcus Bautista, Melissa Elder, Alexander Hsie, Shodan – C. Heitman, A. Annaiyyappa, C. Trip, A. Fautsch, L. Fautsch, J. Leger, R. Maxwell, M. Salyer, and C. Stinson. Johnstown, NY-ZDK: Nathan Quinn & Payton Stahler on their promotion to Jr. Black Belt rank on 4/29/04. Bailey’s Karate (Rome, NY): Shodans – Ryan Hawkins, John Henry, & Arun Goel. Nidan – Harry Hulett II & Laine Tarbania. Bailey’s Karate (Herkimer, NY): Shodan - Karl Tripple; Jr. Nidan – Alessandra Smith.
ADDED 4/27/04: Sensei Campos would like to thank Sensei Jeff Melander for hosting his Magic 30 Takedown seminar at his Ballston Spa, NY studio on 4/25/04. The dojo was filled with an enthusiastic group of students and instructors from the Cobleskill ZDK, Slivienski's Karate in Troy and others. The 2-1/2 hour presentation was well received and is tentatively scheduled for the end of June at Sensei Slivienski's club in Troy. Many thanks to Sensei Melander and his enthusiastic members for helping to make the event a success.
ADDED 4/21/04: Sensei Campos had a great R & R in Florida and was appreciative of the wonderful hospitality he received from Ms. Susan Jackson and the students at her Traditional Martial Arts club in Orlando on 4/14. His seminar on Magic 30 Takedowns was well received by all participants. He just wishes that his golf game was better! Many thanks to all the FL folks and to everyone at HQ who kept things running smoothly in his absence.
30TH BANQUET WEEKEND
TESTING: The weekend festivities began on Fri. evening 3/19/04 with Black Belt testing at HQ. Many thanks to all the instructors who came to observe and/or participate including our most senior Dan ranks Mr. Kirch, Mr. Davenport, Mr. Brown, & Mr. Streeter. Special thanks to those who offered up their bodies to assist. Congratulations to: Mary Hallett of M.A. & Me; Travis McConnell of Green Dragon Karate; Paul Andrusyszyn & Louis Canter of Kensho-Do Karate on achieving Shodan rank; and Colleen Gaydorus & Cary (Doc) Najarian of GDMA on achieving Nidan. Congratulations to each of their instructors for a job well done!
SEMINAR: Sat. morning saw over 50 participants attend the excellent seminars put on by our two "special guests" Mr. Steve Pearlman & Master Joe Mansfield. Mr. Pearlman, a professor at Skidmore college in Saratoga, NY, has a unique approach to self-defense theory and Mr. Mansfield, an old friend of the ZDK, is definitely deserving of the title "master" instructor. Many thanks to those instructors and students who supported this event.
BANQUET: The Banquet was a great success with approximately 200 people in attendance. In addition to instructors and students, we had in attendance several members from the 1970’s when we were first starting to instruct including: Fred Franco, Steve Holden, Mark Kilmer, Rick Bowne, Ed Taglialatela, Tom Greco, & Steve Reid. It was also nice to see old friends Shawn & Tony Irvin show up to share some memories.
Top Schools and Individual awards presented included:
7) AMERICAN DRAGON KARATE, ROARING SPRING, PA, STEVE WERTZ; 6) CASA-DE KARATE, ELMIRA, NY, KENT GOBEN; 5) KENNEDY’S KARATE, NEW ZEALAND, JOHNNY KENNEDY; 4) CANTON ZEN-DO KAI, CANTON, NY, DAVE GUCCIONE/LISA CASWELL; 3) KICKS & STICKS, EASTHAMPTON, MA, ERNIE LABERGE; 2) SLIVIENSKI’S KARATE, TROY, NY, ANDY SLIVIENSKI; 1) BAILEY’S KARATE, CORTLAND, NY, TROY RODMAN.
3) TEXAS MARTIAL ARTS, SUGAR LAND, TX, RICK EIERDAM; 2) PROG-RESSIVE MARTIAL ARTS, ALT-OONA, PA, ROCCO ALIANIELLO & TODD STEINER; 1) RED DRAGON KARATE, BALLSTON SPA, NY, JEFF MELANDER.
4) TRADITIONAL MARTIAL ARTS, ORLANDO, FL, SUSAN JACKSON; 3) BROOK’S KARATE, W. WINFIELD, NY, LARRY & LAURA BROOKS; 2) COBY & CHERRY VALLEY ZDK, ED DAVENPORT (BRIAN COX); 1) ZEN-DO KAI CANADA, MONTREAL, DANIEL BRUNETTE & REAL MARTEL.
6) BAILEY’S KARATE, HERKIMER, NY, TOM & DANA ARCURI; 5) N-NY ZDK MALONE - MASSENA, NY, RON & PHYLLIS BROWN/D. PEPE & V. PERRY; 4) BAILEY’S KARATE, ROME, NY, VICKI GILLEN; 3) P.A.K. COLGATE UNIVERSITY, BOB PINNEY; 2) GREENE DRAGON MARTIAL ARTS, GREENE, NY, CATHIE BAGNALL; 1) SAFETY AMERICA, SUGAR LAND, TX, BOB GIFFORD.
Service to ZDK - BOB PINNEY
Bushido Award - TRAVIS MC CONNELL
Black Belt of the Year - TIM BASS
Promoter of the Year - RON & PHYLLIS BROWN
Mentor of the Year - CATHIE BAGNALL
Club of the Year - ZDK CANADA
International Award - JOHNNY KENNEDY, NEW ZEALAND
Instructor of the Year - JEFF MELANDER
Black Belt Competitor of the Year - IAN SANTANGELO
CAMPOS’ CORNER - 30 Years of Banquets
The Banquet has been a great party and I am forever grateful to everyone who has made it a priority to attend. Special thanks to Mr. Kirch who has acted as award organizer and Master of Ceremonies for many years. His steadfast assistance and sense of humor have been a great asset to making the Banquet a smooth running & fun event.
I am grateful for the support of the HQ Black Belt staff for helping to encourage attendance and determine student awards. They are the unsung hero’s of the last 3 decades.
It was difficult to end what has become a tradition but there are many great memories. Long before "men in tights" was part of popular culture, we had our own version at the Banquet.
Putting together the memory books on the Banquet, ZDK History, SSS, etc. brought back what have been some of the best times in the ZDK. At this point in time I look forward to being invited to other people’s parties with the hope that new traditions will replace the old. I guess our Elvis impersonators will have to find another venue! THANK YOU.
ADDED 3/9/04: Sensei Campos turned 60 on 2/22 and he looks forward to another 60 or so years of learning and teaching. Sensei Campos traveled to Joliette, Quebec on the weekend of 2/28 for the seminar programs at the club of Daniel Brunette & Real Martel. Unlike last year the weather was much milder but the atmosphere in the dojo was HOT. It was a great trip with a large turnout including Mr. Brown and several of his black belts an
d students showing up (we think they really came for Anick's donuts though). Mr. Davenport came to assist Sensei and to meet the Gazelle's. As always, the hospitality was wonderful and we look forward to seeing everyone again next winter.
On Sun. 3/7 Sensei Campos had the pleasure of attending testing at Ms. Bagnall's Greene Dragon club in Greene, NY. While there he had the opportunity to pre-test Travis McConnell for Shodan and Cary Najarian & Colleen Gaydorus for Nidan. They will all test at Banquet weekend and we look forward to seeing them achieve their respective goals. As always, Cathie & Clark were wonderful hosts and we had a relaxing night at her dad's beautiful place on Sat. night. Congratulations to all the students who tested successfully on Sun.
ADDED 2/8/04: Sensei Andy Slivienski hosted Sensei Campos for a 3-Second Self-Defense seminar at his Troy, NY dojo on Sat. 2/7. The seminar was a success and several students and instructors were present from other clubs including Mr. Melander's Red Dragon Karate, Mr. Ward's Kensho-Do Siena College club, and several others from non-ZDK clubs. This was the second visit to the Troy dojo and Mr. Campos has been invited back for another program in the fall.
ADDED 2/2/04: What a busy weekend! Sensei Campos had the honor of instructing at Winter Warrior Weekend on 1/30-1/31/04. Another ZDK instructor teaching was Sensei Melander, who wowed the group with his forms & bo staff skills (not to mention his amazing flexibility). Students in attendance from Mr. Melander's Red Dragon Karate, & the Johnstown ZDK were enthusiastic and worked hard. The weather also cooperated and it was snow-free and a little warmer than the last few weeks.
MESSAGES TO OUR SOLDIERS IN AFGHANISTAN & IRAQ: We believe it is imperative that the troops fighting there know they have our support as they risk their lives in a very dangerous environment. Here are some sites that will allow you to send an email message to those serving: