"Throughout my 50-year Martial Arts journey, my motivation was never about achieving higher ranks. I love the practice itself; the pursuit and mastery is the driving force for me. I have always held the belief that being a dedicated student far outweighed the rank and titles. After all, it's better to be a skilled white belt than a lackluster black belt.
During my journey, I made friends with many people who were also training in martial arts. Some came and went, but others are still my training buddies and friends today. I can't name everyone because there are so many but know that you are all important to me. I would like to thank my students for their support and friendship; without them nothing would be possible, “you motivate me, and you help make it happen.”
Sensei Hiroo Iida, the head of our organization, Daitoryu Muden Juku, based in Sapporo, Japan honored me 10 years ago when he granted me the opportunity to head Daitoryu Muden in the United States. Fate led me to the position, and it is one that I cherish; this responsibility is a privilege, and my mission is clear – to preserve and transmit the authentic teachings of Daitoryu Muden just as I have learned from Sensei Iida.
2023, is a remarkable milestone year, not only does it mark 50 years of my Martial Arts journey, but it also marks the receipt of an esteemed honor – the Hidden Mokuroku Scroll from the Daitoryu Muden Juku lineage. This recognition is rare, especially outside of Japan, and I am humbled that Sensei Hiroo Iida has deemed me worthy of this honor.
I never dreamed my Martial Arts journey would bring me here; but I am grateful it has. Toda,y I reaffirm my commitment to the practice of Daitoryu Aikijujutsu and to passing along the teachings I continue to receive from Sensei Hiroo Iida.
Daito-Ryu is so deep that no matter how long you train you can never really master it; that's one of the things I love about this art.
So, my journey in martial arts continues with the same love and excitement that started in 1973 after watching Brue Lee at the Cinema theater as a teenager."
Ray Gacita, Sensei
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