Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Come and ring in the new year with us at the University of the Streets and Nisei Goju Hombu Dojo in the East Villiage (L.E.S.). The star of the Show will be Elisabeth Withers, Tony Award Nominated as Shug Avery in THE COLOR PURPLE. The event is a fundraiser for the UNIVERSITY OF THE STREETS, home of the NISEI GOJU RYU MARTIALS ARTS WORLD HEADQUARTERS. Stay after the show to continue the party. For more information, click on picture to enlarge. Happy Chanukah, Happy Kwanza, Merry Christmas, and a Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous New Year.
Spent it with us. Hope to see you there.


Nisei Goju Martial Arts and the University of the Streets are happy to invite you and yours to our Kwanza Celebration. The celebration will take place at the University of Streets.
Dec. 26 - Ujoma (unity)
Dec. 27 - Kujichagulia (self - determination)
Dec. 28 - Ujima (Collective Work & Responsibilty)
Lots of arts and crafts, Dancing, Drumming, Poet, Musicians, Food, Story Tellers, Face Painters, Artisans, selling they work, Eagle Mountain Creations's American Indian Jewery, Children's Activities Etc.
I could go on telling you what's up. Click on flier to enlarge. Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


In the beginning of July, I retired from my job as a physical and martial arts educator for NYC's Department of Education. I've spent 28 years of my life teaching science, math, special education,health and physical education.

Now I spend my time developing the Nisei Goju curriculum and resurrecting my acting career of the early seventies. It nice to be back in the business.

Since the beginning of September. I have been a student of acting at the famous LEE STRAUSBERG THEATRE & FILM INSTITUTE. When you hear Strausberg, you think method acting.
It's a pleasure to be a student again. I'm a under belt again in another art, that of Method Acting, that has also been referred as the SYSTEM.
During the past two summers, I've done some background work the NBC series LAW AND ORDER and ABC's LIFE ON MARS. Now, I am meeting some very interesting people in the business and look forward to working with them.

This past summer I was very fortunate to work with Jason O'Mara, Harvey Keitel, Micheal Imperioli, and Gretchen Mol on the set of LIFE ON MARS. I worked on two episodes in the series and had a wonderful time working on episode five. Whoopi Goldberg was the guest star of show and is truly, a funny lady. Sorry I did not get a photo with her. Friends tell me she from Avenue D on the lower east side. That my neighborhood!

I also met on the set of LIFE ON MARS, John Cenatiempo and his brother Chris. Actually, it was Chris who introduced me to John. John Cenatiempo is the stunt coordinator on the set. I witnessed them blow up a car on the set on third street on the lower east side of Manhattan, really great work. It was nice to Chuck Zito, who was playing a cop in the middle of riot. I got the chance to meet some stuntmen who were also martial artists and that was a good thing.
Although, I was doing background, I hope to land a speaking role in the future. Wish me luck. In the photos from LIFE ON MARS episode 5 "Things to do in New York When You Think You're Dead" are Micheal Imperioli as Detective Ray Carling and me in the background. The second photo is me as a man comforting his lady friend after a girl was thrown off the roof. Check out the full episode on ABC.COM Click on photo to enlarge.


In the middle of August 2008, I attended the SILVER CUP INTERNATIONAL KARATE CHAMPIONSHIPS to support my friend, Grand Master Manny Saavedra, who hosted the event. The directors of the tournament were Kyoshi Arturo Espina and Kyoshi Joe Anon. The event took place at the Sheraton Mart Hotel and Convention center in Miami. I was picked up by GM Saavedra, after I got off the plane at Miami International Airport. After checking into the hotel, we went to the ballroom to watch the competition a little while before we went to dinner. It was an early night.
The main show of the tournament began on Saturday evening with the audience standing up to hear the Our National Anthem "The Star Spangled Banner". With our hands over our hearts in a patriotic fashion, we could hear "Amazing Grace" over the sound system. O0ps! Wrong song! God Bless America!!
At the tournament, I met Nisei Goju Black Belts, Renshi Danny Lemus 5Th Dan, Renshi Kevin Fookes 4Th Dan, and their students. It was nice to see them. Hailing from the USVI of Saint Croix were Nisei Black Belts, Sensei Joshua Espinal 2nd Dan, Sempai Maritza Rijos 2nd Dan, and some of their students. Before I flew down to Florida, I made prearrangements with Kyoshi Pogliani 7th Dan to put on a demonstration at the tournament. At the tournament site, I wished everyone "Peace be onto you" in English, Hebrew and Arabic. When I said it in Arabic, you could hear a pin drop. Out of the silence, you could hear karate champion Kyoshi Abdul Aziz say in a audible voice "wah alai kum salaam". Thanks Abdul. During a break from the fighting Kyoshi Pogliani and I did our demonstration. I performed the Kata Hakutsura of Nisei Goju Ryu. After I did the kata, Kyoshi Jordi Lang and I bend two rebars on the neck of Kyoshi Pogliani. The re bars were two inches in diameter and made of steel. On cue, we walked in with the rebars in our hands and saw them bending, a fantstic feat of power and control requiring great concentration. Thank you Grand Master Saavedra for allowing us to perform.
It was also nice to see former member of Nisei Goju, Herbie Thompson 7th Dan and some his students. I also was stopped by Sensei Renni Whitehead, whom I did not recognized, sorry about that Sensei Whitehead.
Before I left Miami, I was approached by Kyoshi Arturo Espina. He thanked me for attending the events and with a big smile gave me a promotional package for a cruise. I thanked him. After investigating the package, I realized that is was almost impossible to fulfill the requirements of giving three possible weekends dates and three different locations. Thanks Kyoshi but, no thanks.
All in all, I had a nice time seeing some of the old timer of Florida karate as well as well as the future of the NISEI GOJU RYU MARTIAL ARTS SYSTEMS. Thanks you to the Nisei Goju black belts in good standing for supporting the NISEI GOJU HOMBU DOJO in NYC.
Photo above: Sensei Joshua Espinal and Sempai Maritza Rijos(hook swords) from the Virgin Island of St. Croix. Click on photo to enlarge.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


It is my hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration and are looking forward to the Christmas Holiday Season. I would like to be the first to wish all of you, a Merry Christmas and a A Happy, Healthy, and a Prosperous New Year (2009). It has been a while since I posted anything on my blog.

The last post as you all know was about my friend and dojo brother Kyoshi Earl Monroe R.I.P. On Thursday the morning of August 21st, before I received that phone call about Earl, I had gotten a phone call from my twin sister Haydie that my father Juan Roldan (5/16/24 - 8/21/08) had stop breathing and had passed. My lord took him home. I dropped what I was doing and went to my fathers house on Madison Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan to be with my sisters, brothers and the members of my family. We buried my father alongside my mother Justina Roldan Garcia at the Pine Lawn Cemetery on Long Island. Some friends, martial artists, and well wishers attended the Wake at Peter Jarema Funeral Home across the street from the Nisei Goju Hombu Dojo on seventh street. The reason I did not post this information during that time was that I wanted it to be of a private nature, thank you for understanding. The photo above is my father Juan Roldan, who was eightyfour at the end of his life here on earth and the begining of his after life in the bossom of my lord. I will always miss him, as he was my first teacher and mentor.
After the school term ended June 28, 2008, I retired from my job with the NYC Department of Education after twenty eight years of teaching physical and health education at the high school level. I thank the my lord for having given the opportunity to work as an physical educator and martial arts educator for my people in the city. During my career I met a lot of wonderful teachers and students alike. Every once and a while, I would be stop by former students who thanked me for the work I did with them. Those who thanked me were successes in their own right. I once met a former student at JFK Airport. who after becoming a dancer, was on tour of the United States' major cities. I have a few of students, including two brothers from the high school at the dojo training and moving up the rank structure of Nisei Goju. One day, if they do the work hard and persevere, they will reach the coveted Black Belt. I wish them luck. Now, I spend most of my time training and teaching the martial arts to the next generation of true Nisei Goju Black Belts.
Thank you for allowing me to share my memories of my father with you in celebration of his life, as well as, my life as a educator. I know look forward to working on this blog in the future with new information about Nisei Goju and its members in good standing.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

PILLAR OF NISEI GOJU PASSES- Earl Monroe,Kyoshi Remembered

It is with deep sorrow that I inform you of the passing Earl Monroe (5/9/37 - 8/19/08).
On the 21 of August, 2008, I received a call about the passing of Kyoshi Monroe. Earl Monroe, Kyoshi was a pillar and icon of the Nisei Goju Ryu System.
Grandmaster Ruiz used to call him Earl "The Pearl of Karate" Monroe.
Before his karate days, Earl Monroe received his black in judo while stationed in West Germany during his time serving his country in the U.S. Army. Continuing his martial art education in Ju Jitsu at the Yudan Shi kai with Theodore West. He also trained some with Antonio Periera(Miyama Ryu Ju Jitsu) and Florendo Visitaticion(Vee Jitsu Ryu Ju Jitsu). Dedicating his life to the martial arts, he climbed the rank structure and gained the level of San Dan 3 degree black belt.
In the mid sixties, he began his training in Nisei Goju's founder Frank Ruiz. Kyoshi Monroe fell in love with the Goju system and was proficient practitioner. His years of dedication saw him attain the level of Ruku Dan, six degree black belt master teacher. He produced a number of black blacks in the Bronx and Westchester to his credit. He was also one of the heavy hitters of Nisei, as well as, a national karate champion. He was one of my martials arts inspirations, Thanks Earl.
The first time I met Master Monroe, we were both green belt in goju. I traveled to the Westchester School of Judo and Ju Jitsu to take part in the class given by then Sensei Frank Ruiz, Yodan Renshi. The class bowed in for a vigorous and brutal work out. The Classes always ended with Jiu Kumite (soft free fighting), that was really Go (hard) Kumite. I Finally Squared off with then karate green belt Earl Monroe. Something always told me, this was no ordinary green belt. A great fighter, he was known for his sweep and reverse punch combination. As we exchange techniques, I spun around and hit the side of his head with a hook kick. I thought I broke my foot. Being a Taurus, he was a bull and was also known as Mr. Reverse Punch. In that first sparring session, my suspicions were made real. Before I knew it, he swept me off my and I was looking up at the ceiling wondering , What the $%%$?. How I avoided the punch, I'll never know. After the class, I walked into the front office to say good bye to my new dojo brother, when Grand Master Ruiz, reintroduced me to Earl Monroe. It was that day that I was reintroduced to Earl Monroe, Ju Jitsu Sensei. I jumped to attention gave proper courtesy in the goju traditional manner USO!!!
I personally believe that I am a better man for knowing Kyoshi Monroe. He was and will always be remembers as my big brother and inspiration of the martial arts.
Rest in peace my big brother, your service to your parents and the martial arts were exemplary. Please have a moment of silence in your home or dojo for this Pillar of Nisei Goju, EARL MONROE,KYOSHI.
Photo above. Me and Earl in the United States Virgin Island of St. Croix. Click on image to Enlarge.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


June 20, 2008, marks the 13th anniversary of the passing of the founder of NISEI GOJU RYU (THE SYSTEM), Grand Master Frank Ruiz 1934-1995. The history of the grand master's personal martial evolution is well documented.

GM. Frank Ruiz was responsible for assembling and training some of the greatest figthers, kata and weapons performers of Karate's golden era under one flag, NISEI GOJU. Thomas "LaPuppet" Carol(Nisei Shotokan), Carlos "Charlie" Cuprill, Luis Delgado (Ruiz's most famous student), Nathan "Skipper" Ingham (Bermuda Te), John Giordano , Malachi Lee (Isshin Ryu), Earl "The Pearl" Monroe, Wilfredo Roldan(present grand master of NISEI GOJU), Harry Rosenstein (Kan Zen Goju), Carlos Serrano(Ruiz's 1st black belt), Joe Serrano, Alex Sternberg (Nisei Shotokan), Ron Taganashi, Herbie Thompson, Owen "Obosan" Watson (Twin Dragon Goju), Bill Wendell(Mushin Goju), Ron "Black Dragon" Van Clief (Chinese Goju), Chaka "The Snake" Zulu (Zu Jitsu Ryu). He touched allot of lives. He is missed by those he touched.
I remember the first demonstration he performed, after he discarded his krutches. I was his uke, we worked with a live blade. G.M. Ruiz always wanted to be attacked for real A true founding father of the american martial arts movement.
Please observe a moment of silence in your Dojo, home, or anywhere on Friday, June 20, 2008, commemorating the life of the founder of Nisei Goju, FRANK RUIZ, THE GRAND MASTER.

Pictures: Left Circa 1970's: Grand Master Ruiz completes 1st Demonstration after surviving a near fatal car accident. Right Circa 1967, Grand Master Ruiz, Yon Dan Renshi at future home of the Nisei Goju System, Owen Watson's Nang Sei Dojo. Click on Photo to enlarge.

Saturday, April 5, 2008


It was a great pleasure meeting Mr. and Mrs. Wolf. I don't remember the names of those in costumes, but I had a great time with them at the Sci-Fi Convention MONSTERMANIA. Of all the costumes The wolf's was very realistic and could scare the pants of some people.

Make-up artists, actors, vendors, autograph seeker and the like attended this event. At one particular time at the center was very crowded. It was hard moving around. Never the less, everyone seemed be having a wonderful time.

Check out the pictures below. I think they will lead you to the next Monster Mania.

Friday, April 4, 2008


Here I am with the two Stars of the Sci-Fi Thriller - THEY LIVE, Keith David and Roddy Piper. I am the guy in the middle.
THEY LIVE featured the longest fight scene in movie history(mentioned in earlier post). It even made the GUINNESS WORLD BOOK OF RECORD. An awesome achievement by any standard.
Roddy Piper is a former wrestling champion turned actor. Behind him are photos of his fighting and filming sessions.
Both Keith and Roddy are men respected in the field that they are in.
I enjoy the time spent with them. It was really exciting.


Here Freddy Kruger of NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET fame decided to join Keith David, the SPAWN, and W. Roldan for a photo-op. Freddy's the guy on your right. How I got to MONSTER MANIA? Later on, I'll tell you about it. Mean while, enjoy the pictures.
I tried recommending a dermotologist to Freddy but he said I was the one with the skin condition. Who am I to argue. No NIGHTMARES for me on ELMS street.
SPAWN was just being his mysterious self. Keith is all smiles.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


In the begining of March I received a call from my friend and student Josh Silver. He invited me to accompany him and Keith David, a prominent actor/performing artist, to a Sci-Fi Convention at the Crown Plaza in Cherry Hill, New Jersey close to Philidelphia. I've never been to a Convention like this. It was awesome!!!
A couple of days prior to the event, Josh called me and told me he was not going to be able to attend the convention. He hurt his back and had to stay in bed for more than a couple of days. It turn out to be a work weekend because of Josh's injury. We missed him at the convention. It was a pleasure to work with Keith David. Keith David is a film and stage actor, singer, and performer. A number of actors I know call him an actor's actor. One of the greatest comnpliments one could achieve in the arts. Keith has many films to his credit: They Live with Roddy Piper, filming the longest fight scene in cinematic history, The Thing with Kurt Russel, Fast Feet on Broadway, Crash, Something about Mary Etc, Etc. I could go on. Above in the photo are Keith David, THE SPAWN, and yours truely. Keith Did the voice over for the HBO Series THE SPAWN.
The event was called MONSTER MANIA 2008. It was a horror fan's heaven. Keith Sign autographs for fans. It was exciting to see the enthusiam of the fans. People of all ages enjoyed the event. It was the first time Keith David saw a action figure of charactor he portrayed in the movie "Platoon". There were people in monster costumes, vender and other famous actor and actresses like Tom Waits (Star: THE WARRIORS) and Jobeth Willlaims (Star: POLTERGEIST).
I had a preview of the convention site's booths and fasinating displays. That was fun. I spent the rest of the time working with Keith David and the many fans that attended MONSTER MANIA.
I met some great people on this trip and learned alot. It was a pleasure working with Keith at the convention. By the time I got home, I was exhausted and went to sleep with great memories. That's what life is about. Stay safe, sound, and never lose the kid inside of you.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Parents are usually the first gods that a person knows. In being our first deities, they really are our first teachers. Born in San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico in 1923, Juan Roldan arrived on the main land of the United States on March 18, 1952. We first moved to Reading, Pennsylvania. I was really too young to remember. A year or so, my father told me, we moved to New York City. We lived on 15th Street and Irving Place, before some of the high risers were erected. We winded up on 11th street between Avenue B and C, (L.E.S.), a pretty tough neigborhood. We lived in a rail road flat at 636 East Eleventh Street(building demolished). A poor up bringing, but, we were happy.

A working class man who worked in the sheet metal industry as a polisher, Juan would always insisted we spoke Spanish in the house and be on time for family dinner. The family always ate together. At dinner he would tell stories about growing up in Puerto Rico, family, and his hopes and dreams for us.
I still remember going to his union job in Brooklyn, N.Y. I was amazed, impressed and realized he was a hard worker. He was a union man. I learned my work ethics from him. I remembered asking him, if I could work there when I grew up. He laughed at me and said in his broken English at the time "I think you can do a whole lot better if you get a good education".. That meant, doing your homework and the best you can. I attribute the my 27 years in the field of education to my fathers desires for me to have a better life. Thanks Pops

Now at eighty four, my father went through two operations on an aortic artery associated with his abdomen. It was a rough stretch and we could have lost him. His will to live helped him overcome the procedures. Kick ass Pops!! He is now at a Bellvue Hospital's Medical Intensive Care Unit healing his wounds and getting ready to go into a physical therapy program.

I'll be retiring from my day job and looking forward to hanging out with my father again. I sure he has other life's lesson to teach me. Please Keep him your prayers.

Respectful Hands,
Hanshi Roldan

Saturday, January 12, 2008


A friend of mine, while looking at the plaques and awards on my walls, told me to place some of the awards on my blog. I said I did not have reasons to put the awards on my blog. He countered that by saying "people should know about your service to NISEI GOJU and its GRANDMASTER, FRANK RUIZ.

Early in the month of July 1970, Grand master Ruiz was struck by a car traveling 80 mph, while fixing a flat on the Brooklyn Queens Expressway in New York City. A sad day For Nisei Go Ju and the martial arts world. He got his ribs, arms and legs broken. He also sustained a number of skull fractures.

During his recovery, he would send me to the different Nisei Go Ju Schools to do his bidding.
I went to dojos all over the tri state area and the south to help the black belts brush up on Nisei Go Ju knowledge and skills. I was also fortunate to be placed at the helm of the NISEI GOJU WORLD HEAD QUARTERS.
It was a great pleasure to service the system and its grand master in that capacity.

Serving and supporting a martial system is a basic responsibility of all its black belts. This is done by remittance of annual dues and promotion fees. There are no martial arts organiations that work in a vacuum. All martials arts organization need the support of its membership. Last month Senior Renshi
Danny Lemus from Mira Mar, Florida sent me a Bold Black Ghi for christmas, thanks you Renshi Lemus. Junior Renshi keeps putting us on the you tube, I thank Renshi Fookes for giving us more exposure. Phone calls from Sempai Mitch Rosenberg from Baltimore, Maryland and Sensei Edwin Rodriguez from Margate, Florida were pleasant. It was nice to hear from them. Thank you all for your support.

Remember the NISEI GOJU SYSTEM will grow with support from its members.

Click on image to enlarge.


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