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Florida Winter Getaway 2009


On February 11, 2009, I traveled to Orlando, Florida, to visit James Acampora, an old friend and student of the late Chito-Ryu shihan Art Rott. In order to teach Chito-ryu karate, James has continued the dreams of his instructor by building a dojo and staying true to the way he was taught. I have always kept in touch with him because of his deep dedication to Rott-Shihan and his true friendship to me.

Here I am with James Acampora (to my right) and some of his senior students. It was great to see the legacy of the late Art Rott-Shihan carried on so well by James and his outstanding dojo.

While on my visit, I was invited to take part in a Chito-Ryu seminar taught by William J. Dometrich-Hanshi, head of the United States Chito-Ryu Karate Federation, on February 14, at the Clarion Hotel, in Altamonte Springs. It had been many years since I had trained on the floor of any Chito-Ryu dojo and I felt apprehension, worried that old wounds would open.

Arriving in Orlando, I was picked up at the airport by James and taken to his home, in time to see the last half hour of class. At James' request, his students performed various kata for me. As I watched, it brought back many memories of sitting with the late Rott-Shihan, when he would also ask me to view his students. Some of the students I had encountered before, others were new to me. It was very satisfying to see what a great job that James has done.



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