This last weekend, Matt Mannerow of Grey-Bruce Ryusei Karate, Rick Going and Kam Miranbigi of Ottawa Ryusei, and I (the sole glorious representative of Barrie Ryusei Karate) travelled to Pittsburgh to train and frivol with our friends at the Yoseikan Dojo. The occasion for the trip was to celebrate the healing of dojo head Terry Valentino. When Valentino-Sensei came to the Ottawa Summer Camp last year, he revealed that he would soon have surgery to heal achilles tendon injuries in both feet, requiring a long convalescence.
To show support for his ordeal, the group of Canadian karateka promised to come down to Pennsylvania to train when Terry had recovered sufficiently. Our May trip turned into a double celebration, when we learned that our host was also due to retire in a few days, ending a long career fighting in the trenches and doing much good as a high school counsellor.
I gave Terry my standard karate guy retiring joke: “I guess you’ll be able to train all the time now.” Instead of smiling ruefully and making references to his many chronic injuries, to explain why such a thing were not possible, Terry said immediately, with enthusiasm, “Yes, I know. That will be great.”
And I believe that non-stop training and lots of martial arts research is in his future.