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.