The Four Founders’ Awards Nominating Essays for the 2010 Award Recipients

Prof. Cahill Prof. Estes Prof. Law Prof. Rickerts
David Martinez Prof Tom Jenkins Larry Carter Katie Stevens


David Martinez, recipient of the Professor John Cahill Award
Outstanding Tournament Competitor of the year

David Martinez demonstrated true kokua and ohana during the last Freestyle Contest at Makoto Kai in Woodland, CA. There were only four contestants in the junior division, and he was the highest ranking junior in the group. He could have easily chosen complicated techniques and done them with great speed, but he did just the opposite.

David was so careful while he was tori, and so worried that the other juniors might not know particular throws, that he limited his techniques to ones that anyone could fall from. The “highest” level fall for any of his uke was ogoshi! Even so, he managed to deliver all of his defenses with precision and variety, just as is called for in a freestyle contest. Likewise, when he was the attacker, he delivered attacks carefully and with a gentle yet determined attitude. His smile was infectious, reassuring more than one of his uke out of their nervousness.

David Martinez was a great example to all jujitsuka of what the spirit of DZR competition is all about. In a spontaneous situation, he showed not only great techniques, but a caring attitude that is surely a quality he will exhibit throughout his life.

Professor Tom Jenkins, recipient of the Professor Bud Estes Award
Outstanding Contribution to the AJJF

Prof. Tom Jenkins has worked harder than anyone I know to preserve the teachings of Prof. Bud Estes. He has dedicated his life to it. He gives of himself fully to any student, regardless of rank, who shows an interest in the principles of Danzan Ryu as taught by Prof. Estes.

I’ve known “TJ,” as we call him, since the late 1970s. His scholarly analysis of the mokuroku is undeniably profound. Even those who disagree with his conclusions recognize the work he has put into this project and the purity of his intent.

We had Prof. Jenkins out for a seminar this summer. He gave fully of himself. Everyone I spoke to after the seminar raved about him and asked when we could get him back. I’m one of the lucky (older) jujitsuka who remember Prof. Estes. Prof. Jenkins embodies Prof. Estes’ “fingertip technique.” He understands the arts from a variety of perspectives (jujitsu, judo, aikido), embodying the open-mindedness of the Danzan Ryu system as presented by both Master Okazaki and Prof. Estes.

I can think of no one who deserves the Prof. Bud Estes award more than Prof. Tom Jenkins.

Larry Carter, recipient of the Professor Ray Law Award
Outstanding Contribution to the Youth of the AJJF

Sensei Larry Carter of the Nemuri Kuma dojo started teaching Danzan Ryu jujitsu with the express purpose of teaching children, which is still his main focus. He only began teaching adults after being asked to do so by a friend. He has been a professional governor, that is, a male child rearing expert (not a head of state), his skills at rearing and caring for children are excellent, and he regularly cares for foster children and other wards of the state.

Larry Carter is an ethical man with a great deal of concern for the future of the world as it is seen in the children in his care. Therefore he would be an excellent recipient of the Law award.

Katie Stevens, recipient of the Professor Dick Rickerts Award
Outstanding AJJF Sensei of the year

Sensei Murph is one of two school heads at my dojo. I have only been attending the Makoto Kai for a little over a year, where previously I attended Chico Kodenkan, but the time that I have spent here has been invaluable. Sensei Murph helps run the carpool from Davis to Woodland, which is the only real way I could even attend class, and on the way, sometimes when it is just us, we will talk about things, sometimes about jujitsu but sometimes just about life, and she always gives such wonderful advice.

Sensei Murph has given me the chance to open up to my Sensei, sharing with me not only knowledge of the Ryu, but knowledge of life. She claims that she has learned just from others, but we all have our Sensei, those who come before us. The knowledge of DZR that she shares with us, her students, is always so precise, giving us such a deep insight into the inner workings of the kata, that it becomes apparent, even obvious, how the techniques work.

Most especially of all is her excitement. Sensei Murph is always in such a good mood, knowing when to keep it serious, but also able to laugh when she misses a throw or slips on a lock, even though that does not happen often. Even when I work with her individually, we will both jokingly grumble about our techniques, even though I never see anything wrong with hers, and I think she just does it to make me feel good. To be honest, all of this can be summed up in one sentence; Like myself, Murph is someone who you might not expect to be a martial artist, but deep down, she is the embodiment of the Makoto Kai- Dedicated.