Submitted by: John McNair, San-Kyu (Harrisburg Dojo)
Gatlinburg, TN – July 26, 2008: For 2008, the Isshin-Ryu Hall of Fame proved to be an excellent weekend for the Order of Isshin-Ryu. Representing the OI were: Master Cooling, Master Ewing, Sensei Ortenzio, Sensei Sullivan and from the Harrisburg, PA Dojo were Sensei Popp, Mr. Robinette, Mr. Wiest and Mr. McNair.
Friday afternoon seminars included a variety of topics presented by the Hall of Fame inductees, Class of 2008: Daniel Holloway, George Iberl, Harvey Kennedy and Wayne Wayland. The awards banquet that evening had several of our members being recognized. Jerry Robinette was a top five finalist for the Male Karate-Ka of the Year.
This was the second time for Jerry to be so recognized, as he was also a finalist for this category in 2001. Later that evening, Master Carl Martin introduced Sensei Popp as the Male Instructor of the Year for 2008.
Saturday’s competition saw all four traveling members of the Harrisburg Dojo compete. Mr. Jeff Wiest captured 3rd place in Men’s Executive Brown Belt Kata and Sensei Popp won the Men’s Executive Black Belt Kata. He went on to compete for the Men’s Kata Grand Championship. This year’s overall kata championship was very close, as all the competitors finished within five hundredths of a point apart in final scores.
With over 300 competitors, it was a challenge to keep the tournament running smoothly. Due to the judging efforts of Master Cooling, Master Ewing, Sensei Sullivan and Sensei Ortenzio, this was accomplished. Once again, the Hall of Fame weekend was tremendously educational and informative. To be exposed to an event of such magnitude that features such a wide variety of Isshinyu practitioners always makes it worth the trip.