The Four Founders’ Awards Nominating Essays for the 2020 Award Recipients



Prof. Cahill Prof. Estes Prof. Law Prof. Rickerts
Henry Carr Patrick Hedgepath Aubrey Shaw Travis Prose

Henry Carr, recipient of the Professor John Cahill Award
Outstanding Tournament Competitor of the Year

What makes a champion?
Is it trophies and tournaments?
Is it killer instincts and the desire to win? 

While some of the above are factors, it seems the real champion is the person who refuses to give up. When everyone else has become discouraged, the champion remains. First place or last place, the champion is back on the field and is running drills, seeking out the advice of coaches and most importantly supporting his team. 

The above constitutes the makings of a champion, not merely in sport but in life. 

With that in mind I humbly would like to submit my student Henry Carr for the Professor John Cahill Award – Outstanding Tournament Competitor of the year. 

Henry has been my student for over five years, in that time he has exhibited many if not all of the best parts of the Esoteric Principles. As a student he is a bundle of positive energy, always putting his best effort on the mat. Even though he had had to struggle with many of the challenges faced by today’s youth he always maintains himself as gentleman. As I write about Henry, the refrain “One must be gentle, modest, polite…” from our Esoteric Principles keeps appearing in my mind. Those precepts describe him perfectly. 

He is eager to compete, for all the right reasons. He (and his family) have traveled more than any of my students to train and compete. Often being the only representative of our dojo. His sportsmanship is consistently an example to be followed. Win or lose you can expect the very best from Henry. 

Henry constantly seeks to challenge himself against the best of his peers and in doing so improve. 

Both a jujitsu-ka and as a young man. 

Humbly Submitted
Gregory Poretz
Sensei, Kenshokan Dojo

Patrick Hedgepath, recipient of the Professor Bud Estes Award
Outstanding Contribution to the AJJF

Sensei Patrick Hedgepath is co-sensei at Palmetto Jujitsu Academy & Healing Arts Center Inc. He has traveled and taught at many AJJF events as well as with other martial art groups. 

He and his wife own their own server and web design company. He is involved with many professional business groups as well. Patrick redesigned the AJJF website, updated our site program to WordPress, placed a search engine on the site to assist in locating information (helps people like me a lot find stuff). He has been instrumental in organizing, promoting, clinics in the East as well as in the Mid-West and West. He always has time to deal with issues and delivers results in a timely manner. He represents both himself and the AJJF as a go to person. He is a team player who builds co-operation between groups and individuals. He has recently moved our AJJF website to a different server company which dramatically increased the speed and at the same time lowered the cost. He works tirelessly to improve communication on the website. He is a sitting member on the Operations Committee of the AJJF. 

Two years ago, he took his Yodan exam at convention (while doing Mod 2 of DZRSI, taking over more teaching duties at our dojo, continuing to improve our website and being under the weather so to speak at the time of his exam) and passed! He is a dedicated instructor and teaches 2-3 nights a week. 

It is with great pleasure that I nominate Patrick Hedgepath for the Bud Estes Award

Aubrey Shaw, recipient of the Professor Ray Law Award
Outstanding Contribution to the Youth of the AJJF

Contribution to the youth of the AJJF 

When looking over the awards for nomination, one in particular stood out to me. The “Contribution to the Youth of the AJJF”. I immediately thought of one of our female Shodans. She is extremely dedicated and devoted to helping our young kids grow and develop their skills in Judo. In order to grow her understanding of Judo from a judges perspective, she took a local referee class. Having this desire and drive really helps in a dojo and allows for great opportunity. Her continued involvement in our growing kids program has gained her recognition amongst many of the parents. Whenever there is a local or out of state event, she is quick to inform everyone, so as to allow for planning and preparation for the possibility of our young kids to compete. When asked by parents, “Do you plan on competing, and why?” Her response, “I sure do, I think it’s important that your kids see their teacher giving it a try, and doing exactly what I’m encouraging them to do.” She attends day and evening class during the week, and assists with instruction during our Saturday open mat class. 

Off the mat, she is her own boss, providing the utmost professional service to her clientele. She has a tenacious drive to help people, and is dedicated to following through, no matter what. She sees the value of community, once holding the position of President in her Neighborhood Association, two years in a row. 

It is my opinion that her actions on and off of the mat are directly related to one another. Her heart is devoted to the growth, in others and herself. It’s very clear how proud she is of our youth program. She is always willing to do anything and everything to help grow our diverse and ever popular youth program. 

Thank you for your consideration for the nomination of this award to Aubrey Shaw, Shodan. Student of Prof. Tom Ryan of Palmetto Jujitsu Academy and Healing Arts. 

David Shaw, Yodan

Travis Prose, recipient of the Professor Dick Rickerts Award
Outstanding AJJF Sensei of the Year

I am nominating Sensei Travis Prose for outstanding AJJF sensei of the year.

For as long as Travis has been teaching Dan Zan Ryu, he has persevered to cultivate the things that make it truly wonderful: kōkua, and ʻohana. Here at the Osoku Wakasu dojo in Hilo, we are isolated from other DZR schools and teachers, but Sensei Prose always works to bring professors and other extended family from across the water to share with us. In recent years Travis has also rebooted an annual Camp Hawai’I event as a way for us to connect with more extended family, and as experience and practice serve us, to have an opportunity test for higher ranks through the AJJF. For our dojo, this is huge, as we would otherwise be very hard pressed to connect with our mainland counterparts. 

Sensei Prose knows that people are the heart and soul of Dan Zan Ryu, and it is in that spirit of kokua that he is always reaching out, connecting to others, and working to build something more. I see this principle applied every day I’m on the mat. Travis is constantly mindful of the progression of every one of his students, always seeking to serve the potential within them, even (and especially) if they don’t yet see it in themselves. He is always thinking and acting on what his students need him to be – and what we all need to be for each other – in order to flourish. And so, under his guidance, with all of us working together, we all grow together in turn; I have seen students transformed into teachers, and strangers into ʻOhana.

Travis Prose has been faithfully preserving the spirit of aloha and stewardship that exists at the heart of Dan Zan Ryu – and at the cradle of the art, no less. I can think of no one more deserving of this award, and it is my privilege to call him sensei.