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2009 NEWS UPDATES

ADDED 12/29/09:  As we close out another year, we wish everyone the best for 2010.  Mr. Campos would like to thank Mr. Joel Kirch for his wonderful hospitality while he was in Washington, DC from 12/17-12/23.  Unfortunately, the city was hit with the biggest snowstorm since 1928 while he was there and the government and transportation essentially shut down for several days.  So while we didn't get to do some of the things we had planned, it was still a good visit with an old friend.  I can report to the TX, FL, & N-NY ZDK members that Mr. Kirch is doing extremely important work and doing well.  Thanks for everything JK!!!

We are in the deep freeze here in NY as we head into 2010.  We hope everyone stays safe and keeps training hard to achieve whatever your goals are in the martial arts.  See you in 2010.

ADDED 12/9/09:  On 12/4 Mr. Campos, Mr. Tomlinson, & Mr. Schuyler were at HFM B.O.C.E.S. (Johnstown, NY) to instruct the Criminal Justice classes for the day.  The students were very receptive and worked hard on all of the material.  As always, John Pecora, the program instructor, was an excellent host for this annual training and we enjoy the opportunity to meet and work with these young people.

On 12/7 Mr. Campos, Mr. Tomlinson, & Mr. Schuyler travelled to Sherburne, NY to attend testing at Pinney's American Karate.  Mr. Bob Pinney had done a great job of preparing all of the students for the experience.  Everyone who tested did an outstanding job, especially Emma and Taro, who demonstrated all of the attributes of future black belts.  We want to thank Mr. Pinney for his invitation and hospitality.

ADDED 12/5/09 CONGRATULATIONS TO LARRY & LAURA BROOKS on the birth of a grandchild.  Annabelle Ida-Marie Brooks arrived on 12/3 to a very happy Brooks family.  What could be better than Laura getting a clean bill of health after surgery and then having a new family member.  Congrats to the parents Larry Jr. & Wendy.

CONGRATULATIONS TO JOHNNY KENNEDY IN NEW ZEALAND on celebrating the 15th anniversary of his club in Christchurch.  Kennedy's Family Martial Arts has grown due to Johnny's dedication and commitment to teaching quality martial arts in a friendly family atmosphere.  Anyone who knows Johnny or has seen him perform knows that he is a highly skilled martial artist.  More importantly, he is a great instructor.  We are proud to have him as a member and wish all of his students the best for many years to come.

ADDED 12/1/09CONGRATULATIONS TO MARTIN & CHANDRA GEHRET on the birth of a future ZDK Warrior - Justin Martin was born on 11/16 and was a healthy 7 LB 6.5 OZ.  Chandra is a member of the TX ZDK. 

CONGRATULATIONS TO DON DEWITT, a former black belt member from OH, on the publication of his book entitled - "TRADITIONAL SHOTOKAN KARATE-DO."  Don was kind enough to send Mr. Campos a signed copy and to mention his ZDK affiliation in his forward and the jacket cover.  Anyone interested in purchasing a copy can find it at Barnes & Noble or Amazon.com.  ISBN: 978-1-61546-901-7  WEB PAGE:  http://home.rr.com/donbudo

ADDED 11/30/09:  It is hard to believe another year is coming to an end.  We hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.  There are several news items to report:

Mr. & Mrs. Campos travelled to Houston, TX on the weekend of Nov. 20 to attend the wedding of Shyla Gifford.  Shy is the oldest daughter of Bob & June Gifford.  Bob is been with the ZDK for 40 years and runs Safety America martial arts.  We had a great time seeing all of our TX friends.  It was nice to be in TX for a social event but we did manage to spend a little time helping Mr. Eierdam, Hickl, and Ms. Jackson with Kata before we headed to the airport on Sun.   We enjoyed seeing Mr. Obmaces, Eierdam, Vicknair, Braun, Kirkpatrick, Kelly, Ryan, and the list goes on.  We appreciated the hospitality of Bill & Michele Hickl - who let us stay in their guest apt. at their beautiful home in Sugar Land.  Of course, Ms. Sue Jackson flew in from Orlando to make the gathering complete.  We wish the best to Shyla and Reyes as they start a life together.

Speaking of Ms. Jackson.  If you watched the news about Tiger Woods, you may have caught Susan speaking on behalf of Health Central, the hospital where he was treated.  Susan is the VP of Patient Services and spoke to the press the morning after he was admitted.  Here is the link to the interview:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oc4WwEEpWuQ

After being in TX we travelled to the nations capital for Thanksgiving and while there we had a chance to visit Mr. Joel Kirch at his office in Arlington, VA.  Joel is the student who took over the N-NY ZDK when Bob Gifford moved to TX in 1970.  Joel started his law-enforcement career as a security guard in Ogdensburg, NY and today is a Chief of T.O.G. with the US Marshal's Service.  He got into martial arts after a guy tried to stab him while he was working store security and the rest is history.  We don't know too many people who can look out their office window across the Potomac and see the US Capital building - pretty cool deal!

ADDED 11/9/09:  The Diamond Valley Classic tournament hosted by the Arcuri's in Herkimer, NY this past weekend was a huge success.  There were more black belts in attendance than ever before and the whole day ran smoothly and without any problems.  It was great to see Mr. Kevin Suggs and some students in attendance from the NYC area, as well as the usual group of ZDK and other clubs represented.  We were impressed with the fact that Mr. Bob Pinney decided to join the fray in the senior black belt division.  Mr. Jeff Melander was, as always, the man to beat in Kata and Weapons - it is always a pleasure to watch him perform!!  Mr. Paul Fracchia showed up with a couple of his senior ranks to help judge.  It was a nice day of friendly competition and everyone seemed very pleased with the whole event.

SPECIAL CONGRATULATIONS TO BOB AND GRACE PINNEY.  They are now the proud grandparents of their first grandchild - a healthy baby girl named Clara born in Norway (where they have a government run healthcare system!!!).

ADDED 11/2/09Mr. Campos arrived back from his Military police reunion in Nashville to both good and bad news.  The good news is that Laura Brooks surgery went extremely well and she was released from the hospital on Sunday.  We were pleased to hear that she is in recovery mode and already walking around.  Hopefully Larry will be able tohold down the fort and stay ahead of the housework while she gets better.

Unfortunately, we were informed on Sunday that Clark Wallin had passed away suddenly.  Clark was 55 years old and the husband of Cathie Bagnall - founder of Greene Dragon Martial Arts in Greene, NY.  Clark was a ZDK sandan and was in the process of training for his yodan rank.  John Pezzino, current GDMA Chief Instructor, said that Clark had worked out with him last Thursday and was in a great mood and looking forward to the challenge of testing.  Clark was a sincere and committed martial artist and will be missed by everyone.  Our condolences go out to Cathy, his entire family, and to all the GDMA members.

 ADDED 10/19/09:  Kevin Suggs "Afternoon With The Masters" program at SUNY Purchase this past Saturday was a tribute to his obvious respect for and connection to people who he feels have had a positive impact on his martial arts philosophy and training.  Sensei Campos was honored to be included in the program with Walter Eddie, William Slader, Kevin Thompson, and Khalef Williams - all fantastic martial artists and great people.  The common element we all shared was the fact that we have each trained and taught for 40 or more years.  We also shared an obvious lack of ego and a lot of humility.  The only instructor Sensei Campos had met previously was Kevin Thompson.  He and his son, Kevin Jr., did a fantastic demonstration of kata that was full of dynamism and excitement - not a surprise if you have ever seen Master Thompson perform!!!  Master Eddie also did a great demonstration of Hapkido and can still kick like a twenty-something at 58 years young!!!  The mostly black belt participants were courteous, respectful, and enthusiastic which made the day truly enjoyable.  It was great to see Joe, Steve, Peg, and other downstate friends there, as well as, Bob Pinney and two of his students and Richard Schuyler representing the upstate region and the ZDK.  Sensei Suggs greatly appreciated the fact that they drove 3-4 hours to support his event.  Mr. Campos would like to thank Mr. Suggs for his hospitality and for allowing him to be part of this ground breaking event.  Congratulations!!

ADDED 10/10/09Mr. Campos had the opportunity last night to travel to Herkimer, NY to attend Bailey's Black Belt Spectacular.  Participants in the two hour program included members of the Bailey's Rome & Herkimer schoolsWhat a show!!!  The auditorium at Herkimer H.S. was packed with people supporting the black belt candidates.  In addition to the very funny skit based on the Munster's family we had the opportunity to see all of the candidates perform.  Mr. Campos also awarded certificates to Larry & Laura Brooks (Brooks Karate, W. Winfield, NY) who are celebrating their 25th year of teaching martial arts; and to Vicki Gillen (Bailey's Karate, Rome, NY) in honor of her 30th year of instructing.  Both clubs have been part of the ZDK for many years and run excellent programs.  NOTE:  Special thanks to the "little birdies" that let us know about these milestones.  We are dependent on this kind of information in order to recognize our members accomplishments; so, if there are other "little birdies" out there with information we may not be aware of, please don't keep the information a secret.

Congratulations to each student on their new ranks:  Ben Allen, Livia Goewey, Kenny Hemshrot, Andy Jeselson, Page Oshel (who, it was noted, has a goal to be a 9th degree black belt, like Mr. Campos), Ethan Golem, Ian Greasley, Patrick Moran, Vanessa Roach, Ryan Moody, Nick Netti, Molly O'Brien, Sean O'Brien, Brandon Shokey, Kira Stone, Brandon Benenati, Lucas Bruzgulis, Adam Hocking, Mark Duell, Quentin Cool, & Dylan Famolaro.

ADDED 10/2/09:  NEWS FROM JOHNNY KENNEDY IN NEW ZEALAND:  "Baylee our wee girl turned 1 on Sunday - wow its amazing how time flies by so quickly.  Training is also going well, I am looking at retiring from my job next year and running the school full-time as having 2 jobs and training at the dojo 4 times a week is having its toll on the family life.  Checked out the information on the Sensei Suggs Masters seminars you will be teaching at, that's going to be a great afternoon and checking out the video you are looking really good :)  Say Hi to all the ZDK crew from us both, I would really like to come back to SSS in the next year or two depending on how finances go with our new venture."  We would like to wish Johnny and his family the best and look forward to hearing of his success as a full-time martial arts instructor - Good Luck and Continued Success!!!

ADDED 9/30/09CONGRATULATIONS to Vicki Gillen on her 35 year of training and teaching martial arts in Rome, NY.  Vicki will also be celebrating her 30th year in business as Bailey's Karate in 2010.  Vicki had a impressive competitive career through the 80's and 90"s and was one of the very first female instructor's in the upstate region.  She has proven herself to be adept in the martial arts and business arena.  We salute her accomplishments and wish her continued success!!!

ADDED 9/27/09:  Things have been busy.  We recently received a very nice email from Ron Alfini.  Ron trained with us at HQ many years ago and eventually earned his black belt in another system in Missouri.  He visited HQ recently with his family and trained in the adult class.  In part his message said:

I wanted to let you know why I left.  I was young and ignorant about the art of karate.  I really thought Karate was something that was passed along and never changed especially after training in some JKA schools in Germany.  So when I left active duty Air Force and resumed training at Zen Do Kai it had seemed as if things had changed.  What I didn’t realize, at the time, is that you were adapting and expanding “your martial art” and what you were teaching us was “your martial art” that was grounded heavily with Shotokan karate.   I also realized years later that I had changed and was also confused due to my JKA Shotokan training.

At that time Mr. Streeter and Mr. D’Amico had started training at the Zen Do Kai.  Both are gifted martial artists coming from another system and were trying to learn the Zen Do Kai kyu requirements and techniques, thus would come to me for my help.  I should have stepped up, stuck around.  At the time it seemed like there was no time for me to train and the confusion I was feeling about what I wanted from Karate, I regretfully left. 

I also wanted to take this time to say “Thank You”.  You have been the biggest influence in how I perform as a Martial Artist with respect to Spirit, Zanshin (Awareness), Martial Arts Etiquette.  It definitely gets noticed when I compete or take seminars.  I just regret that the one person that I have had the most respect for and has been one of my biggest influences is the one that I have probably disappointed the most over the years.

I am very pleased that Ron has achieved a black belt and, while it took him awhile to recognize his own conflict about training, he has "stepped up" to let me know that he learned some valuable skills at our little Johnstown dojo.  Thanks for your message Ron.

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD:  On Thurs. Sept. 24, Mr. Campos was the recipient of a Distinguished Alumnus Award for Lifetime Achievement from Fulton-Montgomery Community College (FMCC).  The moderator noted that Mr. Campos in the first graduating class at FMCC ('64) and has done a lot of community service as well as trained and taught the martial arts for 50 years.  The awards dinner was held at the Johnstown Holiday Inn and hosted by the FM Foundation.  Several senior ZDK members were present to celebrate the event with Mr. Campos and his wife including, Tom Arcuri, who now directs Super Summers; Tony & Shawn Irvin, othe first instructor to affiliate from another style; Bob & Grace Pinney, who was instrumental in making Super Summers a success at Colgate Univ. for 13 years; Bob & Bonnie Streeter, who took over the operation of the Johnstown studio in 2004; and Harry Tomlinson, who travelled twice a week from Schoharie county to train and teach at HQ for 13 years.  While it would have been wonderful to invite many other people who have helped make the ZDK a success, it was simply not possible.  In his speech Mr. Campos noted that Craig Corato and Bob Gifford established the first satellite clubs in what became the ZDK organization.  They both began their training with him at FMCC in 1969 while still in high school.

N-NY SEMINARS:  On Fri. 9/25 Mr. Campos travelled to Massena, NY to instruct two seminars for the N-NY ZDK clubs.  Many thanks to Mr. Brown, Mr. Perry, Mr. Pepe, Mr. & Mrs. Guccione, Mr. Secore and all the other black belts and students who came out on a beautiful saturday to sweat.  It was great to spend Fri afternoon on the golf course with Mr. Brown and, for the very first time Mr. Perry and his dad, Joe.  Mr. Perry's dad is 83 and easily beat all of us on the links.  There is always next year Joe!!!

 ADDED 9/15/09 WED. SEPT.9, 2009:  TV APPEARANCE ON PERSONAL SAFETY.  Mr. Campos and Tony Irvin, a member of the NYS Police and senior ZDK member, appeared on a local Time Warner Cable TV show "In The Know & On The Go" to discuss personal safety.  The show aired live from 2-3 pm on the public access channel for Fulton, Montgomery, & Hamilton counties.  The show focused on providing safety tips while in your car, on the street, in malls, in your home, etc.  They illustrated their advice with stories about crimes in the area.  The last ten minutes were devoted to demonstrating some simple physical techniques designed to ward off a potential attack.  Mr. Campos would like to thank Tony for assisting with this program.

ADDED 7/27/09:  A clip from Mr. Campos' Gun Defense DVD was recently posted on YouTube by Single Step Productions.  Click here to see it.

Dave Castaldo who joined the ZDK from another system and tested at SSS for Nidan sent us the this message:  Mr. Campos,  The whole journey from starting to train ZDK system all the way through the testing process was a great experience. I am very proud to be a part of an organization that has the Martial Arts principles as its driving force, instead of money.    I look forward to many more years training, learning and being able to help the ZDK grow and stay strong.

We would like to thank Mr. Castaldo for his thoughts and note that many ZDK members were involved in helping him achieve his goal.  They are the reason we exist.  Once again, congratulations and good luck to everyone who tested at SSS.

Mr. Brown of the N-NY ZDK recently held testing for four Junior Black Belts - Congratulations to:  Josh Trombley, Bailey Campbell, Maggie Albu, and Brennan Secore!!  We were glad to see them at SSS demonstrating their commitment to training and learning.

ADDED 7/20/09CONGRATULATIONS TO TOM & DANA ARCURI on their very successful move to HCCC for the 27th SSS camp.  Approximately 220 participants and staff got to enjoy the very comfortable dorms and the beautiful training venue in Herkimer, NY.

FRIDAY MORNING TESTING was held at the Arcuri's dojo on Main St. in Herkimer which was a plus for the candidates.  Working in a fully matted dojo environment was a plus.  Special thanks to all the senior black belts who came to assist as board members and in other capacities.  It was great to see everyone there to support the candidates.  CONGRATULATIONS to:  SHODAN - NATHAN JOSEPHS (Forest Spirit Martial Arts, Potsdam, NY); NIDAN - DAVE CASTALDO (Canton, NY ZDK);  SANDAN - BRUCE KENNA (Canton ZDK) and PAM BRANIGAN & JOHN PEZZINO (Greene Dragon Martial Arts, Greene, NY);  and GODAN - ANDREA MALIK (FSMA, Potsdam, NY).  Every one of these candidates came to the test motivated and prepared to succeed and they are all a credit to their individual clubs, instructors, & the ZDK.

PHOTO OF ZDK GODAN & HIGHER RANKS PRESENT AT TESTING

2009 SSS BOARD

L-R:  Brian Cox - Cherry Valley, NY; Lisa & Dave Guccione - Canton, NY; Harry Tomlinson - Cobleskill, NY; Bob Ryan - Sugar Land, TX; Sue Jackson - Orlando, FL;  Robert Gifford - Sugar Land, TX;  Michael Campos, ZDK Director;  Ron Brown - Massena, NY;  Andrea Malik - Potsdam, NY;  Bob Pinney - Sherburne, NY;  Andre Secore - Malone, NY;  Jeff Melander - Ballston Spa, NY;  Robert Streeter - Johnstown, NY.  There were also a large number of lower ranking black belt members in attendance.  We appreciated the support for testing.

SAT & SUN:  The "special" guest instructors, Michael DePasquale, Jr. and George Alexander were a great choice for SSS 2009.  Both have decades of experience and lots of stories to tell.  The other 20 instructors make SSS a unique experience and it was great seeing so many old & new friends on staff.  A hugely fun class was Soke DePasquale's Movie Stunt Seminar on Sunday where it was obvious that the participants were having a ball but every class was full of great information presented by great staff including:  Cathie Bagnall, Charles Barrett, Dave Bruce, Mike Campos, Mark Cardona, Chris Dammann, Raffi Derderian, Matt Dorsey, Paul Fracchia, Bob Gifford, Vicki Gillen, Chris Gonnoud, Dave Guccione, Chris Lacava, Jeff Melander, Charlie Moore, Dave Oddy, Steven Pearlman, Bob Ryan, Brian Schmidt, Kevin Seaman.  The Sat. evening demo's were great and the raffle for the WWP raised $753 - thanks to all who bought a ticket!!!

In the tradition of previous Super Summer's the "Cobb" Olympics were held in Hayes Hall.  This event is coordinated by Susan Jackson with expert assistance from Bob Gifford.  This year's Olympic Champion was Rick Rinaldo.  Rick apparently managed to remain focused in spite of the raucous crowd and late hour.  The Olympics would not be as successful were it not for the mixological (word invented in Bob's honor) expertise of Bob Ryan, who is never far from his blender.  His unwavering commitment and fortitude over the years deserves an award!!!

HCCC was a great venue for the camp and Tom & Dana Arcuri worked hard to make the weekend a great success.  The dorms, training facilities, auditorium, party room, and dining hall were all perfect for SSS.  Everyone in attendance seemed to be having a wonderful time and we are looking forward to SSS 2010 with anticipation.

ADDED 6/29/09:  Lots of news to catch up on:  We just returned from a 21 day trip to Wyoming and the west.  Saw the Mt. Rushmore, Badlands, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, and a ton more in over 5,500 miles.  The RV ran great and we survived the snow, sleet, rain, and tornado threats along the way.  We had the opportunity to briefly visit a couple of clubs in the towns we visited as well - always nice to see what other people are doing.

CONGRATULATIONS TO Dr. Jamie & Robin Ostrov on the birth of Aaron William Ostrov!  Aaron was born at 6:03pm on 6/17 and was 6 lbs 12 oz and 19 inches long.  He has lots of brown hair and has a great temperament so far.

 ANOTHER TX BABY:  Shawn & Heidi Vicknair now have a 6 pound girl "Ireland" and all is well with Mom & kid. 

ALSO FROM CHANDRA MILLER IN TX
: "
I just wanted to be sure you new that we are expecting (if you have not heard already). We are very excited about the new addition to our family and want to share the great news with you. When we know more we will let you know! Take Care."
 
Many thanks to Mr. Streeter, Mr. Brian & Blaze Cox, Mr. Tomlinson, Mr. Schuyler, and Mr. Santangelo for  making themselves available yesterday (6/28) for black belt pre-testing.  They consistently make themselves available to assist our members prepare for tests by giving up their time voluntarily to help others succeed.  

SSS 2009 is rapidly approaching and we are looking forward to seeing many ZDK members at HCCC!

ADDED 5/26/09Mr. Campos & Mr. Ron Waldron of HQ presented three sessions on self-defense at the 10th Annual Sister to Sister conference held at Fulton-Montgomery Community College on Mon. May 18.  S2S hosted 180 middle school girls from schools in the Fulton, Montgomery, & Hamilton county area.  We have been doing this event since its inception and have always enjoyed the opportunity to have fun and teach something valuable to the students.  Many thanks to Ron for assisting.

ADDED 5/5/09Mr. Campos, Mr. Schuyler, & Mr. Tomlinson were guests of Mr. John Pecora's HMF BOCES Criminal Justice class on Fri. May 1.  This is the fifth year that Mr. Campos has been invited to instruct the students in DT and Self-Defense and, as always, the students were very receptive to the training.  This year it also happened to be "bring your parents to school" day and a number of parents came to watch and some even participated in the class.  We want to thank Mr. Pecora for his hospitality and look forward to coming back next year.  We do these kinds of events locally as a community service and never charge a fee for the training or time we spend teaching or demonstrating in schools and at community events.  Many thanks to Harry T. & Richard S. for coming to assist.

PHOTO:  BOCES students and parents.  Kneeling in front from L-R;  Mr. Pecora, Mr. Schuyler, Mr. Campos, & Harry Tomlinson.

ADDED 4/28/09Mr. Campos, Nate Quinn (Hartwick student), Richard Schuyler, & Harry Tomlinson travelled to Hartwick College in Oneonta, NY on 4/20 & 4/27 to present a 2-part series on self-defense for the Hartwick Women's Center.  April is Sexual Assault Awareness month and this was part of a series of events designed to empower students.  Both sessions were well attended and the students enjoyed the opportunity to develop self-defense skills.  Many thanks to the ZDK black belts for attending & assisting.

ADDED 4/27/09Mr. Campos would like to thank all of the N-NY ZDK clubs for hosting him this past weekend in Malone.  Course Instructors in attendance included Mr. Anagnostopoulis, Mr. Bass, Mr. Brown, Mr. & Mrs. Guccione, Mrs. Langdon, Ms. Malik, Mr. Perry, Mr. Pepe, Mr. Secore, as well as, a large number of students and black belts from the north country.  Special thanks to Cheri Langdon for organizing the weekend activities.  Fri. evening we pre-tested one of Ms. Malik's students for Shodan and a large number of black belts came to offer their assistance.  Sat. morning Mr. Campos presented a seminar for kids and one for adults from 9:30 am - 1:30 pm.  That evening the 5th annual N-NY ZDK awards banquet had over 90 people in attendance.  It was a great weekend of camaraderie and Mr. Campos is already excited about the fall visit to Massena, NY.  Thanks to everyone who helped to make this visit such a success.

   

PICTURE:  Adult class N-NY seminar in Malone, NY.

ADDED 4/20/09:  The second 3-hour class with the Schenectady County Aux. Police on Sat. 4/18 was well received by the ten officers in attendance.  Mr. Campos covered some basic material on mobility and striking in addition to the topics requested by the participants.  Many thanks to Richard Schuyler, the newest Black Belt at HQ, for assisting.  Thanks also to Mr. & Mrs. Streeter for the use of the ZDK Dojo.

ADDED 4/14/09TX NEWS:  On Saturday March 21st at Lone Star Karate in Richmond, Texas, Sensei Todd Kelly hosted a seminar taught by popular Super Summer Seminar instructor Sensei Chris La Cava of La Cava Martial Arts of Connecticut. Students participated in both Multiple Locking Applications classes as well as Martial/Medical Application of Pressure Points classes. In typical fashion, the crew then took a trip to the popular Swingin' Door Restaurant for some Texas style Barbecue. Mr. La Cava also had a great time at the Mr. Ryan's popular "The Oven" sparring workout and had the opportunity to spar and workout with Mr. Bill Hickl, Mr. Wade Kirkpatrick, Mr. Rick Eierdam, Mr. Bob Ryan, Mr. Shawn Vicknair and several other long time ZDK members. Mr. Kelly hopes to make this an annual event at Lone Star Karate. All of the Senior Ranking Black Belts are students of Sensei Bob Gifford of Sugar Land's Safety America/ZDK Dojo.

FLORIDA TRIPSensei Campos took his annual sun-n-sand vacation trip to Florida from 3/25-4/13 and had a great time visiting with friends & family.  His first stop was at Sensei Mike Bolding's dojo in Hagerstown, MD.  The visit was short but it was nice to meet Sensei Bolding on this trip.  After beach time in Daytona it was time to see all the great people at Ms. Susan Jackson's club in Orlando.  Sensei Campos instructed a brown-black belt class and a self-defense class for the students.  While the group was small due to spring break, the energy and enthusiasm everyone exhibited made up for it.  Ms. Jackson is always a great host and we were able to relax at a nice BBQ at her condo after training.  On the way home we stopped in GA and had dinner with Charlie Moore (FLETC) and eventually went up to Smithfield, NC where we had plans to visit Parker's Self-Defense Studio until all the lights in Smithfield went out.  Then we headed to the Outer Banks (Nag's Head, NC) for a couple of days.  We ended up in Washington DC to spend Easter weekend with our daughter and see some sights.  While it was a great trip, we eventually had to come home and play catch-up on all the stuff to do in Johnstown.

ADDED 3/22/09ASSN. TESTING 3-21-09 was a huge success with every candidate doing a phenomenal job and advancing in rank.  CONGRATULATIONS TO Gennady Julien & Steve Youngs from Pinney's American Karate in Hamilton/Sherburne, NY and Richard Schuyler of American ZDK in Johnstown, NY on achieving Shodan rank.  Roland Lavigne from Red Dragon Karate in Ballston Spa, NY was promoted to Nidan.  If fortitude and commitment is an asset, these candidates had those virtues in spades.  They also left a lot of sweat on the dojo floor!!!  Special appreciation goes to all of the instructors, assistants, friends, and family members that came to be a part of the day.  Instr/Black Belts included:  Shawn & Tony Irvin, Bob & Bonnie Streeter, Dave & Lisa Guccione, Keith Stevenson, Glenn Ward, Harry Tomlinson, Brian Cox, Bob Pinney, Gail Tolley, Clarke Wallin, Sam Anagnostopoulis, John Pezzino, Jeff Melander, Dave Castaldo, Kathy Manley, & Kenji Yoshino (apologies if we missed anyone) and represented ten ZDK clubs.  This was a really great day for everyone and it could not have been possible without a lot of sacrifice on the part of many people.  Additional thanks goes out to everyone who participated in the pre-test process in the months before test day.  Thank you all for being an active part of the ZDK.  Click to see test photo's

NEW ZDK CLUBWe are pleased to announce that Sam Anagnostopoulos will begin teaching in Cicero, NY on April 2.  Sam is a long-time student and black belt under Dave Guccione (Canton, NY ZDK).  Sam has named his club the Central New York Zen-Do Kai.  We look forward to working with Sam to provide quality training in the Syracuse area.  Congratulations and good luck!!

 ADDED 3/18/09Mr. Campos, Mr. Cox, Mr. & Mrs. Irvin, Mr. Stevenson, & Mr. Tomlinson traveled to Green Dragon Martial Arts, Greene, NY on St. Patrick's Day to review Jeremy Osborne for Shodan rank.  Additionally, we had the opportunity to review several Kyu rank students for their next rank.  It was nice to visit GDMA and see the progress and commitment demonstrated by all the candidates.  Jeremy was unanimously passed by the board and impressed everyone with his energy and fortitude.  Many thanks to Ms. Bagnall, Mr. Wallin, & Mr. Pezzino for their invitation and hospitality.  Congratulations to everyone who tested and to their family & friends in attendance.

ADDED 3/3/09PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM MR. CAMPOS:  I was just clearing my desk and ran across a letter inviting me to become a member of one of the many martial arts "Halls of Fame" that have sprung up over the years.  I thought I would address this issue but first need to address my own experience.  In 1993 I was personally invited by Wally Jay to attend and be inducted into the "World Martial Arts Hall of Fame" (see the info on the Director Page).  I was honored to be asked by Master Jay and attended that event with several ZDK members. Currently I receive a minimum of 5-6 invitations annually for various Halls of Fame and have tossed all of the invitations into the circular file.  The original Hall of Fame was established by Black Belt Magazine and, in my humble opinion, is the "real deal" simply because an inductee does not have to buy his/her award.  In my case Wally Jay nominated me for the "Promoter of the Year" award because of his experience at Super Summers, but I notice that today, many of these Halls of Fame allow the inductee to choose the award they would like to receive.  I find that interesting and just a little disingenuous.  But, I suppose when you are paying, on average $200 for a plaque and dinner, choosing your own award is a popular option.  I notice, in my travels and on the web, that some instructors are members of several Halls of Fame.  I suppose this makes them feel good and gives them something to hang on the wall to impress anyone who sees it.  Interestingly, my experience has been that potential students do not care about what you have on the wall - they only care about what you can do to help them learn martial arts.  It is your ability to impart knowledge in a systematic, logical, and caring manner that gets them in the door and keeps them there.

My real issue in writing this is that, in the same letter inviting me to receive a Hall of Fame award, there was another interesting offer.  I could receive a diploma identifying me as a "Professor" (submit a 2-3 page thesis), a "PhD" (5-10 page dissertation), or a "PhD./Ma.D.Sc" (10 page or more dissertation).  The only other requirement besides listing what you have done in your martial arts career was a fee.  I am pleased to say that there are no ZDK members, that I am aware of, who have bought into this kind of certification.  I am, unfortunately, familiar with some people who claim these kinds of credentials and wonder why they feel they need to inflate their image with patently phony educational certifications.

My advice to students reading this is simple.  Your success is not predicated on how many stripes or titles an instructor claims to have but on how they serve your interests and assist you in achieving your goals.  There is still a place for humility and hard work in the martial arts but there are also many charlatans whose ego's constantly need to be massaged.  If you meet an instructor claiming a PhD in martial arts beware!!!

***Since our site is public, if anyone reading this is offended, I make no apologies.  After 50 years of training and teaching it is apparent that some of us have lost our way and some of us are just delusional.  If someone can show me where the US Department of Education has authorized or recognized any of these credentials I will publically apologize for my ignorance.

ADDED 3/2/09CONGRATULATIONSSam Anagnostopolis recently achieved his Black Belt in Kenpo.  Sam also has a ZDK System Black Belt under Mr. Dave Guccione in Canton, NY.  He hopes to establish a ZDK club in the Syracuse, NY area in the near future.  CONGRATULATIONSWade Kirkpatrick, a member of Mr. Gifford's TX ZDK organization, and a phenomenal competitor (Golden Greek Award winner), recently became a teacher and was named "Rookie Teacher of the Year" at his school in TX.  Wade worked full time for Chuck Norris' KickStart organization for about ten years.  He was the first non-Norris system instructor ever hired by KickStart (Kick Drugs Out of America).  We congratulate Wade on his new direction in life and wish him continued success.

SMAF:  We just attended the 9th Saratoga Martial Arts Festival directed by Steve Pearlman and it was excellent.  ZDK Assn. member instructors included Tom & Dana Arcuri, Jeff Melander, and Bob & Bonnie Streeter.  The weather cooperated and everyone on hand seemed to be having a great time learning from the large number of instructors representing many styles & systems.  Congratulations to Mr. Pearlman on another well-run event.

SSS UpdateTom & Dana Arcuri are gearing up for the 27th Super Summer Seminars camp and just announced their "Special Guest Instructors" (See Calendar page).  While SSS is open to all martial artists, every ZDK member should make every effort to attend for a day or the entire weekend.  We know the economy has had an impact on where people choose to spend their money but Super Summers is a HUGE BARGAIN.  There is simply no other camp that offers 2-Nights Lodging, 5-Meals, 40 Seminars, DJ, Demonstrations, and the atmosphere of SSS for just $215 p/p.  Plus, SSS will be held at a new & better location this year - Herkimer County Community College, Herkimer, NY.  There is a reason SSS has survived for 27 years - come to the camp July 17-19, 2009 to see why.

ADDED 2/24/09CONDOLENCES - The ZDK family wishes to express our condolences the family of Patricia Hall on her passing.  She and her husband Edward have been long-time black belt members of Mr. Eierdam's Texas club.

CONGRATULATIONS - We just received a letter from Chuck Norris' KICKSTART (formerly Kick Drugs Out of America) Foundation noting that Bill & Michelle Hickl will be receiving a special Team Spirit Award in March.  Bill & Michelle have given thousands of hours of time in support of the Kickstart program and are certainly deserving of this recognition.  Bill is a ZDK member and part of Mr. Gifford's Texas organization.

JK ALERT:  MR. JOEL KIRCH is alive and well in Washington, DC.  We had the opportunity to have dinner with him on Friday 2/20 and he is settling in to his new position and doing a lot of traveling for his job in Federal Law-Enforcement.  We hope to see more of him since we go to DC regularly.  We wish him continued success.

ADDED 2/12/092008 ZDK TOP SCHOOL AWARDS  We have managed to organize the Top School awards early this year.  We appreciate the support of every member and thank you for being a part of the ZDK.  You will receive your award by mail or in person.  NOTE:  We had a couple of point ties.  Consequently, those clubs receive the same award.  We look forward to working with everyone in 2009.

BRONZE SCHOOL AWARDS, INSTRUCTOR & STATE: #10) Rick Eierdam, TX; #9-TIE) Jerry Charbonneau, NY & Gail Tolley, NY;  #8) Troy Rodman, NY;  #7) Rocco Alianiello, PA;  #6-TIE) John Borter, NY & George Curbelo, NY;  #5) Wade Kirkpatrick, TX;  #4) Jeff Melander, NY;  #3) Andrea Malik, NY;  #2) Cathie Bagnall, NY;  #1) DAVE GUCCIONE, NY.

SILVER SCHOOLS:  #6) Kevin Suggs, NY;  #5) Keith Stevenson/Brian Cox, NY;  #4) Glenn Ward, NY;  #3) Todd Kelly, TX;  #2) Ernie Laberge, MA;  #1) BOB & BONNIE STREETER, NY

GOLD SCHOOLS:  #3)  Susan Jackson, FL;  #2) Tom & Dana Arcuri, NY;  #1) LARRY & LAURA BROOKS, NY

SUPER SCHOOLS:  #4) BOB PINNEY, NY;  #3) RON BROWN (N-NY ZDK CLUBS), NY;  #2) VICKI GILLEN, NY;  #1) BOB GIFFORD, TX

Congratulations to all award recipients!!!

ADDED 2/10/09:  The recent free Women's Self-Defense and Personal Safety training at the Johnstown ZDK went very well.  We had a group of eleven participants who were enthusiastic and energetic.  The class covered the legal use of force, physiological effects of adrenaline and stress, verbal communication, and simple techniques designed to disable an attacker.  Hopefully the participants will choose to continue training to hone their skills.  The local newspaper put the story and picture in the business news section as well.  Many thanks to Mrs. Streeter for assisting and making the studio available for the evening. 

ADDED 2/2/09:  If you wanted to see a phenomenal display of ***sparring proficiency, you needed to be at Larry & Laura Brooks 16th Annual Friendship Tournament yesterday.  On hand were 180 competitors, 19 martial arts schools, and 70 black belts from all over NYS.  As always the event ran efficiently and was over in time for everyone to get home in time to see the Super Bowl.  Vicki Gillen & Dave Bruse helped to keep things running smoothly as coordinators and were assisted by many senior ranking ZDK members as well as some new instructors.  It was great to see Andre Secore (N-NY ZDK), Keith Stevenson & Harry Tomlinson (Cobleskill ZDK), Bob Pinney (PAK), Jeff Melander (RDK), Bonnie Streeter (Johnstown ZDK), and many others there to assist.  Mr. Brooks noted that the success of the event was due to everyone - referees, scorekeepers, timekeepers, volunteers, etc. who worked hard to create a fun and friendly event.  ***Tom Arcuri's decision to enter the Senior division after 8 years of retirement from competition was certainly an education, both for his opponents and the spectators.  At age 46 he demonstrated what can only be described as a masterful example of timing, technique, control, and composure.  Some of us remember a much more "aggressive & physical" Tom from years ago - this was the totally "relaxed & highly efficient" Tom in action.  His ability to read his opponent and react with an appropriate technique was extraordinary.  He also used a superbly executed side kick - almost a lost art in sparring - to score a number of points.  Lest Tom's head explode from the accolades, he did get hit once or twice, but his command of the ring and his opponent was a lesson for everyone watching.  We congratulate Tom, not just for his division win but for his demonstration of technical skill and superb control - he demonstrated the "art" of sport sparring in a manner that is rarely seen in tournament play today.  Wow!!!

ADDED 1/23/09:  We are having an old fashioned winter here in NY but we have been busy with several events:  Wed. 1/14 Mr. Campos was invited to attend testing at the Johnstown ZDK.  Congratulations to all the candidates and thank you to Mr. & Mrs. Streeter for extending the invitation.  Wed. Jan 21 Mr. Campos & Mr. Richard Schuyler (HQ) did the first of three presentations on martial arts for the students in the after-school program at Knox JHS in Johnstown.  The kids were a lot of fun and are looking forward to the next presentation. Thurs. Jan 22, Mr. Campos, Ms Arlene Card, & Mr. Schuyler (HQ) presented four sessions on personal safety to high school students from the tri-county area at the Choices Conference held at Fulton-Montgomery Community College.  This was the 21st year we have been invited to Choices and we always have a great time.  Tonight, Fri. 1/23, Mr. Campos will be at the Johnstown ZDK to instruct a women's personal protection training.  We understand the class is full and there are several women in attendance who were high school students (we won't mention who) at Fonda-Fultonville Central School in the 1970's.  Time certainly flies - Mr. Campos retired from FFCS in 1999 after a thirty year teaching career!!!

NEWS FROM NEW ZEALAND:  We recently heard from Johnny Kennedy, our NZ rep.  Johnny is a phenomenal martial artist and a NZ National Champion. He has a new addition to the ZDK family as noted below:

"Baylee was born on the 27th September 2008  at 3.45pm weighing a whopping 7 pound 9 ounces.  I have to admit this is definitely the hardest thing both myself and Samantha have ever done, Ha Ha.  I have finally settled into my new role at work and although the economy isn’t going the best we are doing pretty good.  We also closed the club for 3 weeks over the xmas and New Year period which recharged the batteries enough without losing too much fitness.   Classes have started off pretty good for the New Year and we are implementing some big changes to enable me to free up some time so I can pursue my seminar career. I had the opportunity to present some seminars around NZ & Australia last year with excellent results.   I hope all is well with you and Anne and your semi-retirement is going well, we definitely want to come back to the US in the near future."

We wish John, Sam, & Baylee the best - Congratulations!!!


 

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