ONCE A CENTURY:
Jeff Speakman tournaments are always spectacular, entertaining and educational. This year’s addition was no exception. Mr. Speakman’s contributions to the expanding art of Kenpo are legion; not the least of these is the worldwide forum his annual tournament and seminar provides.
He is ably assisted in bringing about these participatory miracles by a professional and well trained cadre under the direction of Antranig (Anto) Parseghian.
Mr. Speakman’s innovative concept brings, not only the top competitors from around the world but world renowned instructors from disparate martial arts disciplines as well. Jacki McVicker, from Great Britain is a case in point. This sweet little 62 year old grey haired lady is the personification of traditional British gentility; complete with, “Oh that’s so nice deary,” commentary. But when she moves! Mouths drop open eyes bulge and gasps can be heard throughout the room; for the sweet little old lady transforms into a veritable TIGER! Those who have been around long enough to know, remark, “it’s like seeing Ed Parker move!” At this particular event this august lady was presented with her Eighth Degree Black by Mr. Speakman.
Something happened during the self defense competition that only happens once a century. Stive Moget and Pierre Manzo from France put on a self defense entry that electrified the crowd; IT WAS PERFECT. As one of the judges I instantly scored it as 9.9. Everyone buzzed about what they had seen. When Mr. Speakman asked how I had scored their effort I told him, and then quipped, “I only give a TEN once a century.” That night in the finals, they performed again; and they nailed it! I immediately chalked a Big Bold “10.” Once in a century. Sorry you missed it. I’ll never forget it.