Nagasaki Media

Kendo at the Wrestlers Reunion 2015

Report Courtesy of the Wrestlers Reunion 2015.    

 

“For over 30 years an ever presence on our television screens was professional wrestling, sadly those great days are just a distant memory for many but on the second Sunday every August we are transported back to those halcyon days when everything stopped at four o’clock on a Saturday afternoon when Mums, Dads, Grannies , Grandads and children of all ages clambered around their television screens to get their weekly fix of professional wrestling.

On Sunday 9th August 2015 the sun shone once again as wrestlers, officials and fans from around the world, as they converged on The Bridges Public House situated in a leafy suburb in Kent.  On arriving at 9.30am it was hard to believe that in less than two hours there would be a mass of people all there for one thing… to celebrate wrestling.

After the terrible weather and traffic congestion from last year, none of us really knew what to expect from this years Reunion but we had no need to worry.  Despite the event not starting until 11.00am fans were arriving at the venue as early as 8.00am and some even stayed until the doors closed at 10.30pm such is their wish to be part of this terrific day.

As 11.00 approached it was obvious that something very special was going to happen this year, we already knew that there would be many star wrestlers in attendance and the fact that the legendary Kendo Nagasaki was making an appearance, which would guarantee that many of his fans would be there to see their hero but none of us could have imagined that by the time the Reunion was in full flow there would be some 480+ people in attendance comprising of wrestlers who had joined us from around the World, alongside fans who had travelled from as far afield as John O’Groats to be with us armed with their autographs books, cameras and other memorabilia that they have collected over the years, all hoping to grab the opportunity of a chat with their favourite wrestler or a photo opportunity.  The wrestlers, as always, are very obliging and are only too happy to chat with everyone as well as reliving memories with their colleagues.

As the years pass there does not seem to be any let up on the wrestlers who show their appreciation by attending the Reunion and this year was no exception.  As you look around the list of wrestlers and wrestling officials are endless starting with our host Wayne Bridges who as ever was joined by his lovely wife Sarah to give everyone who attend a warm Reunion welcome.  Joining Wayne and Sarah were Kendo Nagasaki, Tony St Clair, Roy St Clair, Johnny Kincaid, Colin Joynson, Johnny Kidd, Bob ‘Blondie’ Barratt, Keith Myatt, Banger Walsh, Jackie Turpin, Barry Roy, Ricky Knight, Sweet Saraya, Zak Knight, Roy Knight, Vince Randell, Karl Heinz, Bill Beaney, John McGuiness, Bobby Stafford, Sam Betts (Dwight J Ingleburg), Jim Fitzmaurice, Steve Grey, Steve Taylor, Clive Myers, Barbara Swann aka Leather Lena, Klondyke Kate, Glitterboy Evans, Scott Thomson, Sanjay Bagga, Jon Ritchie, Peter Baines, Frank Rimer,  Bully boy Ian Muir, John Hall, Roy Wood, Salvatore Bellomo (Tino Salvadore),  Jimmy Sullivan, Skull Murphy, Johnny Riley, Lee Bamber, Rik Sands, John Elijah, John Hurley,  Bob Anthony, Tony ‘Titch’ White,  Chris Riley, Barry Cooper, Ray Luxford, Bobby England, Dave Gentle, Bob Kirkwood, Little Daddy, Jeanie Clarke, John Carlo, Freddie Bentley, Al Kitto, Brookie Armani, Jim Howard, Romany Riley, Jim Howard, Dave Walker, John Davidson, Steve Barker, Johnny Love, Ernest K Sterling,  Staal du Plessis,  Phil Powers, Paul Tyrell, Alan Lee Travis, Kashmir Singh, Mohammad Butt,  Mal Sanders, Steve Lynskey, Jim Brodie, Hugh Mungous Mark Kent, Keith Haward, Bobby Ryan, Neil Sands, Tony Scarlo, Kevin Richmond, Brian Maxine, Alan Sargeant, Bobby Stafford, Billy La Rue, Gary Adams, Spencer Churchill, Jonathan Hardwicke, Dick the Bruiser, Colin Anthony, Dean Ayass, Keith Gray, Lloyd Ryan, Mel Stuart, Karl Trotter, Tom Tyrone, Jackie Robinson, Tony Bates plus many more.  We were also very pleased to welcome Cyndi Cooper (daughter of Catweazle), Lyndsey Mason (daughter of Butch Mason), Diane Fretwell (widow of Ted Fretwell) Alan ‘Hack’ Bamber from Wrestling Heritage and Chris Owens from Wrestling Furnace Gallery.

Throughout the morning and early afternoon wrestlers and fans alike exchange stories, take photos, meet old and new friends and generally chat about  their experiences within the wrestling business whether it be inside the ring or sat outside the ring, all of this happens whilst our resident vocalist  Barry Howard (Baz Jangles) entertains those in attendance aided by Chris Buckwell.   Special thanks also go to Jackie Turpin and Liz Myatt who gave their own performances all of which were appreciated by the masses.

As the clock ticks it is soon time for what is always an important day in the Reunion calendar and as everyone makes their way to the garden, this year there was standing room only with many having to stand outside on the road to watch the proceedings such were the number of people in attendance.

Frank Rimer welcomes everyone to the Reunion and after a brief introduction hands over to Colin Joynson who as ever has the task of paying tribute to all those involved in the wrestling business who have passed away since last year.  This year we paid tribute to Peter Szakacs, Lenny Hurst, Prince Kumali, Verne Gagne, Ricki Starr, Ken Shaw, Ted Heath, Buddy Ward, Dusty Rhodes, Eli Collins, Brian Trevors, Jack Lane,  Drew McDonald, Mick Shannon, Tony Charles, Keith Waddington, Pat Patton, Llew Roberts, Ryan Williams, Margaret Stephenson, Norman ‘Bobo’ Brazil, Roddy Piper, Anne de Relyskow and Stew Allen.  These tributes were followed by the customary 10 bell salute which was excellently well observed by the crowd.  Sgt Lance Stuart McRoberts Harding then played a fitting tribute to all those warriors who have passed away on the bagpipes which brought this solemn part although extremely necessary part of the proceedings to a close.

For the first time in nearly 20 years Frank Rimer had decided to take a step back from announcing the awards this year and this job has been handed over to popular Master of Ceremonies Lee Bamber who himself is now a thirty year veteran in the wrestling business.  As expected Lee did a fantastic job for us and ensured that the ceremony went without a hitch.

As the years progress you would think that it would become harder and harder to acknowledge those who have contributed to the wrestling business as many have already received awards in previous years but this was not the case and this year Hall of Fame Awards were presented to Kendo Nagasaki, Eric Taylor and Sam Betts.

Lifetime Achievement Awards were presented to Clive Myers, Skull Murphy, James Mason (accepted by Johnny Kidd in his absence) and Barbara Ann Swan aka Leather Lena.

Services to wrestling awards were presented to Martin Gillott aka Jackie Glitterboy Evans, Steve Taylor, Jim Brodie, Lee Bamber, Tony Francis and Roy Wood.

Young Wrestlers of the Year Awards went to Zak Knight and Roy Knight whilst British Promoter of the Year was award to Sanjay Bagga of LDN Wrestling.

Posthumous awards were presented to Chris Adams (accepted by his former partner Jeanie Clarke), Brian ‘Crusher’ Mason (accepted by his daughter Lyndsey Mason) and Drew McDonald (accepted by Zak Knight).

This years superfan award went to Adrian Patching for all his work behind the scenes for various promoters for the last forty years whilst the International Award went to former WWE star Salvatore Bellomo ( Tino Salvadore),who had travelled all the way from his home in Belgium just to accept the award.

The Health & Strength Special award was presented to strongman Champion and Reunion stalwart Gary Adams.

Then at 2.00 p.m. it was time for what a number of this years attendees had waited for, Kendo Nagasaki was here, this is the first time that the masked man of mystery has attended any wrestling Reunion and by the amount of Kendo Nagasaki memorabilia that was seen he still has a great following.  Kendo arrived at the Bridges with Lawrence Stevens, Atlantis Goth and Jonathan Smeed and was introduced to the crowd. Kendo was then presented with his Hall of Fame Award and acknowledged all those in attendance accordingly before being presented with another award by Paul Douglas who had travelled all the way from Cumbria together with other keepers of the salt followers, purely to present this to the man himself.  Kendo graciously accepted this award also and again acknowledged everyone.

Atlantis Goth then informed everyone that Kendo had a very special surprise for them all.  After weeks of speculation it was announced that Kendo would re-inact his famous 1977 burning of the mask. Whilst Kendo was not going to unmask on this occasion he did bring with him the actual mask that he wore in his last professional bout and duly placed the mask into the bowl before setting it alight.  Kendo then retrieved the mask and presented it to the Reunion.  The Reunion committee will decide what will happen to this in due course and will notify everyone of this at that time, although we think that it would be an excellent item to display in our intended Museum of wrestling.

Atlantis Goth then asked for a minutes silence to remember all those that lost their lives 70 years ago at the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  This was excellently observed by everyone at the Reunion.

Kendo Nagasaki then made a presentation of his own to one of his biggest fans who is confined to a wheelchair before leaving the stage to meet the fans.

He sat patiently in extreme heat before departing back to ‘The Retreat’ in his waiting stretch limo Cadillac. We are very pleased and thank Kendo greatly for remaining at the Reunion for a further two hours where he posed for photographs and signed autographs and did not leave until every last person who wanted to meet him had done so.  This was the highlight of the day for many and we had a large number of people after Kendo had left the venue thanking us and asking us to do the same to him which of course has been done. Thanks to this visit by Kendo Nagasaki, completely at his own expense, the Reunion has taken enough monies on the memorabilia stall and with the raffle and donations to fund itself for a further five years and therefore the Committee is extremely grateful.

The only sad thing for the wrestlers and Kendo himself, who had friended and worked as colleagues, with many of them, was not getting the opportunity to sit and reminisce over old times together, but most understood the need to preserve the persona.

With the ceremonies concluded everyone in attendance takes some time out, food and drink is flowing, the sun is beating down and everyone is in a very good mood, many staying on at the Bridges well into the evening.  As the afternoon draws to a close there are still many people meeting up with old friends, having photos and getting autographs, the one day of the year where the stars of the ring return, the clock is turned back and for that one day we are all transported back to the glory years of British wrestling.

So that was the 2015 British Wrestlers Reunion, a great success for us all and one of the biggest Reunions of all time ensuring that Britain continues to hold the record of the largest Wrestlers Reunion in Europe, an honour which Britain richly deserves.

In closing, how do you sum up this years event, well, we will leave that to one of the great legends of British wrestling and a man who is highly respected in the business, none other than Colin Joynson who on leaving the venue stated ‘I have been to many Reunions in my time but I can honestly say that without doubt this the best ever and I have really enjoyed every part of it’  and on that note we thank you all for coming, we really appreciate all the support that we get from everyone, it was great fun, we have extended the Reunion family, the Ring of Friendship is stronger than ever and we will see you all on the 14th August 2016 for our 25th anniversary.”

To see pictures of the event please click HERE.

The spiritual aspects of Kendo’s actions at the Wrestlers’ Reunion can be seen in his “Healing Message for August”, which is on his Healing Website’s Healing Messages” section.

Retreat Event Visitors Send Kind Words of Thanks…

After the Events held here at the Kendo Nagasaki Retreat, we are often told of how helpful the experience has been for our guests; it is wonderful to hear how Kendo’s work has such a positive effect, and, of course, the hope for the future is to help a great many more people to find peace and become empowered.

We have also been sent some very positive and appreciative messages by our guests, and we are very pleased to share them with you on the Messages of Thanks page on the website of The Kendo Nagasaki Foundation.

Kendo and all at the Retreat thank you for your kind words, and are most gratified that they represent such positive experiences – we look forward to seeing you all again very soon at a Retreat Event.

Kendo Wrestling Masks are Back In Stock!

Here is the news you’ve been waiting for – Kendo Nagasaki Wrestling Masks are Back in Stock!

KN-Mask-01-Black_300w

We’ve just taken delivery of a new batch of custom-tailored Kendo masks, and they’re excellent! Every one has been exquisitely made and rigorously tested for quality, and they’re absolutely excellent.

Once again, quantities are limited, but you can choose from red, black, blue, and purple masks, available on the Masks page of the Nagasaki Web Store.

Don’t miss this chance to Get Your Kendo Wrestling Mask Now!

Updates and Improvements…

These are exciting times, so we’re just keeping everyone in the loop, as they say…

There won’t be a new video uploaded to Kendo Nagasaki 101 today, as we’ve found that in order to maintain the quality, we need a little more time to make them. This has arisen because of widening interest in Kendo’s empowering practices and what we do here at The Retreat. We look forward to welcoming many more people from diverse groups to The Retreat, and we’re also working on upgrading our infrastructure to accommodate everyone.

You will see an evolution of all the Kendo websites over time – this has already begun, with the linking-together of the main Kendo Nagasaki site, the website of The Kendo Nagasaki Foundation, and the Healing website; navigating between all the sections of information that we have will become progressively easier, and we’ll be making everything fully accessible on all devices too. Information will also be updated and extended as part of this process, so please do keep checking back to the websites.

Of course, if there’s anything that you would like to see happening here at The Retreat, please drop us a line at admin@kendonagasaki.org.

As you can see, inspired as always by the great Kendo Nagasaki, it’s very much a case of “Onwards!”

Kendo Extends His Good Wishes to the People of Fukushima

Many of you will have seen Kendo’s Healing Message for March on the Blog for his Healing website, and it has had some very positive feedback, for which he thanks all those who commented.

As he feels so deeply about the plight of the people of Fukushima, Kendo authorised the Healing Message to be translated into Japanese, which was kindly done by our friend in Tokyo, Chris Gould, and the Japanese translation now appears with the English version in the message.

Even before we were granted Charitable Status, The Kendo Nagasaki Foundation had donated to the relief efforts which continue in Fukushima, but Kendo feels that since hope can’t be bought, telling the people of Fukushima personally that we care is an important way to let them know that even half a world away, we support them and wish them all the very best.

Once again, Gambatte Fukushima! Hang in there…

The Kendo Nagasaki Foundation is now a Registered Charity

This is great news!

The Charities Commission have today granted Charitable Status to The Kendo Nagasaki Foundation – we are now Registered Charity number 1161005.

We are delighted that the work we seek to do in bringing Buddhism to a wider audience has been recognised as having charitable status, which means that it is for the public benefit; after so many years of selfless healing and mentoring, Kendo Nagasaki’s empowering work can now be taken to a wider audience, to help as many people as possible maximise their potential, to find peace, to find their place in the universe, and become empowered in many ways.

The Buddhism which Kendo Nagasaki practises offers a great deal to those who may not have previously considered it as a source of wisdom and guidance in life; Buddhism is rational, and does not require the belief in any gods, it is a system for living the best possible life, and it advocates the use of an immensely empowering tool – meditation. The Kendo Nagasaki Foundation presents the wisdom of Buddhism in many imaginative ways, so that you can see how its simple ways can be maximally empowering to your life, and enabling to your enlightenment.

Please watch this space for further developments – this is an important milestone for The Kendo Nagasaki Foundation, and we’ll be moving swiftly to extend Kendo’s empowering Buddhist message; as Kendo himself says:

Onwards!