Friday, June 19, 2015

Remembering Grand Master Frank Ruiz Founder of Nisei Goju Ryu

June 20, 2015 is the 20th Anniversary of the death of our beloved Grandmaster Frank Ruiz (Founder:Nisei Goju Original Style), Student of Grandmaster Peter Urban(Founder: USA/Urban Goju).  In 1969 Grandmaster Ruiz was struck by a car traveling at the speed of 80 miles an hour while changing a tire on the Brooklyn Queens Expressway.      There was almost dead silence as we waited to hear about his condition. We thought we were going to lose him. The doctors were puzzled and could not understand why he was still alive. Grand Master cheated death with a distinctive style. His will to live kept him in the struggle of his life. Ruiz with a multitude of injuries, survived, and after a number of year on cructhes, discarded them and walked. I was honored to be part of his rehabilitation as his uke.  Soon after, some of the high ranking members abandoned the system to start their own stlye with their own name.  We wish them all the very best with their styles.  However, there are those who use the Nisei Goju moniker claiming to be the original style and/or those persons who have recognized another person as a grand master in the style after the passing of the grand master.  A friend once told me that if a person lies enough times, some will come to believe them.  One of my teachers once told me to lie to the liars.  I did not take his advice.  There are many versions of a lie but only one version of the truth.  If an instructor lies to his students about their art, what else are they lying about. We believe that usurpers are not impostors, just want be Nisei Goju persons, no matter who recognized them.  
Photo 1: Official Karate Cover April 1972
32 shots to the neck. ouch!!
Photo 2: A plaque I received from Grand Master Ruiz,  It reads:     
"Presented to 
For being my legs the three years I spent on crutches, I thank you and all the Black Belts in the sytem thank you.
I could have not made it without you.  
I served my grand master well!! 


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Historical Goju Photographs

A couple of old photos from the days before USA & Nisei Goju.  Here in the first photo(Circa 1964.) We have then then Senseis Carlos Serrano and Chuck Merrimen as a Ni Dan. This photo was taken in a big hall on St. Marks Avenue in the bronx.      
  In the second photo we have Sensei Carlos Serrano in the first dojo that was blessed by Grand Master Ruiz as a Nisei Goju Dojo. The name of the dojo was Wa-re Sen Dojo(My instructor's dojo.)  The Wa-Re Sen Dojo was first establish Spanish Harlem on 110 street and Second Avenue in the Franklin Plaza Housing Development.  This where Grand Master Frank Ruiz was the head of security. In the photo with Sensei Carlos Serrano was Frank Rivera.  I remember the first  Dojo Shiai in Franklin Plaza.  The Serrano Brother(Joe and Carlos) did an awesome demonstration of Sanchin Kata, that ended up a self defense sequence.  More photos coming Soon! Respectful Hands, Wilfredo Roldan, Hanshi Nisei Goju International the Original.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Search for the Truth: Homeward Bound Road

I would like to rewelcome Sensei Sam Lewis back to the Nisei Goju System.  Sensei Sam  Lewis and I grew up on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, aka Loisiada & Aphabet City.  We went to the same junior high school, high school and both started in the martial arts in the mid-sixties.  I quess you can say we go back to when the Dead Sea was sick.                                      Our search for the truth has led us on a journey of self discovery. Sensei Lewis trained with then instructor of Nisei Goju, Chaka Zulu, until he decided to leave the system to form his own style. Sensei Lewis  then went to Rico Guy's dojo for many years and found his way back to Nisei Goju International World Headquarters.  Sensei Lewis has always been a friend and always welcomed to our dojo.  He walked into the dojo giving proper respect, a big brotherly hug, and sat down next to me.  I asked him what was going on with this surprise visit.  He made a request to sport the Nisei Goju colors again.  I asked him, why me.  He told me he was tired of running around and wanted to come back home  to Nisei Goju.  I said, Brother Lewis, If Lebron James can go back home to Cleveland, Ohio. So can Sensei Sam  Lewis come back to Nisei Goju. This is his journey.                                                Sometimes our search for truth always leads us back home.  The road returning home had thorns we stepped on, our wounds will heal.  WELCOME HOME SENSEI LEWIS