Written by Kyoshi Vincent Capers, Jr.
The Kenryukan Demo Team is made of our elite students and they represent our school in public functions like street fairs, black belt promotions and tournaments. Their performances demonstrate the flashier aspects of our techniques however, the Demo Team is a tradition which started over 30 years ago with Hanshi Myron, Kyoshi Troy, Tashi LeAsia, Tashi Yessenia and myself.
While there are roll outs, flips and major exaggerations, everything is grounded in practicality. The Demo Team trains to put on a show, but the skills that are practiced can be use for self-defense if the need arises. Each member of the team elevates their abilities and this makes them better students, competitors and citizens.
I have seen many students start at the lower rungs on the Demo Team become leaders at school, in their workplaces, in the community and in our own dojo. Some of those members have become leaders of the Demo Team like Sensei Kevin and Nidan Decland.
It has been a great honor to work with the current team. I have spent the past three weeks training with the team in preparation for a demonstration at the Queens Center Mall. The entire team was dedicated to getting it right. The black belts reviewed each technique and timing with tremendous scrutiny. There are numerous variables to account for but for this demonstration we had a new one: a tight time constraint of 15 minutes. Normally our performances are 1 hour to 90 minutes. So many of the things that we put on display would need to be left in the dojo. The major questions were did we exclude too much or did we not include enough?
The demonstration this past Saturday, February 20th, at the 2016 Lunar New Year Celebration at the Queens Center Mall was flawless. Every drill was remembered and every subtle detail was addressed with expertise that was much greater than the students experience. The event’s organizers, our fellow demonstrators and the audience watched in awe. Hanshi and I could not have been prouder.
I would like to congratulate the Demo Team for a performance that will be remembered for a very long time.
- Sempai Kaleb
- Sempai Daval
- Sempai Sherell
- Sempai Joselyn
- Sempai Jaelle
- Nidan Decland
- Sensei Kevin
I would also like to thank the parents of the Demo Team members for their support and help.
A strong round of applause for all involved.