Professor Chow's 20th Memorial Highlights

Discussion in 'Kenpo' started by dianhsuhe, Oct 10, 2007.

  1. dianhsuhe

    dianhsuhe Co-Founder: Glow-Do

    On Friday September 21st 2007, nearly 150 Kara-Ho Kempo students, instructors and family from all over the world converged at the gravesite of Professor William Kwai-Sun Chow in Kaneohe, Hawaii on Oahu to re-dedicate and pay respects to our founder. We had a prayer and dedication, which was given by Shihan Kahananui (a high priest in the LDS Church), first in Hawaiian and then in English as well as some beautiful tropical flower arrangements that were laid at his resting place. Not a dry eye was seen during the prayer and dedication. Grandmaster acknowledged that it seems like yesterday and he still misses him and Patsy allot. This was followed by a HUGE caravan to a Chinese restaurant, which was Professor Chow’s favorite food.

    There were several days of activities, training, and sight-seeing planned around this wonderful event:

    Early the next morning nearly a hundred students gathered for 5 hours of training and seminars given by many of the highest ranking Kara-Ho Kempo instructors in the world, covering such topics as:

    KI principles and meditation- Shihan Kahananui

    Yoga, Balance, & “staying centered” exercises- Sensei Ka’imi Kuoha-Sanders

    Grappling- Sensei Al Parker

    Flow drills and techniques- Shihan Chris Mendoza

    Old-School training-Grandmaster Kuoha:
    This was on the beach and in the surf. This was the highlight for many students as Grandmaster Kuoha had Banana trees, weighing between 75-100 pounds each, there for us and we hoisted them over our shoulder and sprinted up and down the beach carrying them. It is worth mentioning that Grandmaster Kuoha promptly and at the spur of the moment grabbed two of the biggest trees, threw them over his shoulder and went up and back on the beach with ease. Most of us carried one and we struggled, heads moving up and down, barely avoiding a fall- whereas when Grandmaster ran, he almost glided down the beach, moving smoothly and easily. It appeared that he had done this before- LOL

    Saturday night we again gathered, this time for a Luau featuring Grandmaster Kuoha’s famous cooking and a caterer friend in Hawaii that was his school mate. We were also treated to authentic Professional dancers from the Polynesian Cultural Center, showing the various dances from several different Polynesian islands. A special treat at the end was audience participation when the dancers came into the audience and took some students and instructors on the stage. Yep, Grandmaster was also chosen and we have the tape to prove it. An extra special treat was seeing Grandmaster’s two older sisters get up and grace us with a special hula number. It was awesome and now we know where all that talent came from. His older sister was also in the preview of Hawaii Five-O in the intro as the Tahitian Dancer. Both were at one time professional hula dancers and after they finished it proved they are still as good as they have ever been as they got a standing ovation. What an end to a perfect day Master Kuheana was also present at this luau and many students captured him for photo shots.
    Sunday, we all invaded the Aloha Swap Meet for some outdoor shopping and boy did we ever shop ‘til we dropped.
    Sunday night featured another highlight as Master Kuheana (Grandmaster Kuoha’s first instructor and a 5th degree black belt under Professor Chow) was on hand for the events and we surprised him with a custom hand-carved plaque featuring a portrait of his instructor and our founder, Professor Chow. It was a moving experience to say the least. Master Kuheana also presided on the black-belt promotion board and many of us were honored to have him pass our belts down the line and say a few words during the ceremony. Several people were promoted on the night; to include the top people in the system; Shihan Mendoza to 7th dan, Shihan Kahananui to 6th dan, Sensei Ka’imi Kuoha-Sanders to 5th dan, Sensei Dave Holliday to 4th dan, Sensei Dan Proffitt to 3rd dan, yours truly to 3rd dan, Sensei Al Parker 2nd dan, Sensei Randy Zielke to 2nd dan, and Sensei Juan Scott to 2nd dan. Sensei Chris Taucher to 1st dan. Sensei CT Ripley to 1st dan. Sensei Daniel Calusic to 1st dan and Sensei Tyler Swensen to Advanced brown.
    Awards were also given out to various instructors that have helped made this memorial such a success and a special plaque hand-carved designed to all those that had taught the seminars. The special memorial coins were given to those that had purchased them prior and they were sold out before we even got them. Nothing but 1st class was exhibited on all these events and this will be something no one will ever forget.

    There were other events such as the Polynesian Cultural Center, the HUGE Aloha swap-meet, and a caravan tour to old training spots and a visit to Dr. Perry’s office (Professor Chow’s personal friend, physician, and advisor).

    The luau was supposed to have Dr. Perry as a special guest to meet and speak to everyone, how ever we learned that he was looking for the place for 2 hours and soon, discouraged went back home. We apologize as the front of the building was pretty dark and where we were in back it was lighted, but he could not see in the back.
    Nevertheless on Monday at noon several students bombarded Dr. Perry’s office in Honolulu to present him with another hand-carved portrait of Professor Chow with 2 memorial coins embedded on the bottom. Dr. Perry spoke to the students and gave them a short preview of what they would have heard had he been able to find the place on Saturday Night. Tho’ pretty busy, he shut his office down for about 35 minutes to greet each student and take some professional photos. It was something that will always be remembered by those in attendance and it brought us a little closer to Professor Chow then we were before.

    I could go on and on but I wanted to share a few of the highlights with you all- I hope that Professor Chow remains in your hearts as he gave soo much to the martial arts world, and we must continue to honor him.

    If you are or were a Kara-Ho Student, Grandmaster announced in Hawaii of a Kara-Ho Training cruise to possibly Alaska or the Caribbean next year, so let’s all have a huge response as we did in Hawaii. Something else not to miss

    In Kara-Ho,
    S. Jamey Gibson
  2. Satori81

    Satori81 Never Forget...

    Wow, that sounds amazing! Thanks for the detailed and thorough recanting of the experience!

    Even though I no longer study Kara Ho, the style and (more importantly) the people that comprise it will always have a fond place in my heart.

    What an experience, and congratulations on the promotion!
  3. gmkuoha

    gmkuoha Valued Member

    We are setting up things right now for the silver anniversary memorial of Prof. Chow's passing in Sept. 21, 2012 in San Diego, CA. Huge event are being planned right now and it should be better then the 20th in Hawaii. Special things are being designed right now for this event. Get excited as the next 2 years will fly by.

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