This past weekend I hopped in the kickMobile and drove to Atlantic City, New Jersey with my good friend Pete Porter. We were excited to attend Sifu Alan Goldberg's Hall of Honors Mega Weekend. Despite the impending snowpocalypse, I was excited to meet some amazing people at the event. I did just that, and Pete was a huge help. (Thanks, Pete!)How lucky am I to call this man my friend? Bill "Superfoot" Wallace!
The Hall of Honors Mega Weekend is touted as "The Ultimate Destination for Health & Fitness, Martial Arts and MMA Enthusiasts." While it was an exciting and entertaining event, I think some of the shine fell off on account of the snowstorm. That's no one's fault, and I expect to see quite a few more people next year. Yes, I am already planning on attending again.
A big part of this event is the exposition hall, which is where most people seemed to congregate. There were a few dozen tables selling everything from DVDs to weapons, health products and appare, but more than that I saw people reconnecting with friends and making new ones. We did not have a booth this year, as the goal was to make introductions. It is on the radar for next year, though.
Friday night featured a wine and cheese reception and a dance-off exclusively for Grandmasters. Cynthia Rothrock was a crowd favorite all weekend and ended up winning the competition. Let me just say - the ability to do martial arts at a high level does not have any correlation with one's dancing ability.Michael Jai White is the big man in the center. A well-known actor he's agreed to come on Martial arts radio in the future.
Saturday was full of seminars and other events. I was lucky enough to have Bill "Superfoot" Wallace introduce me to one of his black belts and friends, Michael Jai White. He agreed to come on the podcast, so look for that soon.my friend from super summer seminars last july, Chris Lacava taught a hapkido session that was a lot of fun.
I met a number of other folks that were from the New England area, and they were pumped to hear about the tournament we're hosting on April 2nd. We may have added another 50 attendees just from the people I talked to this past weekend!
The roads did get bad, and I know of several people that didn't attend solely because of the storm. At one point I was asked to help someone that had run out of fuel - it seems that a Vermonter with 4WD and snow tires isn't so common down in New Jersey. :) It was a rough drive, but everyone ended up safe and I was happy to help.
Sunday was a long drive home that allowed for reflection. I didn't get a lot of sleep but I had a ton of fun. I saw old friends and made some new ones. I would encourage anyone to attend, especially if you've never been. While the banquet dinner is expensive, you don't have to participate in that. I had just as much fun spending time with others that opted-out of the dinner on Saturday night.
Our next event is this coming weekend - The New Hampshire Classic in Peterborough, NH. Hope to see some of you there!