"Historically, our classes have been often times imitated - but our quality and integrity have never been duplicated."
- Shihan Ellis Weber -


        I don't remember ever taking the easy road. I'm not saying that's commendable because sometimes the most trying, tempestuous times of my life I brought on myself. But those times, or seasons, of my life pale in comparison to the times, seasons, and even years when it seemed everything was more of a struggle than I personally preferred.

      The brochure In the meantime, I dare say those struggles haven't been wasted. Without fail, I believe they have ultimately honed, refined and matured me to the point that when it comes to leadership, I can, for the most part, be trusted.

     I was just lamenting the fact to a trusted friend last night that there was a time when I was the "best" person in my classes. Not that I was better than anyone else, but I was physically the strongest and mentally the sharpest when it came to technique, teaching and skill. The last few years have taken a toll that I wouldn't wish on any man, but my friend was quick to remind me that I was "more than a conqueror."

       A couple of friends years ago were inspired to tell me I had a "gatherer's anointing." I didn't have a clue what that meant, but over the years as I've reflected retrospectively on the events of my life, I can honestly say I believe what they were trying to tell me. From the time I was a kid, I was always "rounding people up." Not to be the big man, the boss, or even the leader- just seeing opportunities for just causes and feeling compelled inside to do something about it. It wasn't easy. Nor was it ever popular UNTIL the thing was established. What was obvious was that typically everything I helped to establish or found benefitted many others, whether it was school events, community gatherings, church plantings, or karate organizations.

       I do believe the greatest attribute to any true realm of leadership for a cause being established, other than the cause itself, is timing. You can have a great idea and exhibit honorable leadership skills and gung-ho, but lack of good timing can lay any battle or idea to waste.

       I said all that to say this:

It's time for Vanguard Stand-up Federation.

The vanguard was the one, or those, who blazed the trail. With uncanny foresight, they pioneered what otherwise wouldn't have been done. They pushed against the popular tide and risked life, limb, reputation and consideration because they knew the battle, trend or movement was worth the scars. They were the tip of the spear.

       In the weeks, months and years to come you'll see this is one organization that will stand the test of time. All good things start small. And I don't regret the years of struggle, hardships and even betrayal. It's all a refining process that inevitably substantiates the men from the primadonnas.

       I don't despise the day of small beginnings.

       I simply know it's begun.

                                                                                                                                                                           Osu .
                                                                                                                                                                  Shihan Ellis Weber
                                                                                                                                                        Founder and Senior  instructor
                                                                                                                                                         Eaglewings Kyokushin karate