Monday, August 2, 2010


Yikes, it’s already August, the 2010 SDAFF is almost around the corner, as I’m sure many of the organizers are going around the bend, but of course it is a good bend.

Like everyone out there and their pet cat, I’ve been busier than busy, watching great films (Predators, Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Chan’s The Karate Kid), watching not so great films (Inception; with an ending influenced by the disappointing infamous “Who Shot J.R.?” scam from the famous Dallas TV series of the 1980s), caught up in the World Cup (What was England thinking? And what about the Spanish…way neat), writing, healing and a few weekends ago, being involved in the inaugural and fantastic United States Martial Arts Festival (USMA Fest), in which my wife Silvia and I were special guests.

It just seems that karmic timing of this event as well as the upcoming August 4, San Diego Asian Film Foundation sponsored free 7:00 pm screening of Bruce Lee’s Enter the Dragon (1973), at the Piazza Carmel Shopping Plaza in celebration of Lee 70th birthday positively oozes with coincident coincidence where fate and destiny are really not coincidental but are purposeful…it’s that we always don’t see the connection.

One of my goals is to make sure kids can be put in a position to learn martial arts and to importantly spread the word of the importance martial arts plays in the physical, mental and emotional development of children.

Earlier this year, Silvia and I became Board of Directors of the Shin Koyamada Foundation (SKF), a non profit foundation in which one of the goals is to raise funds for their Martial Arts Scholarship Program so kids of lesser means can be given the chance to enroll in reputable martial arts schools.

So on July 18, the SKF presented the inaugural United States Martial Arts Festival at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center.

Before an audience of over 1000 adults and children, Silvia, who has a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Illinois with five years of post-doctoral training at Yale Medical School and 10 years at UCLA Medical School, shared some shocking statistics.

“Today’s kids have more stress these days,” Silvia noted, “due to parents’ pressure, cyber bullying and are just overall more exposed to different kinds of stresses in their environment and from society.

“One in 10 kids suffer from ADHD and one in 200 school children have a autism. The increase stress that our children have, it correlates with the increase of these illnesses. Martial arts schools provide a safe playground for children and through martial arts kids can find a powerful way to release a lot of that stress, where the martial arts can be used to transform this stress into something positive.”

After a very enthusiastic response from the audience, it was my turn. And here comes that Bruce Lee coincident thing.

One of the earlier guests was film producer Paul Heller, close friend to Bruce Lee as well as the producer of Lee’s Enter the Dragon. Heller spoke about Lee’s philosophy and then he equated the work that actor Shin Koyamada does through his SKF as dynamic as what Lee was doing with martial arts. Heller is as moved by Koyamada’s dedication to martial arts and helping others as he was by Lee dedication to martial arts and what Lee accomplished.

I’ve known Paul for almost four years, we share common visions and he also knows my life’s story and how Bruce Lee is an important part of saving my life from the deadly disease cystic fibrosis. It was a pleasure to share this story with the audience who kept clapping throughout the speech.

For those not familiar with my story, I’ll tell more after the August 4 screening of Enter the Dragon, where I’ll share a story or two about the film that many may not know.